The Conestoga Mall here in Grand Island, Nebraska lost $60 (more actually) of sales for their retailers today. I went in to get Christmas gift cards, only to discover that they charge $2 per card over and above the value of the card. For a $10 card (we were going to buy them for 6 nephews and nieces), that's a 20% surcharge! We ended up getting just a $25 card (and paying an 8% surcharge). The rest of the money will go to Walmart instead.

Seriously, what's up with charging an extra $2? It couldn't possibly cost them that much per card. And even if it did, they should be charging the retailers, not the customer. The retailers are accustomed to paying credit card processing fees, so surely they wouldn't complain. I wouldn't be surprised if they were charging the retailers, and double dipping by charging the customer too.

What makes this really dumb is that a person shopping with a gift card doesn't just spend the value of the card -- they spend more (otherwise, unless they're spending the exact amount on the card, they're leaving money on it unspent).

We probably won't be buying any more gift cards there. I wonder how many other people are sending their gift recipients elsewhere too.