Certificatebuddy.com: gift certificates made simple
December 16, 2009 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Certificatebuddy.com: gift certificates made simple
Certificatebuddy.com is a web application that allows small businesses to print and track gift certificates. I got frustrated by the lack of such a service when trying to make gift certificates for my girlfriend's online shop, so I made one.

Any comments, suggestions, typos, spelling mistakes etc. appreciated.
posted by primer_dimer (4 comments total)

Lots of brick-and-mortar stores have barcode guns attached to their POS computers. Maybe add the code in Code 39 barcode format to the gift certificate, then provide an interface to scan in and auto-redeem certificates? A barcode gun will typically send keystrokes for the characters just as printed followed by an [Enter], so you just need a single text field.
posted by pocams at 5:45 PM on December 16, 2009

Thanks for the suggestion, that's a cool idea. I have assumed that stores that are large enought to have POS computers, barcode scanners etc. probably already have gift certificate software that integrates with their POS software. I think my app will be more useful for much smaller businesses.
posted by primer_dimer at 2:23 AM on December 17, 2009

Any chance of setting up an API or simple web get? That way, people could integrate this directly into the e-commerce system. Basically they could either do a query, where they send the code the customer entered in, and your site responds, "Yup, that was a valid certificate, and the value was $x" or "nope, not valid" or even "sorry, already redeemd". Then if it was valid with $$ left they would subtract that amount from the order total, and send an update request to your server which would mark the certificate redeemed.

Assuming you could make this fairly reliable (basically, put in a transaction check to deal with the problem of their customers clicking the "process payment" multiple times), it would be a pretty good addition to your site.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:10 PM on December 17, 2009

An API would be nice (and probably not too hard to add since the site runs on Grails). Thanks for the idea.
posted by primer_dimer at 6:32 AM on December 18, 2009

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