How Do You Sell Gift Cards for Cash?
Quick tutorial on how to sell gift cards for cash and tips to help you decide where to sell your gift cards.
Got a Gift Card You Don't Want?
So you've got a gift card, but you'd rather have cash? Lucky for you, there are a variety of gift card resellers that will give you anywhere from 65 to 92 percent of the card's value, depending on the usability of the card and the amount of inventory already in stock. After selecting a reseller, the basic process is easy: enter the merchant name of the gift card, enter the dollar value of the card, select "Next Step" and review the offer. If you approve the offer, choose the form of payment you'd like to receive (either check in the mail or PayPal deposit) and look for instructions on how to mail in the plastic gift card or submit the gift code electronically.
Many gift card resellers work similarly, but there are three things to look for in deciding which one you should work with, as follows:
1. How Much is the Cash Back Offer?
Gift cards that are highest in demand and easiest to use (such as Target or Walmart) will fetch the most money across resellers. Target and Walmart both frequently sell for approximately 90 percent of face value because stores are easily accessible (plus online) and each merchant sells a wide array of merchandise. A movie gift card, on the other hand, that can only be redeemed for a movie ticket or concessions will probably fetch closer to 75 percent. The number of gift cards a reseller already has in stock for the merchant you're trying to sell will also impact the offer, so shop around. Merchants with lower inventory may be willing to offer higher cash back values to increase their availability of discount gift cards.
2. How Will Payment be Made?
Gift card resellers typically distribute payment with a check in the mail, a deposit to your PayPal account or a direct deposit into a checking account. Some will even pay with another gift card--Amazon.com being the most popular. Look for variations in the offer based on the method you choose. For example, a reseller may shave a little bit off the payout if you select PayPal or offer a bonus if you opt for an Amazon.com gift card in lieu of cash. Check the fine print before deciding how quickly you want the money delivered.
3. Is Customer Service Available?
To avoid problems and ensure satisfaction with the resale process, work with a reseller that offers a money-back guarantee plus provides customer service representatives who will answer emails and telephone calls 24 hours a day. Many reputable gift card resellers offer both. Though you may get a higher offer if you sell a gift card to an individual, you also run the risk of being scammed out of your gift card entirely with no one to turn to when that happens. So make sure you know who you’re dealing with before you give your gift card to anyone.
If you're struggling to decide whether or not to sell a gift card for cash, my advice is to find a way to use the card first. If doing so is difficult for any reason or you simply need money more than you need another product or service, then sell the card quickly and be done. (My boys experienced a similar crisis of conscience, but ultimately decided to sell their cards and were quite happy with the results.) Gift cards that aren't used within the first three months, are likely to be forgotten. So use it or sell it before that happens.
If you have other gift card questions, add a comment below or send me a note via @GCGirlfriend on Twitter.
Happy Gift Carding!
~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend