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Waxman

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every year our detail shop has sold a decent amount of gift certificates especially around the holidays. I'm Looking for a way to communicate the fact that gift certificates are for a dollar amount and not necessarily guaranteed to cover a certain detail package. The problem comes if prices increase, the vehicle requires extra labor and materials or the person expects more value than their gift card amount offers.

The customer never wants to hear that they have to pay extra on top of the gift card amount, even if it's five years old.

How would you handle it if you were me? I remember the old McDonald's gift certificate booklets where each gift certificate was worth $.50. You used however many you had left towards your purchase and that made it simple and transparent. Maybe I should just make it detail bucks and a customer could apply it to whatever package they wanted.
 

Kramerwv

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every year our detail shop has sold a decent amount of gift certificates especially around the holidays. I'm Looking for a way to communicate the fact that gift certificates are for a dollar amount and not necessarily guaranteed to cover a certain detail package. The problem comes if prices increase, the vehicle requires extra labor and materials or the person expects more value than their gift card amount offers.

The customer never wants to hear that they have to pay extra on top of the gift card amount, even if it's five years old.

How would you handle it if you were me? I remember the old McDonald's gift certificate booklets where each gift certificate was worth $.50. You used however many you had left towards your purchase and that made it simple and transparent. Maybe I should just make it detail bucks and a customer could apply it to whatever package they wanted.
Doesn’t seem like you need to do anything different. If dinner for 2 at Outback costs $80 and someone gives me a $50 gift card I should be smart enough to figure it out. Unless you don’t publish any of your detail
prices then I wouldn’t worry about it.
 

MEP001

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FWIW it would make more sense to me to offer a gift certificate for a service rather than just "money" toward one. That way the purchased who buys a certificate expecting it to be enough for a particular service doesn't have to worry that the service price might increase and his/her gift won't cover it. You can add an expiration date that you feel is appropriate, or you can make sure to invest the money from those sales so if you do need to raise prices you've already made a profit off the purchase amount to cover it.
 

Randy

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I would sell the gift certificates for different detail packages at a discount, but I’d put an expiration date on the gift certificate, say 12 months from the date of purchase. How many gift certificates do you have out now that haven’t been claimed?
 

OurTown

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Check with your state's laws about gift card expiration dates. Some states it is illegal to have an expiration date on them.
 

PaulLovesJamie

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The customer never wants to hear that they have to pay extra on top of the gift card amount, even if it's five years old.
How would you handle it if you were me?
Tell them "Paul says tough nuts Wendy Whiner"

But yes it is possible your wording on the gift certificates is misleading, do yours say "detailing gift certificate" or do they say "certificate for ____ dollars toward any detailing service at the world famous house of wax"?

I rarely disagree with MEP, but in this case no way I'd sell a certificate for a package, that would put the economic risk on me; I'm also not investing the sales to *try* to manage that risk, thats just another layer of complexity and risk.
 

Waxman

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thanks everyone for your input. I have decided to change the wording on the gift cards to reflect the dollar amount and the fact that prices are subject to change. I believe the law in Massachusetts is that gift certificates must be valid for seven years from the date of purchase. I don't have any problem with redeeming old gift cards and I have definitely accepted every gift card presented no matter how old. My feeling is that the customer paid the money and so it's my responsibility to honor my end of the deal and provide a service. It just needs to be worded so that I am insulated against Any factor which may cause the price of the service to be higher than the amount on the gift card. Some cars come in with so much pine pitch on the paint that it requires an extra three hours of labor and things like that will cause me to lose money on the job.
 
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