The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift – A Day at a Spa
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and many of you may be considering what to get your mother. A Spa Gift Card or Spa Gift Certificate is a great gift. It helps to minimize stress for your mother and it helps her to feel good about herself. Mom can choose from facials that reverse the hands of time, to body treatments that will tighten and tone those cellulite thighs.
Mother’s Day – A Day at The Spa
Mothers Day is Sunday, May 10th. A day at the spa is the perfect gift for any mom on Mother’s Day. It combines all the aspects of a mini-vacation, a pampered outing, a day of beauty, and the time to simply relax without interruptions into one memorable escape. Depending on your budget, you can choose a day spa for a day or up to a week away at a resort. Better yet, why not join her. If you are a husband wanting to thank your wife for raising your children or a daughter wanting to have a mother-daughter getaway, the spa offers something for everyone.
Being a mother is a very demanding job. It requires the ability to multitask and you are on call 24 hours a day. In addition, many moms also work or volunteer their services for the benefit of their children. Basically mothers have a 24 hour 7 day a week job, consisting of being a cook, cleaner, chauffeur, mentor, negotiator, personal shopper, personal assistant, caregiver, medical assistant, school tutor and best friend to name a few.
The daily stresses of life take a toll on all of us, and that is especially true of busy mothers. Spas offer an opportunity to relax with a massage, detoxifying wrap, or fabulous facial. Imagine how much a mother you know will enjoy a full day away. A day where everyone will be taken care of, she can turn off the cell phone, and not have to worry about getting lunch or dinner for anyone.
That is why a day out at a spa is one of the most perfect gifts that anyone can get for the mother in their life on Mother’s Day; not only will she get to enjoy an entire day truly on vacation, but while doing so she has the opportunity to be pampered and achieve a real sense of relaxation. If you are not sure what Mom would enjoy, then buy her a Visa or American Express gift card and let her choose her spa passion at her favorite spa.
The Perfect Gift
Spa Gift Card or Gift Certificate seems to be a wonderful gift. Before you purchase that Spa Gift Card or order that on-line spa gift certificate with the ease of last-minute printing from your computer, there are a few things that you should know before you make that purchase.
Many spas nationwide won’t make it through the coming year. All of this means that you need to do your homework prior to purchasing a spa gift card or printing a spa gift certificate. This does not just apply to spa gift cards, it is ANY gift card.
This year Spavelous has covered many spa closings. Some of the owners have made announcements of their closing so you could get in and redeem your gift certificates prior to them locking the doors. Some spas have made arrangements with other spas in the area to redeem them, and then there were some unscrupulous spa owners that locked their doors and cleaned the place out in the middle of the night. Spavelous puts a plea out to all spa owners to do the ethical thing. If you are experiencing a challenging time, STOP selling gift cards and online gift certificates, contact your clients to encourage them to use the cards they have, and if you need to close the doors, make arrangements with a local spa to redeem your gift cards.
Planning to buy gift cards? Limit your risk
Here are a few more tips to limit your risk when buying a spa gift card:
- Follow the news: Even if you’re convinced your favorite retailer or spa is solid, pay attention to its business anyway. You don’t have to analyze its quarterly earnings statement, but you may want to follow news about layoffs, store closings, and cash-flow problems.
- Pay with a credit card: You’ll have a better chance of recouping your money if the worst happens.
- Consider bank-sponsored gift cards: Sales of cards issued by a bank or credit card company such as Visa and MasterCard are on the rise because they can be used nearly anywhere and for anything, even gas and groceries.
- Consider purchasing from a spa that uses PayPal printable gift certificates. Paypal holds the funds for a year before they release them to the business.
If purchasing a card and discover the spa may be closing:
- Take it back: Although most don’t have card return policies, it’s worth a shot. Do the same if you used a third-party retailer, such as Costco, a supermarket, or drugstore. Your chances are better if you kept your receipt and return it quickly.
- File a claim with your credit card issuer: If you purchased a card with credit, your card company may refund the value. MasterCard says customers can receive charge-backs. Visa, on the other hand, recommends customers first try resolving problems with the retailer, then, if unsuccessful, contact their bank. American Express spokeswoman Mona Hamouly says bankruptcy disputes are handled on a case-by-case basis. “We do take the responsibility of resolving the situation with the merchant rather than leaving the cardholder hanging and filling out paperwork.” AmEx offered help to customers with Sharper Image cards, even when the submission was beyond the 60-day limit for challenging card charges. Coincidentally, Sharper Image cards were part of AmEx’s membership reward programs. Neither AmEx, Visa nor MasterCard have current plans to change policies on offering retailer gift cards in reward programs.
- Swap for another card: Those who bought gift cards at Internet sites that let you buy, sell and swap them may be covered by bankruptcy insurance policies and not even realize it. LeverageCard.com says it will transfer unredeemable balances to gift cards from stable retailers. A $50 Circuit Card recently could be swapped for equal-amount cards from five retailers, including Home Depot and Bloomingdale’s. GiftCardRescue.com reimburses for any unused card value. Claims should be submitted within 30 to 60 days of retailer bankruptcy and, of course, they’re only good for cards bought on the sites.
- Use it immediately: Historically, only a third of giftees use cards within 30 days of receiving them. “In this economy, however, use it as soon as you get it, even if the store hasn’t filed,” says Twohig, who admits she has two unused gift cards still sitting at home.
- Call the retailer: If the company has filed for bankruptcy, call the nearest spa and ask if it is accepting the competitor’s cards. If you’re too far a drive from a spa, or if it’s an online retailer, call the company and ask if cards are redeemable on its website.
- Sell it online: Putting it on eBay is an option if your card is for a spa with no spas near you. Because gift card fraud is not uncommon on auction sites, be upfront about the card’s value, expiration date, and other restrictions. Also, be aware you’ll lose some money in commission fees.
- Check with competitors: A retailer’s rivals may offer to redeem at least some of the value.
- If all else fails, go to court: If you have a high-value card or just feel like fighting for justice, you can file as an unsecured creditor. You should file a “proof of claim” document with the specific bankruptcy court the retailer filed in. (That information should be listed on the company’s Web site, or you can call and ask for it.) Include a photocopy of the card and any information about its value. File before the mandated deadline. Keep an eye on the legal process. If it files for “liquidation” through Chapter 7, there probably won’t be assets to pay off most, if any, gift cards. Some bankruptcy courts consider gift cards to be “consumer deposits” that are entitled to unsecured creditor priority over some other claims, but not all courts follow suit.
- Protest to the government. “It’s a good idea to contact your state attorney general because that may start some new consumer protection,” says Kwame Kuadey, CEO of GiftCardRescue and author of GiftCardBlogger. “It can especially work with small, local retailers.” He cites a recent success story in Missouri, where more than 300 consumers with worthless gift cards from a bankrupt St. Louis spa filed complaints with the attorney general’s office, which got spa owners to pay $103,000 to redeem the cards. As retailers keep faltering nationwide, more attorney general offices are banding together against bad redemption policies.
Enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day!