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Old 11-22-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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Christmas Giving using Gift Cards

Many of us will use the gift card route this Christmas for our family, friends, and Fellow Airstreamers.

I received an interesting email from a friend yesterday that noted that gift cards are great as long as we keep in mind the fact that many stores are using the Christmas season to clear out inventory and then closing down either completely or non-performing outlets. Here is the email that I received and please note that I HAVE NOT validated all of this information. I did see Circuit City and Linen and Things in the paper recently with the announcements. Also, make sure you understand your rights which vary by State and Province. Some companies reduce the value of the card each month it is outstanding so you may have paid $100 for it but the person you gift it to may not use it till May and may see a value of $95.

The email:

If giving gift cards is your preferred model please take the time to research the stores where you intend to purchase these cards. Some cautions - just because they are part of a chain does not mean that that particular location will survive this current downturn.

Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide closing
Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide
Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
Cache will close all stores
Talbots closing down specialty stores
J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots)
Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbots)
GAP closing 85 stores
Footlocker closing 140 sto res mo re to close after January
Wickes Furniture closing down
Levitz closing down remaining stores
Bombay closing remaining stores
Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January
Whitehall closing all stores
Piercing Pagoda closing all stores
Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ ( New Brunswick )
Macys to close 9 stores after January
Linens and Things closing all stores
Movie Galley Closing all stores
Pep Boys Closing 33 stores
Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores
JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
Wilson Leather closing down all stores
Sharper Image closing down all stores
K B Toys closing 356 stores
Loews to close down some stores
Dillard's to close some stores



I hope this is helpful and I'm sure the list is a lot larger than this. Don't forget to support our own Forums Vendors who add a lot of value to both the Forums discussions but as well to our ability to enhance our Airstreams and camping lifestyle.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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A better idea might be to get a Visa gift card. Just remember with that, it won't (I hope) go out of business, but there may be fees that would eat up the balance.
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:10 PM   #3
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Apple is not on the list and everyone wants an ipod from santa
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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Cash with a personal note is gaining in favor. No worry about holding a debt obligation from a retailer in these tough times.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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Another scam that has been in the news and was an issue with store cards like Walmart and Sears around here was the scrape the ID number film off and record the card number then place it back in the rack. The crooks would do several hundred at Walmart then go home and try to buy stuff with the card numbers - once they were activated the crook would drain the card and the unsuspecting buyer would send the card off as a gift and it could be weeks before they noticed that the card balance was zero.

Check the cards to see if they have been tampered with - cash is accepted around the world - and always desired!!!!!!!


BTW - kids always look at the total amount and not wanting to spend their own cash will use the card up to the max under the total value - leaving money out there not used on the card - it may be only a few dollars but that adds up to pure profit for the store - I think it was Money Magizine last year that estimated that Walmart alone had over $10,000,000 in unused card value last Christmas season.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly View Post
Cash with a personal note is gaining in favor. No worry about holding a debt obligation from a retailer in these tough times.
As always, common sense prevails. I wouldn't send more than about $20 through the mail, it's too easy to be misdirected or lost. In person, cash and a card is a great gift idea.
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:37 PM   #7
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You can checkout snopes.com for the skinny on that email. Some of it is accurate, and some is old news (like a few years old). Still, it's good advice, I wouldn't want any gift cards from Circuit City, they probably won't be around long enough to use them.

However those VISA gift cards are pretty cool, you load them up and people can use them anywhere. I had someone come into our store with one the other day. Caught my eye so I was asking them about it. That's a cool idea.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:46 AM   #8
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Thanks Stephanie, I'd forgotten about Snopes. Until it was mentioned by one of the posters here I'd not known Visa had gift cards. A great idea and opens up all the gift options.

Barry
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