How to make money potentially go up in smoke

joyfulguySeptember 26, 2006

Buy a store-issued gift card that has an expiry date on it.

So ... the recipient doesn't patronize that store much.

Or forgot to take the card when s/he went to buy something there.

Or lost the card.

But - if s/he tries to use it the day after its expiry date, the card has become useless (like expired lottery tickets).

Another reason, in addition to the (maybe even a large chain) store possibly going broke before the card gets used, that I don't like equal-value gift cards.

When I was a kid, we could get into a movie for 50 cents - or buy a dozen tickets for $5.00, which we sometimes did when several couples were going.

That gives the buyer a benefit, as well.

When I buy an equal-value gift card, the issuer gets all of the benefits: none for me.

I don't like them apples - seem rather wormy, to me.

Give money - it don't expire (but the value of each dollar shrinks every year: well, it has since about 1930). And, it's accepted in every store in town, not just one.

Our provincial government, concerned that stores are "burning" (clients') money this way - are proposing to make such activity illegal, they tell us.

An election coming, next year.

Have yourself a happy week - and help someone else have a happier one, as well: pass on a smile - it don't cost much (and don't go out of style, like equal-value cards).

ole joyful

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Joyful, I've often thought the same thing. Cash is king, they say.

A while back a friend gave us a $50 GC to a specialty restaurant as a thank you. Her tastes tend to run in a slightly different direction than mine. Shortly after she gave the GC, I became pregnant. That restaurant serves a lot of things that pregnant women are told to avoid, and frankly at that point their food choices just didn't sound good at all. Not to mention that they have very restricted hours and my DH works a very long schedule.

Long story short, there were so many strikes against that restaurant for us that I never got around to using the GC before it expired. I was a bit sad when I found it. It was just not a good idea, but she'll never know we didn't use it.

Whenever someone gives us a GC as a gift, I try to use it ASAP just so it won't expire (I don't think they can by law here in California, but the restaurant one did so who knows?), or so I won't lose it. I like GCs less and less as time goes on. Then it always seems like there's $3 or some small amount left on the card that doesn't get used.

That's especially true with the prepaid credit cards we've gotten- the problem there is that you have to ask for a split transaction and sometimes I don't know how much is actually left on the card. I've learned that when we get one of those it's best to use it against a larger purchase so we can ask for the split transaction and know for fact that there is actually $50 on there. Of course the last time I tried to use one of those, the girl didn't know how to process it (she claimed we needed a PIN number, we found out later that we didn't), so rather than use the gift "money" for the thing we were buying, we had to put it on our CC and figure out how to use the other card later. Maybe I'm just dumb, but the more I use these things, the more I hate 'em!

Of course with that said, I still buy my nephews gift cards for Christmas! I think they really enjoy getting the card and fantasizing about what they will get with it.

Sorry, this turned into a personal rant!

:) - here's a smile for you, Joyful.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 11:10AM
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((((quasifish)))), here's a hug for you in return.

What's a "quasi-fish", please?

A fish that's not quite sure whether s/he's fish or fowl?

Or one that's only half fish, and half some-thing/body/being else?

(Or one that's only half there?)

Always curious ... (sometimes to my detriment).

... ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 2:33PM
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Hehe, I think you asked me that same question a couple years ago, Joyful :^) Not positive, but I think you and I talked a bit a few years ago- mostly about "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"- if I recall correctly...

I don't have a good answer for what a quasifish is. Just my online name, I suppose.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:25AM
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Hi probably not-half-fowl,

Sounds reasonable to me.

I did have a discussion a while ago about "Rich Dad - Poor Dad". Spoke of it the other day on a thread where someone asked how to teach kids about effective money management.

And recently I found one more or less titled, "Rich Kid - Smart Kid" that I saw in the library, borrowed and showed to my daughter - who was the one who'd given me the "Rich Dad ... " book. We both got a chuckle out of that.

Interesting, wasn't it, that the Poor Dad was the Superintendent of Education for Hawaii?

By the way, did you read my threads "How to make 35% on your Money" or "Which money manager/investor gains from inflation ... which one loses?"?

Have a lovely week. We just celebrated Thanksgiving, up here.

And ... when I went out of the grocery store this morning - a flurry of snow!!

It just ain't fair (or so say my old bones)!!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Hi again semi-fish,

I have another suggestion for you.

Frame the gift card for the restaurant that expired, partly because you couldn't use it while pregnant.

Title it, "Just one more indication that the holder may be a couple of bricks short of a load" ...

... or something.

That's too negative.

Don't put yourself down ...

... there are lots of folks out there quite willing to do that!

How about, "One more indication that the holder still has some things to learn"?

Have yourself a great spring weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 1:54PM
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Hello again quasi-fish,

Here's a better idea.

Go to the questionable restaurant (sorry - maybe we should say the "restaurant in question" someday, with your babe in one hand and gift card in t'other, sing a long crying song to the proprietor about how you couldn't use the card due to pregnancy, etc. ...

... and can you use it now?

If not, ask him if he'd lend you $20.00 (or whatever the value of the card was), which he's not likely to do. (Probably figuring that you're likely to pocket it and leave).

Then ... get out your cigarette lighter, light it, and say that you'd like to burn his $20.00 ...

... cause that's precisely what he did to your friend's gift.

Having taken a candle with you, tell him that since he won't lend you the $20.00, that you'd like to leave a memory with him, light the candle, drop some wax on the counter next to his cash register, place the burning candle in the wet wax ...

... and stand back to admire your handiwork.

Telling him that you hope that his power goes out for a couple of hours on a busy weekend evening.

Watch to see how long it takes him to remove it.

Know what?

He won't forget you for a while.

After that performance ...

... he just might tell you that dinner's on him, tonight!

I hope that you're having/had a lovely simmer weekend.

Sorry - that was supposed to be, " ... a lovely summer weekend ...." ... but my finger slipped.

But ... a business more or less stealing some bucks from my friend who was generous to me is somewhat inclined to make me simmer, at that!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 10:08PM
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Seems to me that this story still applies.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:09AM
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