I confess: I love to shop. It’s a huge oxymoron that my 2 passions are saving money and shopping! I like buying nice things when I can and within budget. With a little planning, it is possible to save a ton of money when shopping for just about anything by buying discount gift cards.
Where Can You Get Discount Gift Cards???
Buy Discount Gift Cards from Discount Gift Card Websites / Gift Card Exchange Sites
Have you ever received a gift card and thought “I’ll never use this!” There are websites that purchase unloved gift cards and resell them at a discount. They may also purchase from brokers or resellers who specialize in reselling gift cards. Cardpool and Gift Card Granny are two examples.
**Money Tip: Make sure the website you’re using is legitimate and always read the site’s purchase guarantee for how they’ll protect you if anything goes wrong with your purchase**
I personally use Cardpool to buy gift cards and love it! I’ve saved tons of money on everything from clothes to furniture.
What to know: Many of their gift cards have been partially used – i.e., someone made a purchase and sold the rest of the gift card. Meaning that if you intend to buy a $100 gift card, you may end up with 2 or 3 gift cards that come close to $100 (obviously, you pay for the amount you purchase). They also sell complete gift cards, but not always.
**Money Tip: Always read where you can use the gift card – some are online only. If you plan to shop at the physical store, this can be a problem**
Earn Gift Cards Using Rewards Sites
Swagbucks is a personal favorite, but there are others. You can watch videos, do surveys and other random activities to earn points (they call them swagbucks). Once you earn a certain number of points, you can redeem your points to get gift cards for free.
It’s all pretty easy – for example, I use my phone to play videos while I do other work and earn points.
You can also buy discount gift cards from Swagbucks through their MyGiftCardsPlus program. Their discount is in the form of swagbucks that you get back on each purchase. You can then redeem these points for free gift cards later.
These discounts may not be as generous as those with a site like Cardpool, but they do offer new, unused gift cards with full values.
Also, as far as I have been able to tell, they are limited to eGift cards. But you can always print them if you want to give them as a gift or use them at a physical store.
Combine Your Discount Gift Cards With Other Discounts and Promotions
Shop Through a Website that Gives You Cash Back
Cashback websites offer discounts if you click through to the retailer from their website to complete your shopping. There are TONS of sites that do this! Examples are:
- eBates (← my referral link) for cash back in the form of a check or gift card
- Swagbucks for points you can redeem for future gift cards and
- most airlines have a marketplace where you can get airline miles for shopping online (as a bonus, this can also keep your miles from expiring!)
- plus many others
Some reward you for purchasing at physical stores too!
Search for Discount Codes When You Shop
I always like to do a search for “store coupon code” before checking out. You may find a better coupon just by doing a quick search.
Some cash-back sites list discount codes directly on their website or have conditions that you can only use their discount codes, so make sure you check there first.
**Money Tip: Love a retailer? Sign up for their email and/or mail list to make sure you receive their coupons**
Everything will Eventually Go On Sale. Wait for a Sale!
Waiting for a sale can make a huge difference. This last step requires patience. I’ve waited from 1 week to up to 3 months for an item to be on sale.
Obviously, this last tactic depends on your personal time frame. But, with some planning, it can make a difference.
Shopping with Discount Gift Cards in Action!
Here’s an example of how I recently used the shopping tips above to get an amazing deal on a new Buffet we bought from a local home decor store:
- Regular price: $600
- Waited for sale. (Finally!) discounted by 15%: $510
- Additional 10% off coupon from the store’s email list (score!): $459
- Purchased Discounted Gift Card at a 23% discount: $489 in gift card value ($459 + local sales tax): $377 <– my final out of pocket 🙂
I paid $377 for an item that is normally $600!!!! That’s almost a 40% discount!