As readers know, I discuss gift cards often on this blog, and you may be wondering what exactly these are. Today, I will show you.
First, as a refresher, gift cards are available from thousands of retailers nation-wide, large and small, from Starbucks to Applebees. Given their wide use, a secondary market has grown for both buying and selling gift cards on sites such as Raise.com where the original gift card owner is trying to sell their gift card because either they didn’t want it all, or are trying to “liquidate” the unused balance. For example, say I received a Best Buy gift card for my birthday that originally had a $100 balance. I then use the gift card to buy $85 worth of products at Best Buy. But, I still have $15 left on the gift card and don’t really need anything else. Best Buy does sell things like candy at the store, but let’s just say that I am finished with my shopping. What do I do? Rather than going unused, I could sell the remaining balance at a gift card re-seller and re-coup most of it.
Gift Granny Displays Gift Cards To Buy or Sell
Now, I need to find out how much money I can get from selling the gift card. So, as shown in the screen shot, I visit GiftCardGranny and search for Best Buy. It shows that if I sell my Best Buy gift card, I can receive up to 90% of the card’s balance if I sell it through GiftCards.com. I decide that I like the deal, which is better than not getting the full use out of the card.
There a few options now depending on if the gift card is “electronic” or it is a “physical” plastic one. Depending on the gift card re-seller, they will pay more or less (a few percentage points difference) if you decided to mail in the card vs. entering the actual gift card number on-line. There also might be a difference in the sale price if you opt for a paper check vs. using PayPal. Depending on your comfort level, you may prefer paper check, which takes longer to process, but may pay you more than PayPal (fees are added).
With my sale final, I now have added to the inventory of the total discounted gift card market, which is a win-win. 1) I recouped most of the remaining balance of my gift card and the money is re-circulated into economy; 2) another consumer gets a discounted card that they wanted more than me.
In a future post, I will discuss how buying and using discounted gift cards can really boost your savings.