The secret to saving 10% to 20% on top of Black Friday sale prices
As the 2016 shopping season approaches, we will start to see flash sales and discounts that rival or even beat Black Friday prices as October comes to a close. Deals such as $400 tablets marked down to $99, $60 video games marked down to $5, etc… These type of deals will only get more frequent as we move into November, thus it’s important that you start to budget out the money you want to spend on gifts (or yourself) this holiday season.
With that in mind, there’s an extremely useful trick to saving even more money on holiday purchases that the majority of shoppers typically overlook each year, discount gift cards. While it requires a predictive strategy to deciding where you want to spend your holiday purchasing dollars, you can easily save 10% on holiday purchases, perhaps even 20%.
As of late, the best place to score solid discounts on gift cards has been eBay. For example, GiftCardMall recently ran an eBay promotion yesterday that offered a $100 Toys R Us gift card for a 15% discount at $85. By purchasing two cards (the limit), a parent that needed to shop for toys now has $200 of purchasing power at Toys R Us for just $170.
In addition, you can tie that into a service like eBates or Upromise to get an extra 1% back, bringing the cost down to $168.30. (You will also earn 2% in eBay dollars that can be redeemed the following quarter.)
Of course, a 15% percent discount for a Toys R Us card is fairly rare. On discount gift card sites like Cardpool and Raise, the typical discount on a Toys R Us card is between 5 to 7 percent. The same goes for other popular merchants, like Walmart, Target and Best Buy. (That’s not much better than some credit card rewards programs.) You have to watch deal sites to spot the flash sales that discount cards between 10% to 20%. For example, GiftCardMall followed up that Toys R Us sale with a Sears gift card on eBay that’s 15% off.
The best way to approach this method of spending is to analyze your holiday shopping bills over the last few years. Figure out where you most frequently spend your holiday shopping dollars as well as the total dollar mount spent at each store. This will allow you to guesstimate where you will make purchases this year.
In addition, be on alert for stores that sell gift cards to other retailers. Toys R Us, for instance, sells gift cards in the store for other merchants. You can turn your 15% discount at Toys R Us into a discount at Amazon or another popular retailer. You can also use gift card exchange services on sites like Cardpool or GiftCardZen to exchange that card for another merchant’s card.
Three Extra Tips
- Most merchants will also allow you to combine multiple gift cards into one, making it easier to keep track if you are purchasing multiple cards at a time. You can also use multiple gift cards on retail sites during the checkout process, although limits differ between retailers. Check out Ben’s Complete Guide to Managing Gift Cards for more information.
- Wait for the best sales during November to take advantage of your recently purchased gift cards and remember that you don’t have to spend all of it. Most retailer gift cards have a fairly long shelf life and can come in handy over the next several months. Just think of it as an instant discount on anything you purchase.
- The best time to score discount gift cards, beyond flash sales, is after major holidays. For instance, check the week after Christmas to see a flood of unwanted gift cards being listed on various discount sites as well as eBay. Due to the increased volume, you can score some excellent deals. Combine that with planning out your purchases over the next few months to maximize your spending power even more.