Gift cards can make the gift-giving process so much easier, especially for those who are hard to shop for. However, it’s important to put some thought into your choice of cards so they won’t go unused, and your money won’t go to waste. In this article, we will go over the different types of gift cards, and what you can do to sell gift cards.
- Cash cards – can be used anywhere. They are sponsored by companies like Discover, MasterCard, American Express, and Visa. These cards offer the greatest flexibility since you can use them anywhere credit cards are accepted. It’s just like you’re carrying cash. However, as a gift, they are the least personal option available. They’re a substitute for giving cash, so they won’t be a great gift for a close friend.
- Store cards – are specific to a particular retailer like the Banana Republic, Macy’s, and Victoria’s Secret. These cards give you a chance to get more personal with your gift. They’re perfect for birthdays, graduation, or any type of present to show you care and know the recipient’s interests. However, they have expiration dates, so if the recipient doesn’t use them, these cards will lose their value.
If you have received gift cards, make sure to use them immediately so you won’t forget about them, or you can trade them. You can even sell gift cards!
Buy and Sell Gift Cards: Who loves gift cards?
Stores love gift cards so much – from the largest chains to the smallest stores, you’ll find gift cards at almost any retail store. And here are the reasons why:
- Selling gift cards means upfront revenue for the store, whether anyone redeems the card or not. People easily lose cards or forget about them. Some don’t use them at all. And this is what retail stores want to hear. They’ll get the cash regardless.
- It leads to more business. If one person redeems a gift card, chances are they will go over the initial value of the card. They will spend a little bit more and end up coming back as a repeat customer.
Credit card companies have been getting in on this act for a while now. They encourage stores to have more gift programs by helping with promotion and logistics. These institutions win in the end because they always get a cut of merchant fees whenever shoppers redeem the cards.
Bank and retailers usually reap extra revenue from gift cards, but the consumers don’t always get the raw end of the deal. If you don’t want to lose in this equation, then don’t lose out on the full value of the cards you receive or give. Instead, follow these tips to win this game:
There are three factors you should consider when you choose and redeem cards:
- Flexibility. Cash cards are very convenient because the recipient uses them wherever major credit cards are accepted. However, store gift cards can only be used at specific retailers. Most retailers won’t even allow you to exchange store cards for cash.
- Cost. Store cards don’t have additional charges usually and are good for their full-face value. But then, cash cards, like Visa, can charge a fee when issuing the card. For example, your $50 face-value card will incur an additional charge of $1 to $5 for the buyer. Cash cards also start charging a maintenance fee after the first 12 months. This fee ranges anywhere from $2.50 up to $5 per month. And this can drain the card’s value very quickly. Make sure you use the gift cards within the first 12 months after you received them, or they’ll just end up worthless.
- Expiration date. Store cards are better in this area because most retailer gift cards have no expiration date. If the store goes out of business, however, you won’t be able to use them or redeem the card. On the other hand, cash cards have an expiration date of five years from the date it was issued. It may sound like a long time but if you forget about the card, then its value can quickly disappear because of its expiration or maintenance fees.
Buy and Sell Gift Cards: How to choose the right gift cards
The best way to choose the right gift cards is to consider if the recipient will use the gift card. Sure, they will love the idea of getting a new pair of shoes, but is it what they truly want or need? Take your time to consider their interests and hobbies before you choose a gift card.
For example, do your recipients want to go out to dinner? If so, a card to their favorite restaurant will be a perfect gift. If they’re picky or seem to already have everything, just go with a standard cash card and write a thoughtful note. They will appreciate the flexibility to choose whatever they want to buy with it.
But what if you received unwanted gift cards – those that you know you’ll never be able to use? The solution is simple. Sell them!
How do you sell gift cards?
Many of us have probably experienced getting an unwanted gift card, but unsure what to do with it or how to get the most resale value of the card. Here’s how you can sell gift cards:
- Auction it. There’s a healthy market of gift cards online. In fact, eBay is a popular place where you can sell gift cards. GiftCash is another place to sell them. These sites will purchase your gift card at a very reasonable price.
- Trade it. Most websites that allow selling gift cards can also give you the option to trade them for items that you’re interested in from other sellers.
Aside from selling them, there are other ways you can get rid of your unwanted gift cards:
- Regift them. This will be a great way to spread the love! If you choose to regift, do it tactfully and only with an unused card that actually retains its full value.
- Donate it to charity. You can contact your favorite charity and ask them if they accept gift cards. If they do, write off its value on your taxes as a charitable donation.