Will you be giving anyone this HOT gift this year?

Gift cards are yet again expected to be among the hottest gifts of the year.  This should come as no surprise considering the myriad conveniences of gift cards as opposed to other items, both for the buyer and seller.

When it comes to the buyer, he or she doesn't have to worry about the item not fitting the recipient or possibly breaking on the drive home. It's also nice not to have to stuff cash or a check in an envelope, which, studies show, people are more likely to misplace.

The person who receives the gift has the freedom to use the gift card to buy whatever item(s) he or she desires, provided that the total doesn't exceed the amount on the card.

The only time a gift card becomes an inconvenience is when the retailer(s) listed on the card are those you wouldn't be caught dead shopping at. For example, how would you feel if you, a vegetarian, received a $50 Burger King gift card?

Before giving anyone a card, consumers should make sure the recipient regularly shops at the given merchant(s). Otherwise, it's safe to say he or she may regift your card.

Gift cards continue to be highly popular for a reason. I either give or receive at least one card every year. As long as consumers clamor for them, retailers will continue to improve their bottom line.

Do you buy or receive gift cards each year? Do you find them convenient?

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