Target Feels Need To Brag About Selling Gift Cards At Face Value

Hey, who doesn’t love gift cards? Target sells a few as impulse items at the checkout, and Reader Cheryl noticed something curious. The gift cards had the same “as advertised” tag that sale flyer items at Target get, but they weren’t on sale. They were being sold at face value. As gift cards generally are.

“Attachment shows the ‘as advertised’ signage on $25 restaurant gift cards,” Cheryl wrote in a note with the photo. “Advertised price? 25$.”


Well, just because you advertise something, that doesn’t mean it has to be on sale. They could put out a flyer saying, “hey, we have gift cards!” and that counts. But it’s still stupid.

View previous installments of “Target is Crazy” here.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    Obviously to make you think they’re on sale, people these days don’t tend to read carefully and do impulse buys. Pavlov would be proud of the way we’ve been conditioned.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      I see it more as a cry of, “LOOK! We have these gift cards that we advertised! Please buy them! They haven’t been selling too well recently!”

  2. Kuchen says:

    The “as advertised” labels are NOT for sale items, but for items that were featured in their weekly ads. Sale items have “Sale” labels. They are not the same signs for both kinds of products. (I am not a Target employee, just a frequent Target shopper.)

    • Boven says:

      It’s not just Target. Many retailers have ‘As Advertised’ labels for items that were featured in their ads but which aren’t sale items. Shoot, I remember Sears using them as early as the mid/late 80s when I worked there.

  3. nbs2 says:

    I’m guessing they were in the circular that week. It’s quite simple, really. You list something in your circular. People see it. People want to buy it. You put a larger label (including perpendicular portion that people can see from the side) on the item. People find the product. People buy it.

    Yes, you can buy gift cards nearly everywhere, but nearly everywhere isn’t everywhere. If you are looking for an iTunes gift card, and you have a reason to buy it from Target (don’t know if the 5% off with the Target CC applies to gift cards, but I get fuel points and CC cash back when I buy them at my megamart), now you know they have it, as advertised.

  4. kingofmars says:

    Sometimes target and best buy will sell iTunes gift cards for less than face value. Of course that’s not what’s happening here.

  5. mrvw says:

    I think they are activly trying to trick people. i’ve seen them sell the three pack of $15 itunes cars for like $40 instead of $45.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Those tricked by this move can’t be bothered to read numbers and therefore probably shouldn’t be shopping in the first place…

  6. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    Not every price advertised in the circular is actually a steal, a bargain, or a reduced price. Gift cards included. I have 3 months of circulars from 5 stores to prove it.

    The More You Know

    • scoosdad says:

      Why are you keeping three months of circulars from five different stores? Are you one of those hoarders we see on reality TV?

      • I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

        12 circulars x 5 stores = 60 circulars… you DO realize that only fills about a 1/3rd of my file cabinet drawer, right? Not exactly hoarding levels.

        It was simply an experiment. I wanted to monitor the price of certain items, when they went on sale, the sale prices, correlation of prices on sale items between stores during the same week, etc.

  7. cryptique says:

    Applebee’s gift card: the perfect way to say “I never liked you.”

    • kc2gvx says:

      Where else can you get two meals, an appetizer, and the chance to barely make it to the bathroom before you leave for $20?

    • tbax929 says:

      Unless you’re buying for someone who happens to enjoy it. My sister loves their spinach dip, and I like their steak with shrimp on it. So there!

  8. shepd says:

    I *have* seen stores that charge a fee for a gift card, usually one that comes in a tin or other case. So… getting one for full price is a deal, in comparison.

    • tbax929 says:

      Any store that charges for its own gift cards (whether in a case or not) would not get my money. That’s ridiculous!

      • OrganizedAnarchy says:

        Usually stores don’t charge for their own gift cards (like a Target gift card from Target). However, at least where I’ve seen, there is typically a $4-5 charge for buying a 3rd party gift card (say an Applebee’s gift card at Target).

        So, if you can get it at face value, it could be a good thing for certain bonus points/cash back credit card users, since Target usually shows up as a grocery store (at least on my card), regardless of what you’ve purchased.

        • mbz32190 says:

          I have never seen any store charge over face value for a 3rd party gift card. I imagine the store makes a few cents on every gift card sold. The only time I have seen an “upcharge” is the $4-$5 to activate the Visa/Amex cards, but that isn’t the stores decision to charge that fee.

  9. JReedNet says:

    I always thought this policy was clear, if it is listed as “Sale” in the flyer or in the ad, it is sold at a discount, if it isn’t listed as sale, it’s its regular price. These as advertised flyers make it easier to find something in the store that you saw in an ad, even though you are already aware it isn’t discounted.

  10. dks64 says:

    I think the tags just help people find the advertised items from the weekly ad. I went to buy generic Zyrtec a few days ago and the same sign was there (not a sale item). It doesn’t claim to be on sale.

  11. Bionic Data Drop says:

    How much are the $50 gift cards?

  12. tailspin says:

    Gift cards usually have a service/activation fee attached to them… I just bought a $100 Visa gift card for someone and it cost me $105. So selling them at face value is saving the customer a few bucks.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      Prepaid Visa cards may have activation fees, but gift cards to specific businesses do not.

    • Yorick says:

      A gift card is just the modern version of a gift certificate. I’ve never paid a fee for one. As noted, a prepaid debit may have a fee. or you might have been scammed.

  13. Jawaka says:

    I’m pretty sure that it was said on this site a number of times now that the people working the floor at Target have the ability to put these specials signs on just about anything they want.

  14. Cheaptastic says:

    Kuchen is right about 1 of the reasons why this was done The other reason its easy to spot which saves the “where are the gift cards i saw in the ad at?” questions that employees would keep having to direct to. You would think that everyone knows where gift cards are at right? NOPE they actually do this.

  15. syxx says:

    Pointless story is pointless. Target had some gift cards in the ad and made it easy for customers and employees to find them. So let’s go e-mail carpet bomb some target execs!

  16. Target_OMG says:

    Mix some ‘sale’ signs with ‘as advertised’ & enough shoppers are tricked into believing they are ALL on sale.

    Grocery stores do this & discount stores do this. Retailers love stupid people.