Gift cards more common as gift items

by Stan Morris e-mail | Twitter

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - For some, buying gifts is a stressful time of the year. Some of those gifts are for the type of person you just can not find the right item for.

It may be one of the reasons more and more are opting to go with gift cards.

"It fits every occassion. It fits every size, shape and age. It never expires. You can buy them online or in the occasionts a great gift for any holiday," said Emily Cowens, Team Leader at Target.

But, when buying a gift card, BusinessWeek suggests a few tips to avoid losing the card, losing its value or giving a dud.

  • Ask for a card that is behind the counter, instead of on display. They are less likely to have been tampered with.
  • Check the card for tampering. If the code section has been scratched off, ask for a new card.
  • Ask the cashier to test the card and show you the balance, after you purchase it.
  • Save the original receipt or give it to the gift recipient. This way, if something happens to the card, the store will be more likely to restore its value.
  • Register the card on the store or company's Web site. That makes it easier to replace if fraud occurs.
  • Finally, use caution when buying cards from online auction Web sites. While it may look like you are getting a good deal, there is no way to verify the card's value or even if it is real, and it may be impossible to get your money back.

Gift card buying and selling is a billion dollar industry, according to multiple consulting firms and the National Retail Foundation.

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