Sorry for the late reply… I am so behind on everything lately!
Someone tried this with me in California. There was actually no
expiration date on the certificate. I won it in a contest and when I
went to redeem it I was told it was invalid by the sales person. They
wouldn’t redeem it for any amount (it was only a month after I
I stood my ground, having worked retail and knowing Cal state law on
the subject. Gift Certificates do not expire. The sales person
finally gave in after the she got the owner on the phone two times,
and gave me half value. Which I felt was not fair because it was a
gift certificate and does not expire. However, I figured I’d better
take what I could get.
I left with my “purchase” and gave it away as a present because my
experience in her store was so awful that I didn’t want a reminder
I reported her to the BBB and I wrote her a letter telling her what
This is a local store and I will walk by it to go somewhere else
because I will not give her my money. I have told all of my friends
the story, and have let them decide whether or not they will
patronize her store.
I make an effort to tell good and bad experiences with retail
stores. But most people will tell more people about the bad stories.
Bad reputations spread quickly and are hard to fix. Make your
customers happy and they will bring their friends. Make these same
customers unhappy and they will tell everyone!
When I worked retail we would do giveaways, a “voucher” with
purchase during special sales… we called it a “voucher” or a
coupon, not a gift certificate so there could be an expiration date.
Got this idea from the big box stores like the GAP… “Spend $100 in
September and get a $10 voucher to spend in December”, that sort of
thing. It was a great way to get people to come into the store in
September (a slow month) and kept us on their radar for December.
Although, we did accept them at half value after the fact, even
though the coupon expired. This made everyone happy.