The holiday season is almost upon us and the almost everyone I meet seems to be in a jolly mood. It's also the time of the season to buy gifts. Not really sure how the current recession is going to affect the sales. Most of my friends are looking for bargains online.
One thing that will not change will be the big queues in stores at the returns counter where people go to exchange unwanted gifts. I was wondering whether giving prepaid gift cards would be a better alternative. People could then go and buy things that they really wanted or needed.
According to a study by commissioned by Blackhawk Network, the creator of the Gift Card Mall™, 70% of the respondents felt that gift cards are a useful gift since the recipient can get what he/she wants. Further more, the National Retail Federation’s 2009 NRF holiday survey showed 54.9% of consumers would like to receive a gift card this holiday season.
I guess that's not really surprising. I would prefer to receive a gift card rather than a sweater that did not fit me.
I am sure some of you might be worried that with several retailers in financial trouble or even going under, they might not accept gift card. However, the fact is that most retailers are not going bankrupt and those that were are getting rescued and there is no evidence to show that retailers are not accepting gift cards.
So if you haven't thought about your gifts as yet, you might want to consider giving gift cards.