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12/6/11

Why Coupons Might Be Better to Buy Than Unwanted Gift Cards Online

There are some ways of saving money by spending money.  Two ways are:


1. Buy Unwanted Gift Cards or a Gift Card at discount on line


2. Buy Coupons on line

If you buy a gift card at discount online you are buying the value of that card.  Your motivation is to buy a gift card for less than what the value is. If you buy a $100 gift card for $95, you will save $5 when you spend the whole card.  You typically will need to do this on sites like Ebay where people are selling unwanted gift cards for less than what they are worth.  They want the cash, you want the value of the card.


If you buy a coupon online, you are paying for the discount you get on the coupon.  If you spend $.50 on a $10 coupon, you'll wind up saving $9.50 on the product you bought the coupon for.


Why Buy Coupons?  


Why? You buy a coupon when you, 1) know you are going to make a purchase in near future 2) you have no coupons available to you at home for this purchase 3) you see the coupon on line and wish to buy it, knowing that you will save more money than if you did not have it.


Which is Better.... A Coupon or Gift Certificate


It really depends but if you can buy a coupon that has the same value as the gift certificate, you are better off buying the coupon for one good reason..... the coupon is typically cheaper. Way cheaper.


I've seen $100 gift certificates sell for $80.   I've seen 20% off coupons sell for less than a dollar.   With the $100 gift certificate you buy on Ebay for $80, you save 20% ($100 - $80 = $20 or 20% discount)  when you spend the entire $100 on the card. The card.   If you buy a 20% off coupon for $1, all things being equal, you can get the same $20 off $100 for only $1. 


 If you never use the coupon or lose it, you are only out $1.  If you never use the gift card or lose it, you are out $80.


Not that it is always possible to find coupons that discount the same products as gift cards.  Often coupons have pesky disclaimers that gift cards do not.  For the most part, gift cards can be treated as cash .  They can also be sold as cash too (that's another story)


Coupons are discounts but come with lots of rules. They are not cash.


In essence, all things being equal, you can get a greater discount, with less cash outlay on a coupon than you ever would if you bought a gift certificate.

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