Lending Club Blog

Other Gifts That Take When Given

I’ve previously described a gift card as the gift that keeps on taking, but other gifts can take from the recipient as well. This doesn’t necessarily make them bad gifts, but the point should be taken into consideration when choosing what to give someone. We may have survived the holiday gift-giving season, but now we have a whole new year of gift giving in a tight economy, so these considerations are especially worth repeating.

Gift cards take from the recipient in the form of a multitude of fees and limitations as to where and when they can be redeemed. Many other gifts take by obligating the recipient to spend money. Obvious examples include any gift that requires a maintained subscription or service contract, such as a cell phone, satellite radio, TiVo, etc. Other, less obvious examples include a digital camera, which typically need accessories to operate and cause the user to incur costs to have prints made.

When giving such gifts, consider whether the recipient will see it more as a gift or a burden. Take the person’s ability to pay for the add-ons into account as well. Adding all necessary accessories to the gift or prepaying for a few months of service will help. That way, the recipient can truly enjoy the gift and make a rational decision about whether or not to continue its use and incur its associated costs.

The goal of most gift givers is to bring joy to the recipient on a whole host of occasions throughout the year. Some of the best gifts do have additional expenses and shouldn’t be dismissed. I have certainly enjoyed such gifts. It’s just that adding expenses is often an unforeseen consequence and might be particularly burdensome on the recipient in the current economic crisis. Think about those expenses when giving gifts to ensure that they do not reduce the benefit of the gift beyond the level you intend.

Have you received a gift that was more trouble than it was worth?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 at 6:34 am

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