Holiday Deals? More Like Shipping Rip-offs

by Kerry Martin

Ahh, it’s that time of year again … time to be bombarded with emails promising the lowest prices of the year on the best gifts for your friends and family.  From free gifts with purchase to ‘all-you-can-stuff-in-a-bag’ discounts, some of these sales can be mighty tempting.  But in my inbox today I saw something that made me scratch my head at an offer that was quite puzzling.

Subject:           FREE GROUND SHIPPING With Holiday Gift Card Offer!

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I’ll admit, adding the extra $20 is a great deal, but is Texas de Brazil really trying to insult my intelligence by offering “free ground shipping” on a gift card?  Unless these gift cards come in a giant box with steak knives, I fail to see how sending an envelope with a plastic card through the mail would translate to some kind of savings for the consumer.

That’s when I did some digging to find out that Texas de Brazil actually does charge customers for sending gift cards without this special promotion.  An order for a $30 gift card is calculated to cost $7.46 to ship to me in Orlando via FedEx Ground!  Do they expect customers to pay 25 percent of the cost just to get a piece of plastic in the mail?  What’s even more ridiculous is that cards with different increments all cost different amounts to ship (a $65 gift card is $7.92 in shipping, an $80 gift card is $8.44 in shipping and a $100 gift card without the special promotion is $8.78 in shipping).

Clearly I’ve never purchased physical gift cards online, but I can’t imagine why a company would not have a better way of proving that a customer completed an online transaction than sending physical cards in the mail.  I suggest Texas de Brazil extend this holiday promotion indefinitely and suspend shipping costs for their customers.  Or better yet, the company could join this century and provide a printable certificate.  Surely gauchos can work bar code scanners.

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