LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT GIFT for your favorite cybernaut this holiday season? How about a virtual gift certificate? It's delivered via E-mail and is accepted by most online merchants.
Online gift certificates aren't new. They've been available for some time, but typically they're only good at the site where they've been purchased--Amazon.com, for example. Now, C/Base Inc. of Conshohocken, Pa., has set up www.webcertificate.com to offer gift certificates in any denomination for use nearly anywhere on the Web. The company charges $5 for certificates under $100 and $7 for any amount above that. How does it work? Go to C/Base's Web site and fill out a form specifying the amount, the name of the person receiving the gift, and a personal message. Pay by credit card, and an E-mail message is sent with a claim code and a link to the C/Base site--where the certificate can be accessed, good for one year.
One place cybershoppers might want to use a Web certificate is at www. musicblvd.com. The online music superstore is letting customers make their own holiday CD from a library of 150 holiday tunes. Listen to the songs and then select 15 for your personal CD. You can make your own label, and Music Boulevard will deliver the disk within two days for $15.95. Jingle bells.