The tradition of giving greeting cards as a meaningful expression of personal affection is alive and well during the month of February.
According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second-largest card-sending holiday of the year. (Christmas bests that number, with an estimated 2.6 billion cards sent each year.) The association also indicates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
But many of us go far beyond a card on February 14. In figures released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) last week, consumers spend an average of $146.84 on Valentine’s Day gifts for their sweetie. This average spend is slightly higher than last year’s spend, which was $142.31.
According to the NRF, the top Valentine’s Day gifts based on the amount spent are:
- Date Night: $4.5 billion
- Jewelry: $4.4 billion
- Apparel: $2.0 billion
- Flowers: $1.9 billion
- Candy: $1.7 billion
If you’re one of the 1.9 million people sending flowers this week, be sure to thoroughly vet the florist before sending them funds. Some consumers have fallen prey to online or over-the-phone scams by people posing as florists who never send a bouquet.
Before you purchase from an unfamiliar seller, check for customer reviews and Better Business Bureau accreditation. And although you may pay more (but maybe not in the long run!), consider buying blooms from your local florist. That way if you have a petal problem, the retailer is right down the street.
Not to be Debbie Downer, but there’s another scam to be aware of this week. Undoubtedly, your inbox is packed with email offers for discounted flowers, jewelry and other Valentine’s Day goodies.
Some scammers create emails and online offers that look as if they’re coming from a reputable site or business when they’re not. Before clicking on links, read website addresses to spot copycat sites selling counterfeits. You can do this by placing your mouse over the link, without clicking, to see the site’s actual address.
And speaking of real versus fake emails, don’t click on embedded links from incoming e-cards, especially if they’re from an unnamed friend or “secret admirer.”
While there can be a downside to any holiday, let’s get back to the good stuff. Whatever you plan to do this Sunday and however you plan to acknowledge your sweetie, enjoy your day! And remember, it’s not about things. It’s about the feelings you share for each other.
How do you plan to spend your Valentine’s Day? What have you received or given that was a real hit? Share your good news!How Will You Express Your Love This Valentine’s Day? by PDCM Insurance