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How To Make A Gift Certificate

Updated on June 23, 2013
A sample of a free gift certificate you can make online.
A sample of a free gift certificate you can make online. | Source

What Are Gift Certificates Used For?

A gift certificate or a gift voucher is a cash equivalent document usually issued by a business. Gift certificates can also be custom made for personal use, to provide creative gifts for family or friends. A gift certificate should not to be confused with a gift card, gift cards are similar but also allow the use of specific portions of the funds. Some gift cards can also be used for online purchases, similar to how credit cards work. However the disadvantage of gift cards is that they require expensive hardware and software to create, while gift certificates can be printed using a home printer. Gift certificates are an excellent way for small to medium sized businesses to inexpensively provide extra value and flexibility for their customers or to be used as creative personal gifts.

Making a Gift Certificate for a Business

Businesses normally sell gift certificates to their customers for a specific cash value which can be used in-store to pay for a product or service. Customers who buy gift certificates are often purchasing them to give as a gift to their friends or family. This is because customers want to recommend a business, product or service. Offering gift certificates provides a unique advantage for a business to receive early payment for a service or product and potential new customers.

Making a gift certificate for business is very simple, all you need is a computer and a printer. You can use a simple business design which includes some basic information such as the To & From fields, the monetary Value field, the name of your business and contact details. You can also use designs specific to a holiday such as Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Mothers Day or designs fitted for a celebration such as a Birthday.

One of the more important fields is a certificate number, this is used to track the gift certificate. You simply keep the certificate number and the persons name in a separate document. When the customer returns to use the gift certificate you check that the names and certificate number match. This simple system effectively prevents fraudulent use of gift certificates.

Another important field is the terms and conditions of the gift certificate, you want to define how the gift certificate can be used so that it is not abused. Usually businesses will include the following terms and conditions on gift certificates: non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, no monetary value, no cash refund, no replacement if stolen or lost.

Free Gift Certificate Templates

A collection of free gift certificate templates that you can use to make your gift certificate online.
A collection of free gift certificate templates that you can use to make your gift certificate online. | Source

Making a Gift Certificate for Personal Use

Using a gift certificate for personal use is a very unique and creative way to give a gift. Instead of buying something generic, you can use a gift certificate to plan an activity as a gift. For example if you want to take a friend out for dinner and a movie, you can create a custom gift certificate and personalize it. You can write on the gift certificate that you will cover all expenses of the activity and give a physical gift certificate instead of a verbal promise. You can also make it flexible by not setting a specific date, leaving the date of the activity up to the person who you are giving the gift to, so they can come to you at anytime and redeem their gift from you. This is a great way for people to give a gift and spend time together.

Personal gift certificates can also be used as invitations and reminders. For example if you want to invite your friends to see a movie at your home, you can create some gift certificates and provide the information about the event. Such as the time, date what movie you will be screening. You can also add reminders if you want your guests to bring anything such as popcorn or drinks.

Making a personal gift certificate is simple, you can use a computer and printer or even apply some arts and crafts to make something unique. Using online resources such as creating a custom gift certificate is a matter of selecting a design and inputting the information you want to include, for personal gift certificates there are no rules.


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