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Old 09-07-2017, 09:04 PM
 
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There are pros and cons. You get a discount but often people treat gift cards different than cash and buy more and stuff they don't need. On the other hand you get 10% off gift cards quite often. Can save money. Do you have a strategy and / or use them often?
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potential_Landlord View Post
There are pros and cons. You get a discount but often people treat gift cards different than cash and buy more and stuff they don't need. On the other hand you get 10% off gift cards quite often. Can save money. Do you have a strategy and / or use them often?

In years past I have used them for golf which is something I know I am going to use. Courses offer say a $250 card for $200 which I will go through fairly quickly. Other than that I haven't used them but it is an interesting idea. I would only do it if it was something I was very sure I would get a financial benefit from rather than it being something where I could buy more stuff I don't need.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:00 PM
 
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I used to. Should start again.

Like you said, I'd often get crap I probably wouldnt buy.
Now that is a double edged sword. It can be nice to get a discount on the items that are wants, especially if combined with a sale.

Actually I will start using some. At work the incentive plan has a points system and those points can be turned into gift cards. I believe I will do that. The question IS, do I get cards I'd use actually, or get cards for items that are wants. Hmmm.....

I used to get them for places like wally world from a membership program i belonged to, but stopped the paid program as while it paid for itself it was rather expensive for the value i was getting. That was a double edged sword too.

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Old 09-08-2017, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
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I did on a couple of house rehabs - the last time I got burned badly - purchased $10k in "gift cards" and only got maybe $2k in actual credit at the store (lowes) - the merchant agreed to refund the cards, but "forgot" to credit me for one.. if I hadn't been all over it, I'd have lost ~$1200 ish.

Theoretical savings was like $1200 (because of the discount), as it was, I spent hours on the phone, time tracking the refunds, mailing back fraudulent cards, got looked at funny at lowes, and on that deal, I postponed purchases because I had cards coming, which delayed the project several days..

Just for anyone thinking of doing something similar at the depot or lowes, the cards you buy online aren't usually "gift cards", they're "merchandise credits", and the stores treat them way different than gift cards.. sometimes they won't allow returns on store credits, etc. basically, with a store credit, you get treated like a meth-addicted shoplifter in the store.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:30 PM
 
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Lowes and Home Depot have started matching store/merchandise credits with people's drivers license. Therefore, if you make a return without a receipt, they will ask for your ID and the merchandise credit given will be linked to your ID. When it is used, the cashier will ask for an ID that must match what is in the system. It kinda sucks because over the course of a large remodel, someone may have a child, spouse, parent or contractor return something. It all started because thieves were stealing stuff, returning without a receipt and selling the credits. I remember years ago looking on Craigslist and seeing $400-500 cards being sold for a 20%+ discount.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
Lowes and Home Depot have started matching store/merchandise credits with people's drivers license. Therefore, if you make a return without a receipt, they will ask for your ID and the merchandise credit given will be linked to your ID. When it is used, the cashier will ask for an ID that must match what is in the system. It kinda sucks because over the course of a large remodel, someone may have a child, spouse, parent or contractor return something. It all started because thieves were stealing stuff, returning without a receipt and selling the credits. I remember years ago looking on Craigslist and seeing $400-500 cards being sold for a 20%+ discount.
I bought cards off Craigslist at a discount before & they absolutely weren't stolen - if you spend a lot of money on Amex (or get a points offer to open a new card) - it's pretty easy to get enough points to redeem for a $500 card - 50,000 points ($500) is pretty much my bottom threshold for applying for an un-needed card.

Personally, I think the "theft" angle is just a smokescreen- neither store wants anyone to be able to buy discounted cards.. If they actually thought the returns were bogus, they should be rejecting them, not punishing innocent 3rd parties.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zippyman View Post
I bought cards off Craigslist at a discount before & they absolutely weren't stolen - if you spend a lot of money on Amex (or get a points offer to open a new card) - it's pretty easy to get enough points to redeem for a $500 card - 50,000 points ($500) is pretty much my bottom threshold for applying for an un-needed card.

Personally, I think the "theft" angle is just a smokescreen- neither store wants anyone to be able to buy discounted cards.. If they actually thought the returns were bogus, they should be rejecting them, not punishing innocent 3rd parties.
If you go through AMEX you are getting gift cards. Gift cards don't have the same restrictions. I'm not sure how wide spread the theft is, but I did see an episode of American Greed where a guy was hiring homeless people/drug addicts to steal/return stuff at Home Depot. Apparently it became a million dollar business.
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
5,920 posts, read 10,440,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
If you go through AMEX you are getting gift cards. Gift cards don't have the same restrictions. I'm not sure how wide spread the theft is, but I did see an episode of American Greed where a guy was hiring homeless people/drug addicts to steal/return stuff at Home Depot. Apparently it became a million dollar business.

If that's the case, then bust the shoplifter, or deny the return.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Publix does a regular 'buy $50 worth of groceries; buy a $50 gas card for $40' promotion. Always snap them up then because the Shell and Exxon/Mobil options go with local stations that are within a few cents per gallon of anywhere else, so it's close to a true 20% discount on fuel and you're going to buy gas anyways. Plus, less worried about a $50 prepaid gas card getting skimmed than a credit card getting skimmed when you pay at the pump. (Everyone I know who has had a credit card cloned, it's been traced back to a skimmer at a gas station pump.)
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:06 PM
 
11,356 posts, read 6,424,031 times
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Originally Posted by Zippyman View Post
If that's the case, then bust the shoplifter, or deny the return.
I'm guessing the bean counters have decided that getting more strict about returns is more cost-effective. Home Depot and Lowes have adopted the same policy. Perhaps they'll change the policy if enough customers start complaining...but where else can most people go?
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