Friday, November 30, 2007

Overpriced gift cards: a new way to make profit on eBay?

I totally don't get it. Time and time again I see gift certificates selling for more than their actual value:

$10 Starbucks gift card currently selling for $10.02 + $1.00 shipping.

$25 Wallmart gift card currently selling for $25.33 + $1.00 shipping.

$25 Best Buy gift card sold for $26.26 with free shipping.

This doesn't always happen. And it baffles me when it does. The only explanation I can come up with: the buyer wants to buy a physical gift card without actually leaving their home.

If all gift cards were virtually guaranteed to sell at the given price, I'd say there would be a market here. It would be interesting to see if there is a pattern to why some gift cards sell at above cost. So far the patterns I've noticed:
  • Small denominations (i.e. $10, $15, $25)
  • Very large, popular, and widespread chains