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Gift cards make lousy/great gifts

Jeremy Simon

Gift cards are big business at holiday time. But there still people (like personal finance writer Liz Pulliam Weston) that would rather get a lump of coal in their stocking than the increasingly-ubiquitous gift card. Bah Humbug.

Provided you aren’t one of the people who steers clear gift cards at all costs, you may be interested in a few unique gift card offerings highlighted by The Wall Street Journal. These include:

• Circuit City Stores says shoppers can order products of $25 or more on its Web site and pick them up within 24 minutes at a local store, or they will receive a $24 gift card.
• Sharper Image is running a holiday sweepstakes, with 50 prizes over 50 days and a chance to win a $10,000 Gift Card.
• Urban Outfitters’ Anthropologie, a women’s apparel retailer, is offering express shipping options for gift cards ranging from $25 to $200 denominations.

Since no purchase was necessary, I went ahead and entered the running for a Sharper Image $10,000 Gift Card. I did well on the memory match game, but failed to win one of the instant prizes worth “almost $5,000.”

Too bad — I was hoping for the $4,799 Panasonic Real Pro Ultra Total Body Massage Lounger chair.

As long as too many of you don’t get in the running for that $10K gift card, I should still have a shot.

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