December through April are big months in my house for gift cards. We have Christmas, then all 4 of my family members’ birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc., and as my kids have gotten older we have found that they have gotten harder to shop for. My husband and I have also gotten harder to shop for as we seem to want and need less and less stuff. So a popular gift item that we all give and get frequently has become the gift card.
The only problem with the gift cards my family has come across is occasionally we get a gift card from an out of town relative who is unaware that we don’t have the same stores that they do in their home towns. Now sure many gift cards can work online, but items like movie cards or restaurant cards don’t. As I am one whose skin literally crawls at the idea of a wasted gift/money I was excited to discover that there is an excellent option. You can sell your unwanted gift cards on-line.
Buying and Selling Gift Cards On-Line
There are many different websites that buy and sell gift cards. All of these websites generally work the same way. They buy your unwanted gift cards at a discounted rate. Then they sell those same gift cards at a discounted rate to others. Which means that not only can you get rid of unwanted gift cards, but you can also buy lets say a gift card worth $25 for only $23. Pretty cool, right?
In researching these sites I narrowed them down to my 3 favorite, Gift Card Rescue, Plastic Jungle, and Cardpool. I experimented with 2 cards, a Starbucks card and an Athleta card. As they seemed to be equally reliable as far as giving what they promised, I was curious to see what types of bids I would get from each. Here is what I found:
For my testing purposes Gift Card Rescue.com had a more limited group of retailers to pick from. They do not purchase Athleta cards, so I was unable to get a bid from them. However, I was able to get a bid on a Starbucks card (without having to put the card number in initially). They offered me $19.69 for an online Amazon gift credit and $18.75 for a check, the least amount for the sites I pooled.
Cardpool.com was the only site in which I was able to check both cards equally. If I chose the “Redeem by Mail”option they offered $21 for my Athleta gift card and $22.05 for my Starbucks gift card. If I chose to receive an Amazon.com online gift card they offered $19.69 for the Athleta gift card and $20.74 for the Starbucks gift card. Unlike the other two sites they offered you more money not to trade for an Amazon gift card.
Although all three sites explained how the selling process worked, Plastic Jungle for me had the best step-by-step explanation about what would happen. Also, Plastic Jungle was the only site that requires the gift card number to get a bid, (they all require it for the final purchases). Therefore I wasn’t able to get a bid on my Starbucks card. Plastic Jungle did, however, give me two options for payment for my Athleta card offering me $19.69 for an on-line Amazon gift card and $18.75 for cash either deposited into my PayPal account or sent to me via a cashier’s check.
Comparing Gift Card Buyback Sites
In doing this research I discovered that once again one of my steadfast shopping rules held fast.
It pays to shop around and not be a store snob.
As you can see from my short experience on these sites, each site at some point was better than the other site. Some sites had a better retailer list, others offered better prices, and others were easier to navigate. Probably the best idea for you when you have a gift card to sell is to consider all of your options. After all a little research is the shoppers best friend, and only you know what shopping experience is best for you.