Printer Friendly's Dos and Don'ts: Gift Card Advice for Last Minute Holiday Shoppers.

Top Retail Coupon Website Offers Tips to Consumers Planning to Buy Gift Cards This Holiday Season

MELBOURNE, Australia --, the web's leading consumer destination for online coupons, discounts and promotional codes for merchandise, travel and services, today announced a list of dos and don'ts for buying gift cards. A 2008 National Retail Federation survey found that gift cards still top the holiday wish list, estimating that 54.9% of people would like to receive a gift card this holiday season. The same survey found that this year, consumers will be spending $24.9 billion on gift cards alone. However, with a tight economy and shrinking holiday budgets, consumers need to be savvy in choosing the perfect present this holiday season. If you're buying gift cards this year, here is what you need to know:

Do: Buy Gift Cards from Retailers that Offer Coupons

Before purchasing a gift card this year, visit to see which stores offer online discounts and coupon codes. This will help the recipient stretch their gift card amount further, and even help them avoid shipping and handling fees. has more than 100,000 discounts from 20,000 merchants, making it the most comprehensive coupon website on the internet.

Don't: Buy Gift Cards from Untrustworthy Retailers

Now that you have decided that a gift card is the best gift for your loved one, you need to decide on which store to buy it from. Be wary of third-party posts offering gift cards, as it is difficult to determine the true value of the gift card and these cards are often vulnerable to fraud. Your best bet is to buy directly from the retailer. If you cannot decide on a specific store, you should consider a credit card gift card or a gift card to a shopping mall so that your loved one has numerous shopping options.

Don't: Buy Gift Cards without Doing Some Research

Double-check the terms and conditions on the gift card before you make the purchase. Some cards come with an expiration date or depreciating value. A 2008 holiday poll by the Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed that one-quarter of those who received a gift card in 2007 still haven't used it. Moreover, many states have laws in place that require retailers to treat unredeemed gift cards as abandoned property and turn over the value of the gift card to the government. By choosing a gift card without an expiration date, the government and retailers will not be the ones benefitting from your hard-earned money.

Do: Protect Yourself against Retailer Bankruptcy

With the rocky economy in mind, be sure to make gift cards purchases from stable retailers. If you buy directly from a store that declares bankruptcy and closes, nothing can be done to redeem that money. Consider purchasing a gift card from companies that guarantee your purchase.

Do: Safeguard Gift Card Purchases

Be sure to provide the gift card recipient the original receipt just in case the card becomes deactivated or there is an issue concerning the gift card's value. Gift card fraud is on the rise - head it off at the pass by providing the gift card recipient with all the documentation they need in order to reclaim the value of the gift card.

Do: Protect Your Gift Card Against Loss

Thanks to new technology, many retailers have the ability to let shoppers register their gift cards through the store's website to protect against loss. Be a savvy gift giver and register the gift card online so that the recipient can check their balance and receive a replacement if the original card is lost.

About RetailMeNot is the web's leading consumer destination for online coupons, discounts and promotional codes for merchandise, travel and services. is an online community that posts, uses, recommends and ranks over 100,000 online discounts and promotions at more than 20,000 retailers, including Amazon, GameStop, Banana Republic, Macy's, Best Buy, Home Depot and Victoria's Secret.'s mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience online., a division of Stateless Systems, is located in Melbourne, Australia. is a registered domain of Stateless Systems. All other domains, names and trademarks mentioned herein are property of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 15, 2008
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