Friday, December 28, 2007

Save an additional 10% by planning your future purchases

A great way to turn those unwanted gift cards into cash is to turn to Ebay, as mentioned in previous posts. On the flip side, if planning your purchases appropriately, you can create some additional retail savings for yourself.

At the time of this post, Ebay had over 17,000 auctions for gift cards ranging across almost every major retailer. Here are the retailers with the most activity:

450 auctions for Lowe’s
292 auctions for Home Depot
292 auctions for Itunes
289 auctions for Best Buy

These auctions are also across many price ranges, currently the highest value auction listed is for a $2500 Neiman Marcus Gift Certificate.

In seeing how much of a discount you can purchase these gift cards for, I searched some of the recently completed auctions for Best Buy. Picking a sample size of 30 completed auctions, here are the metrics:

# of auctions: 30
$ value of gift cards: $4,691.95
$ value of winning bids w/ shipping: $4,225.70
# of auctions that had free shipping: 18 (60%)
% final price to gift card value: 90.8%
Min % of gift card value: 75.0%
Max % of gift card value: 104%

So if still are saving up for that $1,000 flat panel TV at Best Buy, get in sooner by creating an Ebay id and starting bidding. You should expect to save an additional $100.

Here are some tips to be successful:

For Buyers

- Due Diligence: Make sure you read all of the feedback from the seller to ensure a valid gift card

- Don't Overbid: do not bid more than 91% of the gift card value.

- Be Patient: There are plenty of fish in this sea and hold out for the best deal. It shouldn't take too long to secure a significant amount of gift card value

For Sellers

- Don’t try and increase your final price by including a shipping charge. You will create animosity from prospective buyers. You will have better success by absorbing the 0.41 cost of a stamp.

Here is a link to the data sample for this post.

Author disclosure: I do not own any shares of Ebay or Best Buy