It happens every year; you get all sorts of gift cards for Christmas, and some of them are from stores and restaurants that you simply never visit. This year, if you get the gift of a gift card that you simply don’t want and know that you will never use, you actually have a number of choices rather than to “re-gift” it, including selling it online for cash.
For example, there is a website called Raise Marketplace (www.raise.com) where you can buy and sell gift cards from practically all of the major retailers and restaurant chains, including Whole Foods, The Home Depot, Nordstrom’s, Sears, Dunkin Donuts and many more.
In fact, the website launched their new app back in November and it’s been steadily becoming more popular with users since.
Over in Israel a company called Zeek launched recently an app that allows consumers to sell their gift cards in both that country and the United Kingdom for a bit less than their face value. Of course they take out a fee for doing that as well, once the transaction has been finished.
Since launching the app for Zeek it’s been downloaded over 200,000 times and, according to the CEO of the company, Daniels Zelkind, has already helped consumers to buy and sell more than $200,000 worth of gift cards.
In the UK it’s estimated that nearly $1 billion worth of gift cards actually go unused every year, which is quite a bit of money if you think about it. The market for gift cards in the US is quite a bit larger but, statistically speaking, around 1% of the value of the cards sold is never used.
On these new gift card selling platforms you should expect to lose a little bit of the face value of the card itself in order to sell it and, as we mentioned earlier, the companies and apps that help you to do it will also want to take their cut for the service.
On the other hand, taking a gift card and stashing it in a drawer at home in the kitchen, where it sits unused, is certainly a waste of good Christmas cash. Rather than get nothing from Uncle Bob or your Grandma this year, you may wish to go online and sell your gift card for cash instead.
At least then, if they ask you whether you enjoy the gift or not, you’ll be able to tell them “yes” with a straight face