With the Christmas buying season in full swing, the mall Customer Service desk that I work at is selling lots of gift cards! There are always two people working at the desk to keep up with the demand, and sometimes there are still customers waiting their turn.
Gift cards are convenient. You don't have to worry about getting the right thing, and the recipients can buy exactly what they want. However, as a present under the tree, gift cards are boring. I'm sure many of the gift cards I'm selling are slipped inside a greeting card, so when the person receives the extra-thick envelope they know exactly what they're getting. Where's the fun in that?
You can buy specially-designed gift packaging for the cards, but in my opinion that's just one step up from putting it in an envelope. During one of our rare lulls at work yesterday, my coworker and I talked about different ways gift certificates can be given. We decided that when someone puts a little effort put into the wrapping and presentation of the card it can make a big difference.
Several years ago Hubby Tony's Christmas list was predominantly clothes. I was having trouble finding just the right thing, and decided to get him gift certificates to two different stores so he could pick out his own. After getting the certificates, I went to Goodwill and bought a horrible-looking shirt and an even worse pair of pants. I tucked a certificate into the pocket of each, folded them neatly into boxes, and wrapped them nicely. When Tony opened the packages, he wasn't sure if the clothes were the present, and politely expressed his thanks (but was obviously quite relieved when I pointed out the "real" gift).
It's also fun to add something edible to a gift card. I've been known to tape the card on top of a chocolate bar-- it's still easy to wrap. When you nestle one on top of the contents of a tin of nuts or popcorn, the person can enjoy the munchies now and shop with the certificate later. I've heard of people who go to the trouble of matching the gift card holder with the gift card itself. You could hide a coffeehouse certificate inside a pound of coffee beans, or a travel certificate inside a book of maps. Put a restaurant card inside of a carry-out container, add some ribbon and a bow, and it looks wonderful.
How about you? Have you done any creative gift card packaging?