Over the years, gift cards have developed a not-so-flattering reputation along the lines of that Christmas fruit cake – nobody knows what to do with it. It was received as a cop-out present when you didn’t have, or want to spend, time shopping for a gift. In many instances, the recipient would rather have cash than a gift card. Consequently, there is a thriving business from companies that will buy unwanted gift cards and re-sell them at a discount. This is where you, as the savvy consumer, can save money.
Where to buy
eShopedia has partnered with several websites that sell discounted gift cards, including Plastic Jungle Gift Cards, Giftcards.com, Cardpool Gift Cards, Gift Card Rescue, and ABC Gift Cards. All these companies offer a money-back guarantee that the gift cards are not fraudulent, so you can buy with confidence. An interesting alternative is eBillMe, which sells prepaid gift cards at full price but then offers a cash-back rebate up to 10%. While this may be a little inconvenient, they do offer Amazon.com gift cards which allows you to save an additional 10% off Amazon’s already competitive prices. Other sources for discounted gift cards include Costco, eBay, and Craigslist. Gift cards purchased from Costco are new and unused, and the standard eBay buyer protection applies to gift cards as well. Craigslist however, does not offer any buyer protection so you must be careful. Read our blog on how to protect yourself when buying gift cards from individuals.
Five reasons to buy discounted gift cards
- Do you ever grab a smoothie for breakfast or lunch? If so, then save 25% each time by purchasing a discounted gift card from Jamba Juice. How about flowers for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasions? Well, super-size that bouquet and still pay less than the standard size with a 30% discount on 1-800-Flowers Gift Cards. Remodeling your home? Buy some discounted Home Depot Gift Cards, Lowe’s Gift Cards, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond Gift Cards first, and save up to 10% on your supplies and home decorations… Get the idea?
- Since gift cards are considered cash, you are eligible to still use any online or in-store coupons. It’s like stacking coupons to get additional savings. For example, Bed, Bath, and Beyond often mails out coupons for 20% off one item. If you pay with a discounted gift card, you save an additional 10%. So a $100 purchase drops to $80 after the 20% coupon. A $80 gift card will cost you $72, which saves you another $8. That’s a combined 28% discount off the original price!
- You can purchase gift cards to multiple stores from a single website like Plastic Jungle Gift Cards, Giftcards.com, or Cardpool Gift Cards, thus saving a trip to the actual stores. Imagine the amount of time and money you save by not having to visit these stores individually. Many stores like Target, Williams Sonoma, and Victoria’s Secret also offer electronic gift cards, which are emailed to you and available for use immediately after purchase. So before you click “Confirm Purchase” on the Kohl’s website, grab a e-gift card first and save yourself another 18%!
- You can limit the amount of money spent. By giving your child a gift card instead of a credit card, you can control how much s/he spends buying clothes at stores like Hollister, Pac Sun, and H&M while also saving you up to 16%.
- There are discounted gift cards to numerous restaurants that can save you as much as 15%, which is enough to cover tips. Imagine eating at McCormick and Schmick’s, The Elephant Bar, or The Cheesecake Factory and having your tip paid for by the savings from the discounted gift card you purchased!