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Creating and managing gift certificates

Gift certificates can be a great way to increase sales for your store especially around holiday times. This document explains how to create a gift certificate in the Store Editor and Catalog Manager depending on your choice of building tool, and also how to manage gift certificates in the Store Manager.

To create a gift certificate item:

  1. From the Store Manager, click the "Store Editor" link.
  2. Navigate to the place where you wish to add the gift certificate in your site. If creating more than one gift certificate, you can create a "Gift Certificates" section for your Store that lists all your gift certificate offers.
  3. Click the "Item" button in the Editor toolbar to create a new item.
  4. Enter the item name and price (see note on incremental pricing).
  5. Scroll down to the Gift-certificate variable and select "Yes" from the drop down menu. When you publish your Store, the Gift Certificate item will automatically set the "taxable" and "need-ship" variables to "no," because gift certificates are non-taxable and sent by email.
  6. Click the "Update" button to save your settings.
  7. Click the "Publish" tab when ready to publish your changes.

To create a gift certificate item in Catalog Manager:

  1. From the Store Manager, click the "Catalog Manager" link.
  2. Click "Manage Products".
  3. Click the "Add" button.
  4. Fill out all required fields and enter information you wish to display for non-required fields.
  5. Select "Yes" from the drop down menu for the Gift Certificate field.
  6. Click "Save".
  7. Click the "Publish" tab and publish your catalog when ready.
Note: When creating a gift certificate in Store Editor or Catalog Manager, do not enter information into the Options field. Including information in the Options field can cause gift certificate ordering to fail.

You should consider revising your order confirmation email to include a paragraph about gift certificates. You might explain that if a gift certificate was purchased then it will be emailed within 1 day (or whatever amount of time you have selected).

Incremental Pricing

Incremental pricing cannot be used in conjunction with gift certificates, whereby for example one gift certificate item has a $25 price, with incremental pricing options for a $50 or $100 gift certificate. You must set up individual gift certificate items for each price point you wish to offer.

You will then need to use Store Tags to pull the information for your gift certificate item from your product catalog. Learn more about Store Tags.

Managing Your Gift Certificates

The Gift Certificates page accessible from the Store Manager allows you to set up your gift certificate options (return email address, number of certificates to display, when to send gift certificate notification email). You can also view a summary of all Gift Certificates and view statistics for each individual gift certificate. Note: In order to set up gift certificates options, you will need to set up at least one gift certificate item using the instructions listed above.

To set up gift certificate options:

  1. From the Store Manager and click "Gift Certificates" under the Process column.
  2. Edit the Gift Certificate options (see A figure 1):
    • Choose how many gift certificates you want to display on this page.
    • Enter an email address where we can send any returned/bounced emails for gift certificate notification emails.
    • Select when you want to have gift certificates emailed to the recipients.
      You can choose to send the gift certificate code manually via email. In this instance, Yahoo will not send the code automatically to the recipient. In all other options, Yahoo automatically emails the gift certificate code to the recipient. Click "Preview" to read the sample email.
  3. Click "Update" when ready

Note: Merchants should be careful in selecting to email gift certificates immediately after the order is placed. If you send the gift certificate email immediately, you are not able to review possible fraudulent orders and fraudsters can then order goods using the gift certificate code emailed to them.

Figure 1: Gift Certificate page.


Sending a Gift Certificate by Mail

If your store provides recipients with a paper gift certificate, instead of or in addition to email notice, you can view the Gift Certificates Purchased section (see C figure 1) to get the Gift Certificate code. You can then print this code on the paper gift certificate before sending to the recipient. You may wish to provide instructions for using the gift certificate at your store to the person receiving the gift.

Getting an Overview

The "Gift Certificate Summary" section displays a summary of gift certificate totals for your store (see B figure 1).

  • total amount purchased: shows the total dollar amount of all gift certificates purchased in your store.
  • total balance: shows the total dollar amount of unredeemed gift certificates in your store.

Looking at Individual Gift Certificates

The "Gift Certificates Purchased" section displays a listing of all of the gift certificates purchased at your Store (see C figure 1). You can sort these in various ways:

  • date issued: useful for finding the latest gift certificate ordered or the oldest gift certificate in the system
  • amount: useful for viewing the largest gift certificates in the system
  • balance: useful for finding high or low dollar amount gift certificates

To sort gift certificates:

  • click the link for the column you wish to sort and click the arrow next to the link to sort ascending or descending


To adjust the number of individual gift certificate summaries in the "Gift Certificates Purchased" section:

  • edit the number in the "Max rows per page" field. The page will display 200 summaries per page by default. When sorting you may wish to increase this number to view more summaries per page.


Individual gift certificate summaries will also display the gift certificate code and the Order ID. If you are looking for a particular order, you can use the order look-up system to look up orders associated with specific gift certificate codes. Copy the gift certificate code into the order look-up field to view all orders associated with that code (including the order that purchased the gift certificate). The gift certificate code is displayed only on the Gift Certificate page in the Store Manager.

Note: Marking an order as fraudulent, returned, or cancelled will invalidate all gift certificate codes related to that order. If you go back and mark the order as "OK", the gift certificate codes will once again be valid. If you cancel an order where a gift certificate was used, the gift certificate will not automatically restore to the balance prior to the order. You must call to have the amount restored.

Note: This feature is only available with Merchant Solutions Standard and Professional packages.

See Also

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