I started trading and purchasing gift cards online in June of last year. With the first couple of purchases I saved a ton of money. My best buys were a $1994 Home Depot card for $1557 and a $100 Pier One card for only $16. Although most of my purchases do not yield such large gains, I have managed to save roughly 15 to 20% on purchases through the use of discounted gift cards. I have also traded a couple of gift cards with others, usually for equal or greater value, even after the website fees are taken into consideration.
But lately the gift card purchases have been a bust. In four of the last eleven purchases, the seller has failed to send the card, despite my credit card and/or PayPal payment. For the first two purchases I didn’t experience much of a burden. I simply called my credit card company and informed them that the seller never mailed the item I purchased. But the last two gift card purchases are quite another story. I purchased both cards with money in my PayPal account, which works entirely different than a credit card. In essence, I had to create a dispute, detail what has occurred thus far, and wait for the seller to respond. If the seller doesn’t respond then I have to submit a claim to PayPal. In the mean time I’m out $60.
Is saving 15% worth waiting around for an auction to end, winning an auction but waiting for a gift card that never arrives, interacting with sellers who never respond, and filing claims with websites who may or may not find a way to refund my money? Hmm… One thing is for sure if I do purchase any more cards I will certainly be using my credit card. So now the question is will there be a next time?
Have any of you had luck, good or bad, with online gift card purchases or trades?