It is predicted that $24 billion gift card dollars are up for grabs this Christmas holiday shopping season, and the members of the U.S. retail industry both large and small are not inclined to leave any of that gift certificate sales counter. In 2010 there are more technologically advanced ways of delivering gift card products than ever before and a bountiful choice of creative and aggressive gift card promotions to help peddle them.
A gift card may resemble a credit card or display a specific theme on a plastic card the size of a credit card. The card is identified by a specific number or code, not usually with an individual name, and thus could be used by anybody. They are backed by an on-line electronic system for authorization. Some gift cards can be reloaded by payment and can be used thus multiple times.
Cards may have a barcode or magnetic strip, which is read by an electronic credit card machine. Many cards have no value until they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card. This amount is rarely stored on the card but is instead noted in the store's database, which is crosslinked to the card ID. Gift cards thus are generally not stored-value cards as used in many public transport systems or library photocopiers, where a simplified system (with no network) stores the value only on the card itself. To thwart counterfeiting, the data is encrypted. The magnetic strip is also often placed differently than on credit cards, so they cannot be read or written with standard equipment. Other gift cards may have a set value and need to be activated by calling a specific number.
Gift cards can also be custom tailored to meet specific needs. By adding a custom message or name on the front of the card, it can make for an individualized gift or incentive to an employee to show how greatly they are appreciated. Some companies offer custom designs on the cards for businesses wishing to add their logo. Special order cards are available for businesses.
Spokane Gift certificates
Scrip is now issued in the form of gift certificates (alternatively gift vouchers), or gift cards. The two are essentially the same except that the cards automate the checkout and accounting processes. Cards usually have a barcode or magnetic strip, which can be processed through a standard electronic credit card machine.
In the late 1980s, the term scrip evolved to include a fundraising method popular with non-profit organizations like schools, bands and athletic groups. With scrip fundraising, retailers offer the gift certificates and gift cards to non-profit organizations at a discount. The non-profit organizations sell the gift cards to member families at full face value. The families redeem the gift cards at full face value, and the discount or rebate is retained by the non-profit organization as revenue. Great Lakes Scrip Center, the nationís largest broker of scrip gift cards, reports that more than 4 million US households and 15,000 non-profit organizations use scrip fundraising. Canada's largest scrip fundraising company, Fundscrip, demonstrate scrip's popularity by boasting a 75% repeat purchase rate among groups seeking to easily support their respective causes.
Gifts cards are increasingly being offered as consumer incentives at no cost or for a substantial discount. For example, reward points given for the use of credit cards can be exchanged for a variety of gift cards and some companies will offer high value gift cards at a discount. Gift cards are readily available at a discount using online trading services.
There are different sources from which you can get such cards and certificates from the internet and these include;
1. ebay discount gift cards certificatesQuite a number of discount gift cards and certificates are always available on eBay. The result is that, quite a number of people at one point in time had purchased discount gift cards only to realize that the restaurants were very far from where they expected or are restaurants they do not like. The best solution here is selling the certificate to get the cash back.
2. Plastic Jungle is one of the best place to sell, buy, exchange or donate your gift cards on the web. They offer the most innovative, convenient and safest way to get the most out of gift cards with free shipping for sellers and buyers. PJ also offers feature like helping you to replace your gift cards in case they are lost.
3. giftcards.comGiftCards.com has the world's largest discounted merchant gift card inventory. You can buy merchant gift cards below for up to 25% off retail prices. Great discounts and a huge number of merchants to select from, plus they're all guaranteed!
4. restaurant.comRestaurant.com is a recognized dealer of the discount certificates and restaurant gift cards. These are available at very huge discounts. You can buy a $100 discount certificate for $30.
From their website, you will be able to obtain discount certificates at very reasonable prices. Quite a number of their sale is made at a discount of 20% off and they usually come in a gift pack. For instance, you will find them selling two $50 certificates for $80 though they lack a wide selection.
6. Entertainment books
This could not be necessarily a gift but all in all, to friends as a gift, it will open opportunities to them to "buy one get one free" restaurant coupons.