In our quest to help everyone save a little more money, we thought we would share something that many don’t even consider. That is the process of using discounted gift cards. Not only can you save money with these, but you can also sell your own gift cards to make a little extra money on something you might not use. According to Gift Card Granny, the gift card industry will reach $160 billion by the end of 2018. That’s a huge opportunity to get them at a discount or sell those you don’t want anymore.
One of the best ways to save is to buy discounted gift cards online. It’s possible to save anywhere from 1% to 35% on each gift card. You might think that the convenience of buying a gift card in the grocery store checkout aisle is the only legit way to buy a gift card, but, you can easily save hundreds of dollars a year by buying discounted gift cards online when you replenish your Amazon, Starbucks, or iTunes account balances every month.
What You Need To Know About Discounted Gift Cards
People use gift card marketplaces to sell their unwanted gift cards. Some for sale might have even dollar amounts like $45.00 or $15.00. Other cards have used cards with uneven balances like $13.58 or $36.55 when a partial amount of the card has been used and the seller doesn’t need to use the remaining balance.
When you buy discounted gift cards they can be delivered physically or electronically. An Egift card will be e-mailed to you and some merchants only allow you to use them online, meaning you will have to transfer the balance to your account at Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks, etc.
Other gift cards are delivered electronically and can be printed out to be redeemed online or at an actual retail store. The majority of gift cards you purchase will often have this flexibility.
The third delivery method is a physical gift card to be mailed to you free of charge. This is the least likely method because it is the most expensive and cuts into the profit of the seller as they pay the shipping costs. You are most likely to see this option with grocery store & gas station gift cards.
How Much Money Can You Save?
No matter what site you use, it’s possible to save money on your gift card purchases. The average card will be discounted 1% to 10%. There’s also an opportunity to get up to 35% off on select cards, however, this will usually be for stores or restaurants with very few locations across the country.
Gift cards from major retailers such as Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, and home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot are typically discounted 1% to 5%. Specialty stores & restaurants like Toy R Us, GameStop, and Outback Steakhouse can be discounted anywhere from 10% to 20%. Discounts are typically higher for larger balances, but that’s not always the case as the seller can set the price.
Also, the gift card marketplaces listed below often run weekly specials that discount the card prices further. If you don’t like what you see, visit another marketplace or come back later in the week.
Buying (& Selling) Discounted Gift Cards is Secure
You might think that buying “used” gift cards is unsafe. In reality, that’s far from the truth as the four sites listed below have safeguards in place to verify and guarantee the transfer of funds. The seller has to enter the gift card serial number and pin to post the listing. The site will not allow the listing to go “live” until they have verified the account balance with the gift card issuer.
When you buy these gift cards, the information is electronically sent to your e-mail address & you can keep the balance in your digital wallet if you aren’t ready to spend it yet, and you will have purchase protection ranging from 45 days to one year if the card doesn’t work after you buy it.
The Best Places to Buy Discounted Gift Cards
While you can buy used or unwanted gift cards from anywhere on the internet, including Craigslist and eBay, these four gift card marketplaces listed below help you buy gift cards at a discount. There are more than these four sites, but these are the best places to find those discounted gift cards, so we recommend you check them out first.
It’s possible to get slightly better discounts at some of the other marketplaces, but, Raise is often regarded as having one of the widest selections of merchants and dollar amounts. They also have an app on the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store to purchase cards from your mobile devices.
All purchases have 1-year purchase protection and free shipping for the delivery of physical gift cards.
Sign-Up Bonus: Get $10 back on your first $25 gift card purchase on Raise!
CardCash is one of the first and largest gift card marketplaces. It is unique because CardCash is still one of the few platforms that allows you to trade gift cards with other sellers. You can also buy gift cards for cash if you don’t want to trade as well.
You can buy or trade gift cards with balances as low as $1. Physical gift cards ship for free and you have a 45-day money back guarantee with any purchase.
CardPool only allows you to buy and sell gift cards with balances of $10 or higher. All purchases have a 1-year guarantee. They also have an iTunes app for your mobile devices as well.
The real power with CardPool is if you want to sell gift cards. Not only can you sell online, but, they also partner with local businesses across the country to trade-in your unwanted gift cards at a cashier-assisted location and self-serve kiosks just like you see the Coinstar machines at the front of your local grocery store or shopping mall.
Gift Card Granny has been around since 2009 and boasts about 1 million people visiting their site each and every month. The site is super easy to use and provides ranges of discounts available per store. As with the others, the discount will be different per card, but there are a lot of options.
With a mobile app for your iPhone or Android, you can find discounted gift cards easily while on the go. If you want to sell a gift card, you can generate an offer through their site, but they don’t actually buy them from you.
Save Some Additional Money with a Cash Back Portal
In addition to buying somebody else’s unwanted gift cards at a discount, you can get an additional 1%-4% discount by accessing CardPool or Raise through the Ebates or Giving Assistant cash back portals to complete your purchase.
This is an excellent way to stack your savings to make sure you keep more money in your pocket.
If you’re really wanting to save the most, then make sure you purchase the discounted gift card and the purchase you make at that store with a cash-back credit card. This will maximize your savings each and every time you shop.
Selling Discounted Gift Cards
Along with buying gift cards at Raise, CardCash, or CardPool, you can also sell gift cards on these sites to put a little extra cash in your pockets. In fact, the product catalog would be significantly smaller if people weren’t selling the cards they received for Christmas or their birthday and have no intention of using. Plus, since it’s perfectly acceptable to sell partially used gift cards.
When selling, each marketplace will keep a small portion of the balance to cover transaction fees. Most platforms will give you back up to 92% of the balance. For example, if you sell a $100 gift card you can keep up to $92. Gift Card Granny does not allow you to sell gift cards. It partners with other sites, such as Raise to get you offers on your cards.
Once you sell your unwanted cards, you can choose to get paid through direct deposit, PayPal, or paper check.
Have you ever bought discounted gift cards? What about sold your unwanted gift cards? Let us know how the process went for you and if you think this is an easy way to save (or make) a little money.
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