Gift Card Arbitrage: New Way to Save More

Gift Card Rack at Store
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Skimming through Jan-Feb issue of Money, one snippet caught my attention:

Swap that Gift Card for Cash”.

Gift Card Rack

The write-up focused on two sites – PlasticJungle and GiftCardRescue. Both are services for offloading unwanted gift cards. While the article seemed only to consider the selling opportunities I was amazed they didn’t bring up the BUYING potential of these sites. Sure gift cards are limited to specific stores, but these cards are being sold for less than what’s on them – that’s an immediate discount!

So I decided to browse around and see what was available. Here’s a little breakdown of what I found. All the listings are shown as percentages off the cards’ face value.

Men’s Clothing

Brooks Brothers – 18%

Men’s Warehouse – 14%

JoS. A. Bank – 12%

Pet Supplies

PETCO – 9%

PetSmart – 8%

Home Improvements

Bed Bath & Beyond – 8%

Home Depot – 7%

Lowes – 7%

Transportation

US Airways – 6%

JetBlue – 6%

Okay I’ll admit these aren’t cut-rate discounts, but I never like paying full price for anything. If you have regularly occurring or known upcoming expenses, like pet supplies or travel, then these could be a great way to shave some of the sale price.

Out of the two, PlasticJungle hosts gift cards with no expiration date while GiftCardRescue sells expiring cards exclusively. With that, you can probably snag a deeper discount, but should be fairly certain you’ll use the card in its full amount before the expiration date.

Scanning PlasticJungle’s Terms of Use, items 6A and 7B refer to the “fees” associated with the transactions. Not sure how much, I can’t imagine it would eat into the discount because then no one would use these sites.

If anyone happens to make a purchase from either of these, let us know how it works out and if it’s actually worth it.

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