Just found out that my favorite local bookstore will accept ANY gift card from ANY place in lieu of cash, so long as it’s active and they can verify how much is on it!
How incredible is that??
I even asked if they’d take my 5 year old Red Lobster card that I’ll never ever (ever!) use, and they said yup! Hand it on over! 🤣🤣🤣
I can’t tell you how happy this makes me, haha… Such a small, yet super creative, way to keep your loyal fans happy. Especially when you know you can now cash your competing bookstore gift cards there too and convert even *more* new fans over time!
Can you imagine if places tried this against Starbucks or Walmart?? “Have a Starbucks gift card? Use it here at your favorite cafe instead where we’ll not only remember your name, but our coffees taste about 10x better anyways!” “Looking for a new bike for your kid? Cash in your Walmart gift cards here at Springfield Bikes and let us help you find the *perfect* fit for him!”
I’m not sure how many other places do this, or if it’s even a “thing” in general, but if you run any type of shop or organization yourself you should totally try this and see what happens ;)
I 90% guarantee it’ll go viral in your community, and maybe you can even test it a bit by targeting your more hardcore fans as a nice perk for shopping there all the time? “Get on our email list, and then go on a shopping spree with all your unused gift cards! Double the dollars for all [Competing Name] cards you bring in!” ;)
Now of course you’ll have to have a *plan* for what to do with all these cards when they come in, but there are tons of options depending on how you want to play it…
You can hawk them on one of those online card swapper/seller sites, donate them to your favorite local charities and boost your philanthropic arm of your store, or even just *use them* yourself over time which is apparently what this store owner is doing when he gets my Red Lobster card soon! Haha…
Which admittedly threw me off for a bit as I was certain he was going to go the charity route making me love them even MORE, but perhaps I’m wrong on that virality piece and they hardly receive any cards at all? Because they can’t believe it’s a real thing either, or maybe they’re too embarrassed to even try?
In either event, they’ve earned my business for good, and now I know exactly what I’ll be doing the next time any of my ventures require asking for money too ;) Everyone has unused gift cards laying around doing nothing, if you can convert them to something that MAKES YOU HAPPY it’s a win-win!
Has anyone else ever come across this before in their own towns?! Have you ever tried taking them up on their offer?
I know that merchants back in the 1800s used to do something similar when people couldn’t pay their bills during hard times, only instead of gift cards they’d accept things like tobacco or corn or teas. Basically anything they could get their hands on to use or trade away since it meant getting something vs nothing at all… I can’t see anyone these days going to that extreme, but the gift card route is a nice twist on it :)