Think hard before buying a Father's Day gift card
06/18/2010 | In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson chose June 3 to informally commemorate fathers. In 1972, President Nixon turned Father’s Day into a nationally observed annual event.
And so it became another Hallmark moment — and for some of us another shopping challenge.
If you have not yet bought your gift for Father’s Day on Sunday, you are probably a bit anxious right about now.
There is a lot to choose from, depending on your dad’s taste, and believe it or not you can still get World Cup tickets — the ultimate fantasy gift this year.
Alternatively, you can do something a little less lavish, such as breakfast in bed, a nice card or a father-friendly gift like a tie, a tool, a gadget, cologne, soap-on-a-rope or a gift card or gift certificate.
None of them are particularly remarkable but it is the thought that counts — at the end of the day all you want is to get a gift that will bring a smile to dad’s face.
More than likely, at this point, most people will resort to a gift card or gift certificate.
This is a popular choice, the one-size-fits-all gift. If this is the route you plan to take, here are a few tips.
First, assess the receiver. Some men are not gift card material. If you decide that this is an appropriate gift, buy from a store dad likes.
There may be a few places where you would like to see your dad shop but don’t waste your money.
If he doesn’t already shop there, nine times out of 10 that gift card or certificate will end up in a drawer next to the paisley print tie you got him last year.
Once you have decided on a store you think your dad will like, take a few minutes to look around.
If you cannot find at least five items the recipient would like this may not be the right location.
There is no sense getting a gift card from a store that does not cater to his taste.
Consider getting him a gift card or gift certificate for a restaurant, golf day, movie theatre, a spa — yes, some dads go for the spa thing — or scuba diving.
Another popular gift is charter fishing.
Think about your dad’s hobbies and instead of getting him another golf glove or fishing reel, give him a gift certificate that lets him enjoy the outdoors.
Before you purchase a gift card or gift certificate, read the fine print very carefully.
If you don’t like the terms and conditions, buy it elsewhere.
Consider any fees that may be deducted from the card – some salons will include the gratuity. Pay attention to expiration dates and additional fees.
This information may appear on the card itself, on the accompanying sleeve or envelope or on the issuer’s website.
If you don’t see it, ask for it. Make sure that whatever the salesperson tells you is in writing.
Treat gift cards and gift certificates like cash. If it is lost or stolen, report it to the issuer immediately.
Some issuers will not replace the cards, while others will replace them for a fee. In some cases you may be out the entire amount.
Give the recipient the original receipt to verify the card’s purchase in the event it is lost or stolen.
If your card or certificate expires before you have had a chance to use it or exhaust its value, contact the issuer.
They may extend the date, although they may charge a fee to do that.
Whatever you find out about the gift card or certificate should be passed along to the gift recipient so they too know what they have and how to use it — you don’t want the recipient to lose out on any of the benefits.
If all else fails and you run out of options, consider making a personalised gift cards for your dad.
It can be for something he can redeem at home, like a car wash, the grass cut, a free day in front of the TV with control of the remote, or even the car for an entire day while the rest of the family takes the bus.
This is an opportunity to be creative and involve the entire family.
Now a tip for dads — if the gift you receive is not to your liking or worse, absolutely horrendous, please feign excitement.
Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
Finally, if you receive a gift card or gift certificate for Father’s Day, spend it as soon as possible.
Don’t put it in a safe place to save it — out of sight is out of mind and by the time you find it again it will be out of date and the gift giver will be out of pocket.
Honey Adams is the education officer for the office of Consumer Affairs within the Ministry of Culture and Social Rehabilitation’s Department of Human Affairs.