Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mr. Tightwad Creates His Own Sales with Discounted Gift Cards (Updated)

From the Southtown Star.

"Mr. Tightwad's so cheap, he buys gift cards for himself.

Sounds crazy, but it's not, especially when you can get discounted cards for stuff you're going to buy anyway.

Mr. T loves creating his own sales.

In addition to the various Web sites that sell unused and unwanted gift cards on the cheap, you can also pick up discounted ones at Costco stores and at They sell a variety of gift cards, some for up to 20 percent off their face value."

Sounds like a great idea--check your own warehouse store to see if they offer discounted gift cards. Sam's Club website doesn't offer discounted cards, and I can't find any at BJ's website either, but I'm going there today. This method will aid greatly the people who shop for Christmas AFTER Christmas, until April 15th (tax season), and do year-round bargain shopping--some cards can even be used in the grocery stores!

Any place that takes credit/debit cards will also take Visa and Mastercard gift cards: health food stores, thrift stores, optical shops (your next pair of sale eyewear may REALLY be a steal), gas stations, you name it--just beware of the expiration dates.

UPDATE: Sam's Club doesn't offer discounted cards, and BJ's Club "says" they do, but it's the face value of the card minus the taxes. For example, a $25 gift card costs $23.99--a 5% discount, but when you add the sales tax (5%), there's no discount at all. Costco's website doesn't say anything about discounted gift cards, but maybe a member can investigate and report back to us.

When calculator is taken up, a 20% discount (what Mr. Tightwad extols the virtues of) only comes to $5 off a $25 gift card. If your state charges tax on internet sales, there may be no discount left at all for you. Shipping the card to you may take up some of your perceived discount--I'm sure the mailing isn't free.

In order for ME to get enthused, the discount had better be greater than 20%--more like 50% to be meaningful. As you can see, I'm skipping nickels and dimes for bigger savings.

You're probably better off haggling or buying used than going through the shenanigans of discounted gift cards. Someday, Mr Tightwad will see the error of his ways--this whole scheme is akin to using coupons.

It seems Mr. Tightwad isn't as tight as he thinks he is!


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