Buying discounted gift cards online is a fantastic way to save money. When you shop with companies or individuals that sell gift cards for a discount, everyone wins! The merchant is able to sell gift cards that other people didn’t want – and you can benefit by saving a significant amount of money on each gift card you buy!
This gift card “aftermarket” has been growing tremendously over the past few years, as gigantic gift card markets continue to appear online. It’s estimated that companies who sell gift cards that are pre-owned are now valued at more than $1 billion – and that’s a hefty chunk of change, indeed!
And most companies that sell gift cards online are totally safe, above-board, and legitimate. However, just like any other industry, there are always people who try to take advantage of innocent customers, and scam them out of their hard-earned cash.
This is the main reason that some people are still not taking advantage of the benefits of buying pre-owned gift cards – and that’s a real shame!
Though there will always be some risk when you buy pre-owned gift cards from online gift card marketplaces, it’s quite easy to mitigate this risk, and ensure that you’re never scammed out of your hard-earned money.
So how can you stay safe when dealing with aftermarket companies that sell gift cards? Well, it’s as easy as following this 10-step guide! With these simple tips on buying aftermarket gift cards online, you’re sure to be able to take advantage of all of the discounts provided by companies who sell gift cards that are pre-owned. Let’s get started!
1. Keep Comprehensive Records Of Your Transactions
This should be your first step – not just when buying discounted gift cards online, but when making any online purchase.
A comprehensive record of your transactions can help you track fraud and avoid getting scammed, and also allows you to take appropriate next steps if you are defrauded by a gift card seller.
When buying a discounted gift card online, you should try to keep:
- Credit card records
- Proof of purchase
- Receipt (physical or emailed)
- Bank statements
- Gift card number/PIN
With this information in your records, you can be sure that you’ll have everything you need in case you need to file a claim or a dispute with any merchant who sells gift cards at a discount.
2. Avoid Dealing With Individual Sellers
This isn’t always a hard-and-fast rule – there are some individuals who sell gift cards and are totally legitimate – but as a rule, it’s better to go with a larger company when you’re trying to buy discounted gift cards.
The reason is simple – individuals have less accountability. If you buy a discounted gift card from a seller who turns out to be a scammer, they could easily just disappear – delete their eBay account or block your number/email, and move on with their lives.
Larger gift card marketplaces, on the other hand, cannot do this – and they’re likely to be held liable for any scammers who use their services, or any fraudulent gift cards that are sold in their marketplaces.
Because of this, it’s almost always better to avoid individual sellers, and turn to a legitimate, above-board gift card marketplace. Speaking of which…
3. Use A Reputable Gift Card Marketplace
There are dozens of great websites that sell gift cards online to customers for a discount. These include CardCash, Raise, GiftCardGranny, and dozens more.
While the specifics of each service do vary somewhat, the general idea is the same. Customers sell unwanted gift cards to the service for a discount, and these gift card marketplaces list them for a markup – making a profit, while still providing customers with a lower price on the gift cards.
Use a gift card marketplace that has been in business for years, and has comprehensive customer support and fraud prevention guidelines in place. This will ensure you stay safe during the purchasing process.
4. Do Some Research On The Seller
Whether you’re dealing with an individual seller on a website like eBay, or a larger online service that sells gift cards, you’ll want to do a bit of research.
If you’re using eBay to buy a discounted gift card, take a look at the selling history and feedback of the seller. Do they have nearly perfect feedback? Have they been a member for multiple years? Have they sold gift cards in the past?
If you’re using a larger marketplace to buy discounted gift cards, look at customer reviews. Are there common problems with the service? How long does it take to receive the card? What happens if you buy a fraudulent card?
It’s quite easy to find all of these things out with just a bit of Googling – so do a bit of research before you choose to do business with a particular individual or business that sells gift cards for a discount.
5. Avoid Deals That Sound “Too Good To Be True”
As a rule, you’ll be able to purchase discounted gift cards for anywhere from 5-25% off of their face value. Typically, gift cards to niche restaurants and stores can be purchased for quite a bit less than face value – while gift cards to huge retail giants like WalMart, Amazon, and Target will only be sold at a 3-5% discount.
This means that you should be wary of deals that are too good to be true. See someone listing a WalMart gift card for 35% off? There’s probably a reason that it’s so cheap.
One common way that scammers take advantage of discounted gift card buyers is by purchasing high-value gift cards with stolen credit card information. These cards are then resold at crazy discounts – and the scammer pockets the cash.
However, the gift card buyer is left “holding the bag”, so to speak – when the credit card company notices the fraudulent transaction, the gift card will be cancelled, and you’ll lose the value of the card.
So don’t get fooled by crazy-low discounts – they’re a sign of a scam.
6. Use The Right Method Of Payment
You should be using a credit card, a debit card, or PayPal to make your purchase when buying discounted gift cards online.
Doing so provides you with a “paper trail”, and allows you to file a dispute in case your discounted gift card has been falsely advertised, has no balance, or was purchased fraudulently.
You should be suspicious of any merchant or individual who doesn’t accept these methods of payment, and instead requires a wire transfer or another strange method of payment – this is almost always a sign that you’re being scammed.
7. NEVER Give Away Personal Information
A gift card seller will never need more than just some basic information – your credit card number and your address, for example.
If a gift card seller is asking for more than the basic information – things such as Social Security numbers, date of birth, and other personal information – you should be very suspicious.
There is absolutely no reason that this information would be required to purchase a discounted gift card online, so any gift card seller who asks for it is likely trying to get information that they can use to steal your identity.
8. Check The Value Of Your Card As Soon As You Receive It
Believe it or not, not everybody does this when buying discounted gift cards online. But this should be a standard practice – whether you buy a new gift card, or a pre-owned discounted gift card.
If you buy a gift card, don’t check its balance, and then forget about it, you could be in for a surprise if you try to spend the balance and it turns out to be less than you think – or it turns out that the card has been drained of funds.
You should keep a close eye on the balances of each gift card you buy. Ensure that they have the correct dollar value of funds, and that their balance is not decreasing over time – this could be a sign that a gift card seller kept the information about the card, and is still spending it.
Paying attention to the balance of each gift card as you receive them can be difficult, so…
9. Buy Gift Cards As You Need Them – Not In Bulk!
We’ve seen some contradictory information out there. Some people say that buying large numbers of bulk discounted gift cards is a great way to save money – especially if it’s from a legitimate seller.
And while it’s true that large gift card resellers are unlikely to scam you, you should still avoid buying more gift cards than you need at any one time.
This is because fraud isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. You may also have to juggle multiple expiration dates, and keep track of the balance of multiple gift cards.
You could also simply lose or forget about a gift card if you don’t pay attention. And if you “overbuy” on gift cards from a specific merchant, you might end up with quite a few high dollar-value gift cards that you don’t need anymore – which means you’ve wasted some serious cash.
So don’t buy gift cards in bulk – buy them as you need them. This avoids wasted money on gift cards you can’t use, or might lose.
10. If You Get Scammed, Take Action – Fast!
In the (rare) case that you do get scammed when buying discounted gift cards online, you should be prepared to take action quickly. Speed is everything when you’re trying to dispute gift card fraud – so be ready with your purchase history, documents that show proof of purchase, credit card information, and anything else you may need to resolve the issue.
If you purchased a card from a gift card marketplace, contact them about it right away – their customer service team will help you through their resolution process.
If you purchased a card from eBay, you can start an eBay or PayPal dispute to resolve the issue – as long as you have proof that you were scammed, you’ll be able to recover your funds.
If the above methods don’t work, you can always file a chargeback with your credit card company. Chargebacks allow credit card companies to place a “hold” on a specific transaction.
These funds will then be returned to to you unless a merchant can prove that they fulfilled their obligations – and if you bought a fraudulent gift card, they won’t be able to do so, so you’ll get your money back.
So while being scammed is rather unlikely if you followed the above tips, you should always be prepared for the worst – this will ensure that your transactions go smoothly, and that you’ll always be ready if you do end up getting scammed when purchasing a discounted gift card.
Stay Safe When Buying Discounted Gift Cards Online
Hopefully, these above tips have been helpful as you begin to shop around for discounted gift cards online. If you buy discounted gift cards wisely, you can save a huge amount of money – so the risk is well-worth the reward.
Do you have a stack of unwanted gift cards sitting around in your junk drawer? Do you want to raise some cash to buy some discounted gift cards online? You’re in the right place – sell your gift cards to EJ Gift Cards today!
EJ Gift Cards is the #1 direct gift card buyer on the market. We offer a simple, intuitive selling process, we accept hundreds of gift cards, and we pay you directly through PayPal – so you don’t have to wait for a check in the mail!
So come to EJ Gift Cards now, and see how you can turn your unwanted gift cards into cash today!