Left Over Gift

Where did we last leave our discussion? Oh, yes, on old – aka legacy promotional – offers. Well, folks. What about left over gift cards?

Not the ones that you bought to give to your kids, the ones that you were given, or were offered as a client promotional offer. You know, gift cards used as a way to entice someone to come into a store, a restaurant or a place of business to try it out.

Nothing grand, nothing overly valuable…just a teaser. An ice-breaker if you will.

This is a fabulous way for business owners to encourage new clients and new customers.

It works so well, there are companies out there who help develop this as a structured program, allowing the business and marketing team to track and fine tune the effort to maximize new customer acquisition.

I highly recommend it for clients who are a good fit. (Not all are a good fit, but many are.)

One slight problem…what happens when the restaurant or business owner sells out? What is the gift card liability?

It depends on how they were tracked. Ideally, a report is turned over from the outgoing owner to the new one as a business liability – for the pre-paid cards – and negotiated into the sale. The ones written off to advertising expense should be on the list, too. (Is it $150 or $1,500 or even $15,000 in outstanding offers?)

There are likely to be a number (probably small, but it could be hundreds or even thousands) of these left over gift cards in the hands of potential customers. If they happen to walk through the door and try to redeem the card, what should happen? My suggestion, accept it. You just got a new client. If you don’t accept it…well, then, risk never getting them as a client with a chance of not only losing their word-of-mouth referrals but even worse, getting a bad rep for being the new business owner who wouldn’t honor the gift card.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

PS What would you do?

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