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Beware of Gift Card Scams:
Why you should stop buying a gift cards now and forever
There's been a rash of gift card sales on eBay recently. People are buying gift cards and
redeeming double points, frequent flyer mileage, gas points, cashback rewards and all sorts
of money back schemes. But their plans may be foiled when they learn that the gift card may
not be worth it's weight in plastic.
Here are four reasons why you should avoid buying gift cards:
1. EXPIRATION. On January 1, 2012 many gift cards will be worthless. Many people do not
realize that gift cards can be allowed to expire or decline in value. Some states permit
expiration, some don't. Retailers often do not make it entirely clear whether a gift card
expires or how it may expire. So read the fine print. Find out how gift card expiration works in
your state. In some states the unclaimed money must be turned to the State.
2. VALUE LOSS. Gift cards may lose value. That's because gift cards can be accessed a
service charge or a maintenance fee over time. This is called a dormancy fee. Companies do
this to limit or remove some of the pre-paid sales liability in their accounting. It makes their
books look good to investors.
3. FEES. Bank issued cards traditionally tack a fee and the terms and conditions vary. Check
the Web site as the lending institution often doesn't make this information easy to attain.
Check and you'll see that the fee can be two to ten bucks or more.
4. BANKRUPTCY. Even if your card doesn't expire, doesn't lose value, and doesn't have a
fee, the retailer or bank issuing the card may go bankrupt. When you buy a gift card you are
giving the store or bank an unsecured loan. As a gift card holder you are an unsecured
creditor, and unsecured creditors are bottom dwellers in bankruptcy court. Getting money
back then, will be slim to nothing.
So now you're wise. Don't buy any pre-paid anything. Spend the balance of whatever gift
card you have in your possession and tell your friends to do the same. Simply, don't buy them
again. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site for more on buying giving and using gift
Has your gift card expired?
Contact the issuer as they may be able to transfer the balance to another card, although
they may charge you a fee. If not, then hang and sell it on eBay to collectors, you may be
able to get a few bucks
Don't want your gift card?
You may be able to sell it on eBay. Discover the ten best selling gift cards on eBay according
to AuctionBytes. Getting 85% of the value of a gift card is better than getting nothing at all.
HERE'S A SHOPPING TRICK
Be sure to earn cash back with every purchase. With our secret cashback method for eBay,
for example, you'll gain up to 36 percent of the seller's fees in cash back when you shop
eBay, plus 4 percent of one level of those you refer. Or you'll earn 20 percent of the seller's
fees, PLUS 4 percent of the seller's fee when your direct referrals shop and their referrals
shop and their referrals shop (and so on to five generations). You earn referral commissions
on the entire eBay seller's fee. This includes the seller's insertion fee, final value fee, and any
listing upgrade fees. It's a lifetime of residual income from people you don't even know who
shop eBay. Oh, and this works for hundreds of other online stores.
M.C. Nygard, right,
says don't buy a gift
card, pre-paid plan or
gift certificate. Save
Gift Card Scam
If you have a gift card,
it's time to redeem it.
If you're thinking of
buying a gift card for
someone, think again.
Your gift card may be
Have a Zero Balance
on that gift card?
If your gift balance is
zero, then don't throw
them away just yet.
Gift cards may hold a
value to collectors. The
designs with logos are
quirky bits of plastic
flashing lights, sound
chips or retired designs
that make them
popular with collectors.
One eBay blogger
theorizes the most
popular are Target and
StarBucks because of
they are "quick to
For more information
on the value, visit
Gift Card Collecting.
Get cash back shopping
online at hundreds of
(C) Copyright 2007-2011 by M.C. Nygard. All rights reserved.
Linking to this site is permitted. HOWEVER, no part of this content may be reproduced, or stored in any retrieval system, or
transmitted in any other form or by any means including but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or
otherwise, without the written consent of the author. The author makes no warranties express or implied.
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