Photo: Lutsenko_Oleksandr (Shutterstock)
After the holidays, gift cards can be kept in your wallet undisturbed in the store for months – anytime in between 10-19% of gift card balances will not be redeemed, and six percent of gift cards are never used after The Hustle. Fortunately, you can sell these cards for cash on reseller websites. But are gift card exchange sites safe?
This is how the exchange of gift cards works
You can buy or sell gift cards on gift card exchange websites that act as brokers between buyers and sellers. Basically, you publish a list for the gift card you want to sell and, as part of that list, include the number and PIN of the card that the website verifies. Most of the actual exchange is digital, but may include sending physical cards with the reseller acting as an intermediary.
However, they will never sell a gift card for 100% of its value as the broker takes a small percentage and buyers expect a discount (otherwise they would only buy gift cards directly from retailers). But while you lose some value, you also get cash that can be spent anywhere, not just a store. Plus, the depreciation is better than not using it at all. If you haven’t used the card within 180 days, the more likely you won’t redeem the card at all, according to a Paytronix Report.
How much you can make also depends on the popularity of your gift card and how many are in the market. For example, there is more demand for an Amazon or Visa gift card valued at $ 100 than an Arby gift card valued at $ 100, for example. Expect between 50% and 92% of the value of a card depending on market demand.
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A word of warning
Avoid the temptation to sell your cards yourself on eBay or Facebook as it is too easy to get scammed without a third party. Instead, use only the most established gift card websites that offer customer support, such as: CardCash, GiftCash, and Raising. You can start with GiftCardGranny.comThis is an aggregator that compares offers from other reseller websites.
However, even these larger websites should be approached with some caution as they often receive complaints from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about card denials at retailers, as well as delays in receiving cards and making payments.
Last December the BBB issued a warning via the popular reseller Card poolwho currently has an “F” rating due to the scope of the complaints. That doesn’t mean that all other websites are the same or that they don’t offer support or respond to complaints – it’s just something to be aware of (personally, I’d love to buy a gift card from any of these websites, but I’d try too to use it immediately).
BBB offers these tips if you are considering a gift card reseller:
- Research the business before buying, selling, or trading.
- visit BBB.organd find out the company valuation.
- Read the complaints and customer reviews of any online gift card retailer you may be considering.
- Make sure the company has easy-to-find contact information.
- Understand the company’s policy on refunds.
- Use a payment method that allows you to dispute the charges.
- Immediately check the balance and any passwords or pins on the cards you have purchased.