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Yes you do earn your normal commission for selling a gift certificate. You can have it sent to the gift giver OR the recipient (just fill in appropriate info in PP). Commission is earned right away, so it doesn't matter when the recipient redeems it. However the recipient can only redeem the gift certificate online or by mail and not through you or another consultant. (Well, technically, I've helped a customer by redeeming the gift certificate for them by going online and entering her order, her gc number and her mailing info, but the customer can do it all herself!)
Some consultants prefer to make up their own gift certificates and then when the recipient redeems it, the consultant can just place an individual order.
The thing is with one straight from HO is that you cannot redeem it at a show, which doesn't make much sense IMO, and if they end up redeeming it online you don't get anything off what they go over the GC, if they do...(Unless they did change it, I have been so busy lately got my head stuck in the clouds and don't remember even half the stuff that has changed lately) so if I am wrong, please correct me if you know.
Anyway, if you do one directly for yourself, it would save the recipient on s&h if you just put it in with a show that is going in, that is if they want to do it that way. Does that make sense?