Q: Why are gift cards paper cards?
Two main reasons: So you can gift them to someone else if you choose, and because digital gift cards are a hassle to keep track of.
If cards were digital, and someone were to gift the code, what do you think happens when one person redeems it, and another person tries? Unfortunately, it reflects on me to not honor both, especially if the person the purchaser gave it to uses it first.
A paper gift card is harder to duplicate. You do need to keep track of them and not lose them.
Q: How can I redeem a gift card?
You need to return it to me. Make sure to redeem using a trackable method, and to take a photo of the card with “REDEEMED” written on the face with the card number visible in case the card gets lost in the mail.
Q: Can a gift card ever be digital?
No. However, what can be done is you can pay for an item for someone else, and we can get it on my schedule at the time. I’m not set up to keep track of digital gift cards on an open-ended basis. So if you want to give someone a digital gift card, contact me and we can set that up as a commission right away instead.
Q: Can I use multiple cards on an order?
Multiple full-price cards can be. Promotional and discounted cards are limited to one card per item. So you can redeem two promotional or discounted cards that are for different items in the same commission, but not the same item.
Q: Do I need to use a card all at once?
No, but there is a caveat to this. You do need to return gift cards to redeem them, but if you are willing to pay a new shipping fee out of the balance (see the next question), I can issue a new card for the remaining balance, or sent a new card with your item.
Q: Why do gift cards have a shipping charge more than $7 when it just takes a stamp? Bigger places like Amazon don’t charge shipping.
I used to not charge a shipping fee. A good while back, I paid out of my own pocket to have gift cards sent using delivery confirmation. DC used to be a mere 35 cents on top of a stamp. Then the post office nixed that, and started charging more than $7 and consider them to be Priority shipments. So I went with the next least-expensive tracked option, which was certified. I came up against the problem of people not being home, cards being returned, and then either having to refund them, or pay again, from my own pocket, to send again. Since this was a headache for all involved, I stopped paying for tracking for gift cards. That’s when I came up against the big problem of people claiming to not get cards, me reshipping, a new claim of not getting them, and me having to refund them. As a small, very small, business, I can’t afford to sent out hundreds of dollars in cards, especially twice, and then have to refund them anyway. Those cards are still valid.
The new solution is to charge a delivery confirmation fee to the purchaser of a gift card. These can be left in your mailbox if you aren’t home. Amazon and other larger companies that don’t charge a fee are multi-billion-dollar companies that could afford to take a hit of a few hundred dollars, but they don’t. Instead, they have automated programs to closely track gift cards, and can cancel them easily and reship them if someone claims to not have gotten their card. I can’t afford the hits, and I can’t afford custom programs. Everything I do is manual.
The delivery confirmation fee is to help cut back on this new issue of claims of not getting untracked cards.
If someone still claims to not have gotten a card, and has their bank do a chargeback, I can use the tracking to disprove the claim. If the bank errs on the side of their customer, I can invalidate the cards associated with that payment.
Q: Why can you invalidate card numbers, but not track lost gift cards?
I technically can, but don’t. This helps prevents fraud. If someone buys a card, claims it’s lost when they know where it is or gifted or sold it, and I cancel and reissue, it’s going to reflect on me if the cancelled card was gifted/sold/otherwise transferred, and I don’t honor it. So either I honor duplicates and end up run into the ground, or I don’t honor it and someone who received it from the purchaser is stuck. Both make me look bad.
As far as invalidating cards associated with a chargeback, if someone tries to use it after receiving it, I can tell them exactly who got a refund and when. It won’t reflect negatively on me if I have that kind of information. It will reflect on the purchaser to have given or sold a card they got a refund for.
Q: What happens after a chargeback?
Sellers have very little recourse since banks usually err on the side of their own customers. So anyone who does a chargeback without contacting me first will be banned from purchasing gift cards in the future, and if the card was already redeemed, will be permanently banned from commissioning anything at all from me.
Q: Do gift cards expire?
Gift cards purchased at full value do not expire.
Promotional gift cards, meaning those that are 100% free for gift bags and such at various events, do.
Discounted gift cards or gift cards for specific items are on a case-by-case basis.
Expiration dates are addressed on each card. Cards that don’t expire will state that.
Q: Why do some expire, but not others?
A gift card paid in full is cash that’s been prepaid. The actual price paid for a card does not expire. There are even laws preventing gift cards from expiring beyond their purchase price.
Promotional gift cards are cards I receive literally nothing for, and in fact, lose money since I receive nothing to cover supplies. A supply item that costs $5 today could cost $50 in a year. An expiration date protects me from being financially torpedo’d.
Discounted cards depend, and any expiration dates will be disclosed before money is accepted. The reason is the same as the promotional card. An expired discounted card will retain its purchase value. Groupon does the same thing to spare merchants and service-providers from financial harm as their costs rise.
In some instances, discounted cards might not expire, usually non-specific item cards, or cards for items made from fabrics that are a part of my normal stash, such as something made from plain white cotton.
Q: Are gift cards refundable?
No. You need to make sure to provide a valid shipping address. Returned cards will be mailed again to you.
Q: Do gift cards mean you’ll make my order right away?
Unless otherwise specified, all items are subject to normal scheduling. If I couldn’t rush your order if you were paying in cash, then I can’t rush your order for using a gift card.
Q: What if I have other questions?
Please contact me, and they’ll be added to this FAQ.