Few of us end the holiday season without a stack of gift cards. Inevitably we end up with a few we can’t use or don’t want.
Maybe your boss gave you Starbucks gift card, and you aren’t a coffee drinker?
Or your Aunt Rita gave you a gift card to Dillard’s, and the closest one is 50 miles from your house?
There is no reason for the well-intentioned gift to go to waste. You can always sell those unwanted gift card for cash!
Why You Shouldn’t Sell Gift Cards on Ebay
Ebay has always been a popular way to sell gift cards — but it might be the worst way to do it.
First of all, an Ebay buyer isn’t likely to buy your gift card for more than 80% to 90% of its value. For a $100 gift card, you can count on a loss of between $10 and $20.
On top of that, you may be responsible for Ebay insertion fees, a 10% final value fee and a 2.9% fee to receive the money via PayPal. Yuck!
Suddenly, your $100 gift card is only worth $70.
A better way is use an online gift card exchange site. They’ll purchase your gift cards for 90% or more of its value and resell it for you.
How to Sell Gift Cards Online
To sell your gift cards online, all you need to do is input the brand and balance to get an offer. On most sites, you can enter the gift card number to sell it and receive payment electronically — no need to mail anything.
Rates will vary, so I thought it would be fun to see which would offer me the best price for my gift cards.
To conduct my experiment I picked six leading online gift card buyers and asked for quotes on three different gift cards. I wanted to see what they would offer for a $25 Starbucks gift card, a $50 Banana Republic gift card and a $100 Target gift card.
Here are the results:
|$25 Starbucks||$50 Banana Republic||$100 Target|
|Card Pool||$19.35 Amazon gift card, or $18.25 cash||$37.10 Amazon gift card, or $35 cash||$92.22 Amazon gift card, or $87 cash|
|Gift Card Bin||Brand unavailable||$32.50||$75|
|Gift Card Zen||$17.88||Brand unavailable||Brand unavailable|
The experiment wasn’t a huge surprise. Card Pool, which has merged with several other sites over the years, beat competitors on price. I guess that’s how they stay on top!
Gift Card Exchange
The gift card exchange site Raise has always been one of my favorite places to sell my unwanted gift cards, because I get to set the price. However, like with Ebay, you don’t get paid until the gift card sells.
Still, I like a few things about Raise over directly selling my card to a site.
On Raise, you can list a card without paying upfront fees, so there’s no risk.
You can sell any gift card or store credit — new or partially used. Most cards sell within 24 hours, and Raise takes 15% of the selling price.
As with any product, the more demand, the more you can ask for it. Gift cards for major retailers — like Walmart, Target and Best Buy — tend to go for within 5% of their value on the marketplace.
You also maintain control over your listing. If your card doesn’t sell in the first couple of days, you can always adjust the price to attract more buyers. Or you can unlist it if you change your mind.
If you do decide to sell a gift card this holiday season, remember to shop around and find the best offer. Check with two or three companies before handing over your gift card.
And remember, you can buy discount gift cards at all of these sites, too! Keep them in mind when you need a gift next holiday season.
Your Turn: Where’s your favorite place to sell unwanted gift cards?