Gift Card Exchanges: How to Create Your Own Sale Anytime

by JadeDragon

Smart shoppers in the know look for ways to save on their purchases.  Watching for sales, and using coupons are well known, but what about looking for discounted gift cards?  If you plan to shop at any chain store that issues gift cards, there is an easy way to get an extra discount on your purchases – even off the lowest sales price.

Gift cards can be bought on major auction sites like eBay and in the online classifieds (Craigslist etc). These private transactions work, but come with the risks of dealing with random one off sellers. Take steps to verify the gift card balance before paying for the card.

Cleaver people came up with a solution though for the verification problem. The discounts may be a little less, but you can order immediately and the gift cards come guaranteed to have the balance promised at a range of websites created just to buy and sell gift cards with verified balances. The site operator makes a spread between the buy and sell price, and by selling gift cards they buy in bulk from the retailer at a further discount.  The spread and discounts you enjoy vary based on supply and demand.

Some examples:

I have not tried all these sites so do your own due diligence.  The generally both buy unwanted gift cards and sell gift cards at some discount off full value.  Cards are often round amounts like $25 or $100 but some have been used partially or were issued as a refund and carry some random amount.

Planning a home reno? Why not buy up a stack of Home Depot Gift Cards at 5%-10% off first?  You will be getting the discount on everything you buy at Home Depot during the reno. Going to buy her a ring at Tiffany’s – get discounted gift cards to pay for it and reduce the shock to your wallet.

Gift Card Tips

  • Buy gift cards only for stores you KNOW you are going to shop at and in amounts you KNOW you will use (unless you are buying the card as a gift for someone else of course).
  • Buy ahead of need. Ordering and shipping takes time.
  • Don’t pay shipping and handling on the discounted gift card sites. The good sites have all these costs already built in. On eBay, consider any extra charges in your bid.
  • A $50 gift card you paid $40 for looks like the same level of thoughfulness as the $50 card you paid retail at the store for. The receiver will never know you got smart and saved.