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How grinches are ruining gift card giving

How grinches are ruining gift card giving
© Ymgerman | Dreamstime.com

You know the feeling, you're on the way to a Christmas party and you remember, "Wait a minute, I forgot to pick up something for Uncle Ron." You may be tempted to stop by a convenience store along the way and pick up a gift card. This could be a big mistake.

Although they are quick and convenient, you could be wasting your money on a card that ends up being worth nothing.

Something worth nothing

Major retailers are shutting down at an alarming rate and restaurants aren't fairing much better. In 2017 alone, brands as big as Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy's closed more than 5,000 stores. When this happens, that Sears gift card you have will be best used as a throwing card, because you're not getting any value out of it.

But suppose your brand of choice is sound, and the company does not close its stores, gift cards inevitably come with a lot of wasted value. Suppose your card is worth $20, but the T-shirt and socks you're getting only costs $18.27, you're left with $1.73 on the card...when will you ever use that? Over $1 billion in wasted gift card money goes unspent every year.

Easy cash grab for hackers

While we are on the topic of worthless gift card money, what if your entire gift card turns out to be worthless. This is very possible due to hacking techniques that are growing in popularity. Hackers can use advanced "bruteforce" hacking techniques to crack the code on gift card serial numbers. They sell these cards online, and if one of the serials hacked is the same as the serial on your card, you're out of luck and money!

Really the only solution to the problem is to buy real gifts for friends and family, or better yet, make something by hand (Pinterest is popular for a reason!). The recipient is likely to remember your hand-made gift for years.

What is a great homemade gift idea that you have? Let us know in the comments.

10 must-have portable gadgets you can score right now

If you are looking for some great ideas for tech gadgets, take a look at this article. It has some unique gift ideas that will be perfect for tech lovers of all types.

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