Gifting Gift Cards Anonymously

Old Jul 31, 18, 4:21 pm
  #1  
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Gifting Gift Cards Anonymously

We've got some friends who are having a rough time right now, and there are a few of us who want to help them out financially. We'd prefer to do it anonymously, and a VGC or similar would be perfect. The safest/most anonymous way I can think of is to buy it from one of the giftcard sites, and have it shipped directly to them. I haven't actually bought from any of these sites before (all my previous GC purchases have been B&M), but I figure there's more knowledge in this forum than just about anywhere else.

A couple questions:
1. Are there any sites that send the giftcard without the purchaser's information enclosed? I'd like the shipping address only - no mention of my name. Bonus points if there's no way for them to call the company and trace it back to me.
2. Are there any sites that will actually ship them to an address other than the billing address? I recognize that this may be the biggest issue.
bobert24 is offline  
Old Aug 1, 18, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by bobert24 View Post
We've got some friends who are having a rough time right now, and there are a few of us who want to help them out financially. We'd prefer to do it anonymously, and a VGC or similar would be perfect. The safest/most anonymous way I can think of is to buy it from one of the giftcard sites, and have it shipped directly to them. I haven't actually bought from any of these sites before (all my previous GC purchases have been B&M), but I figure there's more knowledge in this forum than just about anywhere else.

A couple questions:
1. Are there any sites that send the giftcard without the purchaser's information enclosed? I'd like the shipping address only - no mention of my name. Bonus points if there's no way for them to call the company and trace it back to me.
2. Are there any sites that will actually ship them to an address other than the billing address? I recognize that this may be the biggest issue.
Why don't you just a buy a VGC in-person at a store and mail/deliver it yourself? CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, various supermarkets, Simon Malls.. all places you can buy a VGC in-person.
digitalpop is offline  
Old Aug 1, 18, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by digitalpop View Post
Why don't you just a buy a VGC in-person at a store and mail/deliver it yourself?
USPS must know the sender's identity, but the recipient does not. So you could do the following: print a PayPal First Class package label with tracking, then black out the return address and put a sticker over it. If it gets lost, you'll have to proactively give USPS recovery instructions.
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Old Aug 2, 18, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by digitalpop View Post
Why don't you just a buy a VGC in-person at a store and mail/deliver it yourself? CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, various supermarkets, Simon Malls.. all places you can buy a VGC in-person.
Delivering it personally would definitely not be anonymous. We could leave it somewhere that we're pretty sure they'd find it, but we then run the risk of getting caught, them not finding it, or someone else finding it first. Us mailing it comes with its own set of possible problems - mailing an activated GC (which anything you buy at a store would be) is the same as mailing cash. We'd have to insure it for the full value, etc. Since we plan to do this more than a few times (at a few hundred dollars each time), that cost would add up quickly. We'd rather give that money to them. That's (what I see as) the main benefit of buying them online - they're generally shipped unactivated, and the company selling them takes on the risk/cost in case they are somehow lost or stolen.

Anybody have any suggestions of where to buy?
bobert24 is offline  
Old Aug 3, 18, 4:53 am
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Does it have to be in a gift card format? If you are doing it via gift cards to MS that is fine, but maybe the best idea is to create a new e-mail and then use a money sending service for the payment since the e-mail is ehat the recepient will see. The name can be ''anonymous donor' or etc. Of course, if e-mail limits the possible # of people that might be gifting more than a mailing address then this approach might be moot.

In a recent deal, Staples was selling $100 MC gift cards. That might work for your purposes. They arrive via US Mail. There might or not be fraud associated with these particular MCs, so buyer beware... I plan to liquidate mine as soon as they are activated.

Looking at it from a different POV, if the person is spending above their means for whatever the reason, a VGC might not be the best idea. Just my 2 cents.

Edit: Amazon also sells $100 VGCs
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Old Aug 3, 18, 3:54 pm
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I, for one, would find it highly suspicious if I received a gift card in the mail that I hadn't ordered. In fact, I might think that it is some sort of scam and call the police. I certainly wouldn't spend it. Therefore, if you do go through with this, I would suggest writing a note making it clear that you are known to the recipient and the contents is a gift.

If you have it shipped directly, then as far as I know all the sites will provide the billing information on the packing slip. I would suggest buying a gift card at a store and mailing it yourself. USPS is very reliable and the odds of it getting lost are virtually zero. If you record the card number, expiry date and PIN before sending it, you can get it cancelled and re-issued in case it gets lost. I would suggest shipping it as a package (in a small brown envelope) which will cost $3.50 and provide a tracking number for peace of mind.

Another option would be to mail a money order. This is easy to do anonymously, and has the advantage of being a cash equivalent, so the recipient can deposit it in his/her bank account and use it to pay rent or something else that doesn't accept credit cards. Again, include a note explaining the situation, or it will look like a scam.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 8:29 pm
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For real anonymity, buy it with cash
ChuckMango is offline  
Old Aug 4, 18, 8:39 pm
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You can send anonymously from giftcards.com.
OssianBlue is offline  
Old Aug 5, 18, 6:44 am
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If they're religious find a good church that they know of and say that the person is down on their luck and you'd like to help them out. Then give the gift cards to the church and have the church call them up so they can come and accept it. You can even order the gift cards online with the person's name on it for that extra touch. This is probably the safest way to do something like this and not have them know who did it. Churches, temples, etc, help with good will all the time.
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