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Everyone Got Them, But Over Time Our Opinions Have Changed!

I remember being so excited opening up presents as a kid, thinking, "That is for me!" I remember tearing off the wrapping paper only to find gift cards and thinking, "What is this?"

It isn’t a toy! It isn’t anything that I asked for! And what am I going to do with this?

This past week I think my kids had the same expression I had many years ago. Life has changed a little bit. According to a number of reports I heard on the radio, holiday gift card sales might be as high as $35 billion this year. Yes I said $35 billion! Holiday gift card sales will account for almost 6% of total US holiday spending this year–up 5% from a year ago–according to Stamford, Connecticut-based Archstone.

I remember giving out gift cards years ago and people would look at me and think "He took the easy way out. He couldn’t think of something to get me so he took the lazy option." I was thinking all along, "You have everything and now you can get what you want."

Amazing how times have changed. You can buy gift cards everywhere: Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble and of course there are American Express Gift cards. In my opinion those are the best. I can get whatever I want wherever I want it!

The other amazing statistic I heard was that 20% of all gift cards are never used! I couldn’t believe that number, so I asked a number of friends and family and sure enough, many of them have gift cards they have never used and WILL NEVER use them! The merchants are either in an area they don’t go anymore, or they are a store they never shop at or a restaurant they never eat at.

  • What is your opinion of gift cards? Friend or foe?
  • Did you give out any gift cards this holiday season?
  • Do you have gift cards that are over a year old?

I look forward to your comments.

P.S. If you want to send me one, American Express, Sports Authority or Barnes & Noble would work out just fine for me!

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