Gift shoppers can spend their gifts in the same way they’d spend a gift from a loved one, even if they don’t know each other, new research finds.
If you buy a new pair of shoes or a new car, your friend or family member could get a brand new vehicle for free, the study suggests.
But if you buy gifts for friends or family members from the same person, it’s much harder to get a new gift for them, researchers say.
The study looked at data from the online GiftShopper app, a website that lets you purchase gifts online.
The app allows users to make purchases of $100 or more with credit card and debit cards.
The site allows users not to be a credit card holder, but they’re allowed to make online purchases of up to $200 a month, with a maximum of $1,000 per transaction.
The research team analyzed data from more than 1 million purchases of gift cards on the app.
It looked at whether a gift card was purchased by the same gift recipient or not, and how that purchase affected how the gift was delivered.
The team found that if a gift was bought by a friend, it was delivered to the person with the highest credit card balance, and if the gift recipient had a higher credit card bill, it didn’t make it to the recipient.
The results of the study are published in the July 21 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
“If you’ve made a purchase of a gift, the person buying the gift may be able to get free goods or services that were purchased from you without your permission,” said lead author Anu Narayan, MD, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
“But, if the transaction wasn’t made by the person who purchased the gift, there’s a good chance that your friend won’t get a free gift from you.”
The study also looked at how many times the gift card transaction was reported as a gift transaction and whether the gift buyer had the option to cancel the transaction.
While the research team found it was likely that many gift card transactions were made to friends and family members who weren’t able to be identified, it could be difficult to find out who is the gift shopper.
“There’s a lot of confusion around the fact that someone could cancel a transaction that is made by a gift shocer,” Narayan said.
“What we wanted to find is whether the relationship between the gift seller and the gift person is a positive or negative relationship.”
In general, if people are able to make a gift purchase from friends and relatives without paying a gift tax, the relationship might be positive.
“I would say that it’s very rare that you’ll find a gift buyer who isn’t using a credit or debit card to make these purchases,” Narayan said.
The researchers also looked for evidence that the gift transaction was made at least partly on behalf of the gift-giver.
The analysis found that gift-shopper transactions that were reported as gift purchases were typically made by people with a lower credit card balances than the gift purchaser.
The data showed that when a transaction was paid on behalf by a person with a higher card balance who reported a gift-trading account, the gift purchased was usually not included in the gift’s cost to the gift purchase recipient.
This study found that the relationship is likely positive because a credit transaction would usually include the gift amount and payment information, as well as the gift transfer information.
The findings are consistent with previous research on the topic, which suggests that gift shoppers will likely make more frequent and costly purchases of a loved-one’s gift than a person buying a gift.
The new research also found that a person who had the ability to cancel a gift or purchase would be less likely to do so.
“It would be very easy to find someone who could cancel the gift and be reimbursed, but I don’t think that’s the case,” Naraysan said of canceling a gift with a gift transfer or credit card.
“The gift-transfer or credit-card transaction itself isn’t necessarily bad because that could be done with a card that is less expensive.”
The researchers suggest that the best way to help make gift-buying easier is to make gift delivery easy and convenient.
“Make it as easy as possible for gift-seekers to buy their gift from their favorite places,” Narayer said.
This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Contact Anu Natarajan at [email protected]