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Do you give cash refunds on gift certificates?

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Don Draper

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I don't think I know of ANY store, restaurant, etc. who gives cash back on gift certificate purchases. Most places just give you the card back with the remaining balance. We had a woman use one of our gc's this past weekend and she was very put out that we don't give cash back. I was just wondering what you all do? My reasoning is that we do not expire our gift cards, and we accept credit card payment for them (which is how 99% of them are purchased), so we would lose $$ to give actual cash back.
 

Alibi Ike

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I do give cash back if it's under $50. Most guests on a GC here do not come back. I don't want to keep track of $37 forever. If I sell, I have to give that to the buyer anyway, so if I give it to the guest, they go and have a nice dinner somewhere instead of grousing about how they still have money on their GC. Over $50, they might come back. Either way, the leftover money isn't really mine.
 

Scott

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Don Draper said:
...we do not expire our gift cards, and we accept credit card payment for them (which is how 99% of them are purchased), so we would lose $$ to give actual cash back.
And you lost money when they purchased the GC, as well (credit card processing fee). We don't ordinarily give cash, but a GC for the remaining value. If it is a very small (under $20) amount, we might consider cash back (cash, not cc credit), but generally have not needed to do so.
Scott
 

Don Draper

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Would selling GC for nights instead of amount take care of that?.
No, we used to sell for nights but rates change so you need to expire the gc's. It's been much better doing dollar amounts and not expiring them. This is the first time anyone's ever asked about it, and we're talking $13. She bought something from the gift shop instead. This just burns me a little bit, you just enjoyed a lovely stay completely free of charge to you, and you're going to get peevish over $13?
 

gillumhouse

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Because I am small I do GC by package or room night. If the rate goes up, it goes up. I only have one that went more than 2 years before being used. I take that back -2. One was a wedding gift and the GC burned in the house fire. It was by chance I was at a function with the receiver and she said things that told me it was with me - she could not remember which B & B. They did come. So I am not going to have to worry about cash back - and when I sell a GC it is also with tax.
 

Generic

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By law in Quebec any amount under $5 must be refunded in cash, if it's our own GC. But honestly, for a small amount, I would pay them in cash. If it's a larger amount, I might consider it, just for the goodwill. It's cash I've been sitting on, in the end, it costs me just the discount rate. $2 on a $100.
 

JBloggs

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Don how much were they asking back? That is a determining factor imo.
 

toddburme

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Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in.
 

Alibi Ike

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Would selling GC for nights instead of amount take care of that?.
Gingerbread Latte said:
Would selling GC for nights instead of amount take care of that?
The short answer is no. But the long answer is it depends. If your rates are pretty steady you could do it that way. We've had GC's come in 5 years later, tho, when rates have gone up quite a bit. OR, the buyer says, 'They'll come in the off season so I'll pay that rate.' Then you make out the GC for 'One night in XYZ room' and you're stuck giving it to them for the reduced price in season. (You could say 'off season only' of course.)
I've found it works easier to just write it out for a set amount. We try to make the amount close to what the guest would pay. We suggest certain amounts. $100, $150, $300. $200 is tough because it's halfway between a second night and if they stay one night, it's usually a refund of the difference. $250 is ok because if they stay one night, they have the rest as a balance toward the next time.
Which, even tho I said I do it, I don't care to do.
BTW, if the guest demanded a refund for over $50 I would tell them I can only deduct it from the cc used, no cash. Then they don't get the money, the purchaser does.
 

JBloggs

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Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in..
toddburme said:
Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in.
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping? We do not know anyones motivation. We do not know people at all. It is always a crap shoot when we make assumptions.
 

Don Draper

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Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in..
toddburme said:
Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in.
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping? We do not know anyones motivation. We do not know people at all. It is always a crap shoot when we make assumptions.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping?
Bless your heart! RIGHT.
 

Alibi Ike

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Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in..
toddburme said:
Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in.
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping? We do not know anyones motivation. We do not know people at all. It is always a crap shoot when we make assumptions.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping?
Would anyone make this suggestion to the guest? 'Would you like me to give the balance to the housekeeping staff?' It's an idea. Too bold? Too brash?
"Options for the balance of your gift card when under $x:
  • refund
  • put toward another room night
  • use in the gift shop
  • leave for housekeeping"
 

egoodell

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Would selling GC for nights instead of amount take care of that?.
Gingerbread Latte said:
Would selling GC for nights instead of amount take care of that?
The short answer is no. But the long answer is it depends. If your rates are pretty steady you could do it that way. We've had GC's come in 5 years later, tho, when rates have gone up quite a bit. OR, the buyer says, 'They'll come in the off season so I'll pay that rate.' Then you make out the GC for 'One night in XYZ room' and you're stuck giving it to them for the reduced price in season. (You could say 'off season only' of course.)
I've found it works easier to just write it out for a set amount. We try to make the amount close to what the guest would pay. We suggest certain amounts. $100, $150, $300. $200 is tough because it's halfway between a second night and if they stay one night, it's usually a refund of the difference. $250 is ok because if they stay one night, they have the rest as a balance toward the next time.
Which, even tho I said I do it, I don't care to do.
BTW, if the guest demanded a refund for over $50 I would tell them I can only deduct it from the cc used, no cash. Then they don't get the money, the purchaser does.
.
Alibi Ike said:
Gingerbread Latte said:
Would selling GC for nights instead of amount take care of that?
The short answer is no. But the long answer is it depends. If your rates are pretty steady you could do it that way. We've had GC's come in 5 years later, tho, when rates have gone up quite a bit. OR, the buyer says, 'They'll come in the off season so I'll pay that rate.' Then you make out the GC for 'One night in XYZ room' and you're stuck giving it to them for the reduced price in season. (You could say 'off season only' of course.)
I've found it works easier to just write it out for a set amount. We try to make the amount close to what the guest would pay. We suggest certain amounts. $100, $150, $300. $200 is tough because it's halfway between a second night and if they stay one night, it's usually a refund of the difference. $250 is ok because if they stay one night, they have the rest as a balance toward the next time.
Which, even tho I said I do it, I don't care to do.
BTW, if the guest demanded a refund for over $50 I would tell them I can only deduct it from the cc used, no cash. Then they don't get the money, the purchaser does.
We make our gift certificates for the night and guarantee the vlaue against any rate increases for one year. That way down the road if they show up with an old one they will have to pay the difference. And we can tell the buyer when we retire exactly what out outstanding GCs are worth.
RIki
 

Breakfast Diva

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Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in..
toddburme said:
Remember I do not do the day to day innnkeeping, I would have refunded it. The charge on the $13 is not worth the ill will. We do not have a gift shop either so that weighs in.
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping? We do not know anyones motivation. We do not know people at all. It is always a crap shoot when we make assumptions.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping?
Would anyone make this suggestion to the guest? 'Would you like me to give the balance to the housekeeping staff?' It's an idea. Too bold? Too brash?
"Options for the balance of your gift card when under $x:
  • refund
  • put toward another room night
  • use in the gift shop
  • leave for housekeeping"
.
Alibi Ike said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Ah $13 was the amount? Maybe they wanted to leave it in the room for housekeeping?
Would anyone make this suggestion to the guest? 'Would you like me to give the balance to the housekeeping staff?' It's an idea. Too bold? Too brash?
"Options for the balance of your gift card when under $x:
  • refund
  • put toward another room night
  • use in the gift shop
  • leave for housekeeping"
Use in the gift shop.
 

Samster

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For a purchased gift certificate, absolutely. Otherwise it's just a bookkeeping hassle.
Most of our gift certificates sold never covered the entire stay with taxes, so it was never an issue for us.
Donated stay, no way.
 

Don Draper

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It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet.
 

Alibi Ike

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It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet..
Don Draper said:
It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet.
I don't pay any attention to the balances, either, they're all on my rez software and I can get a report whenever I need one. What's a hassle arises when selling. And here I'm supposed to turn in any outstanding GC monies to the state after 4 years. So, in cases like that it becomes a hassle keeping track of what monies are due to the state. (And then getting that money back when/if the GC shows up here to be used!)
When we bought we asked for payment of outstanding GC's from the PO's. We ended up with a fair number of valid GC's showing up that we hadn't been paid for. I'd rather not deal with this on the selling end. If I can zero out the balance by giving the guest $30 it's worth it to me for multiple reasons.
I look at outstanding balances that are not full GC's as some sort of bill I owe. I don't like the feeling!
 

Don Draper

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It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet..
Don Draper said:
It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet.
I don't pay any attention to the balances, either, they're all on my rez software and I can get a report whenever I need one. What's a hassle arises when selling. And here I'm supposed to turn in any outstanding GC monies to the state after 4 years. So, in cases like that it becomes a hassle keeping track of what monies are due to the state. (And then getting that money back when/if the GC shows up here to be used!)
When we bought we asked for payment of outstanding GC's from the PO's. We ended up with a fair number of valid GC's showing up that we hadn't been paid for. I'd rather not deal with this on the selling end. If I can zero out the balance by giving the guest $30 it's worth it to me for multiple reasons.
I look at outstanding balances that are not full GC's as some sort of bill I owe. I don't like the feeling!
.
Alibi Ike said:
And here I'm supposed to turn in any outstanding GC monies to the state after 4 years. So, in cases like that it becomes a hassle keeping track of what monies are due to the state. (And then getting that money back when/if the GC shows up here to be used!)
I get around this by not expiring them, that way they're always valid. I understand what you're staying about selling, it's definitely something to consider if you're going to be doing that in the near future. Although the way things are looking how will any of us ever sell, because how can anyone get financing to buy? Banks are a very dirty word in this house right now.
 

Alibi Ike

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It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet..
Don Draper said:
It's not a hassle at all for us to keep track of GC's if there should be a remaining balance, it's all on an Excel spreadsheet.
I don't pay any attention to the balances, either, they're all on my rez software and I can get a report whenever I need one. What's a hassle arises when selling. And here I'm supposed to turn in any outstanding GC monies to the state after 4 years. So, in cases like that it becomes a hassle keeping track of what monies are due to the state. (And then getting that money back when/if the GC shows up here to be used!)
When we bought we asked for payment of outstanding GC's from the PO's. We ended up with a fair number of valid GC's showing up that we hadn't been paid for. I'd rather not deal with this on the selling end. If I can zero out the balance by giving the guest $30 it's worth it to me for multiple reasons.
I look at outstanding balances that are not full GC's as some sort of bill I owe. I don't like the feeling!
.
Alibi Ike said:
And here I'm supposed to turn in any outstanding GC monies to the state after 4 years. So, in cases like that it becomes a hassle keeping track of what monies are due to the state. (And then getting that money back when/if the GC shows up here to be used!)
I get around this by not expiring them, that way they're always valid. I understand what you're staying about selling, it's definitely something to consider if you're going to be doing that in the near future. Although the way things are looking how will any of us ever sell, because how can anyone get financing to buy? Banks are a very dirty word in this house right now.
.
Ours never expire. State law. If they did expire I could just keep the money after x years! I do know the PO's put expiry dates on the GC's because we've gotten some of them 2-3 years after they expired. But, we got paid for them, so no problem honoring them.
There's a reason right there to change the name of the business when you buy.
 
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