How To Use eBay Gift Card in 7 Steps, With Photos

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How To Use eBay Gift Card in 7 Steps, With Photos

Having an eye on an eBay item, but can’t pay for it with your current balance? You can use your eBay gift card to buy it from the eBay store. That’s not all. You can also give your loved one a gift card on a special occasion and even customize it based on a person’s preferences. 

eBay physical gift cards are available at Walgreens, CVS, and other participating retailers. But like other cards, the eBay gift card also comes with time and spending limits. Remember, you can’t use your eBay gift card to purchase other gift cards, coupons, certificates, paper money, virtual currency, or items made of precious metals.

If you have a digital gift card, eBay will send you a virtual 13-digit redemption code in your email. In the case of a physical gift card, you only have to scratch the code on the card’s back and enter it at the checkout. Read now to learn everything about the process!

Step 1: Create a PayPal Account

Create a Paypal Account
Sign up for a PayPal account at www.paypal.com.


First, you must create a PayPal account and link it to your eBay account. For that, visit PayPal.com and click “Sign up.” After that, follow the on-screen instructions, including your personal and financial information, until your account is created. 

Keep your credit card and bank account information in your hand. Skip this step if you already have an eBay account. 

Step 2: Sign in on eBay

eBay sign on page.
Sign into your eBay account.


Now, go to eBay.com and click the “Sign in” button on the homepage. Then, log in with your eBay credentials (name and password). You can also click on “Register” to make an account. 

Once you’re done, eBay will confirm your identity through email. Open it and click on the ID verification link to verify yourself on eBay’s servers. After that, log in to your eBay account with your username and password.

Step 3: Add the Item To the Cart

Adding a watch to eBay cart.
Add any item you want to buy on eBay to your cart.


Browse through eBay and find the item you want to buy. It can be more than one, of course. But as you do so, make sure you buy from sellers who accept PayPal. That’s because you can only redeem gift cards for PayPal purchases. Finally, add all the products to the cart.

Step 4: Choose “Go To Checkout”

Click on go to checkout.
Click Go to checkout to pay for your item.


Now, click on the cart icon in your screen’s upper-right corner. It will display all the items in your cart. If you don’t want to add more items, choose the “Go To Checkout” button to proceed.

Step 5: Make PayPal Your Primary Payment Method

Make Paypal your primary payment method.
Select Paypal as your method of payment.


Choose PayPal as your primary payment option for completing the purchase. As you click on it, eBay will direct you to the Paypal account login. Enter your credentials to access your PayPal account.

Step 6: Use eBay Gift Card Code 

Use eBay Gift Card code.
Enter your 13-digit code, then click apply.


Scroll to the “Gift cards, coupons, eBay Bucks” box. Click on it and enter the 13-digit redemption code you received in the email or scratched on your physical card’s back. Select “Apply” to use the eBay gift card. 

Step 7: Update Your Total and Pay

Update total.


Finally, click the “Update Total” button to ensure you don’t have any negative or unpaid balance on your account. If there is, you can pay it off from the bank account you linked with your PayPal account. If bought items for less than your gift card money, it will be added to your eBay credit, which you can use in the future. Remember, you will have to wait 4 hours to activate and redeem your gift card.

Here is a step-by-step video for further reference:

Where Can You Find the Redemption Code Email?

eBay sends the redemption code in an email for digital gift cards. You can find it in the email you submitted when signing up on eBay. But what if it’s not there? This could mean several things, such as:

  • The email is still in process. The redemption code email usually takes up to 3 hours for the redemption code email to reach the gift card owner.
  • The email is resting in your junk or spam folder.
  • Your seller may have made an error in sending the email. Ask them to send it again.  

Can You Use eBay Gift Card After Accidentally Scratching Its Code?

When you buy a gift card, you typically have to scratch it to reveal some checkout code. But in the process of scratching, you may accidentally rub out some numbers. In such a situation, you’ll have to collect a few things and contact the retailer that sold you the gift card.

Here is everything you will need:

  • Your legal name, phone number, and email ID 
  • Your gift card’s picture, preferably from the back
  • A picture of the gift card purchase receipt
  • Your eBay account’s username or account name
  • The remaining part of the redemption code

eBay’s rep will evaluate your case and list all the possibilities of using that gift card for purchases. You may never use that card again if luck isn’t on your side. 

Why Is eBay Declining Your Gift Card?

Sometimes, your eBay gift card won’t work while checking out despite entering the correct code. A few things could be behind this error, including:

  • Your eBay account isn’t registered in the US or doesn’t have the US as the shipping address
  • You are using another eBay account with the same gift card you used previously with a different account. 
  • You don’t have enough balance to use an eBay gift card to buy a particular item. 
  • eBay only accepts four incentive codes at the checkout, including eBay Bucks, coupons, eBay Gift Cards, and eBay Gift Certificates. 
  • You have exceeded your gift card spending or time limits.
  • You’re trying to purchase third-party or more eBay gift cards with your current gift card. Remember, you can’t use eBay gift card when buying paper money, coupons, coins, gift certificates, virtual money, or any item made of precious metals.

If you make any of the above mistakes, eBay won’t accept your card.

Some Common Gift Card Scams to Know 

eBay gift cards make your favorite items relatively more affordable to buy. But because eBay is a popular marketplace, it also has a high chance of scams, especially related to gift cards. So, before you use an eBay gift card, make sure you’re aware of the below scams:

Fake Listing

Scammers post a fake listing on eBay to sell an item at a very low price. They manipulate buyers by saying they do it to get instant cash and sell the product quickly. The scammer will ask you to send them money through a fast payment service, such as direct bank account transfers, Western Union, or gift cards.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

BEC fraud consists of emails sent to the employees from the fake account of the company’s CEO or higher management. These emails ask the victim to purchase gift cards to avail of vendor payments or employee bonuses.

Fake Job Offers

Some scammers ask people to buy and use eBay gift card to schedule a job interview. They claim that you’ll get reimbursement for providing the code to them, but of course, you won’t get any. Remember, all authentic job offers on eBay are listed on “careers.ebayinc.com.” None of them require you to buy gift cards.

Computer Malware

Some scammers may pose as a tech expert from eBay and tell you that your computer has a virus. Other times, they use different pop-ups or ads to alert you that you have malware on your device. They then ask you to call a number to have it removed. Some scanners also trick people into paying maintenance costs as gift cards. 

Malicious Phone Calls

You may receive malicious phone calls from scammers disguised as someone you know, a technique known as caller ID spoofing. It may seem to come from eBay customer service, but it’s not. The end game is to force you to buy and use an eBay gift card to unfreeze your account. 

Family Emergency 

Some scammers may use emergency scams, claiming your loved ones are in trouble and they urgently need money to solve a problem. They usually ask you to share the gift card codes to get access to funds instantly. 

How To Stay Safe From eBay Gift Card Scams?

Now that you know the most common gift card scams on eBay, it’s time to learn how to stay safe from them. That’s the only way to buy and use gift cards safely. So, whether you’re a new or old eBay customer, keep these tips in mind so you can be safe at eBay:

  • Always use eBay gift cards as cash.
  • Avoid sending your gift card redemption code to any other person. 
  • Don’t enter the gift card code on any other page other than the eBay’s checkout page.
  • Don’t use a gift card code to pay anyone other than the eBay platform. 
  • Never use your gift card to pay someone outside the eBay platform.
  • Never share personal details in an email because eBay doesn’t ask for it from anyone. If you receive any such email, it’s a scam. 

Even with all the precautions, you can become a victim of these scams anytime. In such a situation, contact eBay Customer Service for help. You will also have to submit the suspicious emails to [email protected] along with the first 9 digits of your gift card. 

Wrap Up

An eBay gift card comes with lots of perks. You can grab amazing discounts at your favorite retailers and have a financial backup whenever your account balance runs low. You can use eBay gift cards to purchase any item on eBay.com, but you can’t buy more gift cards, gift certificates, coupons, paper money, or virtual currency. 

To add a coupon code on eBay, you will have to click “Buy now” on the item you want to buy and choose PayPal as the payment method. Then, scroll down the screen and enter the gift card code. Update the total payment, and you’re good to go!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use my eBay gift card?

You can use an eBay gift card by entering its code in the “Gift cards, coupons, eBay Bucks” section. Any remaining balance will stay on your card, which you can use for your next purchases. Wait for 4 hours at least before using your gift card.

Are there restrictions on eBay gift cards?

eBay gift cards have a specific spending threshold and time limits. You also may be unable to buy third-party gift cards, coupons, virtual currency, paper money, more eBay gift cards, and items made of precious metals. 

Where can I purchase an eBay gift card?

You can buy an eBay gift card from any participating retailer, such as Kroger or Walgreens. Just visit your nearest store and confirm with the cashier whether they offer eBay gift cards.

Where can I use eBay Gift Cards?

You can use your eBay gift card to buy any product on eBay.com. You can’t use the card to purchase coupons, paper money, certificates, items made of precious metals, or more gift cards.

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