This morning there was a great post over at Get Rich Slowly, “Discounted Gift Cards: The New Coupon” about sites that sell unused gift cards at a discount.

 

While we’ve heard about these sites before, we’ve never had the occasion to use them ourselves. But the post gives some good suggestions that we wouldn’t have considered, so we thought we share it with you.

 

According the post, you can buy gifts cards from all over the place for 3%- 30% cheaper than the face value of the card. Then, you can turn around and use the full face value of that card at the store it’s for. Or, if you receive a gift card you will never use, you can list it on this site and sell it to someone who will for up to 92% face value. We think that is a much better alternative to throwing it away!

 

From the post:

“Six uses for a discounted gift card

  1. End run around the wedding gift registry. If your BFF is registered at Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s, buy a discounted card and use it to pay for your present.
  2. Pump up PTA attendance. Offer a gift-card door prize at the next meeting. If you don’t see more parents there I’ll reimburse you for the cost of the card. (Just kidding!)
  3. Black Friday boost. Poised to grab $2 DVDs and $10 smartphones? They’ll be even cheaper if you pay with cut-rate cards.
  4. A gift in and of itself. If your brother loves a particular store, give him a card and let him buy whatever he wants. Buy it well in advance, though, because there’s a chance you’ll receive a seasonal or special-occasion card, e.g., a card decorated with holly or a wedding cake. (If so, take it to the store and buy a new card with it. If you don’t allow enough time to do that you’re going to look like either a re-gifter or the kind of cheap bastard who buys discounted gift cards. Neither epithet would bother me much, but you might have thinner skin.)
  5. Something for your kid’s teacher. Trust me: Ms. Smith absolutely, positively does not need another “No. 1 Teacher” mug. However, she might want something to put in the mugs she already has. I just saw Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cards and Caribou Coffee cards for 10% and 12% off, respectively.
  6. Giveaway on your website. Nothing gets virtual butts in virtual seats like a giveaway. Put a gift card up for grabs and promote the heck out of your contest. No one has to know you didn’t pay full price. Unless, of course, your card has hearts and Cupids on it.”

Additionally, if there is a particular store that you frequent, shop around for discounted gift cards to that store. You can save yourself some money up front, and then go shopping for deals at the store and save some more money. This is a great idea that we will definitely look into using in the future.

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