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 Economic / big business
 Gift Cards
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  08:24:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Apparently there was an email going around telling people not to purchase gift cards this year because a lot of stores will go into Chapt 11 or out of biz in January and won't be able to honor the cards.

Are you comfortable buying gift cards or gift certificates this year in
1. large chain stores
2. small local stores


GFTC of NYC

my knitting photos on Flickr

azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2388 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  12:18:27 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately, that probably makes some sense. I avoid gift cards anyway unless I know that they don't reduce the face amount with fees if the recipient doesn't use it within a certain period. Checks it is.

azblue
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So much to learn, so little time.
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kimkrafty
Permanent Resident

USA
2145 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  3:15:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit kimkrafty's Homepage Send kimkrafty a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll be giving a few gift cards from stores who seem to be faring well. I am being selective and only buying a few, though.

Kimberly, knitting in VA
http://kimberlyskorner.blogspot.com
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NastiJ
Permanent Resident

1288 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  8:38:22 PM  Show Profile Send NastiJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GFTC

Apparently there was an email going around telling people not to purchase gift cards this year because a lot of stores will go into Chapt 11 or out of biz in January and won't be able to honor the cards.


More half-truths in viral emails:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/bankruptcies.asp

quote:
First of all, a company's "filing for bankruptcy" doesn't always mean it is going out of business. Companies typically file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to put forth reorganization plans that will allow them to keep their businesses alive while they pay their creditors over time.


"There was (is) an e-mail going around" is a sure precursor for misinformation nowadays.

Besides, why tether the recipient to a particular store, when Visa, MC and Amex are clamoring for your business with cards that can be used virtually anywhere?

Nancy J.

"Learning how to knit was a snap.It was learning how to stop that nearly destroyed me." Erma Bombeck
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  9:33:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
"There was (is) an e-mail going around" is a sure precursor for misinformation nowadays.



There is no misinformation there. I've seen the email so it does exist. It is true that there are stores that will go bankrupt or disappear after year end, and the rest is a decision that each shopper will have to make in terms of giving gift cards. We have seen so many store closings where I live that I doubt if anyone around here is running to buy gift cards.

Once a store files for bankruptcy in Chapter 11 it does not have to honor gift cards issued prior to the bankruptcy even when it stays in business. There is some talk about consumer protection legislation dealing with this matter but I don't think any of the states have actually done anything about it.

In a commercial bankruptcy the people who get paid first are the lawyers, accountants, and tax agencies.

GFTC of NYC

my knitting photos on Flickr
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  11:05:56 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always give gift cards or certificates and will do it again this year. No worries here because people use them within a week or two.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey
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jtamsn
Permanent Resident

USA
1684 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2008 :  04:42:41 AM  Show Profile Send jtamsn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have heard the same thing re: gift cards/certificates. I did hear that buying gift cards that could be used anywhere, such as American Express or Visa are safe. I would have no problem with cards from places such as LL Bean, Cabelas etc.
judy
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Chemcats
Permanent Resident

3337 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2008 :  05:42:43 AM  Show Profile Send Chemcats a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What GFTC said is spot on! I would be very careful when giving gift cards. There was a big stink over Sharper Image. They sold gift cards just like so many other stores...but then they declared bankruptcy just before Christmas and left a lot of people with worthless, but pricey, gift cards. I think a class action suit was started...well, another class action suit. The Brookstone Stores made a public statement, stating that they will recognize all Sharper Image GCs because what happened was not fair and they wanted to help out as well as get the Sharper Image buyer into their stores. It was a big success.

We have some GCs that need to be used up. Red Door. I have no idea how long they will be here, but they seems to be doing pretty well for now.

Amazon is a win win, imo.

Meribeth
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Sticks and String
Permanent Resident

USA
1113 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2008 :  06:31:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sticks and String's Homepage Send Sticks and String a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think the retail businesses I would normally buy GCs for are in any danger so I'll do the usual for the nieces and nephews who fly in for the holidays and my own kids that I ship to but I'm not buying restaurant GCs this year. We've seen a lot of eateries go down around here and so the SIL and her husband and my in-laws will be getting something else instead.


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Gelliott
Seriously Hooked

USA
911 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  12:02:10 AM  Show Profile Send Gelliott a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I heard about it on NPR, not an e-mail. When a company is in bankruptcy, gift card holders are creditors, probably last in line to collect.


Gelliott
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  12:46:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gelliott

I heard about it on NPR, not an e-mail. When a company is in bankruptcy, gift card holders are creditors, probably last in line to collect.


Gelliott


Me too....I saw it on the news networks or wires....Sharper Image was cited....

Also you should know that the Visa, Amex and MC cards do charge fees, and are more challenging to use due to the exact amount issue. I avoid them for that reason and resent greatly the idea that they are better than a rebate check, as they are being issued by some software companies instead of rebate checks....they have hidden fees, are more expensive to make, charge and mail, and create a lot of waste that goes in landfills.

The last rebate gift card I got, I used to buy a gift card at my local bookstore, which I then used for my weekly treat as part of knitting group.

Kelley
Check out my solar-dyed yarns at http://www.ceallachdyes.com
and my blog at http://ceallachknits.blogspot.com
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  09:36:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I read that gift card purchases were down as much as 40% this year due to the amazing discounts on returnable merchandise as well as the worry over bankruptcies and store closings.

GFTC of NYC

my knitting photos on Flickr
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jtamsn
Permanent Resident

USA
1684 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  4:05:28 PM  Show Profile Send jtamsn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I ended-up doing the old-fashioned thing...... I wrote checks! I think they were even more appreciated.
judy
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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  5:07:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I received gift cards from places that are not likely to go under, but already cashed in two - Sephora and iTunes. Barnes and Noble and a Visa gift card from the office are still pending. I didn't give any, but not because I wsa worried about the stores going out of business; just because this was a year for checks and practical things. Checks are always good. They can even be exchanged for cash! :-)

Catherine
http://yorkiedog.blogspot.com
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exoticsophia
New Pal

37 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  09:15:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit exoticsophia's Homepage  Send exoticsophia a Yahoo! Message Send exoticsophia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i experienced it ..its true.. now i also write checks, it avoid a lot of fuss

“life is nothing..
to love is something…
To love and beloved is everything!!!”"
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2009 :  09:20:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Please note that this thread is almost a year old and was resurrected by the previous poster. Many of the retail shakeouts are over. Proceed with optimistic caution.

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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Chayah
Permanent Resident

1926 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2009 :  12:33:14 PM  Show Profile Send Chayah a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, GFTC, I was getting all worked up! Warmly, Chayah

"Each breath really is a new beginning of the rest of our lives." Jon Kabat-Zinn
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