Is it Tacky to Present a Used Gift Card as a Gift?
I’ve written a number of times about gift giving etiquette and I’m always intrigued by what other people think of certain gift giving scenarios. So here’s one for you…
I recently received a used gift card. Well I can’t guarantee that it’s used, but it certainly looks like it might be. The front and back are worn and faded and the gift card numbers are barely visible, there are also quite a few minor scratches on the card. The card was presented in a new envelope addressed to me, but the condition of the card definitely indicates that it may have been re-gifted.
Who knows how this card ended up in the hands of my gift giver. Perhaps the giver purchased the card at a discount from eBay or another auction website. Maybe that person wanted to provide a $100 gift, but could only afford $75 and decided to buy the card at auction in order to get more bang for his buck.
Maybe the giver received the card, but decided he’d never shop at that store. Perhaps the store isn’t conveniently located or the products sold there simply don’t interest him. Perhaps the gift giver is low on funds and didn’t have the means to shell out cash for a gift.
At the heart of the matter I guess one should ask if the reason behind the re-gift really matters? Does the circumstance behind the gift make the act of re-gifting right or wrong? Is it in poor taste to present a used gift card no matter what the circumstance might be? Do you think the presenter should have mentioned that the gift card was purchased second hand or that he or she received it for a place they’d never shop?
Whatever the reason I must admit that I don’t care. While I know a lot of people would be offended, I’m simply happy that someone thought well enough of me to present me with a gift. In fact, I’d be thrilled to find out that the gift giver wisely purchased the gift card at a discount. In that case I’d be happier with a used gift card than a shiny new one purchased directly from the store. I love it when other people are frugal with their money and I’d love to know that a friend got the most bang for his or her buck.
So what do you think? Is it wrong to present a used gift card as a gift if you don’t let the receiver know that it’s being passed to them second hand?