How to purchase wholesale gift cards
Are looking to buy corporate gift cards? Or maybe you're interested in getting wholesale prices on eGift card or physical gift card purchases? Either way, here’s what you should know about how the process works.
Before we talk about ways to purchase wholesale gift cards, it's important to distinguish between gift cards bought in bulk and gift cards bought at a discount. Many people assume that gift cards purchased in bulk directly through retailers will have a cheaper overall cost than buying through a grocery store like Market Basket, a discount department store like Walmart, Target, or a big box store like Sam’s Club (a US-based wholesale club). But in many cases, this is not accurate.
For instance, Starbucks offers a B2B gift card program for business customers to purchase co-branded or completely personalized store gift cards in bulk. While some like the convenience of buying Starbucks gift cards in bulk and the name recognition of a highly popular gift, there are no discounts associated with the purchase. The only cost savings of buying in bulk in this case is avoiding activation fees.
This is similar to buying Amazon gift cards in bulk. While Amazon offers many services for B2B and B2C customers to purchase wholesale gift cards — including a gift card API for the fulfillment of cards in bulk — there are no discounts associated with the purchase. In both cases, the value of buying bulk gift cards this way is the ease of use. Both have the advantage of helping buyers avoid single-card activation fees or large purchases.
Where can you get wholesale gift cards?
As mentioned above, there are several ways to buy wholesale or bulk gift cards for use in your incentive, employee recognition, or marketing campaigns.
Many retailers offer the chance to buy in bulk through their merchant website. This may be either physical gift card or eGift card purchases delivered directly to the recipient or bulk codes delivered to the buyer for later use. While this method will get the job done, it creates several issues worth mentioning:
1. Buying physical gift cards requires the purchaser to handle all of the packaging, delivery, and tracking procedures for the campaign. This involves physically packing the shipment, labeling boxes, and tracking them to ensure proper delivery. If you're running complex campaigns involving hundreds or thousands of cards, this process can be very time-consuming. For marketing teams trying to generate leads, this time could be better spent on other tasks and projects that can't be accomplished through automation.
2. Similar to delivering physical gift cards, receiving bulk codes requires the sender to manage the delivery of codes to the correct email recipients. While bulk codes might come in handy for social media campaigns or other small, one-to-one projects, compiling a list of email addresses and ensuring proper delivery is a time-consuming task.
3. When buying codes or physical cards in bulk, senders do not have the ability to recapture any unused gift card balances back from the wholesaler. In many cases, some cards will go unclaimed or the remaining balances will be forgotten on gift cards. When considering large-scale gifting campaigns, this leftover or abandoned value can represent a huge leak in your marketing budget.
Through a platform
The better alternative for buying wholesale gift cards for your marketing campaigns is to buy through a gift card management platform such as Runa. Buying through a platform not only offers potential discounts on your bulk gift card purchases (depending on volume), it offers many other benefits that can improve your gifting campaigns and preserve marketing budgets.
1. Sending through a gifting platform empowers you to easily purchase and customize gift cards. While sending plain-old digital or physical gift cards is a great way to make an impact with your recipient, the most successful gift cards campaigns also involve some level of customization. With software like Runa, it's easy to personalize your gift cards. But when purchasing wholesale gift cards directly through a retailer, customization options may be limited. What's more, often companies try to handwrite cards as a way to personalize the experience. That is a time-consuming practice. The hours spent customizing may well negate any benefit derived from buying and sending at scale.
2. Purchasing cards in bulk through a retailer typically means you are sending the same gift card to everyone. But using gift card management system allows you to personalize the types gift cards you send to your recipient. With Runa, you can curate a selection of popular gift cards and allow your recipients freedom of choice in receiving their gift. For example, one person may want to spend their money on Amazon, while another may want to use it at DoorDash - Runa offers recipients this type of flexibility. This is another powerful form of personalization that makes a genuine difference when sending digital gift cards.
3. Buying gift cards in bulk through the retailer means the process of tracking and analyzing your efforts is manual. When purchasing through a gift card management platform, all aspects of the reporting and analysis process are automated. Users can see at a glance things like:
- how much money was spent in a marketing budget
- how much of the gift balance has been utilized
- which gifts cards are proving to be the most popular
This information can be used to inform your future marketing and retention efforts and help you to understand your recipients’ behavior and choices better.
Want to learn more about buying wholesale gift cards? Discover how Runa makes it easy.
Where does gift card reselling fit in?
In an effort to save money, many people look to gift card reseller websites to purchase gift cards at a discount. There are several reasons why purchasing through discount websites is not a viable option for your corporate gift card campaigns:
1. Purchasing gift cards through a discount website is a time-consuming process. Often times, gift cards are not available in volume sufficient to support a large scale gift card campaign.
2. Gift card fraud is a real and rising issue, with hundreds of thousands of dollars per year lost in fraudulent transactions. Depending on the website you use, you may have limited recourse if you purchase a fraudulent or "broken" code or physical gift card.
3. Any discount or savings derived from buying through a gift card reseller website can be more safely and effectively replicated by using a gift card management platform through a reputable company ... like Runa!
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