My kids called to find out what I wanted for Father’s Day. When I asked for a gift card from Amazon, they said that would be impersonal. I didn’t argue, but it made me wonder why they asked me what I wanted. Their response made me think about the appropriateness of gift cards. I think they’re great. If emailed, shipping costs are nil, they arrive at the speed of light, and I get to pick my own gift at the time of my choosing. What could be better?
What would be better is a present the giver enjoys giving. A gift is not one-way social exchange. Fathers used to be effusive when they received ugly ties. There was a reason. The giver was a loved one … perhaps one with lousy taste, but a loved one nonetheless. You don’t make someone feel crummy because you didn’t like their gift.
That said; I’m getting an Amazon gift card for Father’s Day. How did I convince my kids? I told them I would email a thank you each time I bought a book for my Kindle. That promise overcame the biggest negative of gift cards; the giver never knows what the recipient does with it.
Gift cards are becoming ever more popular and they are changing the ebb and flow of book sales. Print sales are best before the holiday and ebooks are better after the holiday. You can almost feel people using gift cards to load up their electronic devices.
By the way, if you expect a gift card for Father’s Day, download samples of my books now so you can decide where to spend your largess.