Thursday, November 09, 2006

Free Gift Cards

Sometimes, we’ll have a sale that includes a free gift card. In the circular, it might say something like, “Paper towels, 2 for $15, free $5 gift card!” (I just made that up, by the way.) You would have to buy the specific brand and size, of course. And each pack would cost $7.50 whether you bought two or not. But if you buy two, and only if you buy two, you get the gift card.

A prompt will come up on my computer asking me to scan one. I’ll ask you which one you want – it doesn’t matter which one you pick. They are all worth $0 until I activate them. No, you can’t say you don’t want one; you don’t get a choice.

I’ll scan the card, and the cost of the card will not be added to your purchase. However, the card will not be active until your purchase has been completed. In other words, no, you cannot use your free gift card in the same purchase in which you receive it.

Let me repeat that: no, you cannot use your free gift card in the same purchase in which you receive it.

You can break your purchase into two purchases, so that you receive your card in the first and use it in the second. That’s annoying, but acceptable.

Look at it like a rebate. It’s not a coupon; it’s money you get back after purchasing the item.

Oh, and if you get multiple free gift cards, I can’t put all of them on the same card; I had one Guest end up with something like eight $5 gift cards at the end of one purchase. What you can do (though I don’t recommend holding up the line to do it) is use your small-denomination gift cards to buy one larger one; that’s what this woman did.

And you can do this at any time, so if there’s six people in line, I’d suggest waiting until next time.

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