Yesterday, we posted about the most popular gifts this year. Today’s post focuses on gift cards. These cards are easy to purchase and enable the recipients to buy what what most interests them — while also being somewhat impersonal.

Based on the recent survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, these gift card findings are clear:

“Holiday shoppers are planning to purchase an average of three gift cards with an approximate value of $46 per card, the second most-popular gift after clothing. Spending on gift cards is expected to reach $27.5 billion, up from last year’s planned $26 billion. The most popular types of gift cards include those from restaurants (35 percent of buyers), department stores (33 percent), Visa/MasterCard/American Express (22 percent), coffee shops (21 percent) and entertainment (17 percent).”


18 Replies to “What’s on Your Shopping List? Part 2”

  1. It seems that many people like to take the easy way out by getting someone a gift card. I believe that buying someone an actual gift shows that you put in the time and effort into that person and the great thing is that you can still return it. If i had to choose between a gift card or money, I would rather money because you are not stuck with that particular store, but you are when given a gift card. A gift card limits one to what they can buy. Regardless, I would still appreciate anything I am given because a gift is a gift and it shows that person thought about you.

  2. I think gift cards are a good way to go when you are not so sure of what the person would like from a particular store. Things such as gift cards for coffee is great for people that are on a student budget and drink lots and lots of coffee. That being said, gift cards have to be chosen for the person and it has to be something that they will use. Nothing is worse than receiving a gift card for a place where you will never buy anything from. It is important to know a person well enough before getting a gift card to a certain place. The credit card gift cards are a great option for a problem like this.

  3. I think gift cards are a great “go to” item for many people. Supervisors giving their team gift cards for coffee, recent grads giving a co-worker a gift card for his or her favorite store, etc. Buying a gift card helps take out the “what if they don’t like this” aspect as you are letting them pick exactly what they want.

  4. I personally feel that gift cards are an easy way out. I would much rather prefer cash over a gift card because I can then spend as I please, not in one particular store.I would be interested to see what percent of gift cards go unused.

  5. I feel that gift cards are a very practical gift. Especially with family members that are very pick, gift cards are the way to go. You know that the person receiving the gift card will enjoy it because they will use to buy something they like. This skips the process of people not liking a gift and returning it to the store. Yes, gift cards are very impersonal however you know you can’t go wrong with this as a gift this holiday season.

  6. In my comment on “Whats On Your Shopping List Part 1 I mentioned my concern of wasting money on gift cards instead of just buying the item a person would have used the gift card for. Much too often people stop using their gift card after one purchase even when it still has a few cents on it. Those extra cents don’t seem like much at the moment but over time after numerous gift cards a large amount of money is just thrown away. I guess if your only concern is being able to say you gave the person a gift then a gift card would be adequate but for someone who wants to be sure their gift is being enjoyed to the fullest I would consider something else.

  7. Giving a gift card is clearly the route a lot of people take. I can see why they’re so popular. Everyone knows a picky person that they never know what to get. So you let them pick for themselves. I would buy a gift card for someone because that I wouldn’t want to buy them something and have them return it. I think gift cards are great gifts.

  8. When I buy presents for my family, gift cards are always the route. First, I do not know what type of clothing my sisters like; however, I may know what their favorite store is. So, instead of merely giving a cash equivalence, I can show an impersonal aspect of the present to show that I care through the choice of store. Additionally, they can buy their goods whenever they want. Dr. Evans alluded to the drastic drop in consumer good pricing after Christmas, so the value of the gift card will have more. I cannot emphasize the greatness of gift cards for this upcoming season. They are thoughtful, yet smart.

  9. The gift card is a good choice for the customers who need to give gifts to their friends. It’s hard to choose a gift when you don’t know exactly what’s the friend’s real need. If people give a department store gift card to their friends, the friends can use the gift card to buy some useful things or some things they really need. Give the gift card of the friend’s favorite restaurant is also a good choice.

  10. Personally, I believe gift cards are the more practical option for a gift because they are a safe bet, especially if you give someone an American Express, Visa gift card that can be used in several locations. However, a gift card is not unique to the gift receiver, so receiving a gift card does not hold the same sentimental value as giving someone a material item – say a type of clothing piece. This is one of the main reasons I believe clothing trumps gift cards in this year’: holiday sales. Clothing also reaches to a more wider audience – I can buy children’s clothing for my young nieces and nephews, but a gift card would certainly not suffice with kids.

  11. A gift card seems to be a perfect option when it comes to a present, equals to amount of money, can switch to whatever you want without paying money. However, personally, I feel it’s kind of unwarm when I sending a gift card. If we pay more attention, we don’t need to worry about “what if they don’t like this”. Although it’s a popular choice can save time and energy, but for me, I still prefer to figure out what my friends might like and pick something to surprise him or her…

  12. Personally, I like giving others gift cards. This is because you cannot always figure out what others really need while giving money directly is pretty strange. Giving gift cards seems like a way to give money more appropriately. However, I do not like receiving gift cards because I always forget to use them when I check out online!

  13. Personally, I do not like receiving or giving gift cards. I like to physically open a gift, or watching someone that I care about open up a gift bag or wrapped product. Instead, putting a little card in an envelope is less exciting, and limits where the gift receiver can shop. They are an easy way out, and while gift cards can be convenient, they are less special.

  14. I never purchase a gift card before! But i think i really should try some! It’s cheaper than the original price and it’s more convenient when you want to give some gift to your family or friend.

  15. While I am personally a fan of gift cards, I see why people would not want to receive one as a gift. Gifts are meant to be a way of telling someone that you love them and are thinking of them. When you give someone something like a gift card, they will most likely assume that while you do care about them, you do not know them all that well or don’t care enough to put in the time or effort to find them something you know they would absolutely love. On the other hand, a gift card gives someone the opportunity to buy themselves something they would truly appreciate whereas something you give them may be great to you, but mediocre to them.

  16. I love getting gift cards! As a college student, money in any form is always appreciated as a gift. Gift cards are also a great gift for someone that you do not know too well but wanted to show that you were thinking of them during the holidays. Also, I think that gift cards are a more personal gift than just cash or a check. It takes more effort to get someone a gift card than just putting cash in a card or writing out a check.

  17. Sometimes I think it’s best to just get a gift card when you can’t find that one, special gift. As I get older, I realize that there isn’t anything specific that I want. Maybe just a couple free meals! Gifts cards are just a universal gift and can save the consumer a reasonable amount if time when it comes to gift shopping. They are a simple gift that can go far because it gives the individual a chance to select whatever they would like.

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