Gift Card Fees

It has been brought to my attention, both through personal experiences and through the shared stories of other sellers, that gift card fees are something that some buyers are struggling to understand, accept, and in some cases, respect.

I would like to take a moment to try to explain things so that perhaps this can stop being an issue. Please note that this is intended to educate and inform – not insult.

Convenience has a pricetag – Often because your convenience comes at someone else’s cost. When you realize you need cash, and the ATM down the street is closer to you than your bank machine, you pay an ATM fee for the convenience – Or, you forego the convenience and its fee to go further away to get your money. When you do pay the fee, it helps pay for the machine, its maintenance, and the time people dedicate to filling it, fixing it, and making it available for you to use. Contrary to the popular and rather self-righteous phrase, you are not simply “buying your own money”. You are paying for the convenience of being able to access it outside of your bank’s locations.

Convenience is not a right, it is a luxury, and it is one that comes at a price – A price most people are willing to pay without complaint, since they know that without that cost, the convenience would not exist.

Amazon and other gift cards are a convenient form of payment in this industry – They’re fast, they’re easy to send, and if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re buying adult services by avoiding charges to the credit card you share with your wife, they’re also a safe option (especially when purchasing through with your PayPal account).

This is all fine and dandy, and many of us are happy to offer such a convenience to you. What we would like is for you to understand that by offering this to you, it is coming at a cost to us, and for many of us, it is not a cost worth bearing, which is why we require additional compensation. After all, our prices are based on the value of our work – So if we’re not receiving what our prices reflect at the end of the day due to the cost that your convenience comes at, then we’re kind of ripping ourselves off.

The fact that we accept gift cards at all is something I feel a lot of people take for granted – After all, how would you feel if your job paid you in gift cards? I doubt anyone would prefer that over cash.

There are a few reasons that I personally charge a fee for gift cards, and while I am speaking for myself here, I can assure you that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Gift cards do not have an exact cash value. Just because you give someone a $50 gift card, doesn’t mean you’re giving them $50. You’re paying $50, but at the end of the day, the person on the other end is not always receiving that amount. Here’s a couple reasons why:

– When we have to decide between spending a gift card or spending cash on an item, the gift card will often win, since cash is reserved for things that gift cards cannot pay for, such as bills and groceries. That means that we are stuck paying shipping on something that we perhaps would have purchased in-store, had we had all cash and no gift cards at all. Perhaps we would have used the cash to pay for the same item on a different website (that we may not be able to accept gift cards for) for a lower price. This is especially a problem for international sellers. As a Canadian who primarily receives gift cards, the shipping fees I often face are brutal. Even when I receive gift cards, shipping still sucks unless the item is covered by Amazon Prime (which is something I never would have paid for if it hadn’t been for the fact that I accept gift cards). Because of the limitations gift cards place on our ability to spend them, we lose a chunk of our earnings on otherwise avoidable costs, as well as the freedom to spend those earnings freely – For your convenience.

– When cash is needed, we trade our gift cards for Bitcoin, Squarecash, Giftrocket, E-transfers, etc. This is not something we receive exact cash value for. In order for it to be worth it for someone to take our gift cards, they’ve got to get a deal on it – Which means money out of our pocket. The money we lose by converting gift cards to cash, combined with the additional time we spend arranging those transactions, means a big loss for us – For your convenience.

Many of you might say, “Then don’t accept gift cards!”. Sure. We’ve done that. But many of us have lost more sales by not accepting gift cards at all, than we have by charging a fee – And many of you have chosen only to pay with gift cards, which means that if we don’t accept them, you’ve got a much smaller selection of people to play with and purchase from.

If you insist on paying via gift card, please check to see if there is a fee prior to discussing your transaction with a seller, and be ready to accept the fact that there likely will be one. Most of us are very upfront about our fees, and often have them mentioned on our websites, in our ads, and on our subreddits. If you can’t find the information listed anywhere, ask about it before diving into the details of your request. This saves both of us from wasting time by discussing all of the nitty gritty, only for you to back out the moment the total is calculated.

If you cannot find a seller you like who doesn’t charge a gift card fee, and the fee is still totally unacceptable to you, please consider using other payment methods. Bitcoin is a huge favourite for many sellers, and once the initial set-up has been completed, is extremely simple to use. It is also a very fast and secure payment method that allows you to connect to a credit card OR bank account. This payment method allows the same convenience and ease as gift cards, is internationally usable, and does not come at a cost to the person you’re paying. Bitcoin may charge for the transaction, but that cost is typically $1 or less.

If a seller charges a fee for gift cards, please understand that it is for a reason. Asking a seller to waive the fee simply because you do not like it, essentially says “I want you to pay for my convenience”, whether that is your intention or not. Insisting on using a gift card while refusing to pay a fee shows a lack of respect for the value of our time. If you do not want to pay a fee, find sellers that don’t charge them, and use payment methods that do not require them.

For more information on payment methods that I personally accept, please check out my Payment Options page. I have written up short descriptions of each available payment method, and have provided useful links for you to follow, should you choose to learn more about them.