Gift cards are an easy gift to give, and as long as the store is alright people love to receive them. Yet almost everyone who has ever received a gift card has let the card expire, lost it, or still have it sitting around the home somewhere. Why don’t people use their gift cards quickly, why do so many gift certificates expire without being used?
In a 2006 report consumer electronics retailer Best Buy revealed they had profits of $43 million from gift cards that went unused. The value of the entire unused gift card market in the United States is over $8 billion a year. Over 27% of consumers surveyed that year had cards they had held onto for over a year, they cited not having time to shop or not being able to find what they wanted as the reason for not using the gift cards.
The real reason can be found by scientifically examining human’s behavior, a study was conducted where two test groups received gift cards, one group’s gift cards had an expiry date of three weeks and the other groups gift certificates expired in three months. The group with the gift cards expiring in three weeks was five times more likely to use their cards. The expiry date on the card gave the group a sense of urgency, while the other group felt they had all the time in the world, they kept putting off using the card until it was expired. This is the reason many gift certificates do not carry expiry dates, people are less likely to ever use them.
So what can you do as a consumer? How can you fight your own behavior? Being aware of the condition is the first step to freeing yourself from it. Now that you know what happens to gift cards without expiry dates you can make more of an effort to use them quickly. If you get a card for a store you are not going to be shopping at soon it is much better to sell the gift card online then risking its loss or expiry. The best site for selling gift cards online is Giftah. Giftah offers an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of gift cards. If you want to sell your gift card online head over to Giftah and get cash for your unwanted gift cards.