eBay gift cards may seem like a strange concept. You probably think of eBay as just an auction site; basically Amazon with a gimmick, so how could a gift card work? You can’t get money off on an auction. Like most generalisations, that’s kind of true and kind of not true.

The key thing about eBay is it’s a democracy: anyone can sell, anyone can buy, and if you’re lucky you can’t get things at almost any price. When you get right down to it, it functions like any other shop: you hunt for bargains and the shop hopes to make more than its competition by taking a loss on some products to get you in the door, then profit from the fact that you came through their door, not their competitors’.

And because it functions like any other shop, there are still all the traditional ways of grabbing a bargain, in addition to pulling an all-nighter to outbid an insomniac on the other side of a planet with a great deal on his credit card trying to get a hessian rug off of eBay for no discernible reason when that’s MY DAMN RUG, DAMMIT. For example, there are eBay vouchers and coupons that give you deals on shipping, which is handy as shipping costs are frequently a ‘sting-in-the-tail’ when it comes to online shopping: you’ve got your stuff and are headed for the checkout only to find that there’s a surprising extra charge when you get there. These discounts come in various forms, like an eBay coupon code, which, like any coupon code, is easy to find and redeem online.

There’s also still the opportunity to get cash back through cash back sites like Ebates.ca, who offer you money for shopping on certain sites, as long as you go through their site first (they can afford to do this because the site – in this case, eBay – pays Ebates to recommend their business, and Ebates kicks some of the commission back to you. Easy).

Another interesting thing about eBay is that it has virtually any kind of product from any kind of supplier around the world. Yes, it sometimes may take longer to get an item shipped from another country but, if you are willing to wait for a few days or weeks, you are able to get very cost-effective options and cheap prices. Also, if you buy various products from the same merchant, you are typically able to request a lower shipping costs than if each item was shipped individually to you.

So, you can absolutely grab a voucher, coupon, code or eBay gift certificate off your favourite voucher sharing site and go to town on great offers from the internet’s premier auction site.