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Is it popular to buy gift cards? 2009/6/5 12:51
Is it popular to buy gift cards in Japan? What are the common terms & conditions that we need to be aware of?
by jccd  

gift cards 2009/6/5 14:22
Gift certificates and gift cards are not unheard of but it is probably more common to give cash in the form of crisp new bills enclosed in an envelope.

Many of the large chain stores offer gift certificates if you prefer them. JCB (a credit card company) sell ones that can be used wherever their credit cards are accepted. I've also received ones for Yamada Denki, and often give Starbuck's Cards as gifts myself.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

yes 2009/6/5 15:42

If you are talking about what we call Gift Card (gifuto-kaado) in Japan, where for example, a 500 hundred yen worth coupon will allow the user to purchase anything worth that price, yes, it is extremely common to buy them.

Quite often, cash is considered as something "too obvious" so just to show modesty, the sender would purchase Gift Cards and send these Cards to someone as a means of celebration or appreciation.

However, note that it is not common to present Gift Cards to the receptionist at funerals or weddings if you are the guest. On the other hand, hosts of funerals and weddings should not give cash to gifts, and therefore Gift Cards are often given instead to show appreciation for their participation.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

gc 2009/6/5 16:07
Uco makes a good point that it depends on the occasion. Do you have one in mind, or have an idea of a gift card you would like to get? Perhaps you could get more specific answers on terms and conditions then.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Present to Elderly relative 2009/6/5 17:17
Thanks everyone.

It is for the 60th birthday of a relative and I want to be sure that a) it is appropriate and b) the T&C just in case she is not sure what to do with the electronic GC and/or needs to refund or if GC has any restrictions.

The older generation may not fully understand how the electronic gift cards work.

by jccd rate this post as useful

... 2009/6/5 18:37
Are you thinking of sending her an electronic gift card from outside Japan?

Electronic gift cards are not as popular as "(paper-based) gift card/gift certificates" in Japan, except for online shop-specific gift vouchers sent via e-mail. So unless you send her some electronic voucher redeemable at a shop that you KNOW she shops at online, it is likely that the recipient may not know what to do with it. The way I undersand it, above posts have been talking about gift vouchers and gift certificates, the common ones in Japan being paper-based.

If you are thinking of sending someone in Japan an all-purpose electronic gift card, meaning, a piece of plastic with pre-loaded amount on it, and maybe it comes with a Visa logo or something? You need to explain what it is, how you use it (virtually it should be usable at all locations, for example, Visa is accepted), etc. I know in some countries you can buy those plastic electronic gift cards at grocery stores and convenience stores, but those haven't materialized in Japan yet :)
by AK rate this post as useful

gift 2009/6/6 02:39
why not send an international Money order that you buy in a post office? "older" generations are used to money orders and they are easy to cash.
Of course you should enclose a written card with it...
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

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