proposed logoWhat is the eGift Social applicationSM? It is a cool new way to send your friends real gifts from their favorite stores.  In just a few easy steps you can use the application to send a gift and your friend is notified in real time, either through Facebook or email. They can then redeem their gift at participating stores or online if applicable.

Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of virtual gifts or gift cards. They’re just too impersonal but that’s what makes them perfect for casual acquaintances, which for many of us are the connections we’ve made on Facebook, so maybe there’s a niche for it.  Also, I have to confess I gift certificates for my sons (both in their 20’s) as stocking stuffers to help with their food budget and to allow them a few meals out they might not otherwise be able to do.  However, I still believe a well-thought out, well chosen gift beats a gift card any day.

That’s why when I first heard of eGift Social, a new Facebook application that allows you to send gift cards to friends, I wasn’t thrilled. Then  I checked into it more and found that you can use it to send something more like a gift.  For instance, a shake at Cold Stone Creamery.  Ok, that’s a little more interesting and since 90% of my Facebook friends are people I’ve never met in real life, that seemed an interesting idea.  Something I could use to cheer someone up or to celebrate a special birthday.

There are a few areas for growth. First, there are only a few stores available to purchase from.  Some of them I don’t recognize, so it’d be great to be able to click on one to find out more about it and see if it fits my gift-giving needs.  Instead, I have to open a new window/tab and do a search.  Secondly, I have no way of knowing if the recipient will be able to use the gift.  For example, all of the Boston Markets closed in our area a few years ago and we don’t have Joe’s Crab Shacks here, so certificates for either place sent to me would go unused.   It’d be great if the application connected to the person’s location as stored on FB and only cards for stores/retailers in their area were shown.  Without this, it’s a shot in the dark and what would the person do with your gift if they couldn’t use it?  Especially since, “All sales are final and no refunds are available.”

Will I use eGift Social? Not yet.  There just aren’t enough choices yet, but I’ll keep an eye on them and consider sending random treats to my boys via Facebook.  It’s not the same as getting a physical gift in the mail (who doesn’t love checking to see if something other than bills are in the mailbox?), but it’s a quick pick-me-up on a gray day.  It’s said you’ll be able to send a Whopper from Burger King or refill someone’s Starbuck’s card.   It’ll be interesting to see how or if they grow.

What do you think? Yea or ney on sending gifts via Facebook?  Learn more about the eGift Social program or send on via their FB page.  If you’d like to send me a gift, I’d love to try a Cold Stone Creamery Signature Smoothie 🙂

DisclosureI wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of First Data and received an eGift gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.