Accepting Gifts From Vendors


A vendor that you’ve been working with gave you two highly coveted (and very expensive!) tickets for your favorite NFL / College Football team as a holiday thank you gift.  Should you accept them?

Before running down the office hallway and doing your own version of Lance Moore’s touchdown dance (I’m a Saints fan!), check to see what your company’s policy is on accepting gifts.  If you’re unsure whether your company has this kind of policy, talk with a co-worker and if that doesn’t work, give your Human Resources department a call.

Many companies have a policy on what kinds of gifts customers can accept and what the dollar amount on those gifts can be (i.e. no higher than $25.00). So, it’s important to understand what gifts you can or can’t accept before the holidays are in full swing and you’re fighting off NFL tickets and child-sized gift baskets full of sausage and cheese that don’t expire until 2019.

I’m sure at this point you’re asking yourself, “Why would vendors send me gifts when I have to turn them away?” Because that’s what they do. They’re salespeople. They’re running the razzle-dazzle towards the end of the Q4 goal line and along the way, they wanted to send you a thank you gift for 2013. If you’re on the phone with a vendor and they mention sending you a thank you gift, kindly let them know what your company’s policy is on accepting gifts and thank them for the sentiment.

Honestly, I let vendors know that I don’t accept gifts. They’re welcome to send a holiday card, but I like to keep everyone on the same level playing field. Just because they send me an edible arrangement of deliciousness that costs less than $25.00 doesn’t mean I’m going to buy more software licenses from them next year! So, keep that in mind as well.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the whole gift acceptance issue, just let the vendors know that you enjoy working with them (as long as you still enjoy working with them!), thank them for the offer and explain that you don’t accept gifts from vendors.

Good Luck, Happy Holidays and Geaux Saints!


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