How To Safely Buy Discounted Home Depot Gift Cards Off Craigslist

posted in: Ideas to Reduce Expenses | 6

Home Depot store credit cards purchased at deep discountYou may want to buy deeply discounted gift cards from Craigslist, but have concerns about getting scammed. As your research assistant, I took it upon myself to figure out how you could buy a discounted gift card or store credit in a scam-proof way.  After all, we are in a collaborative economy now and we need to figure out how to conduct business with safeguards in place.   I started off by buying a $244 worth of Home Depot store credits for $200 (a 18% discount), but as the table shows, I’ve become more savvy over time. I will continue to update the table, but as of March 2014 my average discount is 26%.   Table of Home Depot DiscountsThis whole maneuver is just like buying a car below Bluebook and selling it at full value. Or buying a piece of real estate below market value. We Next Generation Landlords are familiar with the concept, so why aren’t we doing more with it?


Here are the steps you can take along with three safeguards to buy discounted Home Depot gift cards and store credits:


1. Check Craigslist for people trying to sell discounted gift cards. You want to work with regular people (non professionals) and they often miscategorize their ad. The best thing to do is use Craigslist’s search features and check for new ads each day. I find success searching for “Home Depot card” and “Home Depot credit”.  The volume of people selling unwanted gift cards increases during the holidays, but you may find opportunities to buy store credits all year-long. It all depends on your area and local trends.


cover of home-depot guide


Quickly climb the learning curve. Get:

+  detailed examples

+ all the safeguards,  and

+  all the tips

in the Kindle guide at

Click HERE to learn more.








2. Contact the seller and arrange a meeting at the Customer Service Department of your local Home Depot. Safeguard #1 – Home Depot stores have lots of video surveillance and a lot of people milling about. If this makes your seller nervous, then you don’t want to do business with them. Don’t hesitate to call off the deal.   returnable items to exchange for discounted home depot gift card


3. Show up before your meeting time and pick out items that have a total value slightly larger than the card’s value. The goal is to prepare yourself to use the seller’s card before handing over your money. This way you won’t be swindled.

HOT TIP: It’s best to pick items that you need and then supplement with well sealed items that you will return. I suggest you pick tools as items that you plan to return.  They are relatively small, expensive, and are of a wide variety of prices. Look for items like the Ryobi that’s viewable and completely sealed in tamper proof plastic.


4. As a surprise, walk the seller from Customer Service to the Checkout line. Safeguard #2 – This step puts you in control and will cause an unscrupulous seller to change their game plan. If your seller complies with your instruction, then you can rest assured the deal will go through just fine.


5. Use seller’s card to buy your items THEN pay seller. Once you have the receipt in hand you’re home free. The receipt shows that you used a gift card (or store credit) to make your purchase and gives you the right, under Home Depot’s “Store Return Policy Basics”, to return the items for store credit (not cash).


Make sure the items you plan to return aren’t fuel-burning or fall into Home Depot’s list of Return Exceptions.   This is Safeguard #3 because it eliminates the seller’s ability to siphon money off the card they just sold.


6. Return the supplemental items to get new card(s) issued to you. It will be easy to return well-sealed tools or other items with a receipt, however you don’t want to draw attention to yourself by walking straight from the checkout to the returns department. Make the return at a different store or on a different day.  This makes the transaction appear more natural.   If you want to break your cards into $100 increments, you may want to only return items valued at $100 at a time. It’s wise not to have too much money on one card. Just like cash, you want to be careful.   Congratulations, you’re a big saver. You’ve just purchased an option that would make Warren Buffet jealous.


Willing to Accept a Smaller Discount for Less Effort

If you’re in a hurry (or just feeling lazy), I recommend you buy cards discounted cards from ABC Gift Cards because they:


  1. Offer a 45-day guarantee
  2. Mail your cards and/or ecode to you all at once. They actually own the cards; they’re not matchmakers
  3. You’ll get the card(s) within 10 days of placing your order
  4. You can get an extra 3% discount with an order of $1,000 or more

You’ll typically see ABC selling Home Depot cards with 7% to 11% discounts. So give them a try, save yourself some money.

You may also want to read:


7 Ways to Save at Home Depot Reduce Landlord Expenses

with Discounted Gift Cards How To Use IFTTT To Find Deals on Craigslist

6 Responses

  1. horton

    How do people “siphon off value” from a card that they no longer hold.

  2. Al Williamson

    They use the code on the back side of the card to purchase items online. My step by step guide list all the precautions you should take not to get snookered.

  3. Jim Bob

    For any Canadian readers… Canadian HD gift cards can’t be used for online purchases. So as long as you meet the seller at a Home Depot, verify the amount with a cashier or customer service, you’re good to go.

  4. J

    Seems like the STEP6 not working for me.
    Home Depot deny my return process since I used “the store credit cards that is not directly issued to me”. So I think need to be cautious about that you purchase. It’s better to purchase that you need at the beginning so you don’t have to return stuffs.

  5. Al Williamson

    It’s less work on your part it you buy what you need. That’s for sure. How did they know the card wasn’t directly issued to you? Employees of companies make exchanges everyday. Store credits have always been interchangeable.

  6. phil s

    Like J April above, I bought a card from reputable online seller of discounted cards. My card was accepted at checkout, but due to defective product I had to return. All returns via gift card/store credit/no receipt purchase purchase they scan ID. I made my $150 return, they took it, issued new store credit, and voided the new store credit in less than a week. Say ‘store credits’ are not transferable due to fraud potential. So I am out the product I bought AND the cash, so I’m the loser, not the bum who defrauded HD with original return (fraudulent or not). I’m told they compare ID of person to whom the card is issued, against the return. If no return, never a problem as they have no idea who used card to make a purchase. But I’m out on 2 purcahses totaling $250.

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