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Thoughts on Purchasing Discounted Gift Cards

A few weeks ago I purchased a couple of discounted gift cards from various daily deal sites. My goal was to save money at stores where I plan to shop for necessary baby items.

I’m pretty particular about buying gift cards. For the most part I look to save at least 10%. I don’t want to go through the hassle of auction sites just to save a dollar or two. I’ve been burned a couple of times by sellers who never shipped cards or who claimed they’d been lost in the mail. So if the deal isn’t worth my time and hassle I’ll walk away from it.

I found an auction a few days ago on Target gift cards. I bought one through the Buy It Now option and the seller emailed me to let me know he had a few others. After a few back and forth emails I bought four $20 cards for less than $18 total! I received the cards two days later with no problem.

A long time reader of One Frugal Girl suggested buying discounted gift cards for local restaurants so my husband and I can save money if we’re too tired to cook and need to order takeout after the little one arrives. I thought this was an outstanding idea and started searching for restaurant related gift cards on various discount sites and eBay. Unfortunately, a lot of other people must have the same idea, because the majority of cards sell for pretty close to their retail value.

I was wondering if anyone else out there purchases discounted gift cards on a regular basis and if so where do you find the best bargains? Are auction sites the best places to look or do you have better success with specialized gift card websites? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

One Frugal Girl

Sunday 2nd of October 2011

@Michelle P - I've had issues with eBay too. Now I only purchase items from sellers with nearly perfect feedback.

@Lauren - It's good the pawn shop refunded your money, but I bet the whole experience was a pain in the a**.

@Ruby Leigh - I checked out Restaurant.com, but it seems a lot of the certificates are only good for dining in. I was hoping for something we could use for take-out after the baby arrives.

Ruby Leigh

Saturday 1st of October 2011

I think for discounts on restaurants, the better option is to use groupon or living social. I've done okay with restaurant.com and I also use The Happenings book.

Lauren

Friday 30th of September 2011

I tried it once with a Kohl's gift card from a pawn shop, and the gift card wasn't valid. The pawn shop refunded my money no questions asked, but after that one experience, I haven't tried to buy discounted gift cards again.

Michelle P

Friday 30th of September 2011

I've never bought a discounted gift card before. I guess I'm just a little afraid on someone not mailing it (I've had that happen SOOOO many times on ebay and not gotten my money back).