How do I start using gift certificates?
First, in Admin->Starboard Suite Config set "Allow Gift Certificates Sales" to "True".
Now, you'll see a new menu link in Promotions->Gift Certificate Types
Create a new type for each type of gift certificate you'd like to sell. Just like individual tours, each gift certificate type can correspond to a different type of tour and have any price level you like.
** Please note that the tour type you assign to the gift certificate type appears on the gift certificate, but it is not enforced. Based on the price level and the number of tickets purchased, each gift certificate will have a monetary value which can be applied to any of your tours. (See below for more info on pricing and value.)
How do customers purchase these gift certificates?
*Please note that you'll first need to enable the gift certificates feature (see above).
- Customers can buy gift certificates online by clicking on the "buy badge" on your online booking calendar.
- You can also add the badge to your primary website. See this knowledge base article for more info on how to do that.
- You can also sell gift certificates directly from your Control Panel under the "retail" tab.
How does a gift certificate get delivered?
Currently, all gift certificates are sent to the purchaser in a gift certificate email that is separate from the order confirmation.
Purchasers can print the gift certificate or forward it to their recipient.
In the future, we expect to add more delivery options, eg email directly to recipient now or on a specified date.
When does a gift certificate expire?
When you set up your "gift certificate type" you can choose to make it indefinite, or you can expire it after a year.
**Please note that your local jurisdiction may have specific laws about expiration terms for gift certificates... it is your responsibility to know the laws of your specific jurisdiction and to choose the correct expiration rules that apply.
How does a gift certificate get redeemed?
- Customers may redeem their gift certificates online by entering the code provided.
- You can process gift certificates in your control panel using the "Gift Certificate - System" payment method.
I've been selling gift certificates using an external system (spreadsheet, 3rd party website, etc). Can I keep doing that?
Yes, you can still redeem externally generated gift certificates in the control panel. For clarity, the payment method formerly called "Gift Certificate" in your control panel has been renamed "Gift Certificate - External". See this knowledge base article for more info.
What happens if I change my prices before the gift certificate is redeemed?
Each gift certificate has a specific "not to exceed" monetary value that is assigned during the purchase process, and is included in the fine print of the actual gift certificate. If you raise your prices, customers will be able to apply the gift certificate up to its original value, and they'll be prompted to pay the difference.
Can the value of a gift certificate be split between multiple reservations?
For online redemptions, a gift certificate must be used in a single transaction. This is fully disclosed during the purchase process and in the terms on the actual certificate.
If the entire value is not used, the remaining balance will be forfeited.
In your Control Panel, you have the option to refund any balance on a new gift certificate. Let's say you are applying a $200 gift certificate against a $100 purchase. Though only $100 is due, you have the option to enter the gift certificate payment in the amount of $200. This will result in a balance due to the customer of $100 which you can refund as a new gift certificate.