1. What is the value of gift cards to retailers?
The value of gift cards to retailers is receiving the cash up front. Once a gift card is bought, it cannot be returned for a refund as items are. Some retailers also have expiration dates on gift cards and if the gift card expires or is never used, the retailer pockets that profit without losing any merchandise. According to gift card statistics, “59% of consumers surveyed spend more than the [gift] card’s value” (Hunter, 2018), bringing in more revenue for the retailer.
2. What is the value of gift cards to consumers? Is the Consumers' Association of Canada correct in saying that there is no value to the consumer?
Gift cards can be a good way for consumers to earn extra bonuses. There are retailers such as Kroger that allows customers to earn 4-5x as many fuel points on their purchases of gift cards. There are also retailers that offer cash back incentives such as $5 off purchase with the purchase of a gift card of $10 or more. I know Chick-fil-A and Starbucks have both done something similar in the past. The Consumers’ Association of Canada is partially correct, but I believe that gift cards are still an excellent choice of gift. Though many believe them impersonal, gift cards allow the receiver to purchase things that they like instead of receiving something that they may never use/wear.
3. Would you use a service like CardSwap? Why or why not?
I would use a service like CardSwap. CardSwap makes it easy to get rid of gift cards that you will never use. This makes it especially appealing when you have gift cards from retailers that depreciate in value the longer that they are unused. If I had gift cards to stores that I did not care for, I would rather trade them in for cash that I would be able to use on something else.
4. What is the size of the market that CardSwap is...