Here is a very quick re-cap of the discounted gift card websites I mentioned on my ‘Wallop of the Week’ slot on Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, December 1st.
There are a number of websites, most notably Zeek, but also Cardyard, that allow you to both buy and sell unwanted gift cards. This is great if your Great Aunt Mildred has given you a £10 voucher for WHSmith and you fancy a T-shirt rather than a book from the Richard and Judy book club. Go to one of these sites and you can sell the £10 voucher or swap it for a gift card from a shop you’d prefer.
Warning: you will never get the face value of the card. You usually you get about 90%.
There is also a site called Zapper that allows you to sell (but not buy) gift cards.
But, at this time of year, these sites are particularly useful if you want to use a gift card to save money on your Christmas shopping. For the big gadget sites sites such as Currys PC World or the iTunes store you will only ever get a discount of about 5 per cent or 6 per cent compared with the face value. But it is, in effect, free money.
With some retailers Waterstones (see screengrab above), the savings can really add up. Today, you can find saving £45 on products bought from Waterstones. This is true with lots of the restaurant gift cards too.
With Zeek you need to know two important caveats: 1. they charge buyers 30p every transaction. 2. Many banks think you are trying to make a fraudulent transaction if you buy a card from Zeek. When I tried to do it for the first time, my payment was declined and I had to ring my bank to tell them it was a legitimate transaction. Zeek claim this is very unusual, but various forums suggest it is not.
Lovemoney has done a more detailed round-up of the three main sites here, particularly giving more information about selling unwanted cards.