Consumer’s Guide To Downloadable Gifts


But the recipient needs to be fairly tech-savvy. To redeem the gift, the recipient actually pays for it herself, then goes online at the shop with her smartphone to get the same amount reimbursed to a credit or debit card she registers with Giftly. (To get around the little matter of not everyone owning a smartphone, the startup is also working on a prepaid debit card that only works at the locations specified on the Giftly.)

More information at or

With many of these options, one of the biggest challenges is timing. In some cases, the only way to give a gift on the first night of Hanukkah or Christmas morning is to dash to the computer at the right moment to hit send.

But even for the most tech-savvy on your gift list, you might be better served making the presentation more traditional, says Tracy Tuten, an associate marketing professor at East Carolina University who has made giftgiving research her specialty. That’s because all the emotions that make gifts an important part of relationships happen when you hand over the neatly wrapped package and not when the person is actually getting thepedicure you bought for her with a Groupon.

And while teenagers may be the earliest adopters, buying them a gift that can be sent straight to their smartphones comes with the same pitfalls as any other type of gift, Tuten says. It must walk the line between proving you have made an effort to understand who they are and what they like, and giving them enough choice that they don’t feel boxed in.

Sorry, technology hasn’t fixed that problem yet.

<< previous 1 2 3 4

Posted by on Dec 1st, 2011 and filed under American Street Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed