Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Gift Certificates, OR, Monologue at a GAP Bathroom

Stores love gift certificates. To you they’re goofy fun: $50 for $50? Maybe you get it on sale, and now it’s five bucks off. It’s free money! But it’s not free money to us, the stores. It’s not because you might lose it - then we got $45 for a tiny piece of plastic. Or maybe you’ll move to a place that doesn’t have our store. Or (check the fine print) maybe it’ll expire. Again, $45 for us. It’s free money that you’re giving freely to us. They make great gifts because half the time your friends and loved ones hate our store and won’t spend them. On the occasions when they (or you) spend that whopping $20 gift certificate, they’re guaranteed to be spending it on our goods, which we’re already selling at marked up prices. Even everyday low priced items are sold at a profit. Plus you never spend $20 even. If you buy an $80 shirt with your $50 certificate, you had to drop $30 out of pocket, and if you spend it at the same store, that store nets $80. If not, it splits it $30/$50 with the other store in the same franchise. We win.

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