A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The gift card Christmas

We are promoting gift cards at several locations, to make the most of selling gift cards as Christmas gifts. It’s the range of iTunes, online game and related that work the best for us this time of year. They are a good point of difference.

Our main stand is at the counter, pitching to shoppers needing to make the last-minute purchase with little shopping time left.

The product mix suits our shoppers.


Join the discussion

  1. carol mckinna

    What commission is on these?



    I have these but i do not push them , if someone is willing to spend $100 i try with other products first and last resort go for the card


  3. Paul

    It’s pretty poor Carol. I sell them through my AP counter and while they make a useful add on and it’s better to have them purchased with me than elsewhere as a sale by itself they are in no better comparison than some of the other products that have been complained about as low margin products here. I’d rather sell a $5.95 Sunlight Butterfly (which also fits nicely into a card) and make more margin from it than I would from selling a $50 gift card for Supercheap.

    We sell quite a few ITunes cards and the movie and prepaid Myer cards however I’ve noticed that BiG W was offering $30 ITunes cards by mail order for $20 and since AP has launched the Load and Go Visas we’ve sold an absolute mountain of them (which is great because the customer often then comes in regularly to reload the card) and very few of the ordinary prepaid set amount Visa cards.


  4. Vicki

    Same as Paul


  5. Alex

    Who can you get these off?
    A person came up and just gave us iTunes cards, some Bigpond cards, and sim packs. Looking for gift vouchers like Coles MYER and movie tickets/vouchers and loaded up credit card ones.


  6. Luke

    Why would you sell cards that allow people to spend money at another business that does not support you and only make a pittance yourself?
    If people come into your shop with say $100 and walk out having spent that $100 but not with you then I think you need to look at what you sell.
    We go on here about suppliers ripping us off with such low margins but we are happy to fill the tills of the majors with these cards and push customers to them because our offer is not good enough.
    Yes people are lazy and gift cards are easy but that is not helping small business.
    You will never see coles selling gift cards to its competition.


  7. SHAUN S

    Luke well said


  8. wally

    I am with Luke. I refuse to sell all but ITunes and the game cards. Thru the terminal we get I think 8% ( Mark knows) As for Visa 1.5% they can stick it and same with all the proprietary cards such as Myer and Coles. I like the Sunlight Butterflies too which I picked up thru this blog.


  9. BrettS

    Yes I am in the boat with Luke on this One and stamps as well.


  10. JONO

    Luke nice one.


  11. Mark Fletcher

    Woolworths sells gift cards to its competition. I am happy making $6 on a $100 gift card when it’s $6 GP I would otherwise not have made. So, Luke, I disagree with your position.

    Alex – Blackhawk through Touch Networks.


  12. Luke

    But Mark, your software sells the cards so your opinion is a bit bias.


  13. Mark Fletcher

    Not at all Luke. From a commercial perspective there’s nothing in this for me. I see it as good retail business.


  14. DM

    Lots of people buy gift cards, especially this time of year. If they can’t get them from you, they will get them somewhere else. Where they will also buy their cards/wrap, gifts and toys at good margin.


  15. SHAUNS

    What $100 gift card is giving you $6
    $100 BCF card gives me $2.00
    $50 toys r us gives me a wopping $1.50
    Come on serious you are saying this is a good deal ?
    Just to take my wife out for lunch at the cafe i would have to sell over $2000 worth of gift cards .


  16. P

    yep im in the same boat as Luke too


  17. P

    just back from woolies not to many gift cards that aren’t to their stores would we let mag companies do this to us no way


  18. SHAUNS

    i just looked at a 2010 post and had a laugh because i had the same winge about them way back then .

    P would we let mag companys do that , well i wouldn’t but i am sure some would and thats what brings us down, we are the go to chanel for weany tiny % .
    A few weaks ago there was something on here about such low commisions for phone credits and how rents have increased and so on but yet some are now happy to sell these for single digit comission .


  19. Mark Fletcher

    I’d happily sell magazine subscriptions as I would bet that most are bought as gifts for people far away.

    Woolies and Coles vary the gift card mix by store from what I see.

    They are a lucrative add-on and harm us in no way from what I assess.


  20. SHAUNS

    I get some excellent ideas from this blog but i must say selling mag subscriptions would be pretty close to the bottom of my to do list .I do not think most are purchased as a gift at all i think they are purchased because they are so much cheaper then going into a newsagency or any other shop.


  21. Angelo

    I cringe at the commission on these gift cards and can understand the decision by some not to stock them on the principles mentioned. What I can’t seem to grasp what the problem is in stocking them and increasing the customer’s basket size.
    Is it the labour involved in selling them? Is it the space they may take up to display effectively? Or is it the expectation that the entity involved is not providing some sort of support back to us? I try to make my shop as much a one-stop solution as I can make it and stocking these gift cards is not a problem for me.
    Why should I help Aus Post or the supermarkets become more of the one-stop shop?


  22. Mark Fletcher

    Commission- 6%. No stock cost. No equipment cost. No fixture cost.

    Lottery commission – 7%.

    Bus ticket commission – circa 2%.

    Stamp GP – 5% if you are lucky.

    Newspaper GP – 12.5%.

    These gift cards work a treat for us.


  23. SHAUN S

    does everyone get 6% because i do not .


  24. Alex

    I wouldn’t mind if we sold them. They take up little room, and there is not much of a labour cost involved. Maybe just have to wait 20secs for it to become successful through the machine like the ITunes cards. And during this Xmas period, we’ve had some requests for the prepaid credit cards so we thought we might source for them.

    Thanks Mark, will look it up.


  25. BrettS

    I say you need to wake up and smell the coffee 6% really? happy?
    Loteries well who knows?
    Bus tickets if your a fool
    and Stamps in the same Boat.


  26. bruce

    I cant find much room around the counter for low margin cards. My counter space is chocker with stuff i can make 50% GP on. Maybe I should get rid of some of it.


  27. Mark Fletcher

    In our case we take care where we place them – certainly not space where we can make 50%.

    Each to his own. We’re happy. The gift cards work a treat.


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