The gift card has become a staple of the gift-giving Christmas season. Destin Log readers will soon have a chance to purchase nearly $150,000 worth of gift certificates from more than 90 local businesses.
The Destin Log and its sister Halifax Media Group newspapers in the area will launch their first online Emerald Coast Holiday Auction on Nov. 25. It’s billed as the largest ever gift certificate auction on the Emerald Coast.
People can view the se-lections online starting Sunday at thedestinlog.com before the bidding begins in a week.
The idea for the auction originated with Steve Krammes, advertising direc-tor for the Northwest Florida Daily News, who organized similar auctions while work-ing at the Fosters Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H.
“People love gift certifi-cates for Christmas presents, and we worked the timing so the bidding will start on Sunday, Nov. 25, just a cou-ple of days after Black Friday and the day before Cyber Monday,” Krammes said.
Area businesses have pledged a combined $148,453 in gift certificates for the auction, which will launch online at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 25. Bidding will end at 8 p.m. Dec. 2. The minimum bid for each gift certificate will start at 50 percent of its actual value. People will be able to go to www.nwfdailynews.com and click on the auction banner to register and begin bid-ding.
Krammes said the pro-gram is designed to promote local businesses while mini-mizing the cost to them.
The Log has already started promoting the busi-nesses participating in the auction and will publish a special section on the pro-gram in the Nov. 24 edition of the paper.
Regardless of how much the gift certificate sells for in the auction, as long as it does sell, the newspaper will provide the business the full retail value of the gift certificate in advertising credit, while the newspaper will retain the revenue from the actual auction.
“I’ve always thought of it as a win-win-win for the retailers, the customers and our company,” Krammes said.