Thursday, November 18, 2010

Need a discounted gift card? Try this site

After some contemplation, I decided to give Plastic Jungle, a purveyor of discounted gift cards, a try.  Although I was a little skeptical, the temptation to get a Home Depot gift card at 7% off was pretty good.  Plus, the Plastic Jungle site offers a money back gurantee.  Not only that, by using my credit card, I could easily report any fraud and get my money back without much hassle.  A few days ago, my card arrived.  I quickly checked the balance online and all was in order.  Great success!

The site also allows one to exchange or sell gift cards for others that you might be more interested in.  Cough, cough.  Perhaps that gift card received during the holiday season wasn't to your liking.  I haven't tried this feature on Plastic Jungle, but on a similar website, unfortunately no longer in business, I did sell an Olive Garden gift card.  Sorry, Olive Garden, but I needed the cash at the time.  Expect to take a bit of a haircut when you do this, though.

The take away here is that there a lot of options in which to use, or obtain gift cards, without paying face value for them.  It's one in another of many tools you have at your disposal to purchase goods and services at a discount. 

Of course, if you are going to obtain a gift card at a discount, the rules apply just the same as if you acquired it at full value: use as quickly as possible to avoid expiration penalties and try to use them for one big purchase.  Unused gift cards total in the billions, according to this article, so it's in the retailer's best interest for you not to cash in on them.

Stay tuned for more tips on using gift cards, Pay Pal, and unused Groupons.