Yes, I realize it is not even Halloween yet. And I’m in no way trying to give the impression that I start my Christmas shopping this early, because I don’t. But I do start worrying about Christmas shopping, namely, what to get everyone in my family.
We give, and receive, quite a few gift cards in our family. It seems a little more personal than cash, which I think is why they’re so popular. And indeed, gift certificates can be a great way to provide the recipient with something he or she might otherwise not try. But you do have to be careful of the message that is being sent; for example, giving a loved one a gym membership can send a pretty specific message that you think he or she needs to get in shape. But if that person had been talking about getting a gym membership, and maybe even looking into different options, then the message is entirely different. Along the same lines, giving your loved one a gift certificate for a specific procedure, such as Botox, can be a great idea. And we do sell quite a few gift certificates in my office around the holiday season. Here I’m going to give you two key tips to ensure your well-intended gift doesn’t backfire by sending the wrong message.
- First, be sure this is something the recipient is actually interested in. Has she mentioned it to you? Can you ask her friends to find out if it’s something they’ve discussed? A gift certificate for something you’ve always wanted to try is a wonderful gift. But if you have no interest in Botox, for example, than that gift certificate can be an insult instead.
- Second, make sure the gift certificate does not dictate a specific treatment. At our office, for example, gift certificates can be used not only for Botox, but also for fillers, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, skin care products, aromatherapy treatments, and massage. Giving your wife a nonspecific gift certificate with information on the variety of options she can apply it towards lets her know that you want to pamper her, rather than possibly suggesting she needs some work done.
Have you ever bought a gift certificate that backfired? Or one that turned out to be fabulous? Tell us about it!