Worthless Gift Cards

Everyone got a lot of gift cards at Christmas, no doubt, but some of those are already worthless and others are about to be.

The Shaper Image gift cards, for instance, aren't worth the plastic they were made with now and others could get wiped out too. There are over $1 billion in gift cards floating around at any given time and many of them are at risk of becoming worthless this year. Why?

Sharper Image filed bankruptcy and that killed their gift card responsibility. As more businesses file bankruptcy this year, more cards are at greater risk than ever before. The moral? Use it or lose it, folks.

In February Sharper Image announced that acceptance of gift cards was being suspended. Kaput. Out of luck. Worthless.

Consumers spent an estimated $26 billion on gift cards last holiday season and $24 the year before, according to the National Retail Federation.

So is there a big risk of gift cards in your pocket becoming worthless? The number of retailer bankruptcies this year is forecast to rech the highest levels in 17 years - ever since since the 1991 recession. Who says we aren't in a recession?

Some estimates are that shoppers could lose more than $75 million just from stores and restaurant closing in 2008. And that doesn't include smaller local stores and retailers and service providers. What can you do?

Be careful. Your best best is to avoid the "branded" gift cards and only buy a Mastercard or Visa or American Express gift card. Like their credit cards, they are more universal than the smaller company gift cards anyway and you've got a company behind the plastic that is much more likely to be around next year.

Burdge Law Office
www. Burdge Law .com
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves Since 1978

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.