The profit in Gift Cards is not in the sale of the cards but the cards that go unused and are lost. In many ways gift cards are a sham transaction based on the knowledge that a known percentage of people lose or will never use some of the cards that they buy and by doing so generating pure profit for the seller.
The Iowa State Fair’s plan to go cashless and force patrons to buy tickets to use as cash on the fair grounds, no matter what their stated reasons, is a simple but amazingly brazenly shameful and at the same time sneaky and shameless attempt to generate a safe and low-cost revenue stream for the fair. The fair will gain pure profit from lost and unused tickets while enjoying the daily and yearly “float” on the money from those sales with zero risk for the fair. This purely profit based initiative to inject the fair board into all transactions as a non-productive ticket broker is beneath the fair board and the State of Iowa.
As a sidelight will every food item at the fair now cost a multiple of 50 cents and will vendors raise or lower prices to hit the magical price divisible by 50. I think the answer is clear, this is a tax/fee and potential price rise across the board on fair goers not a convenience. If the fair board needs more money they should raise the ticket price, up the rents and use better accounting, not sneak around the back alleys of the fair economy effectively stealing it from fair goers and vendors.
I wonder is the state going to charge sales tax on the tickets at point of purchase, given that they now go after that extremely high profit industry of people parking cars in their front yards around the fair with great zeal, I can’t imagine that they won’t! Is anyone looking forward to paying $106 dollars to get $100 worth of tickets on top of the inevitable price rises this will generate? In effect benefiting the state for taking tax on tickets that will never be used? If not will all prices have to reflect a sales tax and yet still end in a “0.” so that tickets may be used cleanly or will their be dime, nickel, quarter, and penny tickets as well.
I have this picture in my mind of sometime in the future as this ” ticket tax” expands to more vendors across the fair. It is the picture of a customer with a wheelbarrow full of 800,000 tickets going to make a deal on a combine; it’s not a pretty picture.