Many Boomers are on a fixed budget that consists of bank savings, maybe a retirement account or IRA, and Social Security. If you’re no longer working, but still need to purchase prepper gear, every dollar saved really counts.
Anyone – Boomers included – that are still working also appreciate saving money on purchases so MORE can be directed towards preps.
With a little bit of planning, you can save a great deal of money – upwards of 40% on your purchases.
How? Using gift cards.
Let’s say you had your eye on some camping gear at Bass Pro Shops. Buy a gift card – not from Bass Pro Shops directly – but from one of many secondary market re-sellers, and you’ll save up to 20% on that purchase.
Eat at Red Lobster or Olive Garden? Save 10%
Need construction materials at Home Depot or Lowes? Save 9.5%
The more popular the store, the lower the savings. Walmart cards go for a 3% discount. Visa and Mastercard gift cards only have a 1% discount.
Pick a category, and you can find cards. Apparel, construction, health, fast food, grocery, books, automotive, electronics, fine dining, gasoline – the list is endless.
The key to getting the savings is by planning your purchase in advance. Many of the sites run out of the more popular cards, so you need to give yourself sufficient time to ensure they will have sufficient face amounts available when you are ready to make your purchase.
Some of the sites will also allow you to be put on a waiting list if they’re currently out of a card you want. They’ll send you an email when a card becomes available.
Understand, that some of the cards will have odd dollar amounts – $42.17 for instance. Some are fully unused and are in the original denominations of $10, $25, $100, etc. If you’re planning on making a purchase of say, $500, expect to need to purchase multiple cards to get to that amount.
These cards are also great for places that you use a lot, and where you already get a discount. Many of the major restaurant chains have affinity programs where you can get meal packages at a discount (“Buy one meal at regular price, and get the second meal of equal or lesser value at 50% off”). Use a gift card which you purchased at a discount, and you’re saving stupid amounts of money!
Be sure you determine whether the card is actually a card. Some of the sites sell the codes to the individual cards, so these can obviously only be used online.
Maybe YOU have some old gift cards cluttering your wallet. These sites will buy them from you so you can have some extra usable cash in your pocket.
Also, shop prices. Go to multiple sites to see what their discounts look like (as well as their payout percentage if you’re selling).
Fraud. It’s probably one of the first things that came to mind.
Is it possible? Sure.
So do your due diligence. Locate re-seller sites using your online search engine of choice, and do a search string of, “buying gift cards”. You’ll get listings of sites that buy and sell cards, as well as numerous consumer reports on how to make sure you don’t get ripped off.
I checked with the Better Business Bureau for every re-seller site from which I’ve purchased. No file or a poor rating, and I went elsewhere. Check social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and Google+.
Be sure to see if there are any “add on” fees, such as shipping and handling. What you care about is what the NET savings will be. If they have a high discount AND a high shipping charge, you may not be saving as much as you think.
Do the math!