gift vouchers, how to setup, use and manage

Gift Vouchers

There are two types of redeemable ‘credits’ in oscommerce-based carts:

  1. a printed voucher with a redemption code, value and message (physical) – this is basically a coupon
  2. purchased online credit sent to someone’s email address (electronic) – this is a gift voucher

You could have the first type printed up, sold through your online store as a regular product and mailed to the purchaser or recipient.┬áThis article is about the second type – the electronic gift voucher – which uses the store’s system to record credit.

Did you know ?

A little known FAQ script included with most installations can be found in the file gv_faq.php.

On www.yourwebsite.com the url address would be then: www.yourwebsite.com/gv_faq.php

Gift Vouchers Process (Buyer’s View)

  1. Purchase the GV product as you would any other product via checkout
  2. The value of the GV value is added to the Buyer’s Account as ‘credit’
  3. Buyer can send credit to a recipient’s email address, or use credit for themselves
  4. Recipient ticks checkbox in checkout to use GV balance – balances below the order value will require the Recipient to pay the balance using a different payment method
  5. Any unusued GV credit is recorded in the Recipient’s Account for later

Gift Vouchers Process (Admin’s View)

  1. GV is setup like any other product, except:
  • weight is usually zero
  • product_model must begin with the word GIFT
  1. Admin can collect purchases of GVs in a queue for checking before release to Buyer
  2. Admin needs to offer other payment methods for use with GVs below order total value
  3. The GV Order Total module should be enabled in Admin >> Modules >> Order Total

There are several considerations* for Admin in the GV system:

  • there is no way of telling Customer GV balances using the default reporting
  • if Release Queueing isn’t enabled in the Order Total module, the GV value will be credited immediately to the Buyer’s account
  • you’ll only be able to see purchased gvs through the order, as any non-queued gvs don’t go through the gv report.
  • there are issues using GVs and Paypal modules, in particular regarding $0.00 order balances and cancelling an order when on the Paypal site (GV value is still removed from Account)

*Not all of these considerations are found throughout all oscommerce-based carts. Zencart for example has a more reliable yet feature limited version of the system.