The Instigator
Proving_a_Negative
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Linus_1
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Gift cards are a waste of money.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/14/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 571 times Debate No: 76552
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Proving_a_Negative

Pro

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Argument
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Statements

Resolution: Gift cards lower your money's potential purchasing power if you purchase one.

Burden of Proof: Pro

Rules: You must follow the debate structure.
Linus_1

Con

Hmm.... interesting........very well. I accept :>
Debate Round No. 1
Proving_a_Negative

Pro

Welcome to DDO and thank you for accepting this debate. I'm not entirely sure where I will go with this since I just thought up these arguments in like 2 minutes. :D

Gift cards have no benefit on one's purchasing power. They only detract from it.

Argument 1

They limit where you can spend your money. Gift cards can only be used at stores they were bought at or in the same chain of that store, usually. They also don't get anything in compensation for this, thus it is better to just keep your money. I will outline my logic here:

P1: Gift cards limit where your money can be spent.
P2: Gift cards to not give anything in return for P1.
P3: Money can be spent anywhere.
C1: It is better to just keep money due to gift cards lowering your purchasing power.

Argument 2

Some gift cards expire, whilst money doesn't. http://www.ncsl.org... While there are laws protecting consumers from this, they have not abolished the expiration date entirely. You must also hope that the chain at which the gift card was bought doesn't close down. If it does, your gift card is practically useless. Let me outline my logic again:

P1: Money doesn't expire.
P2: Some gift cards expire.
P3: Gift cards become obsolete if the stores associated with it all close.
C1: It is better to just keep money due to gift cards lowering your purchasing power.

Argument 3

Some gift cards have inactivity fees, whilst money doesn't. http://www.creditcards.com... Again, there are laws protecting consumers from this now, but they have not abolished this practice completely.

P1: Some gift cards have inactivity fees.
P2: Money does not have inactivity fees.
C1: It is better to just keep money due to gift cards lowering your purchasing power.

Good luck to Linus_1 and I look forward to seeing your arguments.
Linus_1

Con

Probably will be the hardest topic I'll ever argue *cracks knuckles in anticipation*. Shout out to your organization skills by the way, lets me tackle each argument in order, which is how I like to do it.

Gift cards only limit your purchasing power if you let them. Let's say you buy a $20 gift card for your friend. It's for a restaurant that you KNOW for a fact that he goes to at least twice a week. The card will probably be used up within the month. The point of gift cards isn't to give back to the user. It's a gift. You buy it for someone else, and you show them that you at least thought about what they might like to buy instead of shoving a $20 in an an envelope and writing their name on it. Also, if you want them to buy freely, buy them a gift card for a store that has many choices to choose from, such as Target or Amazon. I know for a fact that you can find literally anything on Amazon. Anything. Check my search history :3

Yes, money doesn't expire. Gift cards do, but in the site you referred me to (I did look) the CARD Act states that the cards can't expire within 5 years of the activation date, unless you haven't made a transaction in 12 months, etc. Who seriously will keep a gift card for 5 years and not use it? You could also re-gift it (it's kinda being a douche, but what else will you do with it?) You say gift cards become obsolete when the stores associated with it close. If you know a store is about to go into bankruptcy or is closing soon, why buy a card from there? Businesses usually put out a warning a good length of time ahead before shutting down.

Under the rules of the new laws in place, inactivity fees can not be placed on the customer unless there has been zero use on the card in 12 months. Seriously, it's the person who received the card's responsibility to know this and to use the card accordingly. As for inactivity fees on money, inflation anyone? (unless you have it in the bank, which most people do, but this point is for the financially uneducated)
Debate Round No. 2
Proving_a_Negative

Pro

Rebuttal

"Shout out to your organization skills by the way, lets me tackle each argument in order, which is how I like to do it."

Why tank u :)

"Gift cards only limit your purchasing power if you let them."

Con concedes that gift cards do in fact limit your purchasing power if you let them.

"Let's say you buy a $20 gift card for your friend. It's for a restaurant that you KNOW for a fact that he goes to at least twice a week. The card will probably be used up within the month. The point of gift cards isn't to give back to the user. It's a gift. You buy it for someone else, and you show them that you at least thought about what they might like to buy instead of shoving a $20 in an an envelope and writing their name on it."

Indeed, the card may contain sentimental value. However, we are talking about the purchasing power of the gift card, which is less than the money it took to get. Gift cards are not pointless, but they do decrease the purchasing power of that money.

"Also, if you want them to buy freely, buy them a gift card for a store that has many choices to choose from, such as Target or Amazon. I know for a fact that you can find literally anything on Amazon. Anything. Check my search history."

Yes. However, you may find a better deal at some other store, or that store may be located far away, or the person doesn't like having things shipped to them due to scams. It still decreases the purchasing power.

Now for that first paragraph, you are arguing that it doesn't effect the user much. I don't disagree, but it is still decreasing the purchasing power. Let's say I took a $20.00 USD bill from you and gave you back a $20.00 bill that can do everything a normal $20.00 bill could do EXCEPT one thing. If the United States ever takes over Proxima Centauri and opens businesses on that star somehow, you can't spend it there. That would still be decreasing your purchasing power ever so slightly.

"Yes, money doesn't expire. Gift cards do, but in the site you referred me to (I did look) the CARD Act states that the cards can't expire within 5 years of the activation date, unless you haven't made a transaction in 12 months, etc. Who seriously will keep a gift card for 5 years and not use it?"

I can think of a lot of people who keep money for 5 years. The thing about gift cards is that you are forced to spend that money within 5 years, which is plain stupid, but that's an entirely seperate debate. Imagine if Bill Gates put absolutely every last dime he had into Target gift cards. His total capital would severly diminish from that move.

"You could also re-gift it (it's kinda being a douche, but what else will you do with it?) You say gift cards become obsolete when the stores associated with it close. If you know a store is about to go into bankruptcy or is closing soon, why buy a card from there? Businesses usually put out a warning a good length of time ahead before shutting down."

This could reasonably occur within 5 years. However, it isn't essential. You must assume that people have the intellect to not purchase from a store that isn't doing well. It's all unlikely, but it still is a possibility! (again the Proxima Centauri analogy)

"Under the rules of the new laws in place, inactivity fees can not be placed on the customer unless there has been zero use on the card in 12 months. Seriously, it's the person who received the card's responsibility to know this and to use the card accordingly."

*points to Proxima Centauri analogy*

"As for inactivity fees on money, inflation anyone?"

Yes! I was hoping you would bring this up :D Gift cards experience inflation just like real money does AND you can't put a gift card into the bank, thus protecting it. Inflation is a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money. A gift card's value is determined by the amount of money put into it. Therefore, gift cards are dependent on the value of money and inflation effects them just like real money. When too much money is printed out, stores increase their price. Gift cards are just as vulnerable as money and more since they can't be put into a bank.

Thank you and good luck!
Linus_1

Con

Linus_1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Linus_1

Con

Linus_1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Donderpants 2 years ago
Donderpants
Yes, I agree. That's probably the main issue though, the expiring date.
I'm glad someone accepted- it's good to see someone take on a hard moot.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
That isn't the only purpose I can come up with, but it is quite similar. This is why I wanted to debate this, to see if anybody had a logical argument to show the gift cards aren't a waste of money's purchasing power. He chose to accept. Nobody forced him to.
Posted by Donderpants 2 years ago
Donderpants
I'm sorry, this one seems clearly one way. Gift cards are a complete waste of money. The only conceivable purpose for them is to give to poor people, to ensure that the donations go towards things they need (whereas a shockingly large portion goes towards things like satisfying addictions.) to make sure they're getting food and shelter with it.

The main thing against them- they expire. And you'd be surprised how many times they do. They can in fact ruin the experience of regulars (Dad used to be a very loyal customer of Dicksmith, but after an employee's appalling way of handling a gift card that was expired 2 days ago, dad rarely visits anymore.)

http://business.time.com...

http://www.abcactionnews.com...
Posted by Donderpants 2 years ago
Donderpants
I'm sorry, this one seems clearly one way. Gift cards are a complete waste of money. The only conceivable purpose for them is to give to poor people, to ensure that the donations go towards things they need (whereas a shockingly large portion goes towards things like satisfying addictions.) to make sure they're getting food and shelter with it.

The main thing against them- they expire. And you'd be surprised how many times they do. They can in fact ruin the experience of regulars (Dad used to be a very loyal customer of Dicksmith, but after an employee's appalling way of handling a gift card that was expired 2 days ago, dad rarely visits anymore.)

http://business.time.com...

http://www.abcactionnews.com...
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