One good turn deserves another. Amazon.com Inc. has set up a new page on its site that lets customers buy $20 gift certificates to be delivered to U.S. troops on active duty. Visitors to the Salute Our Troops page also can write brief notes of encouragement that will be included on certificates. The Department of Defense will collect the certificates and distribute them.
Amazon plans to post selected messages on the site, along with a tally of certificates sold to date. Also on the page: multiple links that take visitors into other shopping areas of the site.
An Amazon spokesperson says that while the company has projected how many certificates it expects to sell, it won't disclose the predicted figure, but it has not established a cap, either. Amazon has pledged one-tenth of the proceeds to the United Service Organizations. The Salute Our Troops page is slated to remain live until Dec. 26.
The move is similar to an effort at Circuit City Stores Inc., which is letting visitors to its stores record, at no charge, a video message for the company to send to U.S. troops. Family members also can send personalized DVDs to relatives in the service if they have their service ID numbers.