What you should know about buying discount gift cards for your business
There are numerous sources on the internet for buying discount gift cards for both personal and corporate use. While many of the discounts on these sites seem promising to buyers looking for deals, in most cases they are geared to small-scale, consumer applications.
How can businesses buy gift cards at a consistent amount and discount? And how do these methods differ from the consumer experience online? Today we’ll look at both methods, and explore the other features that set a good gift card platform apart from simple bulk purchases and single-card discounts.
Where consumers buy discount gift cards
Three of the most popular discount gift card methods for retail buyers are:
Discount gift card websites
If you’re looking to buy a discounted card for personal use, many people consider using a discount gift card site to save money. These sites are popular places for consumers to sell unwanted gift cards at a discount and trade them for other gift card options that suit them better.
There are many blogs that promote this practice as a form of gift card “hacking.” For instance, it is commonly known that Disney World allows you to pay for purchases in the Disney store and on resort fees at their properties using a gift card. So vacationers will often search for discount Disney gift card options in bulk because saving 5-15% on discounted cards can translate to a great deal of savings on your trip.
Credit card issuers
If you are a credit card holder, most likely you have seen the trend of credit cards offering reward systems like discounts and cashback offers for their users. One facet of this reward system is often discounted access to popular gift cards. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all offer their best credit cards with the ability to either purchase cards with reward points or get deals on cards that they buy directly. These discounts can range from 5% or more depending on the selected gift card and the agreement between the credit card issuer and the brand.
In some cases, brands will offer discounts directly. Many times during high-volume campaigns or as part of seasonal offers like holidays, you will be able to get a discount off of the face value of a card. this might take the form of a percent off, discount code, a promo code, a coupon, or a “buy one get one” free gift cards offer from your retailer.
Sometimes, big box stores such as Costco or Sam's Club will negotiate discounts with their gift card issuers in order to pass savings along to their clients. These volume-based discounts serve as an incentive for customers to come into the store for the best buy. Often big box stores will recoup the value of the deal through other purchases in-store, making it a win-win for the retailer and the consumer.
How to avoid fraudulent discount gift cards
Unfortunately, fraud of all types is continually on the rise. Gift card scams and other forms of monetary or identity theft are no exception. While it's tempting to save money with deals on a discounted gift card purchase from a site, there are unfortunately risks associated with this practice.
In some cases, physical gift cards may arrive as expected but have no balance remaining. This is the result of large crime rings perpetrating gift card fraud. Using sophisticated technology and practices, they compromise new and unused gift cards and cash out the card account value once the card is activated for purchase.
And other cases your physical card might simply not arrive. If you order a gift card on a site, you assume the risk that a card well not arrived as described or in other cases has not arrived at all.
In both these cases, the responsibility largely falls to the purchaser to find a remedy. Depending on the site you purchased from and the method you used to pay for your card, you may not have adequate recourse to recover stolen funds.
The best way to avoid gift card scams is to purchase cards only through a reputable outlet that you trust. In the event you purchase a compromised card directly through a retailer, they can help remedy the situation and recover the funds for you as part of their loss prevention policies.
The best discounts available on gift cards for corporate gifting
For the best discount savings available on gift cards, you need a different approach. Fortunately, there are commercial providers in platforms whose focus is specifically geared toward scalable gift card solutions.
Depending on where you buy your gift cards, discounts can range anywhere from 5% to 25%. For corporate clients administering large gift card programs, 25% can represent thousands of dollars in savings on your campaigns.
While not strictly counting as a discount, the other advantage of using a corporate gifting service to buy discounted gift cards is that you avoid activation fees normally found on retail purchases. Even on a low dollar value card, activation fees can range as high as $6 per activation. For businesses sending out employee rewards or customer gifts, this $6 added fee seriously diminishes the potential return on spend.
How gift card providers can offer discounts to businesses
On corporate egift card platforms, these discounts are the result of gift-card partnerships. the strength of your platform and the number of partners will greatly impact your ability to pass along savings to your platform users. Therefore, it's important to choose a platform that features a wide variety of gift card options and partnerships. Not only does this create more flexibility and customization in your campaigns, but you'll also be able to realize savings for any type of program or campaign.
Runa: The best option for buying discount gift cards at scale
Using a gift card platform like Runa is one of the best ways for your business to embrace the power of gifting at scale. Runa users enjoy significant discounts off the face value of cards depending on volume. They avoid the activation fees and hassle of physical gift cards.
They also enjoy a couple other cost-saving benefits in addition:
Efficient campaign administration
With a powerful platform, a single employee or a small team can administer incentive and reward programs across their organization in less time. The benefit of a streamlined process for gifting is reflected not just with direct discounting, but in saving employee wages by reducing the manual labor of gifting. A robust platform can help you create a semi or fully automated gifting system that is both powerful and flexible. These touchless systems make it easy to create and scale campaigns to meet all of your objectives.
Better data visualization
There are other indirect ways to save money when administering gifting campaigns, and data-driven decision-making is one of the best. With the wealth of data surfaced during current campaigns, you can make better decisions for your future programs and find opportunities to save money and improve revenue creation for all of your campaigns. Using Runa, clients have access to the full range of data and analytics to help them understand their customers' and employees' behaviors and preferences, in order to serve them more effectively.
If you want to build a next-generation e-gift card program that saves money and scales easily, check out a demo of the Runa platform.