Lots of people received prepaid gift cards during the 2009 holiday season. Unfortunately, many of those people will end up wasting money because they won’t use all of the funds on the gift card. Here’s one way you can make sure to use every last penny on those cards you received.
During the holidays, many of us read articles covering two important aspects of gift cards: one, that gift cards generate almost $100 Billion in sales and two, that Billions of dollars of the consumer’s money will never be used. Often these articles offer solutions, describing how unwanted cards can be sold on eBay (check it out you’ll see thousands of listings) and listed the plethora of arbitrage services.
A study was done suggesting that consumers lose ~18% of a card’s value on eBay and the arbitrage sites publicly state they purchase cards for discounts up to 30 & 40% meaning the consumer can lose 30 to 40%. Ultimately these studies strongly encourage all of us to remember our gift cards and to use them quickly. Research shows the longer we wait, the higher the chance we will never use the cards. Even improved gift card legislation will do little for those of who ultimately forget about our cards.
Tango Card is a technology provider in the gift card area and is the first company whose primary focus is helping people use all of the value on their gift cards. The company provides a range of free services that help consumers remember and use their gift cards.
Here’s how Tango Card works. Consumers visit www.tangocard.com, register to become a member, and record their gift card information. Tango Card provides a list of “supported” retailers in a drop-down menu. In many cases, Tango Card provides gift card balances automatically. If the member has gift cards that are not in the drop-down list, they can record their card using a generic “Tango Card” placeholder. According to the CEO of Tango Card, David Leeds, consumers have been great at telling Tango Card firstname.lastname@example.org about retailers they would like to see added. As a result, the list of supported merchants continues to grow.
Once registered, Tango Card’s Value Management platform takes over. Once a quarter, Tango Card sends a proactive email to its members reminding them of the gift cards they have. This email acts as a catalyst for members to use their cards. Through affiliate agreements Tango Card has with many retailers, consumers can click right from their accounts and use the value from one or multiple cards. Consumers have used these services to purchase everything from holiday champagne from wine.com to HP laptops from Walmart to flower baskets from 1-800 flowers. In almost every case to date, the consumer has used 100% of their gift card value in these purchases.
Tango Card provides a mobile application for iPhone users. This is especially powerful for users who may want access to their cards while traveling, while visiting a retailer, or when recording a gift card they have just received. Members can access their gift card information from the web or iPhone using one set of login credentials.
According to David Leeds, in 2010, Tango Card will launch of number of enhancements to these and other services. Additionally, we will offer a focused set of elite retailer gift cards, retailers truly focused on customer service and satisfaction. We will also launch a number of truly revolutionary services that we can’t yet talk about. In the meantime, happy shopping and enjoy using your gift cards.