Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gift cards 2.0

There have been some recent developments in the world of gift carding that are worth mentioning.  Several gift card sites now allow you to sell cards using only the gift card number, without having to send in the card itself.  A favorite site of mine, Plastic Jungle, will accept sales of gift cards using just the serial number and transfer their value into your Amazon or PayPal account without the need to mail the card in.

And, on the flip side, Plastic Jungle and another site called Card Pool, and others, too out there allow you to buy discounted gift cards (essentially used ones) of varying amounts.  Even better, is that Plastic Jungle will sell you a discounted  gift card in the form of an eCode which means no waiting for a card to arrive in the mail.  I tried this method the other day successfully.

There are a few things to be mindful, though, when selling gift cards.  One, you will take a hair cut, or more, when selling them.  The sites have to make money some how.  Two, you will receive even less value if you try to convert them into PayPal vs. Amazon dollars.  There is site called Gift Card Granny that will compare the value to be obtained from selling gift cards or the cost to buy them, listing their discount %.  Sites do vary.

My advice, unless you are hard up, or never feel like you will use a gift card you received as a present, stick to buying used gift cards instead.  Not only will you get a discount there, you can also plug in a coupon code on top of that to increase your savings.  And, for really advanced shopping, use one of the many shopping portals mentioned on the site to get a cash rebate, too.