In this post I will be going over how to sell gift cards for Bitcoin, or in other words by Bitcoin with gift cards you may have. Yes it is possible. I know it sounds strange, and it is a bit strange, but it can easily be done online and I will be showing you how step-by-step. So if you have any gift cards laying around that you do not want and you would rather have bitcoin, listen up.
You can’t sell gift cards for bitcoin on your typical cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, GDAX, Binance, Bittrex, etc. What you have to use are called peer to peer exchanges, or P2P exchanges for short.
Two of the most popular P2P cryptocurrency exchanges out there are Paxful in Localbitcoins. They are both great exchanges but since Paxful offers more payment methods when it comes to gift cards this is the exchange I will be using in this example of selling gift cards for bitcoin. But before I get into the process and everything I think it’s important for me to talk a little bit more about what exactly P2P cryptocurrency exchanges are.
P2P Exchanges In a Nutshell
I once heard P2P exchange is called the “eBay of cryptocurrency exchanges” and this is a very good way of putting it. Basically what P2P exchanges do is provide a platform for buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency. Sellers are able to sell Bitcoin, and sometimes other cryptocurrencies depending on the platform, for pretty much anything they want. So on P2P exchanges you often find all sorts of payment methods accepted such as airline tickets, direct deposits, PayPal payments, Money Gram, cash in person, and of course a variety of different gift cards.
What P2P exchanges do is help facilitate a safe transaction. So as a buyer of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) you can go to these exchanges, find a seller that is willing to accept the payment method you want to use (in this case gift cards), and communicate with them directly while using the platform to make your transaction.
Selling Gift Cards for Bitcoin on Paxful
As I said in this example I will be showing you how to do this using the Paxful exchange. Why? Well because Paxful is one of the more popular and safer P2P exchanges out there and it offers a heck of a lot of ways to pay, over 300 different payment methods total.
The first thing you’re going to have to do of course is create an account at Paxful.com, which is a pretty simple and straightforward process that really shouldn’t take all that long. When you land on the home page, shown below, you should see a Create Account tab in the upper right menu that you can click to start.
After you create your account and login you will want to click the green “Buy Bitcoin” button. After looking that you will be directed to a screen where you can choose to either buy or sell bitcoin. Of course you’re going to want to check the Buy Bitcoin box and go from there. There is a spot where you can enter in the amount of money you are looking to spend ( in this case the amount that is on your gift card that you’re going to sell ), but you can just leave this blank if you want to.
Then you’re going to want to select the currency that your gift card is in. I’m in the US so of course my currency is USD, But there are a variety of others to select from such as EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, HKD, etc.. And lastly go over to the box that says “Select a way to pay” and scroll through the list to find the type of gift card you are looking to sell…
*Note: Don’t click on the “ANY Gift Card”. It should show you all the gift card payment method offers available but it doesn’t for some reason. Click on the particular type of gift card you are trying to sell for Bitcoin.
As an example I clicked on Amazon Gift Card because they are high in demand and have lots of Bitcoin sellers willing to accept limits payment. But it doesn’t really matter what gift card you chose the rest of the process is going to be virtually the same.
What you will now see is a list of Bitcoin sellers that are willing to accept the gift card you’re trying to sell. You will be able to see the minimum/maximum gift card value they are willing to accept, the rate per bitcoin that they are selling at, and a few other conditions that you must meet when paying them.
Of course you’re going to want to choose a seller that is willing to except your gift card amount and you want a seller that is selling the Bitcoin at a reasonable rate, but what you also really want to look at is the number that appears ever by the seller’s name. Beside each seller you will see a green number that appears as +9870 (for example). This number represents their reputation. The higher the green number means the more positive feedback they have received from other buyers and the more trustworthy they are.
For this example I’m going to click to buy Bitcoin from the third seller down on this list…
When you click the green “BUY” button over to the right you will then be directed to the buy page. At the top you will be able to enter in the amount you want to buy in either units of Bitcoin or in the currency you selected. Then when you click the “Buy Now” button Paxful will take that specify the amount out of the seller’s wallet and hold it in escrow as you proceed with the transaction.
In the screenshot above you can see that it gives you a basic overview but what you really want to look at before initiating the buy process is the “offer terms” that appears below that. These are basically the roles that the seller sets in place if you want to buy bitcoin off of him/her.
The rules that the seller has in place will vary a bit depending on the seller but they all require the same basic things, such as providing verification that the payment method you are going to send them is legitimate and that what you’re trying to sell them is not stolen. So you can see for this example the seller requires that your Amazon gift card be bought in store and that you have the receipt for it…
During this whole buy process you will be able to chat back and forth with the seller in real time. So if you are confused about anything you can easily have them explain it to you.
After you have sent the payment method to the seller you will have to verify having done so and then you wait for the seller to verify that they have received the payment. Once they verify that they have received it Paxful will release the Bitcoins that they have been holding in escrow to you. The bitcoin shall then be in your wallet that is connected to your Paxful account and you can do whatever you want with them.
If you’re looking to hold them long-term and want as much safety as possible while still having easy access to them then I would suggest a hardware wallet like KeepKey, TREZOR, or Ledger Nano S. But you can always just leave them in your Paxful wallet if you want to although this is not as safe.
Is It Safe To Buy Bitcoins Like This?
There is always going to be some risk involved. Just like on eBay there are always going to be some people that get scammed from sellers. Paxful does a good job at eliminating scammers from their platform but there will always be few that will slip through the cracks.
They make the process pretty safe by holding Bitcoins in escrow during the transaction, acting as a mediator if there is a dispute, and providing the rating feature where you can see the ratings of all the sellers and read their feedback, but still… There is some risk involved.
Would I be worried about buying on Paxful? No I wouldn’t. As long as you choose a reputable seller and follow the roles you should be fine.
You can read more about the safety of Paxful here.
Okay, so just a quick recap of everything. Normal cryptocurrency exchanges do not accept gift cards as payments, but peer to peer cryptocurrency exchanges will because sellers can pretty much choose to accept any form of payment they want to. Here you are buying directly from an individual seller using the exchange platform as a safe way to facilitate a transaction. Paxful is the best option in my opinion to buy bitcoins with gift card at because they offer tons of different gift card payment methods.
During the process you pick a seller that seems to be offering a decent deal, enter in the amount you’re looking to spend or buy, follow the outline roles of paying the seller which will be listed, chat back and forth with the seller as needed, and confirm you have submitted your payment after doing so. Then, depending on what payment method you are using, you will have to wait a bit for the seller to confirm the transaction. After that the Bitcoins will be released to you from the Paxful escrow account which helps to ensure that you get the Bitcoins you just paid for.
If there is any confusion or you have any questions or comments at all, please leave them down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can 🙂