If you’re interested in saving money and pinching your pennies, one of the best things you can do is buy “aftermarket” gift cards from a gift card reseller like EJ Gift Cards.
Aftermarket gift cards have been purchased directly from the company that sells them, and then “resold” for cash, using an online platform.
Then, the gift card reseller will list these gift cards for sale – usually for a deep discount, so that buyers will purchase them, and they can make a profit.
This has a number of benefits for consumers. First, you can sell the gift cards you don’t want for cash. Then, you can buy other gift cards – at a discount – for stores that you do like!
You’ll save money, and be able to stretch your budget when shopping at your favorite stores.
However, there are some mistakes you might make if you’ve never shopped for aftermarket gift cards before. If you make these errors, you could end up losing money and getting the wrong gift card – or even getting scammed!
That’s why EJ Gift Cards is here with a comprehensive guide on the most common mistakes that new aftermarket gift card buyers make. Take a look now, and stay safe while buying and selling gift cards online!
1. Getting The Wrong Kind Of Gift Card
Most online gift card resellers offer both physical gift cards and e-gift cards.
- Physical gift cards are exactly what they sound like – existing, pre-printed gift cards just like you’d find at the store. Usually, you have to have received a physical gift card in-person before you can use it, due to security codes and other gift card protections.
You can buy physical gift cards from gift card resellers, and have them sent directly to you. However, this process will take a few days, and could even take longer.
This makes physical gift cards ideal if you are shopping for yourself, or don’t need a gift card right away. But if you need a gift card to be delivered immediately, an e-gift card is a better solution.
- E-gift cards are also sometimes known as “digital gift cards.” These gift cards are sent directly to your email after you buy them – and they are often resold on gift card websites.
E-gift card delivery usually only takes a few minutes from most major gift card resellers. You don’t have to wait for a physical card in the mail, so this is a great way to get a discounted gift card quickly.
However, some e-gift cards cannot be spent in stores, so they may not always be the right choice for you.
Make sure that, when you’re buying a gift card online, you take the time to understand what type of card it is. If it’s a physical gift card, expect to wait a few days while it’s sent to you, and if it’s an e-gift card, make sure you can use it in stores if that’s what you plan to do.
That leads us to our next mistake…
2. Getting A Gift Card That Can Only Be Spent Online
Most companies have invested in “omnichannel” gift cards that can be spent both in stores and online. Target, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy are great examples of this. However, there are some exceptions, and you should be aware of them.
IKEA, for example, offers a wide variety of e-gift cards, and they are popular on many different gift card exchanges. However, their e-gift cards can only be used online.
IKEA also does not usually offer free shipping, so that means that you may not save that much money when buying discounted IKEA gift cards.
Take the time to look at the gift card listing closely when you’re about to buy it. Any reputable gift card seller will make it very clear whether or not a gift card can be redeemed in-person.
If there is no indication about whether or not a gift card can only be spent online, you can do your own research. Do some Googling about the card you’re interested in, and see what you find.
For example, if you are thinking about getting a Nordstrom gift card, you could see if they sell Nordstrom gift cards that are only usable online. Then, if you find out that all Nordstrom gift cards are usable both online and in-store, you can make your purchase with confidence!
3. Buying A Gift Card That’s About To Expire
Sometimes, there’s no way to avoid this. While all gift cards must remain active for up to 5 years after they are purchased (thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009), there is always a chance that you’ll buy a gift card that will expire soon.
Unless the seller has made it a point to list the exact purchase date and expiration date, there is usually no way to know whether or not you’re about to buy a gift card that’s about to expire.
Luckily, it’s fairly rare to get a gift card that will expire within weeks or months of purchase. One exception, though, is “promotional gift cards”.
Promotional gift cards, also known as “bonus gift cards” do not have to adhere to the same regulations as “normal” gift cards, because they are given away as part of customer loyalty deal.
Take a look at this article we wrote about bonus gift cards to learn more, and make sure you don’t end up buying one of these cards.
4. Shopping On Shady Gift Card Websites
Any quickly-growing market can attract shady individuals and scammers, and that’s true of the gift card aftermarket. Though there are dozens of perfectly legitimate gift card exchanges, there are also scammy sites out there that will prey on consumers who are looking to save money.
If you come across a gift card website that seems like it might be a scam, you should probably choose a different company, like EJ Gift Cards. If you’re not sure whether or not a company is legit, there are some ways you can test them:
- Send an email to customer service – Scammers aren’t going to waste time responding to customer service emails. Send a few messages to see how the company responds, and whether or not they seem interested in providing good customer service.
- Ask about delivery methods – Most gift card websites are willing to send gift cards via registered mail, or with USPS tracking, so that you can be assured that your purchase is on the way. If you don’t get a straight answer from the company, you should be suspicious.
- Look for customer reviews – This is the best way to find out if a gift card seller is legitimate. If customer reviews are positive, you’re likely working with an above-board company. If they aren’t – or you can’t find any customer reviews – choose another company, like EJ Gift Cards.
5. Purchasing From Individual Sellers
It’s typically much more risky to purchase a gift card from an individual seller using a website like eBay. An individual seller can scam you and get away with it much more easily than a larger company.
If you do decide to purchase a gift card from an individual seller on eBay, here are few tips to keep you safe:
- Make sure the listing has all of the information you need – A listing for a gift card on eBay should include the value of the card, remaining balance, the merchant name, expiration date, and other details.
Note that the ad should never list the card number! If an ad lists the card number, or the card number is clearly visible in photographs – whether on accident or on purpose – the card may have already been used. Don’t buy it.
- Don’t buy a card worth more than $500 – eBay does not allow gift cards of over $500 to be sold on their platform. However, sellers may be unaware of this limit. Don’t ever bid on a card worth more than $500, as the auction could be shut down at any time, and you could be left hanging for quite a bit of money.
- Look for a high positive feedback rating – The best eBay sellers have a feedback rating of 90-95%. Accounts that are older than a few years, and have a history of selling multiple, diverse types of items are the most likely to be legitimate and trustworthy.
- Verify your card as soon as you receive it – Call the 1-800 number on your card, or log onto the merchant’s website to verify its value as soon as you get it. This way, you can take action (such as a credit card chargeback) if you notice any problems.
6. Buying Gift Cards You Don’t Need – Just Because They’re On Sale
Often, you can find gift cards on sale for 10-30% off from their face value. It’s tempting to just grab gift cards to all of the stores that you love, just so you can save money when you go shopping!
However, you shouldn’t buy gift cards that you don’t really need just because they are a good value. If you don’t use them quickly, you could forget about them – and they might expire.
When you’re thinking about buying an aftermarket gift card online, think about how soon you’ll need to use it. Try to only purchase gift cards that you know you’ll use in the next few days or weeks – otherwise, you could end up with a stack of gift cards that you can’t spend quickly enough!
7. Paying High Shipping Fees
Quite a few online gift card marketplaces offer free shipping for their gift cards, but even those who don’t usually only charge about $1 for shipping and delivery. Gift cards are small and easy to send, so shipping costs should never be higher than that – except if you’re getting an international delivery.
If a gift card seller charges you a high rate to ship your gift card, they’re just trying to pad out their profit margin – and you should avoid doing business with them.
8. Only Buying High-Value Gift Cards
If you need to make an expensive purchase, it’s best to get a high-value gift card, right? Well, this isn’t always the case!
Often, high-value gift cards to stores like IKEA or Best Buy will cost more than low value gift cards. This is because it’s easier to walk into a store with a single gift card and make a purchase than it is to use multiple gift cards.
However, you can often get a lower price on multiple lower-value gift cards, especially if they have been partially used. Purchasing multiple low-value cards will make the checkout process a bit more time-consuming – but the savings is worth it!
Interestingly, the opposite is often true with gift cards to restaurants like McDonald’s, or coffee shops like Starbucks. In these cases a low-value, $25 gift card is much more useful than a $200+ gift card. So make sure to examine each seller listing to make sure you get a great deal!
Looking To Buy Discounted Gift Cards? EJ Gift Cards Is The Place To Be!
Whether you’re interested in selling gift cards you don’t need, in return for some cash in your PayPal account, or you want to buy discounted gift cards and save money, EJ Gift Cards is the best choice.
We buy and sell hundreds of different gift cards from top brands around the US. We offer industry-leading rates, fantastic customer support, and reliable service. When you buy gift cards from us, we guarantee that you’ll be satisfied.
So don’t deal with individual sellers or other shady, scammy websites. With EJ Gift Cards, you can get the gift cards you want – for less! Shop our selection of discounted gift cards now, and save big.