by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 21st March, 2018
The gift card industry is a multi-billion dollar one, and still growing. More than billions of gift cards are given to people each year. 73% of consumers say that they buy gift cards for the holiday seasons, and on average purchase 2 per holiday season. A lot of those gift cards people receive are for merchants they have no interest in shopping from. So instead of letting them expire or throwing them out, you can sell them to people who would actually love to use them and make some profit in the meantime.
Buying discounted gift cards is a great way to save a few bucks. But how exactly are you saving money, and what can you use them for?
Let's say a new, very popular tech item has been released, and you're having trouble finding a store that offers discount for that particular item. That's not at all surprising, since it's a new item that everyone's interested in buying. You might even think it's impossible to get it for a discounted price, but you'd be wrong.
Search for discount gift cards on brands that sell the product, and if you're lucky enough you might come across someone selling a gift card for that particular brand. Gift card discounts can vary greatly, starting from 10% to 60%. That can save you a lot of money.
You can look for deal sites that offer a lot of great deals and then top those deals off with gift cards to get an even bigger discount.
The most common mistake people make is they look for discounts after they've found something they already like. Don't do that. Search for discounts first and then go shopping. This will save you a lot of time and money!
25% of people who buy gift cards say that gift cards are always the easier and more practical way to go, while 50% of them even allow participants to choose their own gift card, which makes the process even more convenient.
Gift cards are the best gift for someone you don't know a lot of personal things about, so in order to avoid awkwardness and get them something they don't like, you can always go with a gift card, and leave it up to them to choose their own gift. Not only will you be giving them a gift they can choose themselves, but you'll also save yourself valuable time, you would have otherwise spent looking for an appropriate gift.
But what if you're the one that's gotten a lot of gift cards from your friends and family, but have no intention of using them? What do you do then?
Most of the sites that will take your gift cards ask for the brand and balance of your gift card and give you an offer according to that.
You won't even need to send them your card, most sites just require your gift card number and that's it.
Regarding the payment, they usually send cash checks via mail, or pay you electronically, whichever works best for you.
You can expect to get paid up to 92% of the value of your card.
If you use Raise, for example, you can even set your own price, from which Raise takes 15%. You can sell both used and new gift cards, and they usually sell pretty fast, however you can only receive payment only after your gift card sells.
You can not only sell gift card at these sites, but you can also buy some yourself, and even exchange yours for different ones.
You can list your gift cards on local listing sites, and find someone in your area that would like to buy them. It's a pretty convenient way that will save you a lot of time, and allow you to set your own price. A good example of such listing sites would be Craigslist.
eBay has always been popular when it comes to selling gift cards, although you might not get as much profit out of your gift card, as you would by using the previous ways we mentioned.
You can use Amazon or eBay to trade your gift card for another one, and you can possibly get even more profit than you would have if you sold it.
One more viable option for you to get something for your unwanted gift card is to exchange it for airline miles. One of the airlines that have this option is United Airlines, where you can exchange your gift card to get MileagePlus award miles.
If you've recently gotten gift cards that you're not planning on using, and you'd rather sell them or trade them in for a different one, you need to consider a few things:
The longer you wait to sell your gift card the more likely are you to forget you had it, and misplace it somewhere.
Gift cards tend to lose value right after holiday season, and are usually resold for lower prices. The reason for this is because there's a huge supply in the market, which is why it's be better to wait a bit before you sell it so you can get a better price for it.