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Considered Impersonal: Some believe the gift card is a last resort — that you had no idea what to give, so you took the easy way out. But, Woroch believes, not only do most people prefer receiving gift cards over wrapped presents for the reasons mentioned above, thousands of great brands, retailers and service providers now issue them. “This means that consumers have the opportunity to give a more meaningful and personalized gift card based on an individual’s taste, style, interest and/or hobby,” she adds.
Not Redeemed: Gift cards are intended to boost the retail industry and make it easier for people to give gifts when they have no idea what to get otherwise. But sometimes gift cards go to waste. The recipient loses it, forgets about it or simply doesn’t like the store associated with the gift card. Kiha Lee and Jess Swain of daily deal site DealPulp point out that about 10 percent of gift cards in the U.S. go unredeemed. But as Scott Gamm, founder of personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars, advises, you can always visit Plastic Jungle to sell it for real cash.