I received an email today from Amazon about a way to send “real gifts” by email or text message. I don’t know if it’s new, but I have never seen it before so I spent a little time looking into it and thinking about what it could mean for the holidays.
Essentially you can choose a gift for someone on Amazon and then put in either their email address or mobile number to alert them. “Instantly” they will receive a gift notification along with your message. Even more interesting, they will be given the option of either accepting your gift or exchanging it for an Amazon gift card.
Interesting concept. I don’t know what I think of it yet, but I did make a list of pros and cons!
Pros of Amazon Instant Gift:
- Obviously the “instantly” is nice because you can send something last minute.
- Picking out a gift is more personal than just sending a gift card.
- The recipient might hate what you sent or already have one, so this allows them to get something else they really like or need.
- Holiday shipping is going to be UGLY and this will allow you to surprise someone with a “gift” even if it is going to get there late.
- It makes regifting even better because the recipient can exchange the gift, get the gift card, and then use the gift card to buy a gift for someone else.
- You don’t need someone’s address because they will say where to send it if they accept the gift.
Cons of Amazon Instant Gift:
- The recipient will know that you shopped last minute when they get an “instant” gift.
- The recipient will know what you paid for the gift because that will be the amount the get in exchange on the Amazon gift card (I’m assuming?).
- You have to be an Amazon Prime member to use it (right now).
- Sometimes you buy things for someone because they really do NEED it and you don’t want them to exchange it.
- We’re all feeding the Amazon Beast by continuing to buy from them just because it’s easy.
- Must be done on mobile device.
For the full details, check out the Amazon Instant Gift information page.
What do you think? More marketing by Amazon to put everyone else out of business? Great help to aunts and grandmothers who don’t want to keep sending gift cards but also don’t want to buy worthless stuff that won’t get used? Will you use it?
I’m not saying I wouldn’t use it, but apparently, a person can’t opt-out of being a recipient. I’m wondering if Amazon is feeling the squeeze from Giftnow. (Giftnow is all the rage with my Silent Generation godmother and her friends. She’s used it to send gifts to her great-grandkids from Uniqlo when she wasn’t sure of the size).
Interesting! I have never heard of them before. Looking at them now, this definitely looks very similar. I can see Amazon hitting businesses hard this quarter because this would be an easy way to send business gifts when you only have the email addresses of customers or even employees.