Monday, July 20, 2015

Redeeming Partially Used eBay Gift Cards - It's Actually Surprisingly Easy

Chuck over at Doctor of Credit put together a great database about eBay Gift Card usage.  I highly recommend reading it since there is a some great information there.

One thing in particular stood out at me.  Chuck wrote:

  • When you pay with multiple gift cards for one purchase, eBay will not use the gift cards based on the order you input them. They’ll use whichever gift card they want, in whichever order they want. For example, if you’re making a purchase of $100 and you want to use up a bunch of $10 eBay gift cards. After entering the small gift cards, you input a $100 or $500 gift card. eBay will pull the full amount from the large gift card and leave the small balances on the other cards. In all cases, they’ll always decide on their own which card to ‘use up’ and which to leave a balance on. I’d venture to guess that there huge amounts of unused eBay gift cards due to this factor alone as it creates confusion over which card is used up and which isn’t. [On the checkout screen, it will show which card is being used. Be sure to mark down for yourself which is used and which has a balance. You can also look at the transaction details in your Paypal account for the info. You can check your Gift Card balance by calling 866-914-8078.]

Basically, if you use multiple gift cards and there is a greater balance on the gift cards than required for the purchase, eBay won't tell you which card retains the balance and which card has $0.  This can lead to unused gift cards.  Kind of sketchy on eBay's part.

Chuck provided a link as a workaround to track your eBay gift card balances:

One useful tool to track you eBay gift card usage is this Paypal link (login required). It will show you exactly which gift cards have balances

An Even Easier Solution

I was buying something on eBay and it turns out it is actually quite easy to use your the leftover orphan funds from your eBay Gift Cards.  The option is hiding in plain sight.

After you log in to PayPal to pay for your purchase, you will see this menu for your payment options:

Check out where I highlighted, it says "You have a gift card, certificate, reward or other discount" and then there is a "Redeem" button which can be clicked.  

When you click on "Redeem" this is what you will see:

It turns out that I have $210 of eBay Gift Cards that I never used!  PayPal keeps track of them and all you have to do is click the boxes and click redeem and the gift cards will be applied!  Easy as pie!