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Deal or No Deal?

We’ve all been there - we’re in a store and we see an out of this world deal. Buy this new thing we’re selling and receive a $100 gift card for free! Wow! You mean I get rewarded for buying this thing from you!? For the longest time, I really thought these promotions were “deals” and I was being genuinely rewarded for being a customer.

Gone are the days where I chase down that $100 Outback gift card for buying something random just because I feel “rewarded” by the store. What changed?

Well, when I started working at Solid Number, gift cards came up in conversation a lot. I had never really given them much thought when it comes to being used as a customer incentive because I had always felt like I was actually getting a deal of some sort. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.


Did you know that over 25% of gift cards are left unredeemed every year? That’s $1 billion in “gifts” wasted every single year. Gift cards are an easy way to manipulate shoppers. Consumers think they’re being rewarded for buying something and being a loyal customer, but the company is banking on them not redeeming that $100 gift card so they can pocket that as well. With gifts like that, who needs coal? Actually, you know what, at least coal is an energy source so I’d rather have that.

But I digress.


The customer, who is supposed to be rewarded, is being shafted time and time again by these gift card scams. The process of redeeming the card is usually tedious and convoluted. Go to this website, fill out this form, fill out your address, do this survey, do this even longer survey, accept these terms, etc. Even if you manage to jump through all these hoops, chances are you still have to wait up to a month to get your money through the mail. This system is so antiquated, I can’t even deal. I mean, what year is it again?

To say this system needs an upgrade is a vast oversimplification of the problem. Did you know the technology to incentivize customers with cash in their bank accounts instantly is already here? No, I’m not talking about Venmo (we’ve already covered in a previous blog that you cannot use Venmo for business goods transactions!) Naturally, I’m talking about Solid Number. We’re tired of seeing people fall for these gift card scams; they’re predatory, and most people don’t even realize it. 

Pretend you’re Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are these dastardly gift cards. These weird breathing gift cards. You got that imagined? Good. Now imagine you pick up your lightsaber and you slash the gift cards away and they turn to cash and float into your bank account. Depending on your imagination, that probably looked really cool. Minus all the special effects and Hollywood production, that’s essentially what Solid Number is aiming to do: rid ourselves of the gift card and incentivize consumers with cash instead.