Got Unwanted Gift Cards for Christmas? Here’s How to Cash in With Raise

a person handing a card to a cashier
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The holidays are over, and now you’re left with the aftermath.

You need to clean, pack up, re-organize, find storage for new stuff and decide what old stuff to throw away. It can be overwhelming, but here’s a smart way to make it feel a little more manageable.

Among the piles of used wrapping paper, Christmas cards, gift receipts and dirty dishes, there’s one familiar holiday item you can turn into cash.

Sift through those presents you weren’t too thrilled to open. What can you find?

Ill-fitting clothes can be tough to return without the proper receipt, and it’s challenging to sell weird little knick-knacks.

A gift card, on the other hand, is something you can sell for near face value on sites like Raise. And if it was a present, it’s free money to you!

Of the $130 billion spent on gift cards each year, roughly $1 billion has gone unspent. We’ve got a much more productive way to put that money to use!

Turn Your Unused Gift Cards Into Cash

It’s disappointing to receive something you don’t really want.

But if it’s a gift card, quietly thank the person who gave it to you for not trying too hard to buy something you might not have liked anyway.

It’s not cash, but a gift card is the next best thing — even if it’s for a store where you don’t usually shop.

“I have sold a wide range of gift cards,” says David Jebousek, who’s been using Raise to buy and sell gift cards for about a year.

“Some are not commonly known. But to the people who search them out, uncommon cards are very helpful.”

Why Use Raise to Sell Gift Cards?

We’ve mentioned other gift card exchange sites before. Each has different pros and cons, so it pays to shop around.

As you wind down from the holidays, we recommend Raise for a few reasons:

It’s Free to List Your Gift Card

You can list your card on Raise without paying any upfront fees. So there’s no risk if your card takes a while to sell.

You can sell any gift card or store credit — new or partially used. Most cards sell within 24 hours, and Raise only takes 15% of the selling price.

“I have had success selling all kinds of cards,” Jebousek says. “Some take a bit longer to sell, but everything will sell.”

You Choose Your Own Selling Price

Many gift card exchange sites buy your card outright and then set their own price.

Raise isn’t this kind of middleman — instead, it’s a marketplace. You list your card and choose what you’re willing to take for it.

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.

You Can Edit Your Listing Anytime

Like any marketplace, you maintain control over your listing on Raise. You can update it — or unlist it — anytime.

If your card doesn’t sell in the first couple of days, you can always adjust the price to attract more buyers.

Buyers Tend to Give Raise Good Reviews

Before David started selling gift cards, he used gift card exchange sites to stretch his money.

“When I first started using and comparing gift card apps, I would look for the uncommon cards as a way to see how comprehensive each app was,” he says.

“Now I use Raise only, since every other app proved to have a smaller selection.”

Buyers also trust shopping through Raise.

With it, they get Raise’s 100% money-back guarantee — and always free e-delivery or shipping.

The Mobile App Makes It Easy

Raise’s iPhone and Android apps allow you to list gift cards for sale and track your total earnings through the Raise Mobile Wallet.

“[Unlike competitors], Raise can store cards that were not purchased from the app,” David points out. “That’s a great feature, since it keeps the value and brand of the cards at my fingertips.”

The Mobile Wallet makes Raise easy to use anywhere. It allows you to carry all your gift cards without stuffing your (physical) wallet. You also can quickly buy a new card for a purchase while you’re on the go.

How to Sell a Gift Card

What’s the process like for selling a gift card on this site?

Start by going to “Sell Gift Cards,” or download the mobile app.

Enter the info for the card you want to sell. Raise will share current listings for the retailer, the value of each card and its sales percentage.

You can list any gift card as an e-gift card, which reduces your listing fee. In this case, instead of shipping a gift card, only the serial number and PIN are delivered to the buyer.

Enter the current balance of your card and choose your selling price.

For any price you enter, you’ll see your final payout estimate. You can adjust it before listing, depending on how much you want to make.

Once your card’s sold and delivered, you can withdraw available funds from your Raise profile via direct deposit, PayPal or check.

Find Your Unused Gift Cards

While you’re scouring through this year’s boxes and envelopes, don’t forget to look around the house a bit, too. There could be a payday waiting for you at the bottom of your sock drawer!

Also be sure to check your:

  • purse or wallet
  • junk and dresser drawers
  • couch cushions
  • under your bed
  • holiday wrapping, boxes and bags from last year

Jebousek’s best tip for anyone who wants to make money selling gift cards is to list anything and everything.

“The common gift card will have higher velocity,” he says. “But even cards to local stores will sell, since people will look and see what is available for their area.”