Updated: September 22, 2011 12:33AM
There is another trick to getting even better deals at the store. It’s the discounted gift card. It requires a little patience, so impulse shoppers beware. But you can really save a bundle once you purchase these unused gift cards and group them with store sales and store coupons.
This is how it works. (And this is where the patience comes into play.) Go shopping, pick out what you want, but before you actually buy; head over to a discounted gift card retailer and purchase a gift card to your retailer of choice. These discount sites have the cards that recipients did not want.
For example, Grandma gets a gift card to Hot Topic in the family grab bag. Not really her kind of store, so she could sell it at a discount on several different sites for you to purchase.
Here are a few examples of those sites:
Ebay: There is always a large number of gift cards and certificates here to bid on. Planning is key since it will have to be shipped. This is especially helpful if you are going on vacation and already know of some restaurants or attractions that you want to visit.
PlasticJungle.com: This is one of the best places to sell, buy, exchange or donate your gift cards on the web. It’s safe because you are dealing with Plastic Jungle, not Susie who didn’t want the gift card. She sells it to Plastic Jungle and then they sell it to you. The transactions are guaranteed and there are no shipping or other fees.
When I looked at their site, I found a Kohls gift card in the amount of $176.28 going for $149.84. That’s a 15% reduction and if you bundle that with the coupons Kohls sends out, that’s a huge savings.
Cardpool.com: This is the same type of site as Plastic Jungle. I found cards that were discounted 25% from JJill and Lucky Brand, 20% discounted cards from Gymboree, and 15% discounted cards from North Face. They also ship for free.
Giftcards.com: This site has a huge number of cards available to purchase. They also tag the ones that they have found additional site coupons. For example, there were Aeropostale gift cards to purchase at a discount and they listed all of the current promotions for the store making it easier for you to save.
Restaurant.com: Certain restaurants offer a limited number of discounted certificates on this site. Once they are gone for the month, they will not be available until the following month. Plus, there are always codes to be found on the internet to get more savings.
I searched the certificates and found that I could get a $100 gift certificate to Leona’s for $40. Then I found a coupon code for 70% off making that $100 certificate $12. It’s amazing!
Shopper’s tip: Be sure to read the restrictions before you purchase. If you are going to end up getting stuck with something that you can’t use, then you wasted money instead of saving it.