Gift cards are awesome – and just about everyone loves them. Though some people weren’t fans of gift cards in the past, changing attitudes have made gift cards the #1 choice for almost every American during winter holidays, birthdays, graduations, and more.
But you know what’s better than a gift card? A discounted gift card! That’s right – thanks to the huge gift card market, it’s easier than ever to score awesome discounts on gift cards and save – whether you’re keeping the card yourself, or giving it to somebody else.
This was fairly uncommon in the past. Even 10-15 years ago, it was very rare to find gift cards for less than “face value” – a $50 gift card would always cost you $50. But nowadays, you can find just about any gift card on sale for less than face value – and these discounts can pile up to some serious savings.
So what’s changed? Why are businesses willing to sell gift cards for less than face value? Well, it’s simple – gift cards drive sales! Discounted gift cards can help drive sales to merchants and restaurants, and when consumers come in to redeem the value of their card, they usually spend more than the value of the card – leading to increased profits!
Secondly, the rise of the internet has created a strong gift card aftermarket. Our digital world has allowed gift card consumers to connect with each other. It’s easier than ever before to trade a gift card for a different card, or to sell a gift card for cash. And that means that you can now find discounted gift cards for just about every merchant!
So, how can you benefit from people who sell gift cards for a discount? It’s easy! All you have to know is where to look, and you can find fantastic deals on gift cards, and save tons of money! Whether you’re looking to give away your cards, or you’re just looking for cheap gift cards for everyday essentials, you’ve got to start buying discounted gift cards!
In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at how to do so. We’ll discuss the difference between new and pre-owned gift cards, give you tips on buying gift cards safely, and talk about some of the most common websites and establishments where you can find gift cards that are being sold at a discount.
Pre-Owned Vs. New Discounted Gift Cards
First things first – let’s talk about the difference between pre-owned and new discounted gift cards. While this may seem a bit self-evident, it’s important to understand if you want to buy discounted gift cards safely.
Pre-owned gift cards have been bought by a third-party – such as EJ Gift Cards – and then are resold for a profit. These companies profit by purchasing unwanted gift cards for a certain percentage of their value – and then selling gift cards for a slight discount. By doing so, they manage to profit, and still offer a lower overall cost for their gift cards.
Pre-owned gift cards can also be sold by individuals who don’t want them, directly to other consumers. Selling gift cards like this eliminates the middleman, but can increase risk.
Pre-owned gift cards make up 99% of the “gift card aftermarket”, and buying them is generally quite safe. The businesses who profit from them wouldn’t stay in business for long if they were scammers, after all!
However, you should still try to deal with a reputable, well-established company when buying a discounted gift card. It’s also usually a good idea to avoid buying cards directly from individuals, as you’ll likely have less fraud protection.
New discounted gift cards, on the other hand, have not been purchased by another consumer. These gift cards are simply sold for less than face value outright. Usually, this is done to increase sales to a specific merchant.
Generally, it’s much harder to find deals on new gift cards, so most people primarily buy discounted pre-owned gift cards. However, new gift cards are often sold for less during holiday seasons such as the winter holidays, the beginning of summer, and other special occasions.
Now that you understand the differences between these two kinds of gift cards, let’s take a look at the most popular places to buy discounted gift cards online. We’ll start with the most popular pre-owned gift card marketplaces, and then move on to discuss where you can find new discounted gift cards.
1. Gift Card Marketplaces (Pre-Owned Gift Cards)
Gift card marketplaces like Cardcash, GiftCardGranny, and Raise are very popular places to buy discounted gift cards. Though the specifics of each site differs somewhat, the overall interface and purchasing process of each site is pretty similar. Here’s how gift card marketplaces work.
- Gift cards are purchased for less than face value – Gift cards are purchased from individual consumers for a set percentage of their face value. This is how gift card marketplaces get their stock.
- Gift cards are listed for more than the purchase price – If a gift card was purchased at, say, 80% of the face value, these gift card marketplaces may “mark it up” to 90-93% of the face value. By doing so, they make a profit on the sale.
- Consumers shop for discounted cards – Consumers can then browse each marketplace and look for gift cards that they’re interested in. They purchase a gift card for less than face value, and are free to use it as they like!
Essentially, that’s it! These websites are pretty simple, and popular gift card marketplaces are generally very safe, with established track records, money-back guarantees, and good customer service.
The discounts you can receive vary depending on the type of card on offer – typically, popular gift cards (WalMart, Target, Amazon, etc) will sell for over 95% of face value, while cards to more niche restaurants and shops can sometimes be purchased for less than 80% of face value.
The popularity of these marketplaces makes them the #1 overall place that people buy pre-owned discounted gift cards.
2. Gift Card Swapping Sites (Pre-Owned Gift Cards)
Gift card swapping sites are somewhat similar to gift card marketplaces, but allow true peer-to-peer buying, trading, and selling. Websites like GiftCardSwapping allow consumers to swap gift card values directly with each other, providing an alternative to large gift card swapping sites.
This makes gift card swapping sites popular for people who have high value gift cards, and want to be as thrifty as possible. While most gift card buyers offer competitive rates for popular gift cards, you’ll rarely be able to sell a gift card for more than 90% of its face value. If you’ve got a $500 gift card, that means you could lose out on $50 – quite a chunk of change!
However, gift card swapping sites allow you to exchange a gift card directly with other users for a card of the same face value. Though this means you can’t turn your gift card into cash, this is a viable way ensure you get the full value of your card.
These sites also allow users to simply buy and sell gift cards, so they are very flexible indeed. The primary drawback is that it takes a long time to use these sites – whether you’re bidding on gift cards or selling gift card, you’ll have to wait to get an offer for the value of your card, or for your bid to be accepted.
3. eBay (Pre-Owned Gift Cards)
eBay isn’t the most dominant force in the world of discounted gift cards, but it can be a viable choice. People who have gift cards they don’t want often sell them on eBay, and you can usually get them for a pretty good discount – even compared to gift card marketplaces and gift card swapping sites.
However, there’s a reason for this. eBay sellers are much more likely to scam you. This is because eBay isn’t designed specifically for selling gift cards, and there’s usually no way to verify the balance of a gift card before you’ve purchased it.
Because of this – and the fact that eBay allows you to deal with individual sellers – you could be at risk of getting scammed. While eBay and PayPal policies and restrictions can help you avoid being scammed, purchasing gift cards on eBay can still be quite risky.
If you’re interested in buying gift cards on eBay, make sure you do your homework. Ensure that:
- The seller has a high feedback rating
- The seller has had an account for multiple years
- There is some way to verify the balance of a gift card
- The listing includes information like expiration date, value, and purchase date
If a deal seems too good to be true – like a $500 Best Buy gift card for $300 – it probably is. Keep the above tips in mind, and avoid “too good to be true” deals, and you’ll be able to buy gift cards safely on eBay.
4. “Daily Deal” Websites (New Gift Cards)
Now let’s dig into some places where you can find great deals on new gift cards – rather than pre-owned cards.
“Daily Deal” websites are a relatively recent innovation. These websites act as a sort of “flash sale” marketplace where unwanted merchandise can be sold to the public at a deep discount.
Here is a list of the best daily deal websites from Consumer Affairs, as well as a comprehensive list of websites that offer discounts from Clark.
These specialized websites don’t always offer gift card deals, but when they do, you can get some serious deals – sometimes up to 15% of the face value of a brand-new gift card!
5. Local Discount Websites (New)
If you’re looking to save money – while still supporting local businesses – local discount websites are a fantastic choice.
Websites like Local Flavor, Groupon, and Restaurant.com often have incredible deals that allow you to purchase gift cards from local businesses for deep discounts, or even have “buy one get one” deals on popular local gift cards.
Best of all, these deals are tailored to your area – so you’ll be able to support local businesses, and you’ll always be able to find great new deals on gift cards, store credit, and more!
6. Amazon Daily Deals (New)
Amazon Daily Deals is a great place to score discounts on, well, just about everything! But did you know that Amazon often sells gift cards at a discount?
It’s true! Just head over to the “Daily Deals” link above, filter by “Gift Cards”, and see the discounts you can get on awesome gift cards!
These discounts change every day, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them if you’re looking to save some serious cash on gift cards! It’s also more common to see deep gift card discounts during the winter holidays, and over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
7. “Gift Card Malls” In Grocery Stores (New)
Sometimes, you can’t beat the classics. “Gift Card Malls” are common in most grocery stores – these are the gigantic racks of gift cards you’ll usually find near the checkout line, offering hundreds of gift cards to different establishments.
During holidays, many stores run promotions offering face value discounts on gift cards, BOGO deals, or other coupons that help you save money on gift cards.
The best way to keep track of these sales is to pay attention to the circulars that are usually included with your newspaper – these ads usually include information about discounts, especially during the holidays.
If you don’t subscribe to the newspaper, you could also visit Gift Card Mall’s online site, where you can often find deep discounts and daily sales for gift cards.
Maximize Your Savings! Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards With EJ Gift Cards Today!
What’s better than buying a discounted gift card? Buying it with cash that you got from an old, unwanted gift card, of course! And if you sell gift cards at EJ Gift Cards, you can do just that!
EJ Gift Cards lets you supercharge your savings by turning your unwanted gift cards into cold, hard cash. We offer great rates on hundreds of different cards, and we pay out through PayPal – no waiting for a check in the mail!
So if you’re looking to save some serious cash on discounted gift cards, sell your unwanted gift cards with EJ Gift Cards now – and start racking up the savings!