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Gregg Gottschling, co-founder of thegiftcardcafe.com, a Web site that sells online gift certificates for salons and spas nationwide, says that almost half of all gift certificate sales occur during nonbusiness hours, which allows businesses to reach a new audience. For many salons and spas, however, offering online gift cards is daunting. "In order to sell online, you have to create a 'shopping cart,'" he says, "but creating one requires a comprehensive understanding of Web page design." Gottschling's user-friendly site, however, does all the heavy lifting in exchange for either a small percentage of every order or an upfront charge and a monthly fee. According to Gottschling, there was a 233 percent average increase in gift card revenue in the past year for clients who signed up in June 2008. thegiftcardcafe.com —A.F.


 
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