Giving and receiving a gift card can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when the recipient can actually use and enjoy the card.
After all, a gift card is basically money towards future purchases at a specific vendor or business.
But if that card isn’t used or it’s forgotten about and the card expires, that’s literally like throwing money down the drain.
Fortunately, the Internet makes it not only possible but easy to trade unused gift cards and even sell them for cash. But why should you consider doing that, and how does that all work?
Tip: You can earn free gift cards with the free Swagbucks rewards app.
Selling a Gift Card Back to the Store
You may be able to return unwanted gift cards. Most retailers and department stores will happily buy back a gift card if you have the receipt and it hasn’t been used.
But if the card was a gift and you don’t have the receipt, you may need to find another solution. Exclusions can occur if the card is lost or stolen. In some cases, a call to customer service can restore gift card balances or get you a replacement card.
However, even if you do get the runaround from the retailer itself, that doesn’t mean you have to keep unwanted gift cards. There are some sure-fire ways to sell unwanted gift card to a potential buyer and get the cash or new giftcard you really want.
Where Can I Sell My Gift Cards?
1. Trade or Sell Gift Cards Back to Your Local Grocery Store.
Some grocery stores offer trade-in options for customers who buy physical gift cards through their gift card kiosks. If you’ve purchased or received a gift card that your local grocery store sells, and the card has not been used, check if your store will buy it back or allow you to trade it for a card you want. Many popular cards are available in these kiosks, including an Amazon gift card, Target gift card, and even open-loop gift cards like Visa and MasterCard can often be sold back or exchanged for hard cash.
2. Sell Gift Cards to a Friend.
You never have to hold or eat the money that would be otherwise lost from unused gift cards or e-gift cards. One of the simplest ways to sell a physical gift card is to just offer it to friends. The worst outcome is they’ll say no, thanks. The best outcome is that you’ll quickly and easily sell gift cards for cash.
3. Sell Your Gift Cards Online
Selling gift cards online has become one of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of unwanted cards and earn cash for a rainy day. Most reputable sites that allow you to purchase them will also allow you to sell a gift card online. But that’s not always the case. And some websites are far more reliable and trustworthy than others. The Cardpool site, for example, had purchased pre-used giftcards and resold them at huge discounts since 2011. Unfortunately, the company didn’t survive the pandemic. But other online solutions still let you offer your giftcards for cash. Some gift card selling websites include the following below.
CardCash is a no-frills marketplace website that has allowed members to sell and buy gift cards online since 2009. Like most gift card websites, there are fees involved. So you can potentially sell your giftcards for up to 92% of the retail price. But each card has a different return level, so your specific return could be less. CardCash buys and sells cards from a variety of departments stores, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Facebook Marketplace has been helping local buyers and sellers connect since 2007. Unlike other marketplaces, it is free to browse, use, and post. It is possible to sell your gift cards on this website.
The GameFlip site is targeted at gamers and digital deal hunters. It’s a great place to get instant bids on that Amazon gift card, Google Play, or console-based digital gift card you can’t or don’t want to use. Several payment options are supported, including Bitcoin, Payoneer, Skrill, and Wise. You’ll accept payment through your GameFlip wallet. PayPal, however, is not supported.
Gift Card Granny
Gift Card Granny has been buying and selling gift cards since 2009. They currently host over 100,000 gift cards via over 1,000 businesses and allow members to set their own price margins. Just pay attention to the fee structure, which varies per transaction and card company.
Raise launched in 2013 and is now a go-to marketplace for many consumers looking to buy or sell gift discounted gift cards. Members know and understand the prices are fixed on the site, but buyers can save up to 30% on some overflow or card deals.
Tip: If you want a real deal on gift cards, Swagbucks is also a great place to explore. Swagbucks allows members to earn points by completing online activities, such as taking surveys and watching videos. Members can then redeem those points for discounted gift cards, sometimes at 30% off the regular gift card price. Popular gift cards include:
- Google Play
- Home Depot
Where Can I Sell My Gift Cards?
If you’re not interested in waiting for the right buyer, you can still get cash instantly, or at least in about 15 minutes for your unwanted gift cards.
1. Use the Kiosk
Coinstar started as a simple coin-to-paper currency converter, but it has since evolved to much more. It allows simple Bitcoin transactions, provides receipts for charitable donations, and allows you to use your coins to buy digital gift cards. Coinstar also used to purchase gift cards, but the newer machines have stopped that service. You may, however, be lucky enough to stumble onto an older machine that still offers that service.
2. Use an App
Many websites specializing in buying and selling giftcards also have corresponding apps for members who want to get their cash on the go. But there’s often still a waiting period with either getting the right buyer or simply waiting to cash out. There are some apps, however, that cash out quickly.
If you can wait a day or two for payout, CardSell is a great app to use. Just enter the gift card number that you want to sell. Then, they’ll do the work for you to get it to the right buyer. Your funds will be deposited into your PayPal account within one or two business days at the latest or as soon as your card sells. It’s an easy way to sell gift cards online.
If that’s still not fast enough and you need that money NOW, try Prepaid2Cash. This fun app allows you to scan a card through your smartphone camera. From there, you can transfer the funds to your Bitcoin wallet, a bank account, or your debit card. Transfers take about 15 minutes, but you need to consider verification requirements and fees (which the app claims are low).
The Bottom Line
The global market for gift card sales reached over $988 billion in 2021, and it’s expected to soar to over $1.4 trillion by 2026. Just let that sink in for a moment.
There is no reason in the world that you should ever have a gift card you cannot or will not use. The gift card industry won’t suffer if you never use that gift card.
Keep in mind that the gift card value never expires or loses value – unless you’ve made a purchase that would reduce the remaining balance. The physical card format can expire, but the funds ever go bad. If you’ve got an expired card with funds on it, the merchant is required to transfer the current balance onto a non-expired card.
If you’ve received it as a gift, your only job now is to enjoy it. And enjoy it now, instead of dusting it off in a few years.
And if you can’t or know you won’t, there’s absolutely no sense in keeping unwanted giftcards when you can easily trade them or sell them for cash.
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