Gift Template Blog

Free Gift Certificates Templates

Information to include on a gift certificate – Part 2

Posted at — Aug 15, 2012

This is Part 2 of information to include on a gift certificate, take a look at Part 1 if you have not it already.

Expiry Date or Date Issued: Before you include an expiry date on your certificate, make sure that your country, state, province or city allows an expiry date to be included on purchasable gift certificates. In the past several decades new consumer protection laws across many countries have been introduced, that prohibit businesses from including an expiry date. The reasoning behind this is to prevent businesses from accepting money and not providing the product or service after a set period of time. If an expiry date is allowed in your area it may be a good idea to include one, but please research your local laws first.

If you cannot include an expiry date you may want to include a date issued or year issued field instead, this may help you with tracking your gift certificates.

Certificate Number: It is important to track your gift certificates, because it may help to prevent fraud and loss of revenue. A gift certificate number or certificate code is usually a randomly generated number or text field entry uniquely assigned to each gift certificate. The business generates a random entry for each certificate they issue to their customers and notes this unique field into their logs. When a customer comes back to use the certificate, the business can verify that the certificate is on record. After a gift certificate has been used, the number is taken off the log and is no longer valid. This prevents copied gift certificates from being used.

It is important to use a random algorithm to generate such an entry, this can be done by using random number generator software or by simply making up something random yourself. Make sure that the tracking code has a long enough length, at least 8 characters or more. Do not use anything predictable, someone may easily exploit your gift certificate codes and create fraudulent certificates. This will result in your business losing money. It also makes sense to take note of any other information included on a certificate when selling them to a customer. Such as purchase date and to/from fields, remember to keep this information on record. We highly recommend you utilize certificate tracking to protect your business.

Address: Including an address or a head office of your business on a gift certificate may be required in some jurisdictions. It’s also a good idea to let your customers know the location of your business.

Phone Number: Laws in your area may require you to provide adequate contact information on certificates or vouchers that you sell. It is recommended to provide a contact number of your business on your gift certificate. Customers may have inquires about products or services, a phone number is the fastest method of communication.

Website: If your business has a website it is recommended you include it somewhere on the gift certificate. This will allow your customers to check your business online and will provide additional exposure of your products or services. A person who received a gift certificate as a present may not be aware of your products or services, it would be easy for them to check and learn about what your business offers by visiting a website.

Email: Offering an email address on a gift certificate is optional. But it might be a good idea to allow email inquiries from customers.

Disclaimer or Terms and Conditions: It is important to provide a disclaimer or some form of terms and conditions on a gift certificate as a way to limit gift certificate abuse. In most cases you do not want returned gift certificates, because it is a waste of time for businesses to issue custom certificates, accept money and then be expected to do a full refund. This is especially true if the customer is providing the certificate to someone else, often customers themselves want the person who they bought the certificate to use it appropriately. Otherwise what’s the point, the customer could have provided money as a gift instead of a personalized gift certificate.

No cash refund or not redeemable for cash is often used as a disclaimer, this is to prevent returns of certificates like mentioned earlier.

Gift certificates usually include a non-transferable term, which limits transferability and re-sale of the certificate. So when a name is entered in the to field on a custom certificate it sticks.

No replacement for lost or stolen gift certificates is a very important disclaimer, it should be included by default to avoid liability and fraud. Someone may claim that a gift certificate was lost or stolen, but in reality they may be trying to get a free product or service. It is a unacceptable practice but occurs quite often, especially to popular businesses. It is highly recommended to include such a condition on your gift voucher.

You should examine the laws in your area and possibly contact an attorney to find out what specific terms or disclaimers are acceptable and lawful to include on your gift certificate.

For further reading about what information you should include on your gift certificate please take a look at our gift certificate tutorial guide. Gift template supports all entry fields discussed in both parts of this article, create your gift certificate today.