Jewelry Gift Certificate: To Expire or Not To Expire ~ That is the Question

by Beverly Holman.
(Clinton, Maryland USA)

question-mark-originalI am thinking about offering gift certificates for my jewelry, but am wondering should I put an expiration date on them?

I have read the Selling Gift Certificates for Your Jewelry suggestions here but didn’t find anything regarding it.

Should they be limited to six months or a year from date of purchase?

Any suggestion will be appreciated.

Beverly Holman
BooCee’s Jewelry

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  • I sell gift certificates during 4th quarter for holiday gifts. I have found that an expiration date creates urgency and credibility. I prefer 1 year from purchase date. Also I keep a list of the purchaser and receiver (if known) and send them an email about 3 mo. before expire so they don’t forget. The purchase is always for more than the gift value so it’s worth the extra effort.

  • Brenda says:

    In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which set consumer protections for gift cards based on many state laws. The law provides that gift cards cannot expire within five years from the date they were activated and generally limits inactivity fee on gift cards except in certain circumstances, such as if there has been no transaction for at least 12 months. The federal law creates a floor for regulation and leaves room for state regulation on redeeming gift cards for cash and unclaimed property provisions. A chart of additional state regulations is here:
    ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/gift-cards-and-certificates-statutes-and-legis.aspx

  • Hi, Beverly.

    You’ve got to be careful with that because of legal issues. Here are the federal regulations regarding gift cards:
    law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/12/205.20

  • Annette says:

    I’m not 100% on the law here in Australia but I have been the recipient of many gift cards at big name stores and they are only for 1 year. So I have done the same on my gift vouchers. I think I’ve only had 2 not redeemed within the year in 10 years. If someone comes within a couple of months of expiry I still honour it, but wouldn’t if it was 5 years down the track.

  • It also matters how you describe it: gift cards are usually redeemed as cash, hence they cannot expire (the gift card will have a certain cash value, it’s like handing a customer a $20 bill – you can’t really take it back, can you?!). Gift certificates, on the other hand, are redeemed for a service or a product, and you can expire it as part of the ‘yearly increase price’ process (for example: a gift certificate for a free pair of X product will have a perceived cash value of $20 when you issue it, but in a year it might be $25 and in 5 years all the way to $40 – and that’s what allows you to say: buy in the next 6 months or attach other strings).

  • Beverly Holman says:

    Thank you all for the great suggestions. I am taking a survey with my repeat customers to see if they would consider buying or using gift certificates. I also am thinking about using the certificates like coupons, offering a percent off of next purchases.

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