To think park vouchers etc are a very dodgy way of saving for Christmas?

(292 Posts)
Whoknowswhocares Tue 25-Dec-12 11:19:06

A few people have mentioned on here they plan to save for next year with one of these type of companies.

I think this is highly risky. Unlike savings in a bank, there is no safety net in place and if the company go bust, you will lose all your money. It happened to what was the biggest firm in the market only about 3-4 years ago. Most people who use these schemes are finding things tough already and cannot afford to lose their money. Please, please save your money in a bank, or even a sealed tin to break open next year

Unless iabu and the rules have changed. So am I?

Damash12 Mon 31-Dec-12 06:24:21

Totally agree, too much of a risk

Trills Mon 31-Dec-12 11:28:08

People seem to be giving me differing information on whether you get back "exactly what you put in but in a less flexible form than cash" or whether you get back "what you put in and something else extra".

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 31-Dec-12 11:39:15

I have done it once and got back exactly what I put in. It suited me because I was saving only for Christmas. I gave my SIL £40 a month for 10 months. I got the money back in M & S vouchers, ToysRUs and Argos.
It was a great Christmas and I didn't have to worry about my credit card bill in January.
I think my SIL made a bit of money but not loads.
I think it is dependent on whether you are recommending people or an agent or something but can't be sure.

AmberLeaf Mon 31-Dec-12 11:50:24

Trills, if you operate an account and not only save for yourself, but collect payments for friends/family, then you get commission on that too, so that is where you would be getting something else.

jellybeans Mon 31-Dec-12 12:22:22

'People seem to be giving me differing information on whether you get back "exactly what you put in but in a less flexible form than cash" or whether you get back "what you put in and something else extra".'

Yes you get back the same or extra. Most people can get extra by paying right away (25.00) paying by direct debit (unsure of amount) etc. If you have customers by becoming an agent (much like with Littlewoods etc) then you get more as well. Whether you get the money back in a less flexible form than cash is up to the individual. That is what they must weigh up when joining. I spend money in the shops on the voucher and amazon (which is a gift card) so for me it is no different to getting cash. I will spend other money on presents from other stores in addition. I may well give vouchers to my two teenagers rather than presents (will get them few things to open though).This will just be to make it easier. Lots of people get vouchers and love them. My parents often get me amazon or boots giftcards. Just as nice as cash!

aamia Mon 31-Dec-12 12:36:55

Having a different savings account is just the same but you can use the money in any way you like at Xmas.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 31-Dec-12 12:38:29

Yes, that is true aamie but lots of people have explained why and how Parks works for them.
Surely it is down to personal choice?

Trills Mon 31-Dec-12 13:38:56

Amberleaf- that's what I thought and that's why I was saying it's little bit like a pyramid scheme - not everyone gets the "extras", only the people at the top. The people at the bottom get no benefits or extras. They are no better off than if they had put the money under the mattress, and worse off than if they had put it in the bank. (and that's ignoring the you can't get it out if you have an emergency and the vouchers are less flexible than cash issues)

It's not dissimilar to saying to your friends "give me your Christmas savings, I'll put it in my ISA and earn interest, and then in December I'll give it back to you, but I get to keep all the interest".

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 31-Dec-12 13:47:21

I thought that people at the bottom of pyramid schemes ended up with a deficit?

I used it because I was saving money specifically for Christmas. This wasn't emergency money.

All I can say is that it worked well for me.

Trills Mon 31-Dec-12 14:06:26

I didn't say it was exactly like one, but that it has similarities.

jellybeans Mon 31-Dec-12 14:08:04

'They are no better off than if they had put the money under the mattress, and worse off than if they had put it in the bank. (and that's ignoring the you can't get it out if you have an emergency and the vouchers are less flexible than cash issues)'

Not really if they all get commission, be it some may get more than others. You CAN I believe cancel and get the money in a dire emergency. I believe it is £5 with the PO and a bit more for Park. Who are 'the people at the bottom'? Do you mean those on a very low income? Or the small spenders. Perhaps they cannot access (multiple) bank accounts or mistrust institutions? Perhaps they would rather save through friends and relatives in a 'social' club type of way. Perhaps they find Park more 'fun' way of savings than banks?

In any case if they (Xmas club savers) are happy and can afford a good debt free Xmas then shouldn't we be happy for them? Why should we belittle their choices?

AmberLeaf Mon 31-Dec-12 14:18:15

I dont think its anything like a pyramid scheme though?

Those at the bottom of a pyramid scheme get nothing, anyone who saves with park gets out what they paid in.

Trills Mon 31-Dec-12 14:18:18

By "the people at the bottom" I mean the people who are just saving, not collecting from anyone else. It's not possible for everyone to get commission if you get it by collecting savings from other people.

(imagine everyone signs up the people on the row below them)

! - lots of commission from all the people below
!! - some commission from the people below
!!!! - small amount of commission
!!!!!!!! - saving but not getting any commission

Is it "belittling" to point out that someone is doing something in a less efficient way than they could be? In that case the entirety of moneysavingexpert.com is belittling, it is entirely about how to make the most of your money, or get things for less.

AmberLeaf Mon 31-Dec-12 14:19:50

If you open your own account just saving your own money, you can still get bonuses by paying by DD.

Trills Mon 31-Dec-12 14:20:06

The question at the top of thread was "AIBU to think park vouchers are a very dodgy way of saving for Christmas?"

I am answering that they do not appear to be "dodgy" but neither does there appear to be any advantage to saving in this way, and there are a number of things that could be disadvantages.

jellybeans Mon 31-Dec-12 15:00:18

You are right that, like most things, there are disadvantages and advantages. I guess different people will have to weigh them up,. For some there will be many advantages and few disadvantages and vice versa. I think all get commission although you are right it is less if just buying for yourself and a low amount. very simelar to Littlewoods etc. Overall whatever works for people trying to save for Xmas is a good thing.

zsazsaapplenod Mon 31-Dec-12 16:08:18

Different strokes for different folks! If you enjoy saving this way then so be it. If you enjoy saving in a bank, again, so be it.

You do get commission from Park if you are saving for yourself. You also get bonuses each year for continuing to save and as I have said numerous times, the commission and bonuses far outweigh what you would gain in interest in a bank.

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