A recent post on WalletPop, a site I blog for, triggered this money morality question. Are people giving Groupons and daily deal vouchers from sites like Tippr and SocialBuy as gifts this year? Daily deal sites sell vouchers at steep discounts – sometimes as much as 90% off. Is it tacky to give someone a $25 gift voucher to, say a nearby restaurant or yoga studio, if you only paid $5 for it?
If you give a Groupon or daily deal voucher, watch out for expiration dates. These vouchers are not gift cards, so they are not protected by a federal law that requires them to be good for a minimum of five years. The vouchers are usually good for about three months. It’s a good idea to highlight the expiration date in a card that accompanies the gift or on the voucher itself.
Let the recipient know about any exclusions, requirements, or hoops they need to jump through to redeem the voucher. Stay away from giving vouchers that require more than a few simple steps to redeem. While you might be willing to do a lot to get a great deal, don’t assume that everyone else is.
Make sure the daily deal voucher is for a service or store the recipient already uses or has expressed interest in. If your sister has never tried tanning, don’t think your gift will get her interested. You will come off as thoughtless and the recipient will likely toss the gift aside. Or sell it on CoupReCoup.com!
Lastly, take extra time to make the gift voucher presentable. When I’ve used Groupons in the past, the voucher is a plain 8 x 11 printout. Fine for personal use, but it feels like shoddy work when it is a gift. Tuck the gift voucher into a card with a personal note, or include it with a handmade card on beautiful paper.
If you follow these four steps, I think giving a daily deal voucher as a gift is perfectly acceptable. Would you give a Groupon as a gift?