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Morticia

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I love selling gift certificates in the long, cold off season. I hate when they all come in the same week! 3 full stay GC's redeemed this week. Ugh.
 

Don Draper

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I just had the very same thought! We have a bunch coming in this week...I'm trying to remember that warm, fuzzy feeling when they were sold in December..
 

EmptyNest

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Yeah, you just have to keep reminding yourself.."I have already used their money!" :)
 

muirford

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I just had the very same thought! We have a bunch coming in this week...I'm trying to remember that warm, fuzzy feeling when they were sold in December..
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We only sold about half as many in December as we usually sell. I have consoled myself with the notion that the revenue will look better this year when I'm not redeeming them on an October weekend.
 

Proud Texan

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Keep in mind that we've only been in business since August of 2008....we've sold quite a few gift certificates, but so far only one has been redeemed. We put a one-year expiration on them to protect us from whatever unforeseen reason that might crop up in the future such as rate increases, etc.
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates.
 

Morticia

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Keep in mind that we've only been in business since August of 2008....we've sold quite a few gift certificates, but so far only one has been redeemed. We put a one-year expiration on them to protect us from whatever unforeseen reason that might crop up in the future such as rate increases, etc.
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates..
Proud Texan said:
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates.
State law here forbids expiration dates on paid gift certificates. On donated ones, ok, but not when someone has paid me money. So, no expirys on my GC's.
That said, I don't have any outstanding beyond 1-2 years. I now write them for a dollar amount vs a specific room. So, if rates go up, the person just pays the difference between what they received as a gift and what the room costs. (Yesterday they paid $21...the tax...and that's it.) Tonight's guests rec'd the GC a month ago so the person who bought it booked the room at the time she purchased the GC, so the GC is the exact amount. But I don't do that often.
 

Don Draper

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Keep in mind that we've only been in business since August of 2008....we've sold quite a few gift certificates, but so far only one has been redeemed. We put a one-year expiration on them to protect us from whatever unforeseen reason that might crop up in the future such as rate increases, etc.
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates..
We do exactly the same as Bree...we used to do "Two nights in the Jones Room" but kept having folks try to use expired certificates. Our state prohibits expiring gc's so we changed and now only do a fixed dollar amount. So now I can write "Does Not Expire" across the expiration line on our gc's...this is a good selling point for the people who are purchasing the gc.
 

muirford

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Keep in mind that we've only been in business since August of 2008....we've sold quite a few gift certificates, but so far only one has been redeemed. We put a one-year expiration on them to protect us from whatever unforeseen reason that might crop up in the future such as rate increases, etc.
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates..
Proud Texan said:
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates.
We do, but due to legality (most states govern the expiration of gift certificates and some require them to be valid forever) we say that if used past the expiration date we will deduct $10 from the value of the gift certificate for administration costs. We now only sell them in dollar amounts as well - we used to sell an 'any night' gift certificate.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I don't offer gift certificates because I don't want the headache of keeping track of them. I have accepted the bedandbreakfast.com gift cards but I am curious if anyone has accepted bnbfinder.com or iloveinns.com gift certificates. I know the last two take a smaller commission than bedandbreakfast.com so they sounded better. What does everyone else think about accepting these?
 

JBloggs

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I don't offer gift certificates because I don't want the headache of keeping track of them. I have accepted the bedandbreakfast.com gift cards but I am curious if anyone has accepted bnbfinder.com or iloveinns.com gift certificates. I know the last two take a smaller commission than bedandbreakfast.com so they sounded better. What does everyone else think about accepting these?.
oceans said:
I don't offer gift certificates because I don't want the headache of keeping track of them. I have accepted the bedandbreakfast.com gift cards but I am curious if anyone has accepted bnbfinder.com or iloveinns.com gift certificates. I know the last two take a smaller commission than bedandbreakfast.com so they sounded better. What does everyone else think about accepting these?
Yes to BnBfinder and they are great to deal with. My only hopes in accepting these are they will book a three night stay on a one night gc. This is - in my location - and against all that BandB.com says - not true here. We get one night GC on a one night GC and they break up a weekend etc etc. They NEVER spend more here than the face value of the GC, so deduct the 20% and it isn't a win win like we are told it is. I want new peoiple to experience BnB's but when they are given for anniv or wedding gifts, the recipients are typically not BnB people...you know the rest of the story.
 

Don Draper

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I don't offer gift certificates because I don't want the headache of keeping track of them. I have accepted the bedandbreakfast.com gift cards but I am curious if anyone has accepted bnbfinder.com or iloveinns.com gift certificates. I know the last two take a smaller commission than bedandbreakfast.com so they sounded better. What does everyone else think about accepting these?.
We have had good luck with both bnbfinder.com and iloveinns.com gc's. They take only a 10% commission, and in general the "type" of guests have been good for us. In general though, like Joe Bloggs says, most gc recipients are only looking to use the gc, not spend any extra.
Only down side to these two registeries is they send you a physical check for reimbursement, so slower than bedandbreakfast.com
 

Samster

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Keep in mind that we've only been in business since August of 2008....we've sold quite a few gift certificates, but so far only one has been redeemed. We put a one-year expiration on them to protect us from whatever unforeseen reason that might crop up in the future such as rate increases, etc.
I'm curious to know if any of you put such restrictions on you gift certificates..
I have only sold one gift certificate and put an expiration date out one year from the sale date mostly to remind them to use it. I feel that it has to be honored as long as you're in business since you've already taken their money. I only do monetary amounts.
I've donated one gift certificate to a non-profit and it was supposed to be for a specific date as it was part of a theatre-B&B package. The person that bought it called me and told me that they had a snafu with a babysitter and had to forfeit the theatre tickets. I told him that I changed the note in my rez system for the gift certifcate and made it expire a year from the fundraising event when it was purchased. Seemed like the right thing to do, plus they are only 90 minutes away and come here fairly often. Might garner some goodwill down the road

 

Morticia

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And the folks who just arrived? No GC. They don't know what they did with it. And they can't climb stairs, so they have to have another room. But they wanted the king bed. Hubs is handling it. More than likely they already used the bathroom in the room they booked and they are now switching rooms. Hubs is hauling their things to another room. They are like 80 years old.
 

Don Draper

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And the folks who just arrived? No GC. They don't know what they did with it. And they can't climb stairs, so they have to have another room. But they wanted the king bed. Hubs is handling it. More than likely they already used the bathroom in the room they booked and they are now switching rooms. Hubs is hauling their things to another room. They are like 80 years old..
Here's to having a great partner willing to handle the snags today! It's nice to trade off...I'm glad it's not my day to be "on"!
 

Proud Texan

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And the folks who just arrived? No GC. They don't know what they did with it. And they can't climb stairs, so they have to have another room. But they wanted the king bed. Hubs is handling it. More than likely they already used the bathroom in the room they booked and they are now switching rooms. Hubs is hauling their things to another room. They are like 80 years old..
Do you not require them to send you the gift certificate to hold the room?
I'd hate to book a room for some dufus, they not show up, I've lost a potential booking because the room was reserved for them and they still have the gift certifcate.
I suppose at that point you just cancel the gift certificate, but now you have to keep up with the dang thing.
 

Morticia

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And the folks who just arrived? No GC. They don't know what they did with it. And they can't climb stairs, so they have to have another room. But they wanted the king bed. Hubs is handling it. More than likely they already used the bathroom in the room they booked and they are now switching rooms. Hubs is hauling their things to another room. They are like 80 years old..
Do you not require them to send you the gift certificate to hold the room?
I'd hate to book a room for some dufus, they not show up, I've lost a potential booking because the room was reserved for them and they still have the gift certifcate.
I suppose at that point you just cancel the gift certificate, but now you have to keep up with the dang thing.
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No, I take a cc number in case they don't show, but I do not require they send the GC in advance. What we do in this situation (which may actually be our fault) is to print out a copy of the GC and have the guest sign it. In our booking system the room is paid for with the GC so it is now removed from the booking system and cannot be used by another guest. If someone were to show up at the door with it, I have the real guest's signature to show it has been used.
However, due to their advanced years, we did upgrade their room so they do not have to climb stairs and we did not charge them for that. (The original GC said 'Happy 80th Birthday Mom!')
Serious doubts this couple will ever be back, but who knows, I have a guest who keeps coming back on her b'day and last year she was 90! They may tell all their friends back home what a great time they had, or at least tell the 'kids' who gave them the GC!
And because it isn't peak season, a little manoeuvering around is possible.
Because of our booking system, it is easy for me to keep up with GC's. I can pull a report of any GC still outstanding, who it is for and how long it has been hanging around. Ditto a report on which ones have been used and for what reservation. Now, I realize that not everyone has that kind of guest mgmt software but we used to do this with 3x5 cards. When the guest arrived, we stapled the 3x5 card to the rez sheet and removed it from inventory. No 3x5 card? GC has been used. Pretty simple.
Even with the computer-based system I still write out the 3x5 card with all of the details on it. Who gave the GC, who received it, address, etc. And now that I've reminded myself of that, I just pulled the 2 3x5 cards that have already checked in because they have the cc receipt attached. So, that's how I store the cc receipts until the guest shows up. One receipt gets mailed to the buyer and the usual one for payment gets attached to the 3x5 card to await arrival of the guest.
 

Sanderling

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I don't offer gift certificates because I don't want the headache of keeping track of them. I have accepted the bedandbreakfast.com gift cards but I am curious if anyone has accepted bnbfinder.com or iloveinns.com gift certificates. I know the last two take a smaller commission than bedandbreakfast.com so they sounded better. What does everyone else think about accepting these?.
We have had good luck with both bnbfinder.com and iloveinns.com gc's. They take only a 10% commission, and in general the "type" of guests have been good for us. In general though, like Joe Bloggs says, most gc recipients are only looking to use the gc, not spend any extra.
Only down side to these two registeries is they send you a physical check for reimbursement, so slower than bedandbreakfast.com
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Hi -- this is Mary from BnBFinder.com with a quick clarification. We pay innkeepers daily by check or direct deposit (you choose which form of payment you want when you redeem the certificate).
 

JBloggs

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I don't offer gift certificates because I don't want the headache of keeping track of them. I have accepted the bedandbreakfast.com gift cards but I am curious if anyone has accepted bnbfinder.com or iloveinns.com gift certificates. I know the last two take a smaller commission than bedandbreakfast.com so they sounded better. What does everyone else think about accepting these?.
We have had good luck with both bnbfinder.com and iloveinns.com gc's. They take only a 10% commission, and in general the "type" of guests have been good for us. In general though, like Joe Bloggs says, most gc recipients are only looking to use the gc, not spend any extra.
Only down side to these two registeries is they send you a physical check for reimbursement, so slower than bedandbreakfast.com
.
Hi -- this is Mary from BnBFinder.com with a quick clarification. We pay innkeepers daily by check or direct deposit (you choose which form of payment you want when you redeem the certificate).
.
Sanderling said:
Hi -- this is Mary from BnBFinder.com with a quick clarification. We pay innkeepers daily by check or direct deposit (you choose which form of payment you want when you redeem the certificate).
Hello Mary, thanks for the clarification. I hadn't had one for a while, but thought it was direct deposit, and no hassles. Thank you for that.
 

JBloggs

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Question for you all - do you feel cheated if a guest is upgraded at no extra cost to them? See for me, unless the house is full and someone could have paid for that higher priced room, who cares? The guests are happy and that makes me happy. We often move guests to other rooms for various reasons, we get the same revenue from the deal and no one is put out by it.
 

Morticia

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Question for you all - do you feel cheated if a guest is upgraded at no extra cost to them? See for me, unless the house is full and someone could have paid for that higher priced room, who cares? The guests are happy and that makes me happy. We often move guests to other rooms for various reasons, we get the same revenue from the deal and no one is put out by it..
You know, the only time I would say I feel 'cheated' is when the guest does something really idiotic after getting the upgrade. I think then, 'Yeesh this is what I get for being nice!' OR, that's the EXACT room the walk-in wants! But, I don't upgrade if I don't want to, so it's always my choice to do so.
Really idioitc includes going into the original room and using the bathroom, leaving the gas fireplace running all day and night with the windows open, stuff like that.
 
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