If you aren’t offering them, you’re missing out on a real opportunity. [level-members]
Gift cards are a great way for people to buy something for that person “who has everything.” It’s not uncommon for someone who knows little about wine (or guitars or cycling gear or …) to be shopping for someone who is really knowledgeable and passionate. That’s intimidating.
The gift card, though certainly lacking the romance of a personally-selected gift, is frequently even more greatly appreciated because the recipient gets exactly what he or she wants. No feigning appreciation. No returning things on the sly.
Offer the cards in convenient denominations, as well as custom amounts for folks who know exactly how much they want to gift. Be generous in your expiration policies. Better to deal with the accounting hassle than to turn off your best customers.
Be sure to check local regulations for wine-specific rules on gift cards, and check with your accountant for how to properly track the income and expenses related to the cards.
And here’s an added bonus for you as a retailer: whatever costs you incur in printing and administering the gift cards is nearly always covered – and then some – by the gift cards that are never redeemed.