To think park vouchers etc are a very dodgy way of saving for Christmas?(292 Posts)
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?
I have been having the same thoughts. I thought the bargain finding on the Christmas bargains thread seemed a totally amazing way to get cheap yet fab pressies. I just thought using that tread and spending carefully from savings in the bank might mean the money goes further than with park.
I think the problem with saving actual cash is that it's accessible if you get caught short whereas Park isn't. The Post Office do a savings card which I'll be saving on for next year; it's a pre-paid Visa card that you pop a regular amount onto.
Didn't something like this collapse a few years back???. And everyone lost their savings and presents?
Plenty of other better ways to save for Christmas. Even a jar for pound coins is better than that to be honest.
Yes, I've had the same thought - if you can't trust yourself with the money in case of falling short, could you not give money to a trusted family member to 'look after' I've done this with my Mum before!
There is a safety net in place now, after Farepak went under.
But I still think it would be better to save in a bank and shop around.
Just checked the park website as I thought they now have to put customers money in a Trust account and it is not part of the main business assets. So if they company goes under the customers get their money back. The government put this requirement in place after Farepak went under.
YANBU. People need to get a bit of willpower and just save it seperately or buy bit by bit through the year.
But with Park is it value for money? I do not know what you can get with them, but surely bargains can be got from elsewhere thus meaning that money goes further.
YANBU. There are far better ways to save - anyone who's thinking of a Park type scheme should check out www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk for better alternatives.
that kind of thing is for the very poor. they used to collect house to house, like the rent man. no sensible person ever got involved. i'm glad its more secure now.but anyone who can afford to save a few pounds a week can open a bank account and pay it in there.
my aunt (by marriage) ran a 'christmas club', collected from her neighbours all year then scarpered to spain with the money, leaving my uncle to refund all the savings and to save the family's reputation. and he had her back. the money only paid for a week's cheapo holiday!
It's a shame there aren't as many Christmas clubs about as there were when I was growing up. Social clubs, sports clubs and pubs used to take money off people each week and put it in a separate account, and then you got your money 2 weeks before Christmas.
I suppose it might be because of the temptation to run away to Barbados with the money or do an Arthur Fowler, but surely there must be some trust left in the world?
oops, really should read the WHOLE thread before posting!
Maybe would be better to do one of the savings card things at the big supermarket instead. Large Tesco and Asdas sell such a wide range of stuff, you get a bonus in November and can get your money back if you needed to throughout the year.
They are a good idea for some people.
If you will shop at the shops covered by the vouchers then it makes sense.
Paying in and not being able to get at the money during the year is a good idea.
Ive done it before. The farepak thing put me off, but now I know there are safety measures in place, Id possibly do it again.
I only ever bought the vouchers which were like for like [put in £200-get out £200 in vouchers]
wouldnt bother with the meat hampers etc.
I save using Variety. A friend from work does it. We are rubbish with cash, but this is fantastic and we are covered should something happen. This Christmas we got £300 of vouchers and spent maybe only £50 cash so, for us, it's definitely worthwhile
Firstly Merry Christmas everyone . Can someone please tell me what these park vouchers are, I've never heard of them?
I save up for £500 of park vouchers every year. They are hugely helpful. I get £300 high street vouchers, £100 M&S and £100 Amazon. Big relief at Xmas knowing they are coming. If I tried to save up the money in an account it would get used for something else.
Why not save using the supermarket schemes? Lots of them offer savings card and generally they top you up by £1 for every £25 you save, or thereabouts. Even if you don't buy all your Christmas stuff from there you can buy a great deal.
I do keep meaning to do this but I always forget
Must remember to start one next year!
I saved via Park for a few years now. A fuel at my last work used to collect from us, and she would get commission on what we saved. When I left that job, I opened up my own Park account and just direct debit a fixed amount every month. I save for vouchers - usually High Street Vouchers ( which are taken in loads of places), M&S, Debenhams and Arcadia. I use them to buy pressies or to get something to wear at the Xmas party. I usually don't use all if them and end up having them to use over the year (virtually all gave no expiry date though).
Yes I could do the same to a bank account, but the temptation to use that money would be too easy. Using Park means I pretty much forget about it, and then at the beg if Nov I get lots of lovely Vouchers.
Or perhaps I should just get a grip and some will power as previously suggested
I save with our local credit union after having Christmas near wiped out by Farepak a few years ago.
Hey I'm not poor and I save with park .
I don't want just supermarket vouchers so it's pointless me saving stamps solely with asda and /or tesco
I like to know the direct debit goes out each month . I haven't got to worry and come November I have saved up a huge amount .
If it were left for me to do myself I'd be terrible with the money thinking I'll treat the kids /go out a few times / buy nice food for a change / squander it on nothing in particular .
I did it this year and I'm DUI g it again next year , infact my first DD came out. 1st December so already I'm saving for next Christmas
I use park and before farepak problem I used home farm hampers I only get the food stuff love it
I think it is a good idea for some that have trouble saving and also that will use the shops in the voucher scheme. I know a few who do it and all swear by it. Also know a few that do the PO Xmas savings which is simelar but a gift card. It is much better protected now and also if you pay by Visa etc you are covered even more I think.
I have saved with Park for 8 years. Every year my order and commission gets larger. I have 18 people who save with me and I get a cheque for between £300-£600 every November. I always advise people to only collect vouchers as I believe the hampers to be hugely overpriced but some of them love receiving them. The people who save with me all say the same thing. If they didn't physically hand over cash to me and see it as a debt then no way could they save for Christmas as they'd spend it. The money is safe and secure and you get back what you put in. The range of shops that take the vouchers increases every year and in every booklet there are coupons that give free gifts or rewards when you spend the vouchers at certain stores. My local Boots had a till dedicated to just vouchers and it was busy. Also if you have any left over they can be used at Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and lots of other attractions.
Park is very useful for people who struggle to save up for Christmas and don't want to get into debt.
Good to know that there is a safety net in place now. Although me being a cynic still remembers a certain national newspaper pension fund being raided by the company leaving the employees up the swannee, even though there were the same type of rules in place to prevent it. The fact that they shouldn't doesn't always mean they won't!
It still wouldn't be for me. I want to shop around and get the best deals, not be restricted to certain places and prices. And hampers etc are horrifically overpriced! I know it's hard to put money aside for Christmas, especially if things are tight, but those are exactly the people who should be getting the biggest bang for their buck by shopping around!
I have saved with Park and I checked it out first to make sure my money was safe, which it is. The vouchers are accepted at most high street shops, you can get amazon vouchers to use online, whats not to love?
I get to November and dont have to worry about paying for Xmas as it is all done, and I never spend all of it, so we use the leftovers in the sales.
As for "its for the poor" Really? Nice generalisation there! THis time last year we were not poor, not at all but I saved. 2 weeks before my vouchers came, DH got made redundant with no warning, no pay off or wages he was owed. Without my savings, Xmas would not have happened. Sometimes it pays to think ahead.
Its a much better idea to use a proper Christmas savings account in a building society. Skipton certainly have one(can be operated by post and they have branches all over the country).
You get about 3% interest and its difficult to get the money out before the set date
but not impossible so if the boiler blows up its possible to get to it
Much better for you, not necessarily better for everyone!
Just because someone chooses to do something different, doesnt make it wrong!
I just don't understand this.
1. Adults are in charge of their own decisions. what is all this "oh I'd just spend the money"? Are there really so many stupid, feckless, irresponsible people out there? If you want to save the money, just save it.
2. What do you get from Park that you wouldn't get from just having a standing order go out every month into a high-interest savings account?
One person who saves with me is an elderly lady without a bank account.She can't get one for love nor money. She has a post office thingy that her pension is paid into and thats it. She doesn't want any money lying around her house. Come christmas she can treat her grandkids without worrying about the pension. For her this kind of thing is ideal.
Thats a bit harsh Holla. Its a choice that people make to save in a way to suit them. Thats all.
YABU. Theres nothing dodgy about it, you say it pays to shop around etc, but theres nothing to stop you shopping around with the vouchers, which cover a huge range of high street and on-line stores. Using a supermarket savings scheme doesn't remove the ability to spend your savings at any time throughout the year.
And holla I dont think using the money you have saved if something comes along makes you stupid or feckless either.
But WHY does it suit them? How is it different from putting the money in the bank? I have never seen the point of these schemes.
But surely if something comes along that means you need the money (boiler breakdown or something) you are at a disadvantage having it tied up in a voucher scheme? How do you get the money out and aren't there penalties for doing so?
It is different because you cant spend the money until you get the vouchers, usually in November. Whereas if you save it in a bank account there will always be the temptation to use it for something else throughout the year. Thats not difficult to understand.
holla its not different, except your are obliged to put the money in each month.
So if its not that different and people are not losing out why does it bother you?
For next Christmas I'm saving in a savings account. I set up the standing order on Boxing Day.
My mum used to give my Nan money every week for Christmas. She found it easier because the Christmas money was separate from her other savings. When my Nan passed away she set up a separate savings account.
I love the idea of Park, the only reason I don't use them is because I like to bargain hunt and I often get things from websites that aren't included in their vouchers.
You dont get your money out, thats the point - it means you get it for Christmas.
Bogeyface but a lot of people aren't choosing to do something different, they're doing the first thing that comes up that all their friends are also doing, and not checking the security or value for money of doing it.
It is of course a choice which people are free to make, but they would be better off saving in an account with interest and properly protected by the FSA and ultimately the government (I'm not convinced by the "in trust" idea). And then have cash rather than vouchers which no matter how "good" they are are always limited in where they can be spent.
Yes its an ok scheme for the participants and a great scheme for the sellers (Park itself and their agents) but there are better options which a lot of people don't seem to know are there for them.
And I personally get upset at these schemes because of the Farepak thing. Yes I know there are supposedly systems in place to protect customer's money now, but they aren't foolproof.
And being able to get to the money (with a small loss of interest to deter you from doing it on a whim) is very useful if you are in a dire position mid-year. If you struggle with willpower for saving so much that you need to not be able to get to money, what do you do if the washing machine breaks or the car needs repairing and you will lose your job if you don't get it fixed? Yes it will lead to a worse Christmas but that's better than getting a payday loan or similar.
Personally my money isn't tied up just for Park vouchers. I'm not that stupid. I save the same amount again in my ISA. I love getting my vouchers. Its like a mini Christmas day in itself.
Oh and if you can't carry on with it you can stop and get your cash back. You aren't tied into it.
Some people are thinking way too much about this. It suits some (poor people apparently! Wtf...) to use Park or similar, others use a special bank account and can be all aloof and smug about how savvy and self controlled they are about it.
Move on for gods sake!
I would never use one of these companies again, after getting my fingers burned with Farepak.
I ordered over £500 of stuff, mostly in hampers of food and wine and gift vouchers for the relatives that live far away. I wasn't earning a great amount at the time and it seemed like a good idea. I didn't have to go out and shop for them and they were delivered to my door and everything was paid for well before Christmas.
I had done it the year before and it had worked out well so i did it agian, remembering how my mum had always ordered a hamper form the milkman and paid for it weekly.
Park and Variety are the founder members of the CPA (Christmas Prepayment Association). The Post Office are also a member.
You can find the Code of Conduct here www.cpa-advice.co.uk.
The CPA was set up in the wake of the Farepak debacle in 2006 and has been trading for almost 6 years now.
Member companies must keep their customers' monies in at least 50% independent trust accounts which are controlled at least 50% independently outwith the member company. When the time comes for the money to be released ie to pay for vouchers, hampers, white goods etc, the Trustees must authorise the release of the monies.
It is incorrect to say that "poor people" save with these types of companies. Actually sensible people save with these types of companies. The money is locked away and you cannot get at it until you have paid in full. Furthermore, given the fact that interest rates have been so low for so long now, you get more in commission from Park and Variety than you would saving in a bank account.
People who save with Park, Variety or the Post Office are sensible as they are saving for a debt free Christmas. Once their vouchers, hampers arrive they basically can go shopping, do the wrapping and settle down and enjoy Christmas.
In short, your money is safe with companies who are members of the CPA.
For the avoidance of doubt, vouchers with supermarkets are NOT regulated and supermarkets have been asked to regulate same but they refused because there is no legislation in place to force them. Also gift vouchers are unregulated so if a company goes into administration (like Comet did) the vouchers will more than likely not be accepted.
Jeez, just because you dont see the point doesnt mean that it doesnt have its merits!
I get quite a nice amount of commission on my and my families savings, I dont have to think about Xmas at all until I go shopping, I consider a normal "bill" so there is no "Oh I will just borrow £20 out of the Xmas money this month...." and then end up with alot less than budgeted for.
And thanks for the "feckless, irresponsible, stupid" comments, nice, really nice
Just because someone does things differently to you does not make them any of the above. But saying such things makes you very rude and snotty.
Oh I should add that member companies of the CPA are also protected by the FSCS also now!
yanbu, i worry about people saving with these that they will lose money
whoknowswhocares Farepak were NOT the biggest company on the market. Park have always been the biggest.
They were obviously affected by the Farepak debacle but worked extremely hard with government insolvency service to protect customers funds and have been doing so since early 2007 now.
Plus, Park's business model was competely different to Farepak's. Park also had and still have a clean balance sheet whereas Farepak and European Home Retail owed millions to HBOS.
Only this year, the FSCS has began protecting funds with a member of the CPA Christmas Prepayment Assocation which Park was a founder member of.
The people to worry about saving with are supermarkets who refuse to regulate and vouchers in general as they are also not regulated!
Spartak but Asda and Tesco refuse to regulate their saving schemes! Asda in particular refuse point blankly. You lose your card, you lose your money - simples!
i was with home park hampers i lost some of the gifts ordered but got a full refund and then they were brought out by park,i have had no trouble with park either,i was upset for those with farepak and most still havent had money back,but things were put in place after to stop this happening again,end of the day its up to that person what they do,i save with them and i know all my food is sorted and lasts well after xmas saving me money.
Nowahousewife You can find out about Park here www.getpark.co.uk
It is a way of saving each week/month for the following Christmas.
it;s another way of screwing over poor people, pay through the nose all year long - often its the same person who gives out the provvy loans or similar if they go door to door.
saving when you have shit all and can't get on your feet is hard.
I would urge anyone and everyone to please for the love of all that is holy, seek out your nearest credit union.
ddubsgirl The majority of Farepak savers have now finally received approximately 50% back. That is all they will receive though. Farepak is in the winding up stage (ie death of company).
change your bank account to the coop or nationwide - if you can, stop letting these rich fat fuckers go on yachting holidays with your fucking money.
i had a credit union account and they closed it down :/ without telling me and were rude when i asked!
Custardo It is nothing like a provident loan. I respectively suggest you check your facts. As I said in an earlier post, due to interest being so low for so many years now, you get more commission with a member of the Christmas Prepayment Association than you do in a bank.
As for Credit Unions, yes they are better than a loan from provident or cash advance etc but there has been a lot of fraud within Credit Unions and also they go bust as well albeit they are protected by the FSA.
I can see how it's a good thing for you Bogeyface, if you're acting as an agent and making money off other people's savings. But what's in it for an individual saver? Say you put in £50 per month - that's £600 over the year - what do you get at the end? £600 in vouchers, or more?
yes i earn comission on my park account,i use mine to pay towards my order.
yes if u buy £600 of vouchers u get £600
Custardo whilst I do agree that saving with a credit union is a great idea you are wrong about schemes like Park - you don't pay throught the nose all year round - you save towards specific voucher amounts, what you put in is what you get back so confused about what you mean!
If you save for vouchers you get back what you pay in.
and as an agent you earn x amount of comission on those sales aswell as your own order,if you dont want others to earn it then open your own account and earn your own comission.
The local Avon lady was the Park woman when I used to get them.
Provident is a con I cant see a provident rep also doing park, no one would bother with the provident loans! because park makes more sense because of no interest.
You can still save for yourself and not run an Agency and receive commisson.
Here are the commission figures here
Well can't believe it's been described as what poor people do. ^^
We have a very comfortable income and I'm saving for a second time with Park. Im saving £85 per month. I just like the idea of the vouchers being me
T separate, you can't dip into it, though I do have emergency funds if boiler breaks down.
I'm saving that much as I think I will send vouchers next year as pressents and have orderd an MnS card which I plans to use for our Xmas food order, winter coats etc.
It's just another way of saving, don't know what all the fuss is about.
For poor people indeed.
So some people earn commission. If you are one of those I can see an incentive. Fair enough, well played.
But if i understand the way it works, you are earning on the backs of others. Others who could be earning interest on their savings. For those people, I don't see much of an upside
How much interest would you get on £600 saved across say 11 months? in any of the building society accounts?
Provident is entirely different, you receive cash or vouchers up front, accrue the debt then pay it off with interest yes?
Park is a saving scheme.
I suppose IBU to save up club card points, advantage card points, Amex points. I have all these little pots of money that I use for treats and Christmas - I must be vair, fair poor.
poor poor poor
thats up to them,for some its easier to hand the money and not have to worry,my friend does this she gives me her weekly payment,i pay it in,come xmas time all her food is delivered.
You can open your own account directly with Park and just sae for yourself, that way there is no agent earning commision off your savings if that bothers you so much.
Whoknowswhocares Anyone can earn commission. Just save for yourself if you want commission. Fair enough it will be lower than that of an Agent who has say 3 or 4 customers but it is probably still more than you would earn in interest on a bank account given the current economic climate!
I was feeling quite good until I read this thread, now I feel stupid for losing my money with farepak and stupid because i am poor (apparently)
They don't charge you for saving with them do they?
dubsgirl I lost £100 when Farepak collapsed in 2006, could have been a lot worse. I got a cheque for £35 a few months ago as a final payment from the administrators plus I remember getting some money at the time from the fund. It did put me off but Im going to save a small amount with park for next year I think as I still think its a good idea, although like someone said not all the money for Christmas.
No they don't charge you Moomins.
Yes amber I have mine like that the commission is deducted of the cost of my vouchers, I pay by direct debit and can delay or stop it anytime I like and manage it all online.
No need to take it personally! I'm entitled to an opinion.
My main point in starting this was because I was unaware that the funds were nowadays secure. They apparently are, so great
It's not for me. I think there are better ways. But live and let live, eh?
insancerre For anyone to have had a clue about Farepak we would have all had to have first known about Parent Companies and Stocks and Shares and the suspension of stocks and shares - hmmmmmmmm because we did not know about that are we perhaps stupid and poor
I am not rolling in it but not poor and considering Park and PO along with supermarkets for next Xmas. We have savings and ISAs but like the idea of something just for Christmas. We are always dipping into the ISAs for something or other. I think in this economic climate more middle and higher paid people are doing, or will do, this kind of scheme.
It's not that different to buying off Littlewoods catalogue other than you pay first rather than owe which can only be good. Any company can go bust, you would never buy anything if you were too careful. I personally think it is a great and responsible idea.
Also I believe you can cancel with Park and PO but there is a small charge. So if there were truly desperate times you could get your money back.
Whoknowswhocares and I respect your opinion. Was simply pointing out the factual information
Well I'm valid stupid and poor as my mortgage is with N Rock, in fact I have two with them
jellybeans be careful with supermarkets - they are not regulated and refuse to regulate!
I have to say, I agree with holla - I just don't see the point. Paying towards vouchers just seems so restrictive. Can you spend them on Amazon for example? What happens if you don't end up using all the vouchers after youve done all your xmas shopping? Do you get it back in cash?
A nice little earner for those on commission but otherwise if you have access to bank accounts then a standing order into a separate account surely gives you more flexibility and freedom. Fair enough for those that don't have easy access to multiple bank accounts I suppose.
But in answer to those like my sister who use park because "Ooooh I'd just spend it if someone wasn't minding it for me" - get some self-control for god's sake and DON'T spend it!!!!
whoknows did not make the poor comment. It's that I have beef wiv!
And it is for poor people. Before reading this thread, I actually thought these schemes were for people too poor/illiterate/low credit rated to get a proper bank account.
Do you park savers realise that you are making an interest free loan to them? Lending them your money so that they can invest/gamble with it all year to make a fat profit for themselves?
shesariver glad u got some of it back,i had gifts not turn up but got a refund from hfh,both dh & i work so no we are not poor and i love saving with park,i get all my food and dont have the hassle of fighting my way around the supermarket! i hate shopping at the best of times.
isn't that exactly what the bank does with your money in your current account. holla?
What holla like the banks do?
curly they are widely accepted, inc attractions and restaurants.
It's just a way of saving, if that's what some people need to do to save then so what?
Some people need to hide the biscuit tin, or not have them in the house.
Good for you if you are super saver who has self control.
I'm poor, stupid and have no self control...waaaaahahhhhhhh
Do you park savers realise that you are making an interest free loan to them? Lending them your money so that they can invest/gamble with it all year to make a fat profit for themselves?
What do you think banks and building societies do with your money?!
Yes you can order Amazon vouchers from Park. As for having any left, my mum usually goes and spends her vouchers in the sales or she keeps any vouchers she has left until the following year for either birthdays or Christmas again.
My parents are not poor, have bank account, savings account, ISA etc but she likes this way of saving as do many people all over the UK.
Also my mum gets commission for herself as she only saves for herself and it is more than any interest she would currently get in a bank a/c!
Oooo do banks invest money then lose it all, in errrr credit crunches. But I'm a bit thick me.
eh holla I think that reference would be best places with banks especially given their track records over the past few years
The fast show comes to mind for some posters on this thread
'I'm so much considerably
richer intelligent and superior in exercising self control than ywow'
Custardo it is a well known fact that Martin Lewis cannot stand any types of schemes such as members of the CPA.
wow, in 2012 wer're still berrating people for doing things diffrently!!
I get paid from a small job in e-vouchers, I request amazon vouchers, and store the codes in a buscuit jar on my window sill. I also use tesco and the double up in november/early december to pay for christmas.
I dont exactly give my money to someone else to save, but I also dont save cash in a seprate bank account and exercise slef controll either.
Am I wrong? or is it people who use companies like park which (has been mentioned several times now and evidence linked)is completely safe after farepac went bust.
yes be warey of these companoies just as you should be wary of any company and even bank at the moment curries, northen rock, mfi, la senza, jjb, whittards, woolworths just to name a few.
But lets not get the pitch forks out just because someone chooses to use a christmas savings scheme you dont personall feel comfortable with.
Anyway I AM keeping my park account going with pride. It was another MNetters on a budgeting thread in the summer told me about them.
Im with Park n Proud
I'm also immoral as we all have iPads, poor, think and lacking itself control - all from MN in 48hours blindly.
Dubsgirl I remember at the time being upset but it didnt ruin my Christmas as it was only £100 M&S vouchers I was saving towards, but my agent lost £900, it was awful.
I do resent being told I dont have any "self control" because I think its a good way to actually save towards Christmas unlike putting it all on credit cards etc like half of people seem to have done this Christmas according to the news.
joins feeling ..................
WTG Feelingdetached my mum has already paid £60 towards 2013 order
I think the problem with saving actual cash is that it's accessible if you get caught short whereas Park isn't.
That sounds like a plus on the side of a savings account. No point having money put away for Christmas that you can't access if the boiler has just exploded.
why does he not like them? zsa zza
why are you immoral detached?
Do you have to decide now what vouchers you are saving for and how much? I can't get it up on my phone
Shesariver It did ruin Christmas for an awful lot of people. Thankfully I only lost around £300 but I felt so guilty as my agency lost over £1,000 and those were family members.
In 2006 an awful lot of Farepak "victims" used credit cards, provident and even loan sharks to fund their Christmas and were still paying it off in 2007. However, people who did not save with Farepak also funded their Christmas 2006 with credit cards as they do year after year.
What I detest about Farepak is the fact that it is associated with being financially illiterate, no self control and plain stupid. It really gets my goat!
<folds arms, nods head in corner with dubs, and insac>
My second £85 payment will come out in four days, yes it will <smug>
you have a choice of different ones,you pick which ones and order,if there are any changes the company will let you know and offer to change them of refund normally(say a store closes down etc)
Yeah moomin, there are mainly highstreet vouchers and mns I think.
If you opt into any other packages like goods or hampers if it is not paid they convert them to vouchers and send it out as balance.
Custardo he believes they represent poor value for money.
And you pay by standing order?
custardo there was a thread about buying iPads for children, I have so therefore I am. So judgelicious on here at the moment!
you can pay by standing order, make online payments, send cheques, pay over the phone, at the Post Office, Bank etc.
Yes I'm paying by direct debit, fixed amount every month. I can cancel it online on their website or at my bank, so there is always that too...
Banks are properly regulated. If they go under, you will get all your money back.
Banks pay you interest. It's not much, but you get out more than you put in.
Banks give back your money in the form of cash so that you can spend it on anything and in any shop. This enables you to shop around for the lowest prices rather than being forced to buy only from certain shops.
Zsazsa, your mum spends left over vouchers in the sales? You see I think many people with leftover vouchers would do this. I bet they feel its like Monopoly money - not real proper hard cash, "it's already paid for so I may as well use them" type of attitude. So they go out and buy a lot of tat in the sales simply because the vouchers are sitting there, I bet. When otherwise they might not. Perhaps.
Also, what happens when you get odd little amount of vouchers left here and there. If EVERYONe who has vouchers have odd little amounts of them left then might they top up it with cash in a shop to buy an item? In which case the shops must be laughig if thousands of people are doing that. Or conversely, just think "oh it's only 3 quid" or whatever and stick it in a drawer forgotten about? (Again if there are thousands of people doing that, then Park wins.)
I just don't see that it's actually that beneficial for the consumer. Profits for Park, profits for the shops. Not much in it for the shopper apart from having their money babysat for them.
They must be making a huge profit out of it, these companies. They're not operating out of the goodness of their heart.
I can never really see the point of these either.
Yes saving for Christmas is a good idea, I save each month by DD into a separate account with a different bank so that the money is away and out of sight. I can see that if you had it with your normal bank and you had a tight month that it would be tempting to 'borrow' it when you were using internet banking.
It is very nice to know that the money is there and waiting, but I would much rather have the freedom of spending anywhere and being able to pick up good deals than be limited with vouchers.
zsazsa I remember it all well, I spent a lot of time on the Unfarepak website which was a good support. It was the first year I had did it, otherwise I probably would have lost more. It was because of that I got into my local credit union - usually you have to have savings with them before they give you a loan but because of the Farepak fiasco they were offering loans without savings at the time if you had lost money with Farepak, this I took out and have continued to save with them and use them for loans if need be.
The thread that keeps giving
I buy tat I the sales too..... <snuggles into new sale dressing gown>
It's a hoot this is a hoot I tell ya
Surely you could just set up a regular saver with the bank. A fixed one that it is hard to take the money out of unless you give notice. Then you would earn interest and come november could give notice to remove the money and spend it wherever you wanted.
I always thought that you got more vouchers back when you paid in to compensate for the fact that you have to spend them in certain shops.
Wish I'd come up with the idea - sounds like a great money making scheme. In fact, if anyone wants to give me their money I'll put it in my bank until November then give you the same amount back in m&s vouchers.
Zsazsa, your mum spends left over vouchers in the sales? You see I think many people with leftover vouchers would do this. I bet they feel its like Monopoly money - not real proper hard cash, "it's already paid for so I may as well use them" type of attitude. So they go out and buy a lot of tat in the sales simply because the vouchers are sitting there, I bet. When otherwise they might not. Perhaps
Sorry, but that made me laugh.
Sounded really silly.
If you would use those shops anyway, you are not being 'forced' to spend them anywhere
What happens if your vouchers get stolen or you lose them? Will they get replaced? If not then its the same as carrying hundreds of pounds in cash round with you, surely? Personally I would rather use a debit card during Xmas shopping time, for that reason.
ali you have a point re bargains as some toy sales are in sept/oct if you have paid for your vouchers you can ask for them early. Obviously getting them is no good if you need to shop outise of regular high street stores Argos, toys r us etc.
If you use cash in sales is still classed as 'tat'?
Curly, yes my mum spends vouchers in the sales on treats for herself and she deserves them.
I doubt any shop is actually "laughing" given that the Christmas build up was slower than last year with like for like being -2.2%. In fact, I am sure the shops would be more than happy to have shoppers in with vouchers spending money in the sales in order to keep the companies afloat.
As I have already said, you earn more commission from the likes of Park than you would earn in interest in a Bank a/c given the interest rates over the last few years.
All vouchers have serial numbers on them.
No risks with debit cards then, noooo no none.
Laugh away! . I am enjoying it too - pondering and musing about it all. Glad it had amused everyone!! I think both sides will have to agree to disagree as neither side will ever convince the other!!!
I'm beginning to regret starting this! It's turned into a bun fight!!!
Lacking in self control
Buyer of tat
All because the lady saves with Park.
<nuts immoral iPad>
but could you buy goats with the vouchers, even an ethical one?
If you use cash in sales is still classed as 'tat'?
This made me chuckle
I have typed in so many comments and deleted them because I'm struggling to think of anything civil to post.
You can save money in a bank. No shit? Thank fuck there are people posting this as I would never have realised.
Park is for poor people - does that mean there are poor people out there making plans for a reasonable Christmas? This must be stopped immediately.
Unspent vouchers will be frittered away in the sales.
Give me bloody strength.
Us thick stoopid poor people need to have someone to take our money off'f us so our kidz get a decent Xmas, cos overwize we'd only spend our benefits on scratchies and lager wunt we?
Whoknowswhocares but at least by starting it, we have ironed out a few facts and yes there are varying opinions but hey, that's life
Well, to be fair, most things in the sale ARE tat that no-one wanted enough to buy before Xmas OR have their prices inflated before Xmas to make consumers think they are getting a bargain at the reduced price after Xmas. Probably the only proper bargains are reduced Xmas crackers, cards and wrapping paper and the like.
But that is a whole other bunfight!
Yeah because no one spends 'real' cash on tat now do they? If that were true we'd have no discount stores.
im feeling quite uncomfortable with the way that people are using the term poor in a pejorative manner.
also there was mention of credit unions being well known for fraud - which is blatently untrue.
also there is a deliberate twisting of meanings to whip up yet more bun fighting which is rather odd.
I can see that one might not be as careful ( certainly would not have the amount of choice to buy the cheapest on offer) if you hae vouchers in your hand as if you have cash. now whilst that might not be personally true for some or all of the people on this thread, it is never the less a valid point
another valid point made was that of what if you need money in an emergency - surely savings is a better way to access money.
The whole "poor" thing just pissed me off.
Last Xmas we were doing very well thank you, we had finally recovered from being shit on from a great height by me ex husband financially, and were doing ok. I started the savings thing as I thought it would be good to have incase we had another disaster and to keep the Xmas money seperate. Also, on what I saved I was getting more commission from Park than I could in the bank.
Then, 1 month before this Xmas, my husband lost his job. We are now officially poor, we have more going out than we have coming in. Without my Park savings, we wouldnt have had a Xmas, end of. So no, poor people are not the only people that use it and thank fuck for that!!
Thank you, custardo! Only on mumsnet can you make a suggestion that PERHAPS some people MIGHT be tempted to behave/think in a certain way and then get people all arsey accusing you of stating that it is proven FACT that EVERY person in the world thinks that way for sure.
Oh know you don't curly I disagree entirely.
Some shops just overstock on certain lines.
What a person is prepared to pay for a product is entirely based on individuals perceptions of:
Need for a product (socks in my case and leather gloves)
Wants level of desire for a product,
Value and quality - what they think a product is worth to them and willingness to pay, so a reduction in price might trigger a purchase.
Planned purchases - got all ds teacher presents half price in Boots for end of year.
Why is it a valid point? If people have saved all year for the vouchers what does it matter if you spend them all or what you spend them on? It's not like using a bloody credit card
If I had any left over vouchers from Christmas I would buy wine - which is never a waste
Many people want to save money specifically for Christmas. And so put it in a Christmas savings club. Like Park.
Some examples of fraud. I have also said that a credit union is a good way to save though!
Ok that's converted me. Vouchers for wine and a non-tat table and chair.
where do I sign up
Bogey, sorry to hear this and I hope your situation improves very soon. I am glad your Christmas was not ruined.
why is what <not> a valid point moomin?
Actually they are restrictive those vouchers. I wasn't allowed to buy fags with them last year in WH Smith. I got 4 Chocolate Oranges instead. Every cloud and all that.
Bloody hell if you can't shop n find a bargain in this lot then you needs your eyes testing
list of shops
www.getpark.co.uk WhoKnowswhocares or you have the choice of Variety or Post Office Seriously though, it really can be a very good way to save and it is safe
Also, please everyone watch out for the supermarkets as they are not regulated.
zsa zsa well just like your martin comment - your two googled sites must mean its well known? deliberate spin to prove a non point.
credit unions are not well known for fraud. if they were i am sure you wouldnt advocate them as a good way to save one article from 2010
what if you miss a weeks payment? on week 26 do you lose it all or do they give you a chance? how many chances do you get?
I'm planning to keep my extremely large order of Park love to shop vouchers
cos I'm dead rich really for winter coats, uniform, days out etc. They don't have a use by date on them nor do they turn into a pumpkin at midnight on Xmas eve or explode on the first of Jan at the abhorrence being used by a sale slu to buy tat.
It's just how I chose to save on portion of my money. The rest is out in my Swiss bank account and an offshore fund in the cayman islands. <sticks tounge out>
and the hampers are just a rip off
It's not a valid point that people might not be as careful with vouchers as they would be with money, as it is none of your business what people choose to spend the money they have saved on.
<runs off to cash in unregulated club card points>
Yeah think the hampers are a rip off tbh, it's all about the vouchers.
I dont get the "save with supermarkets" thing either! They sell food, a few toys and a shedloads of overpriced TV series boxsets at Xmas, why on earth would anyone consider getting their Xmas shopping from Tesco to be a viable alternative to buying vouchers that can be used in BHS, Toys r Us, Debenhams, Boots, M&S, WHSmith, Superdrug, Jessops, etc etc.....
But moomin we have no self control in the first place for saving this way.
The cricket club I work at has a Christmas savings club. Not once has anyone tried to make me feel bad about their boiler when I update their book. They do enjoy the free party with free entertainment and free raffle with booze, meat, toys and hampers we give away every year though.
Custardo I really don't care if I "out" myself but I work in regulation and MSE were challenged over their article regarding protection by the FSCS and refused to change same even although they knew fine well that protection had just been upped even more so than the introduction of the CPA.
Yes, I googled for some credit union stories and I can google some more. I have also stated that credit unions are a good way to save more than once on this thread though.
What I will also say about a credit union is that if it happened to go bust say the end of November, beginning of December, yes it is covered by the FSA but anyone saving their money for Christmas with a credit union which had went pop around about that time, would NOT have their money in time for Christmas. There are quite a few credit unions that have went bust!
what if you miss a weeks payment? on week 26 do you lose it all or do they give you a chance? how many chances do you get?
If you havent paid up what you ordered by the cut off date then they send you vouchers to the value of what you have saved. If you order hampers (agree, total rip off) or goods (again, rip off) then they just send you vouchers to the value of what you have paid.
None of the people I knew who all lost money from Farepak were saving for hampers, it was all vouchers. And thanks to Farepak and what happened is the reason schemes like Park are safe.
whether it's my business or not is a different point entirely , and not relevant as it is part of this discussion. if we were to extrapolate that type of thinking then mumsnet would cease to exist.
i think it is a valid point
5% of Park's sales are hampers. The majority of sales are vouchers.
If you miss one week of say 40 weeks (You're saving for a £400 booklet) then you get £390 instead. Or if you have a good agent like me I let you pay when you like.
"Cash in Christmas savings schemes still isn't safe if the club goes bust, despite a trade association outlining more protection.
The Christmas Prepayment Association (CPA) now insists customers' payments must be placed with an institution authorised by the Financial Services Authority.
This, in turn, means the money will then be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
But this move would not have saved cash in the failed Farepak and would not protect money in any similar scheme if it was to hit trouble."
custardo just got regulated yikes are you ok?
How do they make money? not a charity i take it?
Should have said Park sales are 5% goods, 5% hampers the rest vouchers.
I don't think it's a valid point in any way, shape or form.
You get the vouchers you pay for BTW so if you miss a payment it is simply deducted from the total amount saved.
I said earlier in the thread that hampers are a rip off. Watchdog did a story about hampers a few years ago where they went and bought everything (or nearest equivalent) and the price difference was astonishing. Over a £100 if I recall. That was 5-6 years ago. Probably worse now.
Also the gifts they sell are a rip off. £45 for a Coleen Rooney stink set last year.
I have a sealed tin which i open on the 1st of Dec every year. This year I had just under £500 in it
I also said the hampers are a rip off.
custardo I think they will bulk buy 'vouchers' from high street stores and receive a discount from those stores then seek them at face value to us.
They in effect act as an agent for the consortium of shops that take part in the scheme by supplying them with sales if you like by selling their communal voucher.
It makes sense I my head.
Praise the. Self co trol of tinker, se first choc takeaway craving I got that would be cracked opens, I knows what I have to do for me n mine nthats all that matter at the end if the -scheme- day.
As I said, MSN were challenged over this article. What they were asked to change was "Cash in Christmas saving schemes....." to "Cash in Christmas saving schemes outwith the remit of the Christmas Prepayment Assocation still ........" and they refused albeit they knew and still know today that their article is ambiguous.
Since the introduction of the CPA in 2007 when consumers' monies had to be placed in trust accounts savers with members of the CPA have been safe. Working with the FSCS was simply to improve security further. The more you can secure funds, the better it is for the consumer and obviously the business. Both Park and Variety founded the CPA with government and the Insolvency Service in BIS. There is real care there for security of consumers' monies whereas the likes of supermarkets, who make immense profits, will not regulate at all.
Now who's the naughty people now?
Park own Love 2 Shop vouchers which they sell to corporate customers also.
Are you ok, Detached? You do keep going on about that when the point had been discussed more than once way earlier in the thread.
I can only make comments based on the individuals that I know personally who use such schemes. And the people that I know that use them are, by their own admission, not great with money and wouldnt have the self-discipline to save regularly themselves and not touch it. Those people are happy to admit that fact and tell me that's why they find them useful but there are plenty of people on here getting very touchy about the merest hint of a suggestion that people who ARE "good" with money do not have any need for the schemes.
supermarkets are indeed fuckers
I have often wondered that CUstardo, but tbh as long as I pay £500 in and £500 out (and actually a bit more thanks to commission) then I dont care how they make their money! They obviously make a fortune on hampers and game consoles though.
No I have lost all control, all of it, gone gone gone.
They won't actually make too much Bogey because sales of hampers and goods are falling all the time. I think they will end up purely voucher based in the near future.
Although there are still people that like to have their hampers delivered at Christmas but as I said previously, hampers only account for 5% of sales.
The company my sil works for rewards the staff with Love2shop vouchers. She gave them to me as she was too embarrassed to spend them just in case the cashier in Debenhams thought she was poor. True story...
Zsas, yeah so when the retailer redeems the voucher it will be for a % less than face value, the different is what Park keep as their profit.
I have used Park in the past.
I started saving in my local Credit Union (although i have credit cards and two bank accounts). They now do a Christmas Savings scheme, it is calculated seperately from the regular savings and is insured.
Where i live, you couldn't risk having any money in the house.
The only reason i pointed out that i had CC and bank accounts is because i don't think it is a matter of being short of money to use any savings scheme.
It is good planning.
I would venture to say that someone who is saving in advance for Xmas is better with money than someone who spends on their credit card.
I agree Bogeyface. It is, after all, a savings scheme.
That wasnt aimed you Birds btw, just bad timing! It was in response to the other posts about not having self control.
Feeling, it costs retailers to become a member of the scheme so Park makes money that way. Furthermore, deposits by customers are paid into interest bearing accounts.
They do make money from hampers and goods obviously and then there is their corporate side.
They also work throughout the rest of the year packing for other companies etcetera.
The Park business model is not just based around the Christmas saving scheme.
Detached, I just don't like the thought that a third party is profiting from me like that though. It just doesn't sit right with me. Whereas money I earn in interest is mine.
I bought vouchers with Variety once from my friend, and was a bit pissed off that some of the shops wouldn't offer change, they just kept the whole voucher if what you bought came in at less money than it was worth.
I hope this has changed.
Thanking bogeyfaces reasoning. I'm also saving club card points for a holiday.
That's fine curly I have a holiday savings account we are suing for out buggy next year.
I just do my Christmas money this way, I just do. I havnt got a problem with savings based accounts or scheme anywhere, but some people seem to re Park.
I agree Bogeyface. Spending money you don't have on credit cards for a foreseeable expense is daft. It's not as if Christmas doesn't come round at the same time each year
There were however some replies early on where people said that the only way they could be sure they wouldn't just spend the money early was to use Park. I suspect this is why the lack of self control comments started
Line, which companies did not offer you change?
Agree with you there birds. Its a funny world when you get criticised for saving rather than running up credit!
I think it's total madness. In view of that Hamper company going broke a few years ago and these poor people losing everything.
<runs out of the thread screaming>
I remember at the time of Farepak a friend of my emailed a journalist at the Times asking her if she thought we were all "Sun reading, lager drinking, chain smoking idiots....." due to a derogatory article written by this journalist saying she thought "schemes like Farepak had disappeared with coin operated televisions"! My friend went onto list her various types of bank a/c's the fact that her mortgage was almost paid and she simply did not wish to use a credit card for Christmas as she "enjoyed, saving this way...."!
That is true whocares and I am one of those people who likes to keep it out of way. One reason is in the past I buy stuff during the year, forget what I have bought, end up with too much, and actually stuff that my ds may not want or appreciate at all. <taps nose> I knows you see I've made this mistake before.
That still happens with vouchers Line so I buy the cards so you can spend the exact amount.
Curly that makes no sense. Every company or bank is profiting from you in some way! The interest the bank pays you is miniscule compared to what they make from investing it. I prefer to use Park as it works for me, and as has been pointed out, the interest on £500 at the moment is so small as to be negligible, so it doesnt actually make more financial sense to stick with the bank atm.
<follows hot on heels>
Jeez, what did I start here???????
zsazsa, racking brains, this was a good ten years ago. I have a distant memory of ELC pissing me off one Christmas (but that could have been about all sorts of things tbh).
It just struck me as a way that shops would make a few bob by selling vouchers at a discount to the Park/Variety-type companies.
vivienne is that poor as in no money people or poor as in pity then? And regulations are completely different now compared to 2006.
I don't think anyone on here would disagree with the fact that using a scheme such as park is more financially savvy than overspending on the credit card.
Vivien, Farepak (the hamper company you are referring to) went into administration in 2006 and is now being wound up.
The directors faced court this year where Mr Justice Peter Smith SLAMMED guess who - not the directors - the BANK, HBOS!!! HBOS knew exactly what they were doing with over 114,000 customers' monies.
<mops brow> mother of pearl don't mention nearly paid up mortgages tonight.
I am saving £450 amazon vouchers as that's where I do most of my christmas shopping. I Received an extra £25 worth of vouchers for setting up a direct debit when I joined and £25 for referring my mum. Plus £4.50 commission on my own order. So I've made £54.50. Would not get this much in interest if I saved £40 per month in a bank account!
Line, the shops are not obliged to give you change but what you will find is that most do. Toys R Rus certainly give change. Argos give you their gift cards with whatever amount is left on it and I know of others that do similar.
It is more financially savvy than spending anything on a credit card if you dont have 0% and/or pay it off in full every month. And if you pay it off in full every month then you dont need to use the CC at all surely?
Thefoxsbrush, these are the things I need to know!
I didnt know about the referal thing!
Off to email everyone I ever met, ever
bogey I have two credit cards that have 0% purchases which I have used to my advantage and accumulate points I currently have. £50 voucher for house of Fraser from Amex card so spending and paying off every month is worth it in this respect. My M and S card points are dismal though!
If you go through cashback site, use clubcard, pay with Amex card and free delivery code you quids in ahem!
I know, bogeyface. I spend my boots advantage cards knowing full well that I have only accrued them after buying loads of their stuff at over inflated prices, rather than goin to Superdrug. But I spend my points on essentials the day before payday if I'm a bit short whereas someone like my sister would happily admit that she'd spent it on a treat for herself as soon as she realised she had enough points for it!!!
I suppose the park vouchers only work in the same way though. Although if you spend park voichers inboots aren't you being profited from twice?
Off to email everyone I ever met, ever
Curly, you usually get a voucher with Love 2 Shop for Boots and if you spend over £50 in Boots using your Love 2 Shop vouchers you get 500 bonus points on your Boots card.
Now that's a pretty good deal but only if you truly need to spend over £50 in Boots
YOu know what? I fucking KNEW someone would go on about cashback, points etc But in the MAIN using CC isnt a good idea, if you cant come out of it in profit, and most people come out of it owing more than they spent.
Curly When I use them in Boots I print of the "Extra points for spending X" vouchers and split up my transactions so I make the most of it. I have almost £50 in points on my advantage card atm, purely from doing things like that!
And yes, I do tend to treat myself but that will change now DH has been made redundant, I am saving it for essentials like you.
I am saving it, like you, for essentials
Points events re the thing for boots, spend £50 get 1000 points in card, this year it was instantly and they had two days when they did this in December.
Make you £50 spend full of special offers that you know are lower prices and you can make it work well. I got clothes for dd buy one get one half price.
Well one might err do that when buying tat, I've had my moments bogey
But ...the above stuff - it's all quite complicated, in a way.
So I can understand why some people might enjoy the simpler transaction of an old fashioned Christmas Club, especially the social element of it.
When I bought Variety vouchers from my friend, and our DCs were small, we both felt as though we were being really sensible and I enjoyed popping round to hers every week with a few quid. <reminisces>
I meant poor as in unfortunate because they had lost their savings. I didn't realise that new regulations were in place or that the banks were partly to blame. Sorry.
'Do you park savers realise that you are making an interest free loan to them? Lending them your money so that they can invest/gamble with it all year to make a fat profit for themselves?'
I don't think people are bothered if it means they have the money they need to spend at Xmas. All businesses have to make money.
Yes Park make money through commission on their vouchers, interest on the savings and catalogue/hamper sales. Over 400,000 save with them and numbers are going up.
I don't think people are bothered if it means they have the money they need to spend at Xmas.
You have less money than you would have if you had put it in an interest-earning account, and you have no benefits apart from "not being able to get it out early" which to my mind is not a benefit at all.
Trills most Park savers saver a few hundred pounds at most. What interest would you get on a short term savings account for £500? If you save on your own you get commission, plus money off vouchers for the shops you can spend them in and the security of knowing that Xmas is paid for. current interest rates really dont make it worth taking that money and putting it in the bank.
Assuming that £500 was saved equally through the year then if it went into a regular savings account (ie a Christmas account) then even this year you should get about £20. And you aren't stuck with vouchers which have problem with change/limit of locations they can be spent (fine until your ds wants a gizmo that is cheaper/easier to get at a different retailer).
And yes I spend on a cc which is paid of each month,I get cash back and some insurance on payments which I wouldn't get from a debit card, cash or vouchers
The average spend is around £400 (I do a lot of research on things!). Interest rates at the moment on that, as Bogeyface says is not much. Yet you can get commission with Park and bonus vouchers for paying direct debit etc, this could well be more than you would get in interest in a savings account.
Like most things there are disadvantages and advantages and these have to be considered by each individual. As may have been said there are social aspects to these clubs with families and friends saving and going shopping together etc. What harm are they doing if they enjoy it?
'You have less money than you would have if you had put it in an interest-earning account, and you have no benefits apart from "not being able to get it out early" which to my mind is not a benefit at all.'
As pointed out above it may not be less money than you would be getting in an account. You have the benefit of guaranteeing (so long as you keep paying and it doesn't collapse) you will have money (in voucher form) for Christmas the next year. This may not apply if you have full access to a bank account. However it is possible you can actually get your money back (if you change your mind)with Park and the PO but you pay a charge in both cases.
You have the benefit of guaranteeing (so long as you keep paying and it doesn't collapse) you will have money (in voucher form) for Christmas the next year. This may not apply if you have full access to a bank account.
Because you will take it out? And yet everyone was so up in arms at the first person to use the words "willpower" or "self control".
If you actually do get something out other than "the amount of money you put in, but in a less useful form" then fair enough, but that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case.
Why not just buy an amazon voucher every month?
Why not just accept that some people prefer doing it?
You prefer saving in a bank account/spending on CC/shoplifting / whatever, I prefer to do this.
To me the advantages of Park are enough to mean that I will do this over saving in the bank until interest rates are high enough to mean that bank savings are worth my while. Why do so many people take issue with this?
I don't get your point Trills. I have already said I am considering it because I want a savings option just for Xmas money. I have ISAs and 2 current accounts already, one with savings in BUT there is always a temptation to use that money if a big car repair etc comes up or we fancy more holiday spends. If it is in Park/PO then it is safe and cannot be touched ensuring money for Xmas. Whether that means I have little willpower or not I don't much care. But in my eyes saving for Xmas in advance can only be a good thing whether that is in an account or with Park/asda/PO.
Some people prefer X, other people prefer Y.
True, but would lead to a very quiet MN.
If I have a big car repair I need to be able to access my money. (this is important)
If I fancy more spend on holiday I can decide whether I would rather have the money now or at Christmas. (this is less important but I don't know that January-me gets to decide that December-me gets the money instead of July-me, when July-me might have different ideas).
'Why not just buy an amazon voucher every month?'
That could be an option for some people. I don't know how long the expiry is though? And where would you store them, would it be tempting to use them for birthday presents etc, does it seem as fun to build up a large amount to spend at Xmas etc. Many people like Park's vouchers as they can be spent in multiple shops. If one goes bust there are others you can use them in. You can get amazon ones as well.
Still unsure Trills. Maybe you would have a point if you were totally on the breadline and had nil money to run the car in your scenario. But I do have other accounts luckily. I use ISAs for the car for example. So dull! In worst case scenario you could close your savings account and pay £5 or £20 or whatever ad get refunded. Surely a separate Xmas account is OK?
mrshoarder the love2shop vouchers are accepted in a wide range of stores, including Toys R us and Argos, which is where I got most of my boys toys this Christmas.
Jelly, watch out for Asda they refuse to regulate and you must treat your card as cash. If you lose your card you've lost your cash!
If you have other accounts to pay for car repairs then what's the problem with having your Christmas money accessible? You would use your other account not your Christmas money.
I really don't understand how "I can't get the money out" is a good thing unless there are some benefits being given to you in return.
Saving accounts where you cannot withdraw the money until a certain point always have higher interest than easy access accounts precisely because not-being-able-to-get-your-money is a disadvantage that the consumer needs to be compensated for.
Park are constantly looking for other retailers to join the Love 2 Shop scheme.
Thanks zsazsaapplenod. Think I will stick to Park/PO.
Ah but Trills even the higher interest bearing accounts say over 10 months may still not give a return like you would get with commission from Park or Variety to that matter.
You're welcome jellybeans There are MPs fighting to try and force supermarkets to regulate.
^Trills Sun 30-Dec-12 21:38:05
If you actually do get something out other than "the amount of money you put in, but in a less useful form" then fair enough, but that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case.^
Of course, one could always try not spending so much on Christmas in the first
Is this like a pyramid scheme where you only get extra if you persuade other people to join up "under you" or am I misunderstanding?
I just want a separate account (or two) for Xmas that can build up without me being able to go into it. I just feel like giving it a go. If I don't like it I won't do the next year-no harm done. More fun this way thank boring accounts too! I know people who do it and look forward to receiving their vouchers for ages before. They have peace of mind for the next Xmas, maybe after struggling the year before. It is dull being mixed with other money. You can get more than the interest you would earn in vouchers for paying first month right away and paying by direct debit (as zsazsaapplenod says) so that doesn't bother me at all. Surely it is just like buying from Littlewoods/credit cards but the other way (better way) round?
Yakshemash I am actually pretty frugal. As much as possible with 5 DC anyway!
No trills you just pay at the end they give your total amount back what you paid for.
It is nothing like a pyramid scheme.
Everyone gets out what they put in.
trills its not a Pyramid scheme, so yes you have misunderstood.
Yakshemash what do you mean "not spending so much" - if people can afford it surely its their choice whether to buy presents, nice food etc at Christmas time.
Why not join a Credit Union if there is one near you. I was going to once but didn't. But they are a good idea for the community.
This from Farepak's web site in 2006:
"As a founder member of the Hamper Industry Trade Association, we adhere to the HITA Code of Practice which ensures the security of your savings and safe delivery of your hampers and gifts."
There's always some scheme in place to protect your money. And it's always safe until somebody finds a ways of losing it...
Indeed, as the banks have recently demonstrated.
Lord only knows who said it and got rinsed because she said it and told to check her facts but.....
Provident personal credit/ green woods credit ( both the same people) do collect for and sell Christmas hampers I know that 3 years ago they were park hampers.
To save for one you had to be a current loan customer and it was just the hampers not the other park products.
And who would think it but they still do
Totally agree, too much of a risk
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".
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.
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.
'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!
Having a different savings account is just the same but you can use the money in any way you like at Xmas.
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?
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".
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.
I didn't say it was exactly like one, but that it has similarities.
'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?
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.
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.
If you open your own account just saving your own money, you can still get bonuses by paying by DD.
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.
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.
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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