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Making a Case for Gift Certificates

Gift certificates have a bad reputation. Many people (who probably overestimate their gift-buying skills) claim that gift certificates are impersonal or even a sign of giving up on even trying to find the “right” present, as if it’s some kind of moral failure to admit that you have no idea what to buy for your sister-in-law whom you see three times a year.

In spite of their critics, gift certificates are usually very welcome gifts. Need some proof? Keep reading!

Reasons to Give a Gift Certificate

No Lines
Deciding not to spend valuable time wandering aimlessly through a department store, trying to find a gift that you think will suit the newlyweds, mother-to-be, or new graduate, and then standing in a line for 20 minutes doesn’t mean that you’re lazy; it means that you’re reasonable. A big perk that comes with buying a gift certificate is that it can be done from right where you’re sitting at this very second. No stores, no lines; it doesn’t get much more reasonable than that!

They’ll Actually Get Used
You know the saying, “It’s the thought that counts?” More often than not, that expression is used to dismiss a well-intentioned gift that woefully misses its mark. Those who oppose gift certificates like to mention that every year, about $2 billion of gift certificates will go unused. However, did you know that about $50 billion in gifts are returned every year? Compared to that, $2 billion is a drop in the bucket.

Sadly, most people aren’t nearly as good at giving gifts as they think they are. Sure, it’s the thought that counts, but wouldn’t you rather give a gift that will actually be used?

The Recipients Get to Treat Themselves to Something Different
In most cases, a gift certificate is far from impersonal. As the giver, you have the opportunity to give the recipient the ability to get a luxury item that they wouldn’t otherwise buy.

Budgeting Is a Whole Lot Easier
As we head into the spring season, aka wedding season, you’re probably going to be getting a few wedding invitations in the mail. You’ll probably also be peppered with graduation announcements from family friends with high school and college graduates. That gets pricey, and it can be difficult to track how much you’ve spent and who you’ve spent it on. Buying a few $50 gift certificates makes your bookkeeping so much easier.

Two Rules for Buying Gift Certificates

Choose the Right Amount
A gift that costs the recipient money that they wouldn’t otherwise spend isn’t much of a gift. Imagine if you’d received a $30 restaurant gift certificate. That sounds pretty good; that is until you look at the menu and realize that the average entrée costs $30, leaving you to fund your drink, appetizer or dessert, plus tax and gratuity. You don’t want to let your gift go to waste, so you end up paying some of your own money in order to use it.

Think Outside the Box, But Keep the Recipient’s Personality and Preferences in Mind
True, gift certificates give the recipients a chance to enjoy something that they wouldn’t normally purchase with their own money, but you still have to think about their preferences. In other words, don’t buy a cheese of the month gift certificate for your vegan friend.

Want a gift that anyone will love? At Soundwave Art, we offer gift certificates to fit nearly any budget, taking the hassle out of giving a meaningful gift that the lucky recipient will love for a lifetime. Head on over to our shop and check them out!

Mike LaTour - Co-founder Mike LaTour  Soundwave Art
2019 Finalist - Digital Innovation In Art Award

I spent 17 years in the music industry and have always had a love of art. Combining music, sound, and art was a perfect fit.

I’d like to thank you for visiting us and invite you to have a look around. Express your creativity and record a sentiment that will last for generations!