Gift certificate redemption etiquette?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
I just had a couple with two cruise pieces to get pricing on.

We did the first one, with some of the same "non responsive" designing going on... and price seemed to be the main criteria for their choice.

Once they made their choice - they then presented a gift certificate I had donated to the local PBS station's auction that they had purchased for redemption.

My price is the same - whether a gc is used or not... but the wife then asked me how I compare to M's pricing with the 50% off... I explained as nicely as possible but honestly.

They did not bring out the 2nd piece to design. I don't know why...

Does it matter when a customer presents a gc? Before design or after... would you approach potential sale any differently?

For me, that's just a another type of "payment". It doesn't matter when it comes out. We just pick the best first, and go from there.

(While inwardly I'm saying, "Ah, maaaannn!"

All of our gift certificates are for $$$ amounts not percentages. We give quite a few to the schools and community auctions and as prizes. Regardless, it doesn't matter when the gift certificate is presented; the pricing is the same. The question has never come up when a certificate was presented--they, like me, took it at face value literally.
I handle GC's the same as cash, like the others here have stated.
I suspect they didn't have you quote the second piece because they knew they would pay full bolt for it, and were looking for something "cheap"
I don't understand why it would make a difference as to when the gift certificate is presented. I think it should be treated same as money. Just because it was donated instead of purchased should make no difference.
Ditto everyone else, it's money not a % coupon.

Let's just say Michaels now on instead of M. Using just the letter makes me have to think for a second more than I really wanted to. (I'm guessing it's Michaels).
I love gift certificates!

Only about 85% of the ones that we sell are ever redeemed, so we’ve got a lot of free money given to us.

But, I echo the sentiments of the others: gift certificates are the same as cash, checks or credit cards – it shouldn’t matter when they are presented.
BTW - I agree that it is like using cash!! And nothing would be any different no matter when they presented it... It would have given me a little "ice breaker" for conversation purposes only!!

I, too, love gc's!!
Should make no difference before after during or whether it was donated or purchased!~ The fact you did not close the deal on the second frame!~

[quote}Only about 85% of the ones that we sell are ever redeemed, so we’ve got a lot of free money given to us.[/quote]

In Ohio gift certificate money (Ohio revised code § 169.02. Unclaimed funds defined.) if not used in 7 years has to be sent to the state of ohio as unclaimed funds!~
James- You gotta be kiddin' me! What about ones you donate to charity silent auctions, but are never used? No money was ever exchanged in the first place. If you didn't take a tax deduction for the donation, I'd say that's equivalent to a waste printout.
:cool: Rick
IF or when a GC or a Certif that we donated to one of the schools comes in we clasp our hands together at our chest and chorus "Oh good, finally someone has gotten smart and redeemed a GC"....

and we aren't being sarcastic either.

We get about 20% of the gift cards that we donate. And we recover about 50% of the ones that people buy for others.....

So with that couple with the two pictures, I would just say it was worth 50% off on the whole order whether it is one frame or two.... and also point to a framing quote that we have from Michael's clearly pointing out the 50% off and the fact that our everyday price was only $2 more....

But then too, there is the theory that the kind of customer that would come into your place and ask how you stack up to Michael's, is the kind that is ALWAYS shopping for price.... and they don't ever care about quality.
That how do you compare to Michael's pricing question- I have just started saying "We don't."

After all, it's not like they are doing "custom" framing anymore.

I want every single paying customer I can get, but after I show a knock out design, and they still end up having a BB do it b/c it's oh, $30 cheaper, I wasn't gonna win that one. I much prefer to keep those customers that come back to me after shopping my comp. and have me frame it, regardless of cost.

Gift certificates, yes. I am relieved to see them get used, so I don't feel like I've wasted a donation or some well-meaning soul has wasted their money- what a great gift, anyway! Why on earth would someone not like money toward a framing project??

Wonder if they thought you would have shown them something over the top exorbitant if you knew beforehand they had a gift cert.?
Auto-buying experts suggest you negotiate the sales price BEFORE you mention that you have a trade-in.

People redeeming gift certificates seem to think the same idea applies. "I'll get a MUCH better deal if I don't mention the gift certificate until after they've run up the entire order on the register."
We have donation certs and paid for certs - and different rules for each kind.

Paid certs: The person can come and use them on any thing they want - and if they for some reason have recieved a discount on their framing, then they still get to keep their discount.

We have more rules for donation certs:
We usually give them in $25.00 amounts. They can only use one certificate per piece. They must be a "full framing order" - which means frame, glass and at least one matting. If they for some reason have recieved a discount and then present the certificate we will say - well you have already recieved a discount. The discount was the price of $**.** . If their discount was more than the cert they can choose to keep the cert and use it another time, or if the disc was less they can choose to use the cert, but they lose the discount.

I know that these rules may seem not as generous as several of you have stated - however - we get asked to donate to SO MANY events, etc that we have to have some rules in place.

There have been people who come in with their $25.00 cert and expect to get a frame that is esentially "free". I hate to say it, but we are not in business to give away "free" stuff. If someone is looking for it for free, chances are they will never come back again because they are looking for Walmart. We are not getting a chance to advertise to them that we do amazing framing if they just get the bare minimum.

If they bring in some tiny little thing (8X10) and we have to order in 10 feet of metal moulding, etc. then it's costing us far more than the $25.00. If there are mats and glass on it - at least the size increases and chances are we will have a small piece of matting or glass in stock that won't "cost" us anything.

I don't know if I'm explaining this right....

We do occasionally make exceptions to this rule, (say, perhaps for a regular customer, or if they have a large picture and are getting a "nice' frame job done) but for the most part we try to stick to it.