Shopping for gifts can be a real dilemma. Gift cards may be the answer: one size fits all, and the recipients can get exactly what they want from a retailer or restaurant. Before you buy a stack of gift cards, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants you to know tips for buying them.
When you shop for a gift card, the BBB recommends that you:
· Buy from sources you know and trust. Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites.
· See whether any fees will be deducted from the card after you purchase it. Find out all fees at the time of purchase.
· Inspect the card before you buy it. Verify that none of the protective stickers have been removed. Make sure that the codes on the back of the card haven't been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards to the store selling the cards.
· Give the recipient your original receipt so they can verify the card's purchase in case it is lost or stolen.
· Consider the financial condition of the retailer or bank issuing the card. If you think the store may be on shaky footing, you may want to pass on buying a card.