Published on April 2nd, 2015 | by Chuck16
Of Gift Card Churning & eBay Gift Card Sales
Discounted Gift Card on eBay
There’s recently been lots of gift card sales on eBay. Part of this has to do with the fact that there are now four official gift card sellers on eBay: GiftCardMall, Paypal Digital Gifts, Cardency and SVMGiftCards. Until very recently, there was just GiftCardMall. Then Paypal Digital Gifts came around sometime in the past year or two, and more recently Cardency and SVMGiftCards came onto the scene.
I’m loving the fact that there’s more gift card sellers since that creates more discounted gift card opportunities between the various sellers. That’s probably why we’ve been seeing so many sales recently. Particularly the addition of Paypal Digital Gifts has been great, and hopefully the other two new sellers will get bigger and have more to offer as well.
The discounted gift cards on eBay are so common that I’m now confident enough to stockpile hundreds of dollars worth of eBay gift cards which were purchased at a discount, since I’m sure that within a month I’ll be able to use them up on gift card purchases which can be resold at a break-even or at a profit. After stacking the resale value, portal cashback, eBay Bucks and credit card points, eBay has become a potential churn-machine.
My friend ChasingThePoints recently discovered a way to be able to detect which gift cards can currently be purchased at a discount on eBay using some technical know-how which is beyond me (at least, beyond the 10 minutes that I spent trying to implement it). I’m unsure if I’m a technical ignoramus, meaning that the average person is able to follow his method, or I’m average and only techies can figure it out. In any case, if you can implement it go for it, but for now I’m still sticking with Slickdeals to let me know about the latest discounted gift card opportunities.
The e-Gift Card Conundrum
One issue that comes up when gift card churning is that lots of times the gift card deal is for an e-gift card which is much harder to resell than physical gift cards. Usually, you can sell e-gift cards to CardPool or CardCash for 5% less than the regular payout, but this sometimes negates the value of the churn.
I recently tried becoming a bulk seller with GiftCardZen since they take electronic gift cards from bulk sellers and they offer the same payout as for physical gift cards, but they denied me since I don’t do enough volume for them. There are still other options, such as Raise and GiftCards.com, but each has its own set of difficulties.
My current workaround which I use occasionally is to try to use the e-gift card to buy a physical gift card from the retailer. For example, if I got a discounted $25 Walmart e-gift card on Gyft, I’ll go to walmart.com and buy a $25 physical Walmart gift card and pay for it with the $25 Walmart e-gift card. I can then sell the physical gift card for full resale value.
Here’s a list of the few merchants that allow this that I’m aware of:
- Walmart As mentioned they allow this and are very easy to deal with.
- Target They recently started allowing this. It’s slightly more complicated, however, since they actually charge a shipping fee for physical gift cards. The workaround here is to have a REDcard saved in your target.com account and then it gets shipped free. For example, you can buy a $25 physical gift card and pay for it fully with a $25 e-gift card.
- Starbucks I believe it’s possible to transfer gift card balances, so you’d be able to transfer the balance of an e-gift card onto a physical gift card. If you don’t have one, you can buy a $5 physical gift card at Starbucks.
- Macy’s Reportedly the system allows it, but one person says that their order got cancelled when they tried to do it. I don’t yet have personal experience with Macy’s.
- Staples Used to allow this (at least the system did) but they’re now hard-coded not to allow it.
- Kmart I saw on FrequentMiler that their system doesn’t allow it. Probably Sears would be the same.
If anyone has experience with any merchants who allow buying a gift card with a gift card, please comment below to help out fellow gift card churners.
Note that we’re not looking for schemes of upgrading gift cards by purchasing a higher-valued card. FrequentMiler’s Laboratory is a great resource for that purpose; be sure to head over there with your experiences so as to keep it up to date. We’re looking particularly for revenue-neutral gift card swaps, where you can use a merchant’s e-gift card to buy a physical version or you can combine multiple gift cards onto one card.