The state government in New South Wales says consumers need to be cautious when buying a gift card or voucher.
More than half the gift cards examined by a Fair Trading investigation failed to provide basic information such as expiry dates.
NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts issued a warning after an investigation found many gift vouchers could go to waste because they don't contain basic information such as expiry dates.
AAP reports Fair Trading received 218 complaints in 2011 relating to gift cards, gift vouchers and certificates.
Most complaints related to misrepresentation about how to redeem the card and how to arrange a replacement or refund if a card is lost or stolen.
Twenty eight gift cards from online businesses, major stores and a cinema were looked at. Only 43% included information such as the value of the card, expiry dates and terms and conditions.
AAP reports an estimated $A2.5 billion is spent on gift card products in Australia each year.