In addition to using coupon codes and taking advantage of sales, another strategy for stretching your shopping dollar is buying discounted gift cards through re-sellers, such as Raise. Raise is a platform for buying and selling used or unused gift cards that the original recipient no longer wants. A “used gift card” will have a portion of the original value, say $25 left from an original $100 gift card. An “unused gift card” has the full value of what was originally on the card that was not partially spent. Think of it as re-gifting, but of the gift card sort.
Raise works like an auction, but with fixed prices. Customers post the physical or virtual gift card (or e-gift card) that they are trying to sell and the discount they are offering. A physical card is the actual plastic card you typically see, while an e-gift card is simply the long string of numbers and a pin code which is the same format as a physical gift card. Typical discounts are 5-10%, depending on the retailer. For some higher-end or more popular stores, such as Target, they are less. Less known, less popular retailers can go much higher than 10%.
Bottom line: before making purchases at your favorite stores, see if you can get a discounted gift card first. You might be able to save money that you didn’t think was possible when coupons don’t exist.