If you’re like most consumers in the digital world, you purchase items online. I buy items every month online, and if I lived in a larger city with faster shipping, I might never leave my house to go shopping.
But, there are some items that you need to be more careful and cautious when buying online.
When you want to buy iTunes gift cards online, you have to be able to dedicate time and resources before making a purchase.
1. Beware of Scams – a Lot of People Lose Their Money
You need to find legitimate retailers. A lot of retailers are scamming people out of their money because buying iTunes gift cards online is so popular. I have seen people throw all reason out of the window because a gift card was offered for 50% less than its value.
And these people lost their money.
If you want to buy an iTunes gift card fast and cheap, you need to start with reviews. I recommend doing an in-depth search on the company on Google.
A few search terms you may want to try are:
I wouldn’t put too much stock in the reviews on the company’s website because they may be purchased or fake reviews.
A few key factors to review are:
[list_item]Check the website for bad English or wording that makes no sense.[/list_item]
[list_item]Check to make sure the site is using a secure connection: “https.”[/list_item]
[list_item]Check to make sure that the site isn’t leveraging misspellings, such as “appie.com” instead of “apple.com” to lure in victims.[/list_item]
[list_item]If ads are overriding the majority of the page, chances are this retailer is not legitimate.[/list_item]
[list_item]Call or try contacting the website.[/list_item]
[list_item]Search for “whois” information using https://whois.domaintools.com/.[/list_item]
A lot of site owners choose to keep their information private, and this isn’t a bad option for their own safety. But, you will want to look at the listing’s information for anything suspicious, such as different names for registrant names and e-mail addresses or sites that have just been created or transferred.
If a site has recently been transferred, the new owner may not be reputable.
Also, if the “company” is registered in the United States, it may be part of the Better Business Bureau, and this means that it may have a rating.
Dig deep into the site to try and find as much information as you can about it before making a purchase.
You may just find out that the site is a scam, and you were able to save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the process.
Once you’ve verified a site, I want you to do something different: don’t go straight to Apple.
2. Don’t Buy Straight from Apple, Unless You Don’t Like Savings
There are a lot of reasons to buy an iTunes gift card, but there’s almost never a reason to buy your gift card off of Apple. I know Apple is a reputable company, and you will not need to do research on the official site.
But, unless Apple is running a special discount, never go to the official site to buy a gift card.
The truth is that Apple often gives retailers discount gift cards to sell, so you may purchase a $100 gift card from a third-party retailer for $92 instead of $100 from Apple.
I personally like to save money when making my purchase, so it makes the most sense to shop around and only use Apple as a last resort.
If for some reason everyone is charging full price, you may want to go directly to Apple. Otherwise, conduct your own research as outlined in the first section of the article, and find a retailer that has a great deal on gift cards.
A lot of retailers will also sell gift cards that people didn’t want.
Perhaps the person received a gift card as a present, and now, they don’t want it. The person may no longer have an iOS product, or maybe they want to go with Google Play instead. In either case, these people may be selling their gift cards on the retailer’s platform, or they may choose to sell the gift card to the retailer who in turn sells it to the consumer at a steep discount.
In either case, you’ll save a lot more money by choosing to stay away from the official Apple store and purchasing from another retailer.
Note: Around the major shopping season, you’ll find a lot of great deals on gift cards. Retailers often discount their cards to make sales and meet quotas. You may also be able to find cheap deals right after the holidays, as some people will be offloading their unwanted gift cards for cheaper.
3. Check for Various Payment Options
Most retailers will allow for credit and debit card payments, but you’ll also want to look for retailers that offer various payment options.
Maybe you have a stash of digital currency, or you have money sitting in your PayPal account to use.
You will want to see what payment methods the retailer is offering so that you can buy an iTunes gift card with the payment method that is best suited for your needs.
A word of caution: do your research on the company.
Credit card charges can be disputed, but when paying with cryptocurrency or another alternative form of payment, you’re at a major disadvantage. You can’t request your digital currency back, and there’s no recourse if you’ve been scammed out of your digital currency.
So, before using an alternative form of payment, you want to make sure that the site is 100% legitimate.
Read reviews, check for scam reports and even call the company or contact them.
You want to do your best to not be scammed.
Once you’ve verified the site, you can then opt to pay in any form of payment you wish.
The nice thing is that a lot of small retailers that are legitimate will offer a variety of payment options. And these payment options may be extensive because the retailer is trying to make sales using any advantage that they have.
In this scenario, alternative forms of payment may be an advantage.
4. Make Sure the Website is Secure
You should only be ordering from a secure website, and a lot of people really have no idea how to tell if a website is secure or not. You can download plugins for your browser that will check to see if a site is secure, but I would rather rely on my own findings.
A few of the sure-fire ways to tell if a website is secure or not are:
[list_item]Https in the URL indicates that a site is encrypted. When the “S” is present and not just “http,” this indicates that your information is secured and encrypted by an SSL certificate.[/list_item]
[list_item]Seals of trust are often used on a site, and this may be something along the lines of “Verified,” “Secure,” or “Verified Secure.” A seal shouldn’t be enough to trust a site fully, but it is another indicator that the site you’re choosing to make a transaction on may be secure.[/list_item]
If you want to go a step further, you’ll want to browse through the site for anything that looks suspicious. Some legitimate sites will have been defaced with logos and wording that is unusual. You may also see some pages redirecting to odd websites, or there may be spam links on the page.
Look for these signs that the site may have been compromised.
There are plenty of times when a site has been compromised and the consumer’s data is stolen in the process – never a fun occurrence.
Of course, you’ll often find out a lot of information about the site through the first point in this article. Checking to make sure the site is secure is just another way to find out of the site is spammy or scam-related in any way.
5. What Else Can I Do With It?
I’ve covered some of what you can do with an iTunes gift card already, but there are even more options available that I have yet to discuss. One of the nicer things you can do is give the card to a charity.
A lot of charities will provide the card to a child in need, and this is always a nice gesture.
But, you also have the option of:
[list_item]Trading the gift card with friends or colleagues. Trade for an item, or maybe trade for another gift card that you would rather use. It’s always nice to make a trade with someone that you trust.[/list_item]
[list_item]Sell the gift card for either cash (more on that below) or use a marketplace to exchange it.[/list_item]
I have seen a lot of people that are selling their gift cards on Facebook’s marketplace or third-party sites. It’s really a good option if you don’t have plans to use the gift card yourself.
eBay is an option, but you won’t be able to receive all of your value here.
Since eBay has fees, you’ll be cutting into your profits and a lot of buyers won’t pay $80 – $90 for a $100 gift card. There are fees to post your item on eBay plus transaction fees, so you’ll be out a lot of your money when using a site like eBay.
Some other sites are better in this respect, but you’ll have to search them out yourself.
Gift card exchanges also exist, but you’ll also need to find one that is legitimate because a lot of them come and go too often to keep track of them all. When using an exchange, you’ll be trading your iTunes gift card for another card.
For example, you might do an exchange of your $50 card for a $50 Target card.
Or, you may be able to secure a better deal where someone is willing to give you a $60 Target card for your $50 iTunes card.
You just need to consider the rates on the exchange. Some sites will even buy your card directly and resell them. This is beneficial, but make sure that the site chosen is reputable and doesn’t just run away with your gift card – it happens a lot.
6. Can the Gift Card Be Converted to Cash?
I touched on this in the last section, but let’s assume you buy an iTunes gift card and regret your purchase. What can you do to get cash back into your hands? The best option is to sell your gift card to websites that buy gift cards directly.
You won’t receive 100% of what your card is worth, but you will receive cash.
A lot of sites will offer 80% of the card’s value, but keep in mind that these sites will be reselling the card at 90% – 93% of its face value in the majority of instances. This is a great deal for everyone involved, and it’s an extra incentive for the consumer to make a purchase off of a smaller website.
And, there are over $1 billion+ in unused gift cards just collecting dust. It doesn’t make sense to let these cards expire or forget about them. Laws have changed where cards can’t expire earlier than 5 years from issuance, but in the past, some cards would expire within a year.
If you opt to sell your card for cash, keep in mind that the card’s balance will be checked.
This is done to ensure that you haven’t fully depleted the card and are trying to make money off of it.
This cash is often deposited into one of your online accounts, such as PayPal, or you may be able to receive a check in the mail which you can then deposit into your checking account.
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