Giftly helps friends and family give gifts to loved ones. The user begins by selecting a retailer from those found on Yelp. The user then selects an amount to gift and adds a photo to make it more personal. The user can send the gift by email, through Facebook or by printing it out and hand delivering it to the recipient. The recipient takes their gift card and receives the gifted amount when they use it to check in at one of the locations using their smart phone. The recipient pays for the gift and receives a refund for the amount from Giftly. The application does not require the user to show the store clerk, waitress or other employee anything. They pay for their gift and are reimbursed. Reimbursements can take up to two days.Show more screenshots »
Giftly has received some positive attention, although some gift givers may be turned off by the way the system works for the recipient. The current version requires the recipient to pay for their gift up front to receive a reimbursement deposited within the following two days. Although this eliminates the chances of a lost gift card, it seems a bit inconvenient for the recipient. New users should note that even though their Giftly gift will not expire, a dormancy fee is deducted after it has aged 13 months. So in the end, it isn’t much different from the unused portions of gift cards that many people have stashed around their home.
Unlike other gift giving applications, Giftly requires the recipient to pay for their purchases up front. While this may seem appealing to some because it means the user is actually using their gift funds, it may be inconvenient for some and cause them to allow their gift to reach the dormancy period when fees are deducted. Some users may find Giftly to be convenient because they can send the gift by email or Facebook, however there are a number of alternative gift giving options that do not require the recipient to pay up front for their gift.
The Giftly website has a very cheerful, lighthearted appearance. The site background changes with the season and time of day, which is a clever touch to the design. The overall style has a rich, almost nostalgic characteristic that makes it very visually appealing (even if the service is not appealing to all users). The user can easily start a new gift or learn how the site works with a single click from the Giftly homepage.
A new user can create a Giftly account by clicking the “Sign Up” button in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The form asks for an email address and password. A small blue button is available to the right of the form for users who wish to sign up with a Facebook account. A pop up box advises the user that they must access a confirmation email prior to signing in to their new account.
Anyone can create a Giftly account for free. There are no subscription fees and the user is not required to make any purchases to maintain access. The site takes a small fee from all gifts that are over $20. This fee is paid by the person giving the gift. The gift recipient does not incur any fees to use their gifted funds. Giftly does not specify exact fees for each dollar amount.
Giftly is best for users who want to give a gift to someone they may not see often or someone they cannot see due to geographic location. Even then, there are far more appealing alternatives to this service primarily because it forces the recipient to pay for their gift up front. While the loved one is getting a reimbursement in the end, there is little that can be done if the recipient doesn’t have enough funds to pay for the gift up front. Even if they do, it is very inconvenient for some to have to pay for their own present and wait for a reimbursement.