Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Turn Gift Cards into Cash

According to the National Retail Federation, over 56% of adults will purchase gift cards or gift certificates in 2007, making the cards one of the most popular gifts this season. $26.3 billion will be spent on gift cards in 2007, an increase of 6% from 2006.

For those hard-to-buy-for family members or loved ones, gift cards offer a convenient alternative for gift giving. Although gift cards may not be particularly personal, some merchants are allowing buyers to include personalized messages, special photographs or personalized designs. Gone are the days of bad ties and re-gifted label-makers; gift cards provide another option for gift giving. Redeem gift cards at specific merchant’s store for face value of cards.

While gift cards offer an alternative for traditional gift giving, buyers need to be aware of several potential drawbacks. When buying gift cards, read the fine print prior to purchase and save all receipts. Some cards include activation, transaction and dormancy fees. Some cards may also include expiration dates. Unfortunately, many people do not use their gift cards, due to loss or other factors.

Recipients can also exchange gift cards online for fast cash, swap or trade for other cards or use cards to pay a variety of bills. The websites listed below allow users to buy, trade, exchange or sell gift cards online.

Swap A Gift

Buy, sell, swap, pay bills or get fast cash
To turn unused merchant cards into fast cash, mail the card to the appropriate address. Once verified, a check will be mailed to owner within 3 or 4 business days. Various fees apply and cards must be on Preferred Merchants List.
$1.99 flat fee to list gift card
No fees for buyers

Registration is required
Percentage based fees incurred
Located under the "Gift Certificates" category
Registration is required
Buy, sell, trade, and protect from loss or damage
$3.99 flat fee for selling
Quick cash for cards with varying minimum balances
All transactions guaranteed
Instant email and text alerts available
Buy, sell or trade gift cards
Registration is required
Buyers and sellers must have a valid PayPal account
Fee’s range from 3.95% to 6.25% plus .50 cent closing fee
No fee for buying gift cards
Requires owners check the balance before offering it to others
Buy, sell or donate gift cards
Easy-to-use interface
Sell cards for 60% to 80% of face value
Buy, sell or trade gift cards
Payment is made by personal check or PayPal account, which takes 7 days for processing
The websites listed above provide various online options for selling, trading or buying gift cards.

National Retail Federation

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