How to Save Money Shopping Without Sales or Coupons

Here's a new money-saving idea to try.

Everyone loves a deal. But when saving money involves cutting coupons, the money saved just isn’t worth your time. Fortunately, there’s another approach to saving money that can produce fast results: discounted gift cards.

The secondary market for gift cards can mean an easy way to grab significant savings at your favorite stores without having to wait for a sale. Using discounted gift cards can be a simple, easy way to save money on the things you love.

Save Money by Purchasing Discounted Gift Cards

You probably know the feeling of receiving a gift card to a store you didn’t really want. And, in that case, most people would gladly accept less than face value in cash rather than be forced to go to a store they normally wouldn’t to buy things they neither want nor need. Fortunately, you can sell gift cards online fairly easily if you’re willing to take a discount on the face value.

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That need to sell gift cards you don’t want is the reality that keeps the secondary market of gift card exchange rolling and, proving the old adage that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. As such, you can buy gift cards and end up spending less on things you would most likely be buying anyway. While you probably won’t be able to get free gift cards or even find options for half price gift cards, plenty of sites advertise the chance to get as much as 30 percent off of the face value of the card.

The sites that stock these cards can cast a wide net, so while you might not be interested in an Amazon gift card discount, you might still be able to find discount Walmart gift cards or have the ability to buy gift cards with PayPal, depending on the site you use.

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Where to Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Your options for getting discounted gift cards can vary. Clearly, you might be able to do it the old fashioned way and buy directly from friends, family or coworkers. However, buying and selling discounted gift cards online will likely give you more options.

One option is eBay, but it’s worth noting that there’s a variety of sites that are dedicated specifically to buying and selling discount gift cards:

  • Gift Card Granny: Offers a 100 percent guarantee for the life of the gift card and offers a rewards program
  • Raise: Offers a one-year money-back guarantee
  • Gift Card Zen: Offers free shipping and 100-day guarantee

Those are just a few of your options. Be sure to shop around to find the sites that have the most of what you want and the highest discounts.

See: 15 Restaurants That Give Gift Cards Away for Free

When to Avoid Discounted Gift Cards

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If there’s one thing to remember about discounted gift cards, it’s that if you don’t like the store it’s probably not worth it no matter the savings. You might be able to find things you need at places you don’t normally go, but manufacturing spending just to take advantage of getting 20 percent off the face value of a card is not ultimately saving you any money.

Beyond that, be careful to compare the size of any discount to the other costs that might attend the gift card. Is there a charge for shipping the card? Is the only place you can use it in another state? Are there additional limitations on how the card can be redeemed? All told, a card that saves you $1 probably isn’t worth your time, especially if they charge $2 to ship it to you or if you need to spend $5 in gas getting to the store.

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About the Author

Joel Anderson

Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.

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How to Save Money Shopping Without Sales or Coupons
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