Give, and Ye Shall Receive

Put It On Paper

Let's not forget about another potential holiday gift: gift certificates. "They used to be seen as impersonal," says Michael Dermer, co-founder with Dan Dermer (his brother) of 1-800-GIFT CERTIFICATE (, an online/offline gift certificate shopping center. "But it's really the best gift-it's like sending someone on a personal shopping spree."

Don't rule out the other possibilities for client gifts, especially if you can think of a personalized gift to give. But gift certificates can help you avoid a PR fiasco-Dermer, for instance, recalls one story of a client who was provided with tickets to a Las Vegas show-that is, a burlesque show, nudity and all.

So how do you select the right gift certificate? "Find something unique, something that says I understand your needs and business," says Michael, 32. "Use gifts to help build and retain relationships. It's an investment to thank and reward customers and employees."

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Give, and Ye Shall Receive.

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