Gift cards and gift card deals are popular holiday presents. They are good for retailers, too: if customers use them, they generate traffic to the store and some additional sales. If customers don’t use them, then the retailer gets free money.
Not bad, huh?
There’s a secret. In a world of pathetically low interest rates, gift cards can be a great way to generate a return on investment. Not by doing anything shady, either. All you have to do is watch for special gift card promotions. Here are a few to check out (and let us know in the comments if you know of others).
The only catch is that the bonuses are sometimes in the form of coupons, which have expiration dates, instead of gift cards, which may or may not expire (depending on the state). Be sure you’ll use the bonus in time to make it worth your while.
Now, there’s no law that says you have to give a gift card to someone else. If a business that you already frequent offers a gift card promotion, consider it a gift to yourself.
Barcelona’s Caller de Girona is the Land of Bargains. If you’re visiting the city, put your valuable dollars to work! There are come great Barcelona outlet stores, like:
31 Girona: La Sabateria shoes. €18 sneakers
33 Girona: Montse Interiors. When we visited, a FC Barcelona bathrobe was €11.95
35 Girona: DKT Dekasta, Vero Moda, Blend, DKT
37 Girona: Mango. Regular and clearance items from this favorite fast-fashion brand.
41 Girona: Outlet. With samples and closeout buys including Superdry, Diesel, and other high-end casual brands.
38 Girona: Intermalla – tiny juniors clothes
40 Girona: E&P Store Factory – Etxart & Panno high-end ladies dresses
40 Girona: Javier Simmorra – great women’s work clothes and dresses
And, if you’re near the Sagrada Familia (and you should go to the Sagrada Familia: Zabriskie Studio Outlet at 370 Caller de Lepant at Avenida Gaudi.
Another great resource for the Barcelona traveler is Bargain Hunter BCN. And, most of these stores can handle VAT refunds, for tax-free tourist shopping.
Roots is the Canadian casual-wear store, an indigenous GAP, so to speak. If you are visiting Vancouver and have a car, the outlet store is worth the trip. The outlet store is right on the border between Vancouver and the suburb of Burnaby. This is total Vancouver style.
New stock is carried in the front of the store. The fun is in the back, at the clearance section, where last season’s merchandise is 50% off retail. When I visited, there was a storewide buy one item, get the second at 50% off, which saved even more money.
ion was huge: sweaters, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, gloves – all sorts of fun stuff. If you are visiting Canada and need souvenirs for people back home, this is a great stop. You can get a lot of high-quality, Canada-specific gear for rela
tively little money. Although the styles skew toward things of interest to the young, there was a wide range of sizes.
The store is not all that attractive from the street. The entrance is in the back. Also, the parking lot is a popular shortcut, so be on the lookout for cars speeding through.
All in all, this worth a visit if you are in Vancouver and are looking for fun casual clothes – with a Canadian flair – at a bargain.
Prices on in-season items were slightly better than prices in regular stores – not much better, but enough. Some summer dresses were as little as €10, not bad for some fun fast fashion.
The real value is on older stock. We noticed prices of €7.99 for men’s shirts on their third markdown. Older accessories were super cheap.
The Mango Outlet also had a great selection of children’s clothes, making this a nice stop if you have little ones back home.
Given that Mango’s prices are already low, this may not be worth the trip. However, the store’s neighbors include some amazing outlets, so stop by when you’re in the neighborhood.
A lot of bargain shoppers like to look online, and a lot of retailers put their overstock on the Web rather than opening a store. Online shopping lets you find almost anything you want, from almost anywhere in the world, in a matter of minutes. Not only does online shopping save you hours of time and shot-glasses of stress, but it can even pay you back. Yes, you can get cash back from online shopping.
There are two companies that offer money back from online shopping. Both are similar: go to the site, log in, search for the retailer or product in question, and then click the link to start your purchases. When the order ships and the payment clears, you’ll get a rebate into your account. Ebates is designed to pay you back and often runs a lot of special promotions available only through its site. It’s a general rebate program, with an emphasis on high-end shopping. Upromise is set up as a college savings plan; rebates can accumulate in a savings account, be directed to a 529 college savings plan, or be used to pay down certain types of student loans. You can also earn money for your account at different restaurants when you register your credit card as well as through your grocery store loyalty card.
The money adds up. I started a Upromise account shortly after the firm was founded in 2000, and now have total savings of $659.61. It won’t pay for much of college, but it’s better than nothing, right? It’s a few textbooks, and what college student wouldn’t want a few free textbooks?
By the way, I have an affiliate relationship with Upromise and Ebates, but I’d recommend them even if I did not. The deals are that good.