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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right section for this topic but if not, please feel free to move it to another forum Rodney. My question is basically about gift certificates that you offer online. I recently found out that the expiration date on online gift certificates (and probably gift certificates in general) are control individually by state laws, specifically the state where the gift certificate recipient lives....did any of you guys know that? I would like to get some input from those who are currently offering gift cards online and how you are treating the issue of expiration dates. It seems that some states have expiration dates and some don't at all. I assume that as an online retailer you have to state clearly on your terms and conditions section what your policy is about expiration dates on the gift certificates that you're selling, but do they expect you to list all 50 states and the expiration date for each? How is that handled? Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thanks.
 

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The right thing for you to do is not have an expiration date at all. The cash you received for the certificate never expires, why should the certificate?

I'm sure that method will be OK in every state. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The right thing for you to do is not have an expiration date at all. The cash you received for the certificate never expires, why should the certificate?

I'm sure that method will be OK in every state. :)
Thanks for your reply. So don't state any policy concerning the expiration dates on the gift certificates? If some states do have expiration dates, shouldn't the business owners take advantage of that, when it's within legality? It seems strange that a customer goes back to your website and uses his/her gift certificate that was given to them 6 years ago. That would just take up your data base wouldn't it if there was no limit on this at all?
 

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I would love to get 6 years float on someone's money, wouldn't you? Would do you mean by "that would take up your database"?

Any state that mandates an expiration date has a "no less than" expiration date, not an absolute one. In other words they say for example "gift certificates can't expire less than 1 year after issue", not "gift certificate must expires 1 year after issue.

It's one thing if your gift certificates are per item, rather than a dollar amount. Example: A gift certificate for 1 tshirt. Then I can see an expiration date because each time you have a price increase on your shirts, that certificate becomes a discount.

But if you are issuing gift certificates for a dollar amount, then do the right thing and don't had an x-date. Karma will reward you. :)
 

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Gift certificates are a bookkeeping nuisance, so I can see why someone would want to minimise that. I agree that short dates are poor customer service, but I don't see anything wrong with having an expiry of, say, two years.

I did recently use some store credit that was about three years old, so I can see cases where people are going to leave it a while, but I was pleasantly surprised when they accepted it. I wasn't going to argue the point if they didn't.

If you can't use it up within two years, maybe you don't care about it very much.
 
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