bnbfinder Bed and Breakfast $500 Travel Gift Certificate Giveaway

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Morticia

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So, are the participating inns being refunded for this?
 

Morticia

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Joey Bloggs said:
at 75% isn't that the latest amount they are paying out now?
Why should I only get 75% (or whatever) for something I have no control over? I realize I have no control over the GC purchased and given as a gift but this is a contest. Why should I be liable for ANY of it?
 

muirford

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Joey Bloggs said:
at 75% isn't that the latest amount they are paying out now?
Why should I only get 75% (or whatever) for something I have no control over? I realize I have no control over the GC purchased and given as a gift but this is a contest. Why should I be liable for ANY of it?.
It's not 75%, it's 85%. I thought I posted that before but it doesn't appear to have gone through.
You do it for the same reasons you take any of the gift certificates from directories or associations - you get the business and you hope you create referrals or repeat customers that won't cost the 15% (or 10% for Select Registry or 50% for the BOGOs). If you don't take anyone's gift certificates other than your own, it's unlikely that you'll believe in that point.
I take SR gcs (you have to to be in the org), bnbfinders, and ILoveInns and Stash Tea Bogos (which can be controlled for specific times (weekdays only, slow season, whatever). We have stopped selling our own GCs and now refer inquiries to buy Select Registry gift certificates. We will lose that income this year but it evens out over the year since those usually get used during busy weekends in October (robbing Peter in December but paying Paul next October).
 

Morticia

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Joey Bloggs said:
at 75% isn't that the latest amount they are paying out now?
Why should I only get 75% (or whatever) for something I have no control over? I realize I have no control over the GC purchased and given as a gift but this is a contest. Why should I be liable for ANY of it?.
It's not 75%, it's 85%. I thought I posted that before but it doesn't appear to have gone through.
You do it for the same reasons you take any of the gift certificates from directories or associations - you get the business and you hope you create referrals or repeat customers that won't cost the 15% (or 10% for Select Registry or 50% for the BOGOs). If you don't take anyone's gift certificates other than your own, it's unlikely that you'll believe in that point.
I take SR gcs (you have to to be in the org), bnbfinders, and ILoveInns and Stash Tea Bogos (which can be controlled for specific times (weekdays only, slow season, whatever). We have stopped selling our own GCs and now refer inquiries to buy Select Registry gift certificates. We will lose that income this year but it evens out over the year since those usually get used during busy weekends in October (robbing Peter in December but paying Paul next October).
.
I guess I was thinking the likelihood someone would show up here with a $500 GC from anywhere was rare. But if they won a prize, I'm thinking bnbfinder GAVE the prize, they should be responsible for the full freight.
 

muirford

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Joey Bloggs said:
at 75% isn't that the latest amount they are paying out now?
Why should I only get 75% (or whatever) for something I have no control over? I realize I have no control over the GC purchased and given as a gift but this is a contest. Why should I be liable for ANY of it?.
It's not 75%, it's 85%. I thought I posted that before but it doesn't appear to have gone through.
You do it for the same reasons you take any of the gift certificates from directories or associations - you get the business and you hope you create referrals or repeat customers that won't cost the 15% (or 10% for Select Registry or 50% for the BOGOs). If you don't take anyone's gift certificates other than your own, it's unlikely that you'll believe in that point.
I take SR gcs (you have to to be in the org), bnbfinders, and ILoveInns and Stash Tea Bogos (which can be controlled for specific times (weekdays only, slow season, whatever). We have stopped selling our own GCs and now refer inquiries to buy Select Registry gift certificates. We will lose that income this year but it evens out over the year since those usually get used during busy weekends in October (robbing Peter in December but paying Paul next October).
.
I guess I was thinking the likelihood someone would show up here with a $500 GC from anywhere was rare. But if they won a prize, I'm thinking bnbfinder GAVE the prize, they should be responsible for the full freight.
.
They are responsible for 85% of it, or $425.00. That's not a bad donation. Anyone who participates in the gift certificate program does so willingly (for bnbfinder) and would treat it like any other bnbfinder gc, regardless of who paid for the face value. You choose to do that because you believe that somewhere along the line you get business you wouldn't otherwise get, and so 85% of your rate is better than nothing. I don't really understand why the buyer of the gc comes into the equation, whether it's a random gift giver or Mary White who footed the bill. Not being snarky, I just don't care about who paid for it.
I've been generally happy with the 'quality' of guests who come with bnbfinder, ILoveInns, and Stash gcs. They actually seem like 'B&B people' for the most part. I was less thrilled with the ones through banb.com, and found most of those were being redeemed on weekends I would have been full anyway, so when they raised the commish I dropped them. You cannot convince me that selling bandb gift cards on the twirly racks at a big box store gets me good potential guests - my experiences tell me otherwise.
 

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary
 

muirford

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
 

JBloggs

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at 75% isn't that the latest amount they are paying out now?
edited with correction 85%.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
Here's the problem I have with these kinds of gift certificates, wherever they're sold.
The idea is great. Open up new markets for B&Bs. Who's not for that?
And I admit, when I've seen them myself on the shelf, I've thought cool. Maybe someone will buy one as a gift and open the eyes of a new guest.
But the reality is that each B&B is unique. That's the whole point, isn't it? There is no one perfect B&B. They are dependent not only on the personality of the owner, they're equally dependent on the owner's skills as a cook, a manager, a host, a marketer, a designer, as well as on the geography and activities of an area, and the property itself.
In short, just because Aunt Agnes likes her B&B with doilies and scrapbook weekends doesn't mean that her nephew and his fiancee are going to find the perfect place to launch a kayaking weekend.
So the opportunity for failed expectations is very very high. That alone is enough reason for caution.
Who wants guests who don't belong? They negatively impact the stay for guests who are there because they want to be there. They're much more likely to post a negative online review simply because the place they went to was different from what they expected or wanted.
Add to that the discounts and, well, to me, I just don't think it's the best laid plan for any B&B. With luck, the person buying or receiving the gift certificate will have the perfect place in mind.
But B&Bs aren't like Starbucks or Borders; there is no one size fits all.
So much as I am all for pooled resources and sharing between inns, big box gift certificates don't seem to be the best answer for most. They seem more a recipe for disappointment for everyone but the middleman.
In my humble opinion.
 

Sanderling

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
I really appreciate the suggestion about a program for innkeepers. It’s an idea that I haven’t given much thought to recently for several reasons; one is the logistics. We don’t sell gift cards; we print and mail gift certificates so I’d have to change to gift cards. The other is demand. For innkeepers that want to sell GCs they already have that option through bb.com and because many don’t for numerous reasons, including some outlined in the post above, even if you factor in the lower fees that we charge on gift certificates, I’m not sure there is enough demand anyway. If at some point in the future this seems to change we will certainly reconsider offering this type of program as it would not be difficult. The logistics of switching to a gift card program would be very simple, and it’s already something we’ve considered, plus it would open up whole new markets of where to distribute the gift cards.
We’ve decided, however, to continue with our program as originally intended, which is simply as another form of advertising for the B&Bs on our site. It’s a large program but it’s not a mega-million dollar program because only people who have been on our site can buy the gift certificates and this may be why we get so many comments from innkeepers about the quality of the gift certificate guests that we send to their inns.

Mary
 

muirford

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
I really appreciate the suggestion about a program for innkeepers. It’s an idea that I haven’t given much thought to recently for several reasons; one is the logistics. We don’t sell gift cards; we print and mail gift certificates so I’d have to change to gift cards. The other is demand. For innkeepers that want to sell GCs they already have that option through bb.com and because many don’t for numerous reasons, including some outlined in the post above, even if you factor in the lower fees that we charge on gift certificates, I’m not sure there is enough demand anyway. If at some point in the future this seems to change we will certainly reconsider offering this type of program as it would not be difficult. The logistics of switching to a gift card program would be very simple, and it’s already something we’ve considered, plus it would open up whole new markets of where to distribute the gift cards.
We’ve decided, however, to continue with our program as originally intended, which is simply as another form of advertising for the B&Bs on our site. It’s a large program but it’s not a mega-million dollar program because only people who have been on our site can buy the gift certificates and this may be why we get so many comments from innkeepers about the quality of the gift certificate guests that we send to their inns.

Mary
.
Yes, I agree that you shouldn't switch to gift cards; in my own opinion, that is a significant part of the problem with the bandb.com gift cards and a major reason why I stopped accepting them. I would much prefer to sell gift certificates through you, Iloveinns or Select Registry rather than my own - in part because I do think B&Bs are very individual properties and it's important that the recipient of the gift certificate participate in choosing the B&B they will go to. I just wish there were some way for us to sell them rather than having to direct them to another place for the certificates.
 

Sanderling

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
I really appreciate the suggestion about a program for innkeepers. It’s an idea that I haven’t given much thought to recently for several reasons; one is the logistics. We don’t sell gift cards; we print and mail gift certificates so I’d have to change to gift cards. The other is demand. For innkeepers that want to sell GCs they already have that option through bb.com and because many don’t for numerous reasons, including some outlined in the post above, even if you factor in the lower fees that we charge on gift certificates, I’m not sure there is enough demand anyway. If at some point in the future this seems to change we will certainly reconsider offering this type of program as it would not be difficult. The logistics of switching to a gift card program would be very simple, and it’s already something we’ve considered, plus it would open up whole new markets of where to distribute the gift cards.
We’ve decided, however, to continue with our program as originally intended, which is simply as another form of advertising for the B&Bs on our site. It’s a large program but it’s not a mega-million dollar program because only people who have been on our site can buy the gift certificates and this may be why we get so many comments from innkeepers about the quality of the gift certificate guests that we send to their inns.

Mary
.
Yes, I agree that you shouldn't switch to gift cards; in my own opinion, that is a significant part of the problem with the bandb.com gift cards and a major reason why I stopped accepting them. I would much prefer to sell gift certificates through you, Iloveinns or Select Registry rather than my own - in part because I do think B&Bs are very individual properties and it's important that the recipient of the gift certificate participate in choosing the B&B they will go to. I just wish there were some way for us to sell them rather than having to direct them to another place for the certificates.
.
We could create something simple for innkeepers that want to sell them such as you, or just for you. Off the top of my head it could be structured something like creating an attractive place card for you to display that you offer gift certificates. The order would be placed either on a special page that we setup for you (so you’re not sending them somewhere else) or using an affiliate tracking code system. It would be a slight twist on an affiliate program, because you’d need to be able to print something to give to the guest for the ones that buy them on site. I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you if you want to contact me directly. Mary
 

muirford

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
I really appreciate the suggestion about a program for innkeepers. It’s an idea that I haven’t given much thought to recently for several reasons; one is the logistics. We don’t sell gift cards; we print and mail gift certificates so I’d have to change to gift cards. The other is demand. For innkeepers that want to sell GCs they already have that option through bb.com and because many don’t for numerous reasons, including some outlined in the post above, even if you factor in the lower fees that we charge on gift certificates, I’m not sure there is enough demand anyway. If at some point in the future this seems to change we will certainly reconsider offering this type of program as it would not be difficult. The logistics of switching to a gift card program would be very simple, and it’s already something we’ve considered, plus it would open up whole new markets of where to distribute the gift cards.
We’ve decided, however, to continue with our program as originally intended, which is simply as another form of advertising for the B&Bs on our site. It’s a large program but it’s not a mega-million dollar program because only people who have been on our site can buy the gift certificates and this may be why we get so many comments from innkeepers about the quality of the gift certificate guests that we send to their inns.

Mary
.
Yes, I agree that you shouldn't switch to gift cards; in my own opinion, that is a significant part of the problem with the bandb.com gift cards and a major reason why I stopped accepting them. I would much prefer to sell gift certificates through you, Iloveinns or Select Registry rather than my own - in part because I do think B&Bs are very individual properties and it's important that the recipient of the gift certificate participate in choosing the B&B they will go to. I just wish there were some way for us to sell them rather than having to direct them to another place for the certificates.
.
We could create something simple for innkeepers that want to sell them such as you, or just for you. Off the top of my head it could be structured something like creating an attractive place card for you to display that you offer gift certificates. The order would be placed either on a special page that we setup for you (so you’re not sending them somewhere else) or using an affiliate tracking code system. It would be a slight twist on an affiliate program, because you’d need to be able to print something to give to the guest for the ones that buy them on site. I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you if you want to contact me directly. Mary
.
will do.
ETA: I think that's a great idea, to use a page on your website to register and print the certificates from. In thinking this over, I struggled with how to have gift cerficate inventory on hand at a B&B that wanted to sell them. In this case, bnbfinder would have them in their database immediately and innkeepers wouldn't have to stock anything.
 

JBloggs

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
Here's the problem I have with these kinds of gift certificates, wherever they're sold.
The idea is great. Open up new markets for B&Bs. Who's not for that?
And I admit, when I've seen them myself on the shelf, I've thought cool. Maybe someone will buy one as a gift and open the eyes of a new guest.
But the reality is that each B&B is unique. That's the whole point, isn't it? There is no one perfect B&B. They are dependent not only on the personality of the owner, they're equally dependent on the owner's skills as a cook, a manager, a host, a marketer, a designer, as well as on the geography and activities of an area, and the property itself.
In short, just because Aunt Agnes likes her B&B with doilies and scrapbook weekends doesn't mean that her nephew and his fiancee are going to find the perfect place to launch a kayaking weekend.
So the opportunity for failed expectations is very very high. That alone is enough reason for caution.
Who wants guests who don't belong? They negatively impact the stay for guests who are there because they want to be there. They're much more likely to post a negative online review simply because the place they went to was different from what they expected or wanted.
Add to that the discounts and, well, to me, I just don't think it's the best laid plan for any B&B. With luck, the person buying or receiving the gift certificate will have the perfect place in mind.
But B&Bs aren't like Starbucks or Borders; there is no one size fits all.
So much as I am all for pooled resources and sharing between inns, big box gift certificates don't seem to be the best answer for most. They seem more a recipe for disappointment for everyone but the middleman.
In my humble opinion.
.
This is why the directory gc's are much better gifts as guests can peruse the diff B&B's and pick one that appeals to them. But being a business owner myself, I want them to buy my gc's so I make the $. GC's rarely turn out well however, like you mentioned Innkeepertogo, because the aunt enjoyed staying here doesn't mean the young honeymooners will! But them each person can take what they want and leave what they don't, in other words they can find something fun to do even in doileyville and it sure ain't gonna kill them (esp if it was a nice gift from someone who cares about them).
I don't want to sell anything for anyone. I just want to do my thing here as I see best and continue to grow and learn as I have done over the past 6 years owning an inn.
 

swirt

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
.
I really appreciate the suggestion about a program for innkeepers. It’s an idea that I haven’t given much thought to recently for several reasons; one is the logistics. We don’t sell gift cards; we print and mail gift certificates so I’d have to change to gift cards. The other is demand. For innkeepers that want to sell GCs they already have that option through bb.com and because many don’t for numerous reasons, including some outlined in the post above, even if you factor in the lower fees that we charge on gift certificates, I’m not sure there is enough demand anyway. If at some point in the future this seems to change we will certainly reconsider offering this type of program as it would not be difficult. The logistics of switching to a gift card program would be very simple, and it’s already something we’ve considered, plus it would open up whole new markets of where to distribute the gift cards.
We’ve decided, however, to continue with our program as originally intended, which is simply as another form of advertising for the B&Bs on our site. It’s a large program but it’s not a mega-million dollar program because only people who have been on our site can buy the gift certificates and this may be why we get so many comments from innkeepers about the quality of the gift certificate guests that we send to their inns.

Mary
.
Yes, I agree that you shouldn't switch to gift cards; in my own opinion, that is a significant part of the problem with the bandb.com gift cards and a major reason why I stopped accepting them. I would much prefer to sell gift certificates through you, Iloveinns or Select Registry rather than my own - in part because I do think B&Bs are very individual properties and it's important that the recipient of the gift certificate participate in choosing the B&B they will go to. I just wish there were some way for us to sell them rather than having to direct them to another place for the certificates.
.
We could create something simple for innkeepers that want to sell them such as you, or just for you. Off the top of my head it could be structured something like creating an attractive place card for you to display that you offer gift certificates. The order would be placed either on a special page that we setup for you (so you’re not sending them somewhere else) or using an affiliate tracking code system. It would be a slight twist on an affiliate program, because you’d need to be able to print something to give to the guest for the ones that buy them on site. I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you if you want to contact me directly. Mary
.
I think the affiliate approach might be a good one.
I know we stopped selling our own gift certificates because we knew when we put our place up for sale that there was a possibility that the new owners would not want to run it as a B&B. So we just stopped selling them rather than risk leaving people hanging with certificates that had no value.
We were sending people to the local chamber who was selling gift certificates through that company that just recently went bankrupt...so people got left hanging anyway.
 

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Hi, Mary here from BnBFinder.com. The $500 gift certificate is being paid for by us and is redeemed like any other gift certificate. We thought it made sense for the promotion to Women's Day readers about our gift certificates and BnBFinder.com inns. Yes, a $500 certificate is a larger certificate than what is usually purchased but Women's Day wanted an attractive giveaway for their readers. If the winner's stay is less then $500 they will have a balance on the certificate to use for a future getaway.
To answer the other question, we reimburse innkeepers 85% of the certificate value. Our gift certificates are not meant to compete with your own gift certificate program. They are for people who don't know where the recipient will want to go. Rather, the program is another form of advertising that we give innkeepers on BnBFinder.com the choice if they want to participate in.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me directly as I’m happy to clear up any confusion.

Mary.
Any chance you would consider a program for an inn to sell your gift certificates, like banb.com allows inns to sell their gift cards?
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I really appreciate the suggestion about a program for innkeepers. It’s an idea that I haven’t given much thought to recently for several reasons; one is the logistics. We don’t sell gift cards; we print and mail gift certificates so I’d have to change to gift cards. The other is demand. For innkeepers that want to sell GCs they already have that option through bb.com and because many don’t for numerous reasons, including some outlined in the post above, even if you factor in the lower fees that we charge on gift certificates, I’m not sure there is enough demand anyway. If at some point in the future this seems to change we will certainly reconsider offering this type of program as it would not be difficult. The logistics of switching to a gift card program would be very simple, and it’s already something we’ve considered, plus it would open up whole new markets of where to distribute the gift cards.
We’ve decided, however, to continue with our program as originally intended, which is simply as another form of advertising for the B&Bs on our site. It’s a large program but it’s not a mega-million dollar program because only people who have been on our site can buy the gift certificates and this may be why we get so many comments from innkeepers about the quality of the gift certificate guests that we send to their inns.

Mary
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Yes, I agree that you shouldn't switch to gift cards; in my own opinion, that is a significant part of the problem with the bandb.com gift cards and a major reason why I stopped accepting them. I would much prefer to sell gift certificates through you, Iloveinns or Select Registry rather than my own - in part because I do think B&Bs are very individual properties and it's important that the recipient of the gift certificate participate in choosing the B&B they will go to. I just wish there were some way for us to sell them rather than having to direct them to another place for the certificates.
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We could create something simple for innkeepers that want to sell them such as you, or just for you. Off the top of my head it could be structured something like creating an attractive place card for you to display that you offer gift certificates. The order would be placed either on a special page that we setup for you (so you’re not sending them somewhere else) or using an affiliate tracking code system. It would be a slight twist on an affiliate program, because you’d need to be able to print something to give to the guest for the ones that buy them on site. I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you if you want to contact me directly. Mary
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I think the affiliate approach might be a good one.
I know we stopped selling our own gift certificates because we knew when we put our place up for sale that there was a possibility that the new owners would not want to run it as a B&B. So we just stopped selling them rather than risk leaving people hanging with certificates that had no value.
We were sending people to the local chamber who was selling gift certificates through that company that just recently went bankrupt...so people got left hanging anyway.
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There are many things I do not like about the banb.com gc approach - which is why I don't participate - but one thing I DO like is that you can sell the gift cards at your B&B and you receive 20% of the face value from bandb.com. Theoretically, if you sell about the same number of gift cards as you redeem, you break even. And, in my opinion, selling them at a B&B gives you a better demographic for potential B&B guests than selling them at a big box store.
We also stopped selling our own, in part because we didn't want to carry the liability of the certificates through a potential sale. We'd prefer to take the hit on the lost income this year since we're doing well otherwise; then we will stop redeeming this as well so it will even out. At this point, we refer them to Select Registry to buy a gift certificate, but I sure would prefer to take an order here and maybe make a small commission on it,like an affiliate program.
 
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