Friday, February 15, 2013

Resell Your Gift Cards

We've all been there, received a gift card in the mail, only to realize that it's a store not in your area or someplace you don't enjoy.  Typically in this type of situation, the card will either never be used or you re-gift it.  Another annoying scenario occurs when you have $1.25 on a gift card, want to spend it, but don't want to pony up some additional funds to buy anything worthwhile.  Well, you're in luck, because new services online will buy your unused gift cards and give you some nice cash for the option. 

New sites such as PlasticJungle, Cardpool, and Raise have tapped into a customer need to remove their unused gift cards.  How their business model works is that they will pay you up to 92% (in PlasticJungle's case) for your card and they will credit you cash to a paypal account (or other option).  This whole process takes a few days for processing, but it serves a customer need to at least get something back for an otherwise useless piece of plastic.

When I think about these companies, it makes me realize how useless gift cards really are.  You essentially dedicate funds to a particular store, give those dedications to someone else, and lock them into spending all or some fraction of that amount.  In the end, the retail stores, and these gift card re purpose marketplaces are the ones who make out in this whole transaction.  Instead, why not just give your friend or relative cold hard cash?  I am always baffled on why there is a social stigma against this; it's the definition of liquidity, you can use it for anything, and they can choose when they want to use it (i.e. no expiration). -

I personally like PlasticJungle the best, because it offers to buy your cards no matter what the balance.  I also think these exchanges have a purpose in that you can buy some really discounted cards which means some potentially free cash.  See for yourself.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: My Wife and I celebrate 9 years of dating each other today!

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