Gift certificates — the present almost everyone gets at one time or another, whether it’s a general gift for the picky giftee, a card for the person who has everything, or simply a last resort gift to someone who is just impossible to shop for.
Gift certificates can make great presents, but they can also be something of an unwanted or unnecessary holiday dud. You might get a gift certificate to a shop you never frequent. or an ill timed restaurant gift card just as you’ve started your new diet… Whatever the reason, you are stuck forever with a gift card you will never use. Right?
Actually, there is something you can do with those unwanted or unneeded gift cards other than tuck them into your wallet and forget about them. Gift card for cash businesses are popping up everywhere: on the internet, and you can trade in those unwanted cards for money.
There are several popular websites that people frequent to trade in their gift cards for money.
Each website has their own particular practices—their own sets of fees, their general “exchange rate,” and their own rules regarding how the money is paid out to you and how the gift card is sent to them. Some people also sell their gift cards on websites such as eBay, which avoids the middle man but the sites do present their own problems.
So, where should you sell your gift cards? It all depends on what kind of gift card you have, how much it’s worth, and how much money you’re hoping to get out of the deal. Let’s look at the main aspects of gift card selling you’ll need to know before attempting to sell.
First, what kind of gift card do you have? Gift cards to large popular stores will usually have a higher ratio of cash for card than gift cards to smaller stores, or local stores.
If the store has an online retail webshop that accepts the gift card, this will usually raise the ratio of cash for card as well. While this may seem unfair, think about it from
a business perspective: A business will be able to sell a $100 Target gift card to just about anyone in the United States, because of the frequency of the physical retail location and the ability to use gift cards on their extensive online shop.
However, a $100 gift card for your local mall-only store Miss Berry’s Berry Smoothies is going to be much harder to sell.
Secondly, where are you selling the gift card or what website are you using to trade it in? If you are selling your gift card on eBay, there is the chance that your auction will take off and go for higher than you expected—but there is also the chance that it will sell for much lower, or not at all.
On top of this, you will have to pay PayPal fees and eBay fees from your total sold price. So, you may have a better chance of getting retail price for your gift card, but with all the fees you could be out more money than you hoped.
If you are selling to one of the more popular cash for card websites, you should compare their average “trade in” prices for your gift card to determine which website is best for you. For example:
The website Cardpool offers a trade in of $90 for a $100 Target gift card; the website Giftcards.com offers $95 for a $100 Target gift card, and GiftCardRescue offers $86 for a $100 Target gift card. On average, PlasticJungle and GiftCards.com provides a higher trade in for popular stores than the other popular websites, but if the gift card is from an unknown store your trade in ratio will be much lower.
And last, what are you expectations? You should be prepared to keep your expectations reasonable, based on the price of your gift card and where your gift card was bought from. You simply won’t make $100 cash on a gift card for a local store, but you do stand a chance of making a good chunk of change on a $100 gift card to a larger retail store such as Target, Best Buy or The Gap.