Christmas is here and that means gifts. Of course we all enjoy spending time with the family, seeing relatives and enjoying some down time but … like I said, we get gifts. I love gifts.
It seems nowadays my Santa sack is nowhere near as bulky as my childhood memory remembers it. I think this new slimmer form is less from fad dieting and more a direct result of the popularity gift vouchers are enjoying today and I can see why. They are a great way to ensure our money isn’t wasted on something that the receiver doesn’t want or need – we’ve all gotten those gifts (no, really mum, I love that vase )
Gift cards and vouchers are a photographer’s best friend … er… gift. We’re able to get what we really want – photography gear, equipment, courses, and the list goes on.
Let’s be honest, our families often have no clue about photography especially about what we’d really like to learn in relation to courses or what gear we want, therefore they really don’t know where to start buying for us.
Many head to Mr Google, he has become a good friend, and while it does often cut out the middleman you can also be ripped off. Before we go requesting vouchers from Santa we should be aware of the pitfalls to safeguard yourself whether you shop online or in a bricks’n’mortar store. We call it ‘awareness insurance’.
To minimise the risk:
Ask if gift vouchers can be combined from one outlet to get larger purchases – that’s one big pressie! Like a Bluedog trip to Vanuatu that one lucky person has been bought by a group of friends and relatives this year.
Always try to use the voucher as soon as possible (which for me is never a problem – I have the list all ready to go)
Look for a gift voucher that has a clear expiry policy – and use it before it expires, no second chances on this policy.
While most of us hate fine print, indeed some of us are lucky to be able to even see the fine print these days, it is worth giving it a quick look. It generally covers the details about such things as what happens to the unused portion. Where and when you can use it and what happens if you accidentally wash it in those favourite jeans pocket or the dog eats it ... well these things can happen.
Do your research! Read reviews, ask advice. It’s a bit like buying a new car you need to kick the tyres so to speak. And only deal with reputable sellers – these will have a physical address.
Common problems occur with buying online such as delivery delays and poor after sales service. Not to mention the product does not match the description offered by the seller or your credit card is misused. A good tip here is to have one credit card for on line purchases with a low limit.
Don’t judge an online retailer by their website – just because it looks good does not mean it is safe, though an old and outdated website should also ring alarm bells.
Here’s a couple of tech tips you can do with your computer to safeguard your online purchasing:
1. Ensure your computer has the latest updates from your operating system provider.
2. Download the most recent version of your browser to stay up to date with encryption capabilities.
3. Install a firewall, virus scanner and spyware detector.
Now that we have given you a few useful hints, it’s time for a little plug. Why not hint to Santa to consider a Bluedog Photography Gift Voucher. It is valid for 12 months and can be made out to any amount and guess what? If it does go through the wash, gets thrown out with all the Christmas wrapping or the dog does eat it, that is no problem at all. All voucher are kept on file so you can always reclaim them AND as a special bonus this year everyone buying a voucher and the person they buy for go in a draw to win a $100 canvas print voucher from WOW Prints!
Gotta love giving :)
Merry Christmas and happy shopping to all!
Just thought of another reason Bluedog Photography vouchers are so great for Chrissy – no searching for a car park in a crowded shopping centre :)