Did you know that around 2.5 million tons of returned merchandise will end up in the landfills just for the gift giving season?
That’s right, those Christmas presents, you spent so much time choosing for your loved ones, might as well be destined to become pure trash.
The reverse logistics company Optro reports, after their 2017 survey, that nearly 30% of all gifts given in the USA will be returned to the retailer. Europe is closely following the trend, adding up to the total number of useless gifts.
While men are slightly more likely to return gifts than women, both men and women most often return clothing and accessories, followed by shoes and electronics. Almost 60% of the respondents returned more than one gift during the last holiday season, and 14% reported that they returned 6 gifts and more! #NoMessThisXmass
Handling returns is a costly process for retailers. In fact, it ends up cheaper to trash the returned items than to try to resell them.
It makes perfect sense. It is hard to guess what other people would really like or enjoy, even with immediate family or people you know very well and see everyday. There is always a chance that somebody else will get the same purse, that the camera you bought has no all the functionalities the other person needs, or you simply made a tasteless choice. #NoMessThisXmass.
Is it OK to give money as a gift?
The most common objections to giving money as a gift are that it is an unthoughtful action, showing disrespect, especially to people close to your heart. While the logic behind this statement is surely understandable, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let me give you the perfect example of how gifting money could, in fact, be a very well thought out, emotional act.
Let’s say your best friend’s dream is to travel on an organised trip to Peru. She’s been talking about it and saving money, seemingly for ages! You know that she’ll miss going on the trip this summer vacation too. She’s got the money for flights and accommodation but needs at least 500 Euro more for the time she’d be in Peru.
So, what do you do for her birthday next week?
Do you gift her the 100 Euro shirt you thought she might like, or do you do something a lot smarter?!
While you may not be able to afford the 500 Euro shortage yourself, you can certainly unite your mutual friends around the cause and gather the amount collectively.
To give it an even more thoughtful touch, you and your friends can each create a personalized eGiftCard from iCard, designed with an image of sightseeing in Peru, and add a personal message explaining why she needs to visit each specific place.
The best thing is that your friend can use the eGiftCards for whatever she needs, from buying a new suitcase online to making contactless payments in local stores and bars.
Just keep in mind that you need to be a fully verified iCard user with a Standard account.
The Hang Bao tradition
In China, giving money as a gift is part of ages long tradition associated with the Chinese New Year. The ritual is called Hang Bao and it simply means red envelope because the money is usually put inside a beautiful red envelope. It is not only relevant, it is expected to give money to children and unmarried couples if you visit them in their homes. In fact, you’d be welcomed with the line: “Happy New Year! Give me a red envelope!”
Of course, if you happen to have Chinese friends living in Europe and you visit them around New Year, you are not expected to give any money or to even know what the red envelope is!
You would certainly make a memorable impression if you do though, which would be very important if this is a diplomatic or business-related dinner.
Even if you had no clue about Hang Bao, you could easily become “the thoughtful guest” in the room with the eGiftCards in iCard digital wallet.
It is the perfect solution to create relevant, instant gifts, not just for Hang Bao but any unexpected occasion.
More creative ideas to gift money
Here are some ideas to consider when sending eGiftCards with a chat message from your digital wallet:
- Make it a tradition that people will anticipate. This is a great strategy for a birthday or other recurring gifts. For example, research and find an activity in a less known travel location and gift a travelling budget through an eGiftCard. You can design it with an image of the place and add a short chat message with more details about the activity.
- Make it fun. Research and find а new or less known fine dining place or hip bar and send an eGiftCard with a “night out” budget. Add an image of the place and write down instructions on how to find it, but not the exact address. Your adventurous friends will appreciate it.
- Evoke warm feelings. This is great for family or friends who are abroad and you don’t get to see them often. Simply find an old image of you and them having fun in the good old times and add it to the eGiftCard with a funny story associated with that memory.