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January 07, 2009


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I may have misread this post. If you got a Macy's gift card, what does it matter what things cost in the store? If you use your gift card and don't go over it, you haven't used any of your money.

You can find people here who will trade for your Macy's card.


Matt --

That's one line of thinking. Personally, I'd like to get fair value for my gift. For example, if I have a $50 gift card, I'd like to get $50 in value -- not $25 in value.

And when I don't have a card, the issues are especially meaningful. That's why I won't ever shop there on my own.

I'll give you $10 for the gift card! Or a reasonable amount that we can agree on.
I understand your thought process on getting the most for you money - it is not right to just blow money even if it is a gift.

I'm smiling as I read this, because I saw the same as you - no good deals.

With Valentines Day coming fast, I would use the card to buy the Frango Mints, which were the only good price in the store at $5 a box. Give them to your love and take them to work as small tokens of appreciation.

How much is the gift card for? I have an unused Apple gift card I'd love to trade.

After reading this post, I think you can expect to get FMV for your Macy's gift card (Fair Macy's Value) which would be in the "50% of original value" range.

Wrong attitude about the gift card, FMF. At that rate, there's few gift cards that you would like! Unless it is for nothing, treat it like freebie coupon offer that you can only use at one store and buy something that doesn't exceed the value of the card. It's all well and good to want to get "value", but there's also a time not to push it. Your post almost sounds like my mom's complaint when she couldn't use a normal discount code at a site when using the gift certificate I bought her to the site. It wasn't costing her anything, but she was upset she wasn't getting the "value" she should have because if she had paid for the items it would have been a lot cheaper. I suggested that she was losing sight of the fact that she wasn't paying for the items at all, I was. Same here with you, FMF.

You should have said “Macy’s gift card for sale at 25% discount!”
“Use it at their after Christmas sale and save 50-60% on Christmas items, 30% on winter coats, and 60% on chair massagers, PLUS add in the 25% discount I’m selling the card for. This is a deal you can’t miss!”

I sort of agree with Matt - you're not paying for it, so who cares, but in the case of the chair massager or coat, the card may have been for less than the total cost, so you would still have to pay "full" price from your own pocket (compared to another store) in addition to the gift you were supposed to be getting.

If you are somewhat close to the person who gave it, I would say something (nicely) to hint that you don't really appreciate the gift so they don't waste their money again. Something like "Macy's isn't a store I usually shop at. What do you like to buy there? or Do they have any items that are especially good deals?"

Also keep in mind that they may have gotten a promotion where a Macy's card was free or at a discount, so they didn't actually spend as much as you think. That's often the case for cards which don't exactly match your tastes.

I've found some decent deals on clothes there, but you're correct - most of their "regular" prices are overinflated. Probably to get the suckers that shop there regularly and "have to have" the newest items when they come out. I got a sweater for Christmas from Macy's and returned it - now I have $30 of store credit I have to use. Maybe I'll find a new kitchen gadget or something useful.

A store selling items for more than they cost is hardly a reason to hate them. They don't market themselves as a discount store, if anything they want to be viewed as more of an upscale department store. Stop complaining and don't shop there.

Sound like whining to me. It's a GIFT card!

I don't buy the arguement of receiving "fair value" e.g. you see a pair of gloves marked down 50% from $20.00 to $10.00, but you think they are worth $6.00; so you get a $6.00 pair of gloves for NOTHING.

It's a GIFT card!

Sounds like you really need to get your friends/family to start reading your blog...

I like Macy's, and I have found some great deals. Last year I bought all new stocking holders for $2 each- and these are nice photo holder ones. I agree that their original prices are overinflated, so I only hit the end of season clearance racks with a coupon. I have found some good buys.

I completely understand the gift card philosophy. I see it as money I can only use at that particular place, and I like to get the most for my money- no matter what (including the use of coupons, which is just money the retailer or manufacturing is giving you to use if you buy their product, too.)

I have a Macy's card (needed the extra discount two years ago for a pricey gift) and they send coupons every so often that lure me into the store - I usually walk out empty handed because prices are too high. But really, what do you expect from Macy's? They have a brand perception to uphold, you know :)

On a more practical note, they do sometimes have really good deals on housewares (like the towels and crockpot you mentioned) and, strangely, shoes. You can sometimes find coupons in newspapers as well that will help bring down prices.

I've gotten some great deals at Macy's, but always on clothes and always off the sale rack. I have a sweater that I love and got for $4 and a blazer/jacket that I got for $9. There are two Macy's within a block of my work so I do shop there occasionally because it is so convenient.

You can do a gift card exchange or sell the gift card on ebay..

:) I'm kinda interested. Before the Robinsons May stuff, I used to find excellent deals at Macy's: nice quality men's trousers for about $11-15 after coupons and sales, junior's dresses for about $10-15 on sale.

Now it's much harder to find the same deals but they are the only place I can combine a coupon, sale and GC to get business clothing in petite sizes. Nordstrom is far too expensive and GCs are too hard to come by.

I really don't like Macy's either. I never go there.

Why don't you donate the gift card as a prize in a fundraiser or raffle? Then take the equivalent amount out of your "donation" budget and spend it where you want?

I was in a Macy's last weekend. My wife wanted to get the 50% off Fannie May Candy basket so she could take it to work for her birthday. Even after the discount the price was still $60. We passed.

Think of it this way. Since you're unwilling to spend your gift card at the evil Macy's store, they are sitting on the float that is your gift card and earning interest on the free money you're letting them keep. So how does you not spending your gift card really hurt them?

If the gifter had just bought you the coat you wanted, you wouldn't have taken it back just because it came from Macy's, would you?

One has to wonder how these department stores will survive.
Sooner or later, people catch on to the crazy prizes.

regift! Gift card exchange! Donate to charity (do they take them?)!

No, I don't think people will ever catch on to the pricing games stores play simply because they haven't yet! And the stores have been doing it for many years. I surprised to hear that so many folks have no clue that most stores markup their goods 200% or more. Then when they advertise a super 60% off sale people flock in thinking they are cutting a fat hog in the ass with that kind of deal yet the store is still making quite a profit. Like the old saying goes: There is a sucker born every minute!

I can relate FMF. If it were me, I would just sell it off to any one of my many female relatives who buy all of those extremely expensive make up products there. Maybe you have one somewhere too? :)

Better use it soon, FMF. I suspect Macy's will be next to go bankrupt!


It's not just Macy's. I shop a lot a JC Penny's and it seems like about two years ago all their prices increased by a ridiculous amount. The thing is, they are always having sales so now instead of just buying what I want I have to wait for a sale to get it for a reasonable price. For instance, who pays $24 for a pair of athletic shorts? Maybe the Nike brand because you are paying for the name but I buy the JC Penny brand.

I just heard Macy's overall numbers were better than expected but they also announced they are closing 11 stores.

RWH --

Macy's sales were down 4%. Could still be better than expected, but not good.

As an industry person, I can safely summize that most of the Macy brands (Alfani, Charter Club, Donald Trump) are overpriced junk, a good portion of which is made in factories alongside Walmart product. They intentionally inflate regular prices, significantly more so than Penney's, Kohl's and Sears, in order to discount at high percentages and mislead the customer to think it has more value. Most true higher end brands will not sell to Macy's because they have become a mid-tier discount retailer. Here in Chicago, customers have boycotted Macy's by the tens of thousands because of the way they took Marshall Field's and turned it into a bland, poorly maintained store with a bunch of clowns wearing black outfits (Macy's mandated funeral uniforms) who have no idea what customer service is. Last time I was in NYC, I went to the 34th St Macy's and it looked worse than New Orleans after Katrina...racks knocked over and more clothing on the floor than on the fixtures. Macy's is a dead brand, killed by greedy management who turned a once revered better retail store and made it into just another national middle of the road store.

I had a hard time finding anything I wanted on a recent Macy's trip as well, and I was also using a gift card. The junior clothes were too juvenile for me (but fit) and the womens clothing was all too matronly. The rest of the store is simply overpriced. Macy's used to be Burdine's in my area (Florida) and we miss the old store a lot.

Well, unlike a lot of people here, I completely agree that if you think something is over-priced, you shouldn't buy it just because you have a gift card.

I'm a cheapskate whether I have "free" money to spend or not, because there are very few clothes/jewelry/shoes that I am willing to pay retail price for.

That said, I guess I have lower standards than many because I happen to like some of Macy's clothes. Not the brands mentioned, but Inc and a few others. Still, I bristle at spending $30 for a shirt. So I am here to attest that there are times when you can get a decent deal at Macy's on clothes. You just have to scour the sales racks and really, really pounce on sales. I also picked up two of my favorite necklaces there (on the clearance rack, natch) -- one for $7 and the other for about $15.

As for the person who compared JCP and Macy's... I have tried to shop at JCP several times. I know the prices are better. But I can never find clothes that feel well-made or are actually fashionable. I feel like JCP has mostly matronly clothes. Then again, there are some people who will look good in a potato sack, so perhaps this person is just one of the lucky few who can wear something from anywhere.

Much as I like Macy's, though, there are a lot of things I don't buy there. Shoes -- because their discounts are never impressive enough. Purses -- because I cannot bring myself to spend "designer" prices no matter how pretty the bags may be.

I will also note that the housewares do sometimes contain good deals -- even on Homedics. We picked up a foot massager for my in-laws, with a gift card from MyPoints. I did some exhaustive price checking and Macy's was the same as every other store I checked, including Rite Aid.

I think that Macy's is like most stores these days. You have to know which sections are worth it, and selection varies by store/area.

And rather than continue to be frustrated, why not just take those well-meant gift cards in the future and sell them (on ebay, CL, etc) or trade them on one of those sites. It will save you from apoplexy and you can use the money in a more productive fashion.

Thats what a lot of stores do they will jack up the regular price and give you a "sale", as to entice you into buying.

But with places like wal-mart, focusing on selling in quantity, they are making it harder for stores to do that, which is a good thing. Because they still make crap tons of money....

Once a few fall, they all begin to fall. Here is an example of one product...just look at the HDMI cables for HDTVs, last year, regular retail cost for a customer was about 80 90 bucks for the cheapest one. HOWEVER at that same time the item cost to the store was only 3 or 4 bucks. Thats a profit of like a gillion percent!

Then one store decides, "hey, instead of making 86 bucks on this product and sell 40% of region, I could make 60 bucks and sell 70% of the region!" This keeps happening until pretty soon the stores undercut themselves too much and its too the point where they cut costs on the products to compensate for all the money they are taking out to keep profits..wait a minute this whole thing sucks.

Now I want to buy a 350 dollar massage chair from Macys.

Sell it on eBay, seriously. You'll get fairly close to it's real value and then you can buy what you want.

Macy's Sucks, even when it's a gift card, and you are technically getting stuff for free, you still feel cheated and abused after shopping there. Customer service is the poorest in the retail industry. The merchandise, is crap. I would rather get a root canal, and a colonoscopy, then shop there.

I wouldn't wipe my backside with a Macy's card - not after what they did to Marshall Field's!

If you notice the title of this post, it's "Why I Hate Macy's." The gift card was what made her go back there. Yes, it's a gift but I feel it's the same if someone gave me a card for a place I'd never go to... like the apple store...

When you apply for a job at Macy's it's all automated. I have loads of shoe experience yet I got rejected in less than 10 minutes to work in a posted job in one of their lady shoe departments. I don't even think they read my application and it took over an hour to complete. I will never work for this company.

Macy's sucks big time!!! I went there today, here in Tucson to look for some summer shirts to buy!! I am 5'9", 250 pounds and all they had for men's shirts was shirts for the young/juvenile/petite males!!! The most of them came in size (s) small, and you were lucky if you could find a shirt in a medium!! Most older adults I know, including myself, could not fit these shirts. I went to Macy's on Easter weekend on Good Friday, and the place was deserted!! If they didn't sell so much crap at high prices, they would have had a ton of business, like Ross and Wal-Mart did today!! I was there two months a go and it was no different today!! Here in the Southwest they used to be Foley's, and this jackass company took them over!! I loved it when these stores were Foley's, before they became Macy's!! I agree with the person that said that they make thier clothes along side the same factory as Wal-Mart!! I noticed that the clothes at Macy's are of no better quality than the ones that you would buy at Wal-Mart!! I will from now on shop at Dillard's when they have thier big sales for nice clothes, and shop for jeans,t-shirts,socks,and underwear at Wally world!! Take that Macy's!!!!!!!!!!!! Macy's will go out of business soon if they do not improve on their selection of clothing for people of all ages, their quality of merchandise, and if they do not change their marketing stratigy real soon!! What happened to Mervyn's will happen to Macy's if they do not take any action to change!! This is what Mervyn's did, and they suffered terrible conciquences for their actions! I hope that the CEO of Macy's reads the comments on this web page!

I'm glad some of you luv Macy's and their phoney "sales".
A friend of mine just received a letter from Macy's credit bumping her interest rate to 23.9 %. She's never been late on a payment. They will pay for their greed in the end.
"Vengeance is mine", say the Lord.

Macy Sucks. And you get nothing but trouble when you use a gift card.

I made an online purchase of $122.
$75 was a gift card. $47 was put on my credit card.
I returned $44 of merchandise, two items. I received $29 back on my gift card, and $18 on my credit card. When I asked why I couldn't received the $44 back on my credit card, she just replied the machine/register won't let her, unless I had a Macy's Credit Card to put it on. I figured I won't argue. I bought two skirts, used my $29 and another $25 of my own money. So, basically I spent $47 of my own money, got $17 back, then spent another $25---a total $55 of my own money now.

A couple days later I noticed a flaw in one of the original blouses I ordered online and I went back to return it. I didn't want to deal with their crap of putting some on the gift card and some on the credit card. So I returned EVERYTHING....and repurchased what I wanted to keep (which was two items more less). And ended up being only $5 in the hole.

I do not think it was fair for them to dictate how I was going to pay for my purchases....and it was a tactic to get more money. The $75 gift card was spent and I don't want it back. They didn't lose when I returned a couple things extra that I ordered, they only pissed me off an lost a customer. Anyway, wrong or right---it was how I felt.

Take your gift card back to Macy's. Ask for a manager. Explain that you want him or her to cash out your gift card 'cause you didn't find anything you wanted. If they refuse -- and some managers are that stupid -- ask for the store manager. Ask them to do the same. If they refuse, go to the macy's website, input all the relevant data, and tell them what you want, and how you patiently tried to resolve the issue. They will then get a note back from headquarters to make telling them to make you happy -- and will either call you or write you a letter. If they ask you to come in again, ask them for the cost of transportation because, after all, you've tried to take care of this already.
Oh -- and the nice thing is, dinging the store on their website will bring down the store's customer satisfaction store, something the store's try to avoid.

My daughter wanted a backpack. We bought it at PacSun. It was on sale. We went
into Macy's and she saw the same backpack which was priced .50 higher than the
regular price at PacSun and no sale or discount was being advertised. My daughter
then saw another backpack, same brand, same style but in a different color that
she preferred. Macy's supposedly has a price match policy so I asked a clerk at
Macy's to do a price match. She said she had to get permission from the manager.
After 20 minutes or so, she came back and said the manger said they would not be
able to match the price PacSun was offering. I asked the clerk for the contact
information of the district manager and she said she would have to get that from
the manager. After waiting another 15 minutes the clerk came back and this time
the manager came with her. The manager said there was no reason to contact the
district manager, that she was there and was able to explain the store policy and
that she wanted to make sure she understood what I was asking for. I explained that
PacSun had a better price and an even lower sale price, showed the manager the
receipt from PacSun and requested a price match. The manager again said that Macy's
would not be able to match the PacSun price and explained that Macy's doesn't consider
PacSun a competitor and stated that the Macy's price match policy only applies to
large department store competitors like K-Mart and JC Penney. I bet Macy's shareholders,
if I could share this information with them, would not agree that PacSun is not a
competitor. I asked the manager for district manager's contact information and she
refused to provide that information. This is a Sunday early afternoon, two weeks
before school starts. The mall is packed with shoppers and stores like Hollister,
Areopostle, Buckle, Forever21 and PacSun are very busy. While I was waiting those
twenty minutes for the manager to come over and talk to me, I notice Macy's has exactly
four shoppers in their Junior's Department, two of which are just passing through
and never leave the main aisle. My guess is they are on their way to one of these
stores that Macy's does not recognize as a competitor. As for me, I just cut
up my Macy's card and won't be back. I still wanted to discuss this experience with
a district manager so when I arrived home I checked the Macy's website. The contact
information is vague but there is a page that allows you to submit comments and
answer a series of formatted questions with very narrow scaled answer selections. I
also noticed that the Macy's website only provides a place to recognize associates
for outstanding service. I am left to wonder why Macy's does not accept negative
comments or complaints? Is that a reflection of the same arrogance that allows them
the belief that PacSun is not worthy of being considered real competition? No telling
how many thousands of dollars Macy's spends in advertising dollars to bring customers
into their stores - ironic that it cost them less than $10.00 to drive me out the
door. I will spend about $700 on our family's back to school shopping and not one
single cent will be spent at Macy's. They shouldn't be concerned though, because none
of it is being spent at any of their competitors either. I will take my girls shopping
at those "other" stores - they are the ones that they really want to go to anyway.
I remember the good old days of Meier & Frank. Sad they were taken over by Macy's.

I can't stand Macy's. A friend of mine got a Macy's gift card from her neighbor for doing a little bit of work for her (Yes, those cards have less value than actual money) and she agreed to take me maternity shopping. I was excited as hell, so excited, that I went online to the website to see what they might have for maternity clothes, and can you believe it, they don't have any maternity clothes! What the hell? Is that discrimination or what? Apparently they have them at some stores, a small section, but nowhere near the cities I live in, big cities too. Pisses me off, and other than the ridiculous cost, this is precisely why I hate Macy's.

So you are shocked and outraged that Macy's sells higher priced items than Target and Costco? Are you kidding me? Do you know how these businesses work? Macy's is simply not the same kind of store. When you compare it to Target, you'll (usually) get a better product at Macy's. When you compare it to Costco, you get a much better selection and better customer service. Macy's is not ripping you off on the coat by charging you that price. You got a great deal at Costco BECAUSE COSTO BUYS IN BULK from manufacturers from their pile of Crap That Didn't Sell.
If you choose to shop at the cheaper stores, that is fine. But don't be outraged that nicer stores charge more. Your friend or relative got you a giftcard to use AT MACY'S. They know what things cost AT MACY'S. It is FREE to you. Use the gift and quit whining.

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