Author Topic: Mo mustache, mo problems  (Read 7488 times)

sheepstache

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Mo mustache, mo problems
« on: April 29, 2013, 08:35:54 PM »
Say you are given a gift certificate.  You would rather have cash, but you get a gift certificate.

Then, with excitement, you think of something you would buy anyway that you can get at this retailer.

Then you realize it will end up being $44 at the retailer but you could get it for $30 on Amazon.

What to do??  The gift certificate will not expire and you might want to splurge on something from that retailer at some point, something only available there or when they have a sale.  As a matter of principal you want to spend less money, but you have to weigh that against the opportunity to not spend anything at this moment in time and invest the money instead.

A niggling problem, but one that keeps me up.

olivia

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 08:42:46 PM »
I wouldn't be able to pay $14 more even with the gift certificate!  If it was $5, no prob, but $14?!  I would hold out for something else from that store that you can't find for less on Amazon.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 09:04:49 PM »
Personally for me it would depend on whether the thing was a 'need' or not.

If I truly 'needed' it. I'd get it on the gift card and be satisfied that I was able to satisfy a need with no money spent, even though it was at a slightly reduced 'value'.

If I was purchasing wants, I'd get it cheap on Amazon as long as it fit within my savings goals and I considered it conscious spending, and save the gift card for another day.

Next time just ask for Amazon giftcards ;).

dragoncar

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 09:49:12 PM »
Personally I wouldn't sweat it, and I'd rather cah in the certificate now .... But that's because I'm making a judgement call about the $14 and how much of my time it's worth to save it.  If it was $100,  or more, I might feel different.. Who know?

Rich M

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 10:31:56 PM »
That cert is specific retailer money.  Say it's $50 at that place.  You can buy something for said $44 or get it at Amazon for $30.  The exchange rate is effectively 30/44*$50 for your cert.  So you really got a cert worth $35 in street money.  It's like the retailer was a country that gave the buyer 35 of their currency for $50.  And now you are stuck in their country having to make a purchase instead of coming home to buy it.

It was given to you so the cost is not on you.  Use it for something you might need in the future, not for something you feel impulsive about. 

For example, I get a gift card for REI every year.  I use it to get close out socks or stove fuel because I know I use this stuff and either use it or wear them out.

Lazyretirementgirl

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 03:37:48 AM »
You can also sell the gift card on one of the resale sites and turn it into slightly less cash.

grantmeaname

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 06:14:42 AM »
Plastic Jungle is your friend.

arebelspy

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 07:22:49 AM »
I have this problem all this time!  (Actually it's because I keep choosing the Amazon answer, and then run into the same dilemma with the same gift card). 

For me it is a Target gift card.

We also had a Macy's gift card for about two years, and finally bought something we don't need just to spend it (cotton candy machine).
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savingtofreedom

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 07:41:53 AM »
This made me chuckle.

I received a sterling silver Tiffany bracelet 10 years or so ago.  It wasn't really my style so I returned it for a credit.  I have held onto that credit for 10 years and was able to regift the credit as a brand new gift certificate to a friend for their wedding that had Tiffany items on their registry.

I could never spend that credit because everything at Tiffany's is so overpriced. 

Could you regift the gift card to someone else?

igthebold

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 07:49:50 AM »
That cert is specific retailer money.  Say it's $50 at that place.  You can buy something for said $44 or get it at Amazon for $30.  The exchange rate is effectively 30/44*$50 for your cert.  So you really got a cert worth $35 in street money.  It's like the retailer was a country that gave the buyer 35 of their currency for $50.  And now you are stuck in their country having to make a purchase instead of coming home to buy it.

Plastic Jungle is your friend.

+1 for both of these.

I understand the psychological aspect of gift cards, and take advantage of that when giving them, but when receiving them (in my case), I think of Amazon as more or less equivalent to USD and most other places somewhat like odd foreign countries.. I could exchange for USD, but it'll cost me (and it's usually worth it).

Kenoryn

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 08:02:39 AM »
Is everything at this store going to cost more than what you could get it for on Amazon? If so, you may as well either spend it now or get rid of the gift certificate. Unless there's something really bulky or heavy you could get at this store that would be expensive to ship and is better bought locally.

Mint Chip

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 09:46:33 AM »
Can you give it as a gift to someone else who might really like it?  I do that all the time...

Villanelle

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 09:49:03 AM »
Another vote for plastic jungle.

AJ

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 11:12:15 AM »
I've re-gifted gift cards before - especially when I think it better suits the new recipient (Target is a great candidate if your friends are getting married or having a baby).

I kept one gift card to a fancy shoe store for YEARS. I kept going in to see if I could use it, but everything was so overpriced and ugly that I couldn't bear it. I finally found a pair that I liked, and it took almost an hour to check out because they had upgraded their gift card system in that time frame and didn't know how to accept the old ones. Oops...

sheepstache

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 02:30:23 PM »
Ha ha, I love that so many people have thoughts and experiences in this area, I thought I might not be the only one.

Rich M that is a good analogy about exchange rates and Kenoryn has the appropriate follow-up about whether everything there is equally more expensive.  The thing about Plastic Jungle though is the exchange rate issue again in that I'd lose the same percentage of value.

The hilarious thing, Rich M, is that it's an REI gift certificate.  I probably should have said that so it wouldn't sound too splurgy.  My dad gave it to me after I'd spent a bunch kitting myself out for a trip two years ago.  But, of course, that meant I already had everything I needed.  I'm about to buy (sorry fellas) a diva cup and REI has them, but it's probable that I'll want some camping stuff in the future.  But I can't guarantee that REI will carry it or that it won't be something I can make DIY or made by a small independent company (like a lot of the ultralight tents right now) or available cheaper on amazon or ebay.

They do have plenty of practical stuff like shoes and bike parts, etc.  Or stuff I could give as gifts like nice socks.  Or larger upgrade/replacement items like sleeping bags that my dad would be pleased to learn I had gotten with the money.  I was just excited that after two years they had something I unequivocally wanted.

travelbug

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Re: Mo mustache, mo problems
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 04:43:32 PM »
I agree about regifting it if you can.

I had a similar *problem* with a book store voucher. It was almost due to run out and I hadn't regifted it because they had written my name on the card.
I ended up buying a new book from a favourite author that had just been released but it really really pained me to pay $35 when I could buy that same book online for $13.

Crazy. It did my head in, but I figured that it was essentially a free purchase for me versus costing $13 from my own coffers.

So I resolved it in my mind, sort of!