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The world of gifts is funny. Here they are, in descending order of appreciation:
- A physical object (homemade, store bought, whatever) trumps all
- A gift card
This isn’t just my opinion, either. People remember gifts and forget cash. Cash is weird. Think about it. Let’s say your boss sent you on an all-expense-paid trip to the beach for a weekend. You would think nice things about that boss the entire time you were away, and you’d come back to work refreshed and energized, and more importantly, ready to get back to work. Now let’s say you got the cash value of that trip. Sure, it would be a bump in your pocketbook (boy do I love that phrase!) but you would say thank you and move on. You would not think nice things about your boss for an entire weekend. Same goes for cash presents. My friends got married last year and didn’t register for anything. They got cash and they said the experience of writing thank you notes was a strange one. “Thanks for helping with groceries this week” or something, right? Read more about why cash is weird here: Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
So, don’t give cash. But if you have to, make it a puzzle. Unique Gifter has a million ways to spiffy up a cash present.
Instead, give gift cards! I am a fan of gift cards. Gift cards trump cash because instead of “here, have some money to put in your wallet and buy lunch and forget about” you say, “here, have a sweater, but one you’ll actually like, since you’ll pick it out yourself.”
See, you can’t spend sweater money on lunch.
So they go shopping, they get what they want, and they think about you.
Enter Raise.com. They’re a secondary gift card marketplace, which sounds strange until you think about it. What if you gave a Whole Foods gift card to someone who lives 200 miles from the nearest store?
What do they do with that?
Well, they sell it on this site, at a discount.
Gift Cards I’d Consider Purchasing
Actually, I want to get holiday scents at Bath and Body Works. Making my place smell like a candy cane goes a long way toward making it my home for the holidays.
So, I went to Raise, and found Bath and Body Works.
The first thing I noticed was that these cards look like they’ll be expensive. Holy cow if I buy a $100 gift card, no matter the discount, that means I am committed to spending $100 on soap and candles.
I have a $10 coupon from the last time I went there. And it wasn’t very long ago, so I can remember how easy it was to spend $50 and walk away with remarkably little. Armed with that knowledge, I sorted my list.
The second thing I noticed were the little icons next to the value. At my price point, they were all little computer monitors. A handy chart on the left indicated that those were electronic gift cards, only to be used online.
Wait. No, not a bummer.
Online shopping, where you don’t have to park at the mall and you’re not tempted by all the awesome stuff on the way to the register. I checked to make sure my coupon was valid online. Yep! This will work out just fine, I thought.
I was tempted by the card worth $62.54 (strange number!) but I went with the one worth $40.66.
I tried using the coupon code RAISE60AF to save $5, but that was only valid for orders over $60. Not this time, thanks!
I spent $36.59, and it said my gift card would be in my Raise account in 1-2 days, but it showed up five minutes later. Which makes sense, because it was an electronic card.
I was interested to know how this was going to work, so I logged in, and got an account number, a pin, and a big button that said shop online at Bath and Body Works.
Okay, here we go!
I found more than I needed (of course), so I ended up spending $10.33 more than the gift card.
Fastest turnaround time on a gift card, too! That thing didn’t last long in my inbox.
I saved $10 from the coupon and 10% from Raise. Would I do it again? Sure. I don’t think I’d want to give someone an electronic gift card, though. That’s a little too weird. But saving money helps when I was planning on spending it in the first place.
Note: as mentioned above, there are affiliate links in this post. But I bought the soap and candles with my own money, okay?