Ok, so your Christmas gift this year from Aunt Agnes is a $50 Olive Garden gift card. You hate Italian food. You still have 3 other gift cards lying around from your last birthday from Abercrombie and Fitch, Macy’s and LL Bean worth $200. What you really want is the new Kinect for your X-box 360, or maybe a new DVD player. Maybe there are a couple dozen books, DVD’s or CD’s on your list. What you really need is a Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart or even Amazon.com gift card That’s the ticket! Chances are you are going stash those unwanted cards in a drawer and forget about them, or even lose them. There are now several gift card exchange sites competing for your business over the internet. You can sell your unwanted cards for cash or credit, and then buy cards you actually WANT at a discount! We checked out the major gift card exchange web sites that will buy your less than desired gift cards. Also be sure to catch our previous article on PURCHASING discounted gift cards called, “Want to Give a Gift Card and Buy It at a Discount?“
It is important to understand that most, if not all offers on these websites are pre-owned and like any pre-owned product, there is the chance of the experience being “less-than-perfect”. With that said, all of the gift card exchange sites we looked at have some sort of guarantee or insurance provisions, but it is always prudent to review the terms and conditions of each site. After visiting six gift card exchange sites, here’s what we looked at: gift card minimum and maximum values accepted, payment methods, the shipping process/cost, how simple or intuitive each site is to navigate and any unique attributes offered by each site. Finally, we looked to make sure that each site prominently displayed some way of getting in touch with customer service (for your convenience we provide the customer service contact info for each site). With that in mind, let’s get started!
Payment Methods Amazon.com gift card, PayPal or Cash (check mailed within 2 days of receipt of gift card). Although payouts vary depending on gift card popularity, resale velocity, and season, the range appears to be from 70% to 96% of value. The Amazon.com gift card option is typically a 2% to 5% higher payout than PayPal or Cash/Check.
Shipping Process/Cost PlasticJungle.com claims that shipping is always free. After creating an account with your email address, password and contact info, you enter your gift card number, value and PIN (if you have it) and then print a mailing label (postage paid by PlasticJungle.com) and affix it to an envelope and mail to PlasticJungle.com. They will mail you a check within 2 days of receiving the card (or send you an Amazon.com gift card or credit your PayPal account your choice).
Web Site Navigation The home page has a very simple, straight forward layout with the main category links located at the top of the home page directing customers to “How it Works” or “Buy Cards” or “Sell Cards”.
Unique Attributes On the Sell Your Gift Cards landing page, there is a “Contact Us” link on the right side of the page for customers with many gift cards to sell. There is also and “Alert” link to tell them to notify you when they accept a merchant gift card not currently available on the site. The Amazon, PayPal and Cash options page is plainly shown and helpful in determining your preferred payout. There is a non-profit option available if you would like to donate your card to charity. Also, there is an in-depth Learning Center set up to help navigate the site with links located at the bottom right side of the home page.
Customer Service – Email: email@example.com. Phone: 877-695-8645.
Card Minimum and Maximum Values – $25.00 minimum and $1000.00 maximum.
Payment Methods Amazon.com gift card, Facebook credits or Cash (can be mailed or redeemed online with the PIN on card). Typically, a mailed check redemption value is up to 10% higher than online redemption value. Cardpool claims that cards can be sold for up to 92% of face value, although most cards we looked at were worth much less on a cash basis. Redemption Values were much higher when trading for Amazon.com gift card. The Big 5 cards Target and Wal-Mart returned offers over 94%, and the others near 90%. You can also receive Facebook credits for your existing gift cards. Facebook Credits are a virtual currency you can use to buy virtual goods in many games and applications on the Facebook platform (Big 5 retailer redemptions of $100 will usually receive 740 to 800 Facebook credits).
Shipping Process/Cost Shipping is free for a Check by mail in 3 to 7 business days. Check is sent within 24 hours of Cardpool.com receiving gift card. After creating an account with your email address, password and contact info, you enter your gift card number, value and PIN (if you have it) and then print a mailing label (postage paid by PlasticJungle.com) and affix it to an envelope and mail to Cardpool.com. They will mail you a check within 24 hours of receiving the card. You can also just send customer service and email of the transaction if you don’t have a printer for the label. You may also redeem your card electronically (if the gift card has a PIN) to avoid shipping times and enjoy another gift card offer or a cash credit.
Web Site Navigation Another very simple site with “How it Works”, “Buy Gift Cards” and “Sell Gift Cards” easily found at the top of the home page. Cardpool.com is extremely easy to navigate with large graphics of gift cards and easily followed instructions on the right side of landing page.
Unique Attributes For select merchants, cards can be sold electronically, no mailing required. A $10 incentive will be awarded for friends invited to Carpool.com. An interesting feature for those that do not know their gift card balance is located on the Sell Gift Cards landing page when entering gift card info. A toll free number and “Check Your Balance Online” link appears to assist you in finding your card balance.
Customer Service – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. No telephone number available.
Card Minimum and Maximum Values – $20.00 minimum and $1000.00 maximum.
Payment Methods Once you have filled out the online shipping label OR mailed shipping label (see below), Cardwoo.com will mail you a check for their appraised value of the cards. Unfortunately, you will not get an instant value from the Cardwoo.com website. There is no actual timeline given on the Cardwoo.com website indicating how long it will take for you to get paid.
Shipping Process/Cost – Cardwoo.com provides free shipping and $100 insurance. It is recommended that if you send high value cards to Cardwoo.com, that you purchase additional insurance.
Web Site Navigation The home page is a little cluttered, but offers the standard “Sell Cards”, “Buy Cards” and “How it Works” at the top of the home page. When selling a card, the site does not ask you to input card info and make you an offer. You must fill out a request and print out a shipping label and send it to cardwoo.com before you will get a price. They claim to pay between 50% and 90% of card value. Other sites make an actual offer on the site before shipping and then reconfirm amount before paying you. On the Cardwoo.com website there is a good FAQ link on the top right corner of the homepage.
Unique Attributes You can order a Free, insured “WooPack” in the mail by clicking a link on the bottom left on the print-order-confirmation page. Cardwoo.com will send you the mailing package for you enclose your unwanted gift cards.
Customer Service – Email: email@example.com. 877-810-6490.
Card Minimum and Maximum Values – $20.00 minimum and $2500.00 maximum.
Payment Methods You will be mailed a check for the cash offer generated on the GiftCardRescue.com website or you can choose to receive an Amazon.com gift card (for typically a higher value see below).
Shipping Process/Cost You will have to pay for your own shipping when selling cards to GiftCardRescue.com. On other sites that offer free shipping and provide a postage and mailing label, the cost is usually less than $1.00 unless you have many cards to ship. GiftCardRescue.com does provide an order reference number that you can put on the outside of the envelope to be mailed. GiftCardRescue.com will send you a check within 5 days of receiving your unwanted gift card.
Web Site Navigation The top of the home page has “Sell Gift Cards”, “Buy Gift Cards”, “Wish List” “Order History” and “My Info” as well as a nice graphic of “Turning Unwanted Gift Cards into Cash”. There is also an easy to find orange button with the words “Sell Gift Cards” on it on the left side of home page. On the Sell Cards landing page, you are instructed to select a merchant and card value. The next page gives you an offer of cash or an Amazon.com gift card. The Amazon offer is typically 3% to 4% higher than the cash offer. You will have to set up an account with your email address, password, and contact information to receive the cash or Amazon.com gift card.
Unique Attributes Offer to win $100 Shopping Spree by subscribing to newsletter. On the home page there is a link in the center of the page for “Bulk Gift Card Sellers” and the customer service toll free number.
Customer Service – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1-877-800-4413.
Card Minimum and Maximum Values – $25.00 minimum and $200.00 maximum.
Payment Methods At SwapAGift.com “Certified Partner” locations, gift card merchants and redemption rates may vary per store, and may be less than the mail-in rates. You will have to call ahead to the “Certified Partner” to obtain the redemption rate.
Shipping Process/Cost On GiftCards.com you pay for your own shipping. GiftCards.com will give you a cash value after you enter the merchant, card value and set up your account (see below). GiftCards.com will send you a check within 48 hours of receiving the gift card.
Web Site Navigation To get cash for your unwanted gift card, there are two methods available. After you click on “Discounted Gift Cards” on the GiftCard.com home page, you will then click on “Get Cash” on the left hand side of the landing page. There is also a link titled “Certified Partner Locations” that you can click and be sent to a U.S. map landing page. Just click on your state and a list of Certified Partners will appear for you to sell the unwanted card for cash. SwapAGift.com is affiliated with GiftCards.com and has the same U.S. map landing page. SwapAGift.com is plainly laid out with “Cash for your Card” and “Buy Gift Cards” easily found on the top of the home page. After clicking on the “Cash for your Card” link, you will land on a page with “Certified Partner Locations”. Click on your corresponding state highlighted in Red.
Unique Attributes You can pay your bills online with unused gift cards valued between $25 and $200. You can just click on the “Discounted Gift Cards” link on the top right of the GiftCards.com home page. Then you will be taken to a landing page with a “Pay Bills with Gift Cards” link in the center. Just click that and follow instructions. You can also get cash quickly by locating and visiting one of the SwapAGift.com “Certified Partners” and redeeming your unwanted gift card for cash (see above).
Customer Service – Email: submit on the website at “contact us” link. 1-877-944-3822.
Card Minimum and Maximum Values – $10.00 minimum and $200.00 maximum. Contact Customer Service if you have a card value above $200.00.
Payment Methods You can sell your unwanted gift cards for cash or Monster Points. By accumulating Monster Points, you can shop for gift cards that you want on the website. You might receive the same amount in Monster Points as cash depending on the card, although in many cases we noticed a substantially higher Monster Point value (for example, a Spa Finder gift card cash redemption was $60, but the Monster Point value was 80. Conversely, a Best Buy gift card redeemed for $86 and also 86 Monster Points).
Shipping Process/Cost MonsterGiftCard.com offers free shipping although once you have accepted their offer, you must print out their label and pay for shipping yourself. You will be sent a check for the accepted sale price of the gift card and the amount of the shipping. MonsterGiftCard.com will send you a check within 2 business days of receiving the valid gift card.
Web Site Navigation Clean, easily navigable home page with tab links for “Home”, “Buy”, “Sell” and “Trade”. Click on the “Sell” tab to start the process. There is a brief description of the process on the center of the landing page. Near the bottom of the description click on the yellow button called “Sell Card”. An easy to use keyboard appears with letter of the alphabet. Just click on the corresponding letter to your unwanted gift card. You will then be taken to a page that asks for the value of the card. Once you enter the value, a cash offer and Monster Points offer will appear. Choose your option. If cash is chosen, then you will need to provide email address, password and contact information so MonsterGiftCard.com can mail you funds. Shipping information is described above.
Unique Attributes MonsterGiftCard.com offers a “Price Match Guarantee” when buying cards from its customers. You can also use the “Monster Point System” which allows you to swap gift cards online with another user anonymously and set your own price. There is a listing fee of 4.95% + $1.49 to monstergiftcard.com. You can also get “instant trade credit” by selling card to monstergiftcard.com and trading for points toward participating retailer cards.
Customer Service – Email: email@example.com. 1-866-439-6340.