Tips for Buying and Selling Gift Cards
When you think of the kinds of items you’d buy in the second-hand economy, you probably picture purchasing popular items, like gently worn clothing, used electronics, or pre-loved baby toys. But there’s one lesser known item that makes it easy to save money, which also happens to be my favourite item: gift cards.
I’ve been buying and selling gift cards to my favorite stores since 2010. This has allowed me to indulge in some of my shopping habits without blowing my monthly budget or savings goals. It’s also made it possible for me to spend my savings on other items that are important to me – like my new baby.
Turns out this is a huge trend in the weeks following the holiday season, and something I urge everyone to take advantage of!
How to make money selling unwanted gift cards
If you received gift cards this holiday season that you simply won’t use, or have now missed the store’s return window, you can still get some use out of them and earn money by selling them on Kijiji. You can score some cold hard cash to spend where you want to, and your gift card will go to someone who will actually make use of it.
I suggest listing your gift card at 15 to 25% below face value to compensate people for the time and effort of searching for and buying the card from you. It might seem like you’re losing money to charge only $40 for a $50 gift card, but that $40 of cash is worth way more than the $0 you would have, by hanging on to a gift card you just won’t use!
This year, I received a ton of gift cards to one retailer that I couldn’t see myself using and just preferred cash for, so I took my own advice this month and listed them. When it comes to exchanging the gift card for cash, I always offer to meet the buyer at the store that issued and accepts the gift card. Once there, I have a cashier verify the gift card balance for my buyer before handing it over. Not only does this reassure your buyer than you’re not selling them an empty card, but it provides a public location for both of you to meet.
How to buy discounted gift cards for your favourite retailers
Alternatively, now is the perfect time to find great deals on discounted gift cards for your favourite stores. Because so many gift cards are exchanged over the holidays, there’s an influx of available gift cards for sale in January. People are looking to get rid of perfectly good gift cards for any number of reasons, from receiving too many for one store to simply preferring to have cash instead.
When it comes to buying a gift card, I follow the same I rules mentioned above. I look for discounted gift cards and once I find one, I request to meet the seller at the store the card is for to verify the balance.
Purchasing a gift card for 15% to 25% off its face value is the same as shopping at 15% to 25% off sale at your favourite store! Plus, if you do manage to use the gift card during a sale, you can get brand new items for a fraction of their regular price – what a deal!
Get more, give more
I actually learned that 82% of Canadians trade at least one item through the second-hand economy. Buying, selling, and trading through the second-hand economy now amounts to more than $29 billion a year, and continues to grow.
You might not expect a personal finance expert to provide this kind of tip but giving items a “second life” doesn’t just help you save money but makes it incredibly easy to get and give the gifts you really want with just a little bit of effort – for me, that’s my favourite clothing and beauty brands – but you can shop for whatever your things is. You can even stock up on discounted gift cards now to do your shopping next Christmas. If that’s not an expert finance tip, then I don’t know what is!
Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!
If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!