by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 17th June, 2018
A lot of people buy gift cards, especially around holiday seasons and for special occasions. That's because gift cards are a really convenient and easy gift, especially for people who are hard to shop for, or who you don't know very well.
Although gift cards are simple and amazing gifts, there are a lot of them that go unused. Each year, around $1 billion dollars' worth of giftcards aren't spend, which is a lot of money.
I don't know the particular reason why these small plastic cards seem to be the most bought gifts in the last decade, but that does seem to be the case, so why not take advantage of the situation.
What's even better than receiving a giftcard as a present? Well, according to millions of happy users, is the opportunity to buy them for less and save a lot of money in the process.
That's why a lot of people have taken to the internet to look for websites where they can sell their unused or unwanted gift cards, which means that there are tons of websites out there that offer all kinds of gift cards, and some that even offer up to 50% discounts on new or partially used gift cards.
All you need to do is find the right sites to buy gift cards from and that's what today's article is dedicated to!
With most sites you usually have the option to get both physical gift cards and e-cards, whichever's more convenient to you. Physical gift cards take more time to be delivered to you, usually a few days up to a week. With e-cards you don't really have that problem, since the website will usually send you the card via email right after your purchase is complete.
One thing that complicates things a bit and turns shopping for gift cards into a tedious activity is the fact that it can be really hard to find a reliable and trustworthy site that also has a lot of offers that you need. Gift card availability is actually something that can vary a lot from seller to seller. You can find loads of cards you could use on some sites, while others may offer only a few gift cards on sale from selected stores and restaurants.
One more important thing that you need to do before you start comparing sites and savings is to make sure that the site you want to buy from has at least some sort of money-back guarantee.
Here's why this is important:
There have been many cases where customers have complained about purchasing an empty gift card from one of the popular gift card sites out there, or a gift card that didn't work for some reason, but couldn't get a refund, because of the site's no-return or no-refund policy. That's why it's important to use sites that have a money-back guarantee policy that applies for at least a few weeks.
This gives you enough time to get the card, see if it works, and then ask for a refund if by some chance it doesn't work.
Let's have a look at some of the best online gift card sites where you can find tons of deals on new and discount gift cards.
Ever since 2009, Gift Card Granny has been helping people save a lot of money on shopping. With more than 18 million visitors per year, Gift Card Granny is one of the largest websites for discount gift cards.
As of recently, they have expanded their business and now include both a browser extension and a mobile app, making the whole process of buying new and discounted gift cards a whole lot easier.
One more really helpful feature that they have is to set up alerts for your favorite brands and stores, so you never miss a great deal ever again. On top of it all, if you're a regular user then you may expect all kinds of rewards and reward points from Gift Card Granny.
You can buy all kinds of new and discounted gift cards for your favorite restaurants, department stores, movies and theatres and much, much more, and get up to 35% off with Cardpool.
Cardpool is a gift card exchange website that allows people to make safe and secure purchases of a large selection of gift cards and get up to a 35% discount in the process. Over the years, this has saved Cardpool customers more than $39 million.
Cardpool is quite a convenient and smart way to buy as it has a large selection of new and discounted gift cards for all of your favorite places.
Raise is an online gift card shop that offers up to 30% off gift cards which applies for almost all of your favorite brands. You can save even more by combining the deals from Raise with sale prices.That's why before you go shopping; you should always check out their website and see if you can find any discounted gift cards to brands you usually buy from, like Target, Macy's, and The Home Depot, since they have giftcards for over 1,000 retailers.
Their website is pretty simple to use, all you have to do is register and then you can just browse for gift cards that you can use, searching by brand, name or value. Once you find something you like you can check out the full price as well as the seller's price to see how much you'll be saving in the process, and if you like what you see you can just add it to your cart and follow the checkout process.
WalletHub is one of the rare gift card websites that's updated constantly with new offers, fresh deals, and up to 50% off on certain gift cards. But that's not the only thing that you can find on WalletHub. They also offer insights and tools on how to reach your top WalletFitness and learn how to save more efficiently.
WalletHub's main specialties are prepaid cards and credit cards, but it does offer discount gift cards as well.
What makes this website stand out is the fact that it is also available for countries outside the U.S., including Canada and the UK.
CardCash usually offers a 1 to 35% discount, which is based on the supply and demand of the particular products. This means that a Wal-Mart gift card (which is high in demand) might only be discounted 2%, while a Patagonia giftcard can be found at 20% off. In average their savings are usually around 12%.
CardCash has helped customers save over $50 million over the years, as they have one of the largest inventories of discounted gift cards in the States.
Another leading gift card site is GiftCards.com. Their mission is to have happy and satisfied customers and they do so by offering personalized gift cards, promo codes, coupons and discounts.
Giftcards.com is among the biggest gift card sites in the U.S. In fact, they have been on Inc. Magazine's Inc. top 5000 fastest-growing private companies multiple times now.
You can find more than 100 popular retailers and choose from their huge selection of discounted cards and get up to 30% off. You can get online and physical gift certificates that you can then redeemed online by imputing their gift codes.
GiftCardBin makes the process of selling and buying gift cards online super easy.
Here is how the whole process works:
Once you browse through their website, select and purchase the gift cards you want, you can expect to receive them within 1-2 business days after you've placed your order, although they do try to ship them out within 24 business hours.
If you have any kind of problems with your gift card or you receive a different one from the one you ordered, you can use your GiftCardBin 100-day guarantee and replace your gift card or get a refund. This only applies if you contact them within 100 days of the purchase.
The most important thing when it comes to buying and selling gift cards is most of all trust. Trust or therefore lack of one, is the number one reason why people hesitate to use gift card websites in the first place. That's why Gitfcard Zen work hard to earn their customers' trust, and make their customers a top priority.
Giftcard Zen is a part of RetailMeNot, a well-known and quite popular coupon and discount site. They decided to join forces and help their customers save even more cash than they did before.
Giftcard Zen offers fast and free delivery of physical gift cards, but you also have the option to choose to get your gift card in a printable or digital version, whatever works best for you. Their customer service representatives are dedicated to making your experience as enjoyable as possible, which is why they always put their customers' needs first.
ABC Gift Cards offer up to 35% off on select gift cards from their huge selection of popular retailers.
Whether you're looking for an Amazon, Target or Calvin Klein gift card, you can definitely find it on their website.
They also have a 45-day guarantee in case you want a refund or you want to exchange it with a different card. They offer free shipping on all gift cards, and you can expect to receive your order within a week.
With Gyft you can get the perfect gift card for someone and conveniently do so from any device, as their platform is quite easy to use and enables you to buy, send, and manage your gift cards at any time and from any place. They have a big selection of gift cards from over 200 retailers, including Target, Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, and many more.
With Gyft you can buy e-gift and digital PayPal gift cards for a friend or for yourself and have it delivered in a couple of seconds.
eBay also offers a huge selection of gift cards for hundreds of stores and billions of items starting from electronics, motors, home & garden, to toys, collectibles, art, fashion, and much more.
One thing that you can make use of when buying gift cards on eBay is the fact that prices can go as low as 50% off, and they can be unpredictable, which is why you need to follow the auction prices but also consider shipping charges in the process.
You can also buy digital gift cards so that you can send it to your friend or loved one within 24h.
As it is with any product, the higher the demand, the more expensive the product will be. Gift cards are no exclusion. That's why the discount always depends on the retailers. Here's what I mean by that. If you, for example buy a gift card from Walmart, Best Buy or Target then you might expect to get up to a 5% discount, whereas if you get a gift card for a less demanded product or store, you may expect to get up to 35% discount.
That's why you need to be smart about your purchase, and figure out if the discount that you'll be getting is really worth the hassle. But we'll talk more about that soon. Now let's have a look at one more appealing option that not all of you are familiar with and that's FREE gift cards!
Although it may seem unbelievable, there's also a way to get gift cards without spending a dime. With sites like PointsPrizes.com you can earn free gift cards from popular brands, like Amazon, iTunes, XBOX, Playstation, Steam, Google Play and a lot more.
The way you get free gift cards is by earning points. There are multiple ways in which you can earn points. Some of those ways are doing paid surveys, completing free offers, or sharing the website with your friends. Once you earn enough points you can either choose to cash them in or get a free gift card as a reward.
1) Choose The Right Time To Buy
The time you choose to buy a gift card can have the biggest effect on how much you spend.
The holiday periods are when people usually spend more than usual. Retailers use that opportunity to earn more, which is why you can expect much lower discounts on gift cards.
On the other hand, after the holiday season is over, and the shopping rush has passed, you may expect to find a lot more discounts, especially on gift cards. That's because people tend to buy a lot of gift cards over the holidays, to give as gifts to their friends and loved ones, a lot of which will end up back on the market, and will be sold for discounted prices. You can expect such discounts in January or February, right after the December holiday season.
You can expect to get higher discounts since people will have a lot of unwanted gift cards that they'll want to sell.
2) Read The Guarantee/Warranty Policies
When you're deciding on which site to buy a gift card from, the key thing to consider is their warranty or guarantee policy on purchases.
Having a guarantee or a warranty to fall back on if something goes wrong gives you the option to return the gift card and get a full refund or exchange it for something else.
Many sites usually offer 40 to 100-day money back guarantees, so that you can shop safely, while knowing that if anything goes wrong you will be able to get your money back.
Unfortunately, not all websites offer money back guarantees, which means that if you're not satisfied with the gift card you received or you have some kind of problem with it, you won't be able to get your money back.
That's why you need to read the website's warranty or guarantee policy before you purchase anything from them.
3) Stay Safe
Each year hundreds of people fall for gift card scams. They are real and they exist. Their websites may seem totally legit and normal, and there might not be anything suspicious looking that you'll be able to notice right way.
That's why it's important to use trustworthy websites that have safety procedures to protect their buyers, and guarantee policies that will allow you to return your gift card if you find something wrong with it and get your money back.
That's why an important part of buying gift cards is doing your research first, and this article is of course part of that research too.
Going through the whole registration and verification process for minimal savings (i.e., a $1 off a $15 gift card) may not be really worth the hassle. Nonetheless, there a tons of other good deals that can save you hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis if you shop smart and use your time to compare prices looking for the best deals available.
It's a totally different story when you're able to get a 20% or 30% off on a $200 gift card. Those savings can be worth the time you spend on the verification process as well as the time it will take you to find such offers.
There are more and more people who begin to see the potential value of gift cards and start to realize that they can save them a lot of money in the long run.
There are even some who try to pay for everything using gift cards, which is the premise of the 30-day gift card challenge, where you're not allowed to use credit or debit cards, or even cash to buy anything other than gift cards. You have to plan ahead and be able to pay for everything, including food, groceries, gas, travels, gifts, and everything else that you may need using only your stack of gift cards that you previously bought.
There are people who don't see this challenge as something temporary, but basically try to live off gift cards alone. They pay for all of their family's expenses exclusively by gift cards. Some say that gift cards help them gain control over their spending budget and help put things into perspective. That way the only things they'd spend money on will hopefully be things they really need. Some have reported around $100-$150 in savings each month since they started the challenge.
Studies have shown that when paying with a gift card people tend to spend more money, and not worry about their balances that much.
Some people have more self-control both when they're paying cash or with a gift card, while others tend to spend more than they normally would when they use a gift card. If you're one of those people, you need to be careful with your purchases and always have in mind that the discount you think you're getting might end up making you increase your spending and make you buy things you have no use for.
One more problem that you might face when buying gift cards is that you if you have a problem with the gift card you received, and you want to return it, instead of getting your money back you'll probably get a refund in the form of another gift card. That's not the case with all stores and websites though, as some of them do give refunds, especially when the purchase is small.