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I’m SAVING 7% at LOWES & 12% at STARBUCKS for Life – So Can You!

by Darwin on March 9, 2011

I’m a huge fan of financial innovations and market forces creating efficiencies that didn’t exist previously.  With the advent of the internet and some obvious ideas, I’m now saving anywhere from 5%-15% on various major spending categories in our family through simply buying discounted gift cards at CardPool.  Basically, since so many people are given gift cards they don’t want, they simply sell them through this exchange at a discount which you can enjoy!  Today, I went on and checked out the discounts on some obvious spending categories that I view as inevitable in the coming year.  Lowe’s is an obvious one – we’re constantly upgrading our home, buying tools, lightbulbs, etc. – why not just get a 7% discount on everything?  It beats the 1% I get back by using my credit card!  Here are the stores and discounts for what our family will be spending on this year.

Best Buy – 6% Off

Cheesecake Factory – 9% Off

Childrens Place – 10% Off

Dick’s Sporting Goods – 15% Off

Home Depot – 7% Off

Lowe’s – 7% Off

Old navy, Gap, Banana Republic – 8% Off

Starbucks – 12% Off

Target – 5% Off

US Airways – 6% Off

Walmart – 3% Off

You Shop Here, Right?

These are everyday-type expenses we have anyway. OK, so if Starbucks was a “major” spending category, that would be a problem.  But at 12% off, Starbucks is a bit more justifiable.  Gadget Lover?  I’ll take 6% off at Best Buy.  While 5% off at Target may not sound like much, you can buy practically all your food and everyday needs there, so 5% adds up across a year.

An obvious downside to gift cards is either losing them, or buying things at those stores “just to use them”, so you should perform a realistic assessment of where you’ll be spending your money regardless this year, and then consider buying blocks of $100, $200 cards or whatever.  If you spend a couple thousand across a year on cards and save say, 6%, you’re conceivably looking at saving well over $100 each year in post-tax spending cash.  Not too shabby!

What If the Card Doesn’t Work?

No worries, they’ll work.  Plastic Jungle checks the info on the cards and offer a guarantee in the event they don’t.  I’ve both bought and sold cards through them before and have never had a problem.

You Can Sell Your Junky Cards Too!

That reminds me – just like when I had a Dell gift card I wanted nothing to do with – I just sold it for cash.  Of course, you’re selling at a discount to face value (so the buyer gets a discount and these companies collects a small spread), but it beats having a useless card sit around forever.

Check out other stores I didn’t list and see what works for you at CardPool.


Buy, Sell, and Trade Gift Cards at Cardpool.com!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

krantcents March 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Excellent idea! I am sure many people just think about selling their unwanted cards versus buying other people’s cards at discount.

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Darwin March 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Sure, I did it when I had a Dell card. had no use for it, so sold it for 85 cents on the dollar!

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LAMoneyGuy March 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

It doesn’t need to beat the 1% cash back on your card. You can pay for your plastic jungle purchase with M/C or Visa. So, you still get your cash back/rewards and the discounted gift card. Nice!

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Darwin March 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

You’re totally right! What would I do without you guys?

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Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter March 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Wish we had this in Canada!

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Car Negotiation Coach March 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Darwin- PJ has a brilliant business model and I love taking advantage of it. I just did a major home improvement (new carpeting) and bought $2200 worth of Home Depot gift cards through PJ.

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MoneyIsTheRoot March 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Oops forgot one thing… not that it’s always a huge deal breaker, but sales tax (varies by state) can be considerable on large purchases. These gift cards can be used for tax as well! Thats a discount on state sales tax…can you think of another way to do that? I CANT!

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JoeTaxpayer September 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

For Home Depot, I found that they accept competitor’s coupons, and Lowes coupons for 10% off are a few dollars on eBay. $5 returned me $80 when I bought a new gas grill last year.

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