Concepts, Tips, and Risks of Selling Gift Cards Online and Offline

Gone are the days where people would end up spending too much time choosing the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Since the emergence of gift cards, right gifts have become easily accessible.

Nowadays, gift cards have become a common gift choice for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Christmas, and all other occasions as they serve as a great and convenient-to-purchase gift. With gift cards, recipients are always given the opportunity to pick out the stuff that they would truly want to have. And the better news is, recipients who might not be able to use their gift cards within the redeemable period can just simply sell gift cards online and enjoy the card’s monetary value. With all these privileges, more and more people are starting to prefer receiving gift cards over actual gifts.

Sell Gift Cards Online Except Cash Cards

Gift cards sold in the market today are categorized into two: cash cards and store cards. However, more likely than not, third party agents who buy and sell gift cards online only accept store cards because cash cards are usually harder to sell because of its outright reduced card value.

  • Cash Cards

Usually sponsored by large companies like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover, cash cards win in terms of flexibility as they are usable anywhere where credit cards are accepted which makes the redeeming truly convenient. However, statistics show that cash cards have been less bought as gifts which is supposedly what they are meant for. Rather, they have been used more as an alternative to cash for online purchases and bill payments. And the most apparent reason of this is because to some people, giving some sort of cash gift to a close friend or a family member sounds inappropriate or offensive.

  • Store Cards

Store cards are gift cards issued by specific outlets or retailers. Compared to cash cards, they offer a more personal touch as gift givers get to thoughtfully guess which brand or store outlet could please their recipients the most. This is why more people have been choosing this type of gift card over cash card to gift especially on birthdays, graduation days, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Some companies even utilize store cards as tokens or corporate gifts. 

On the downside, however, most store card issuers implement internal policies and procedures concerning the redemption and/or expiration of store cards. For instance, some outlets strictly require gift card redemption within  30 to 90 days from the date of purchase while others  implement a diminishing value protocol wherein the value of the card decreases over time.

Why People Sell Gift Cards

How gift cards offer a convenient gift-shopping experience without compromising the gift’s potential value to the receiver all makes it one of the most favourite gift choices in the world. Gift cards have become a hit in the market that more and more retail stores and outlets are starting to sell gift cards online and offline too to keep up with competition. But did you know that gift card industry has been beneficial not just for the buyers but for the sellers as well? Here’s why:

1. Sales from gift cards are considered upfront revenue and for gift cards with redemption or expiration clauses, more potential revenue lies if ever the buyer is unable to redeem or use the card within the redeemable period.

Since it is highly likely that the gift card’s recipient will be satisfied because with it, she can personally pick the item that she wants to have best, more likely than not, the gift card giver will soon go back to the store to buy more; a potential additional earning that business owners will surely enjoy. 

2. Customers tend to spend more than the gift card’s value and the experience can get more fun and addictive that gift card users may end up coming back for more. Definitely, that can make an additional earning.

The Risk of Unused Gift Cards

As the gift card trend continues to rise, businesses that offer rebates are beginning to offer gift cards instead in lieu of checks or cash and. For every unredeemed card, there is a potential monetary savings, hence such a move by a lot of companies is no longer surprising.

Visa, iTunes, Amazon, and all other gift card outlets are safe bets. Nonetheless, because there are thousands of gift card issuers in the world today, there is still a chance that a receiver will end up receiving a gift card that she can never use because of certain reasons, e.g. inaccessibility or unavailability of stores nearby where the gift cards can be used, or the recipient’s lack of time to redeem it.

Survey shows that there is a high rate of unredeemed, wasted gift cards, hence gift card buyers are advised to be mindful of their cards’ redemption conditions. Nonetheless, to lessen the waste and to make sure recipients get to enjoy their gift cards, many websites are now engaging in gift cards buy-and-sell online; giving people the opportunity to enjoy their gifts while the sellers earn from the mark-up or transaction charge.

Risks and Tips in Selling Gift Cards Online

Selling gift cards online with the help of resale sites may appear to be the answer to the problem but with today’s wide online market, it pays to do a research first to make sure you don’t end up being scammed, and more importantly, to get the best value of your gift card.

The Risks

Although people can make a good amount of money if they sell their gift cards for cash, selling gift cards online bears a number of risks. The pitfalls include the following:

1. Trading or selling gift cards is possible but getting their full value is less likely.

More often than not, people who sell their gift cards online are bound to lose a small chunk of the card’s value but hey, it’s better than having nothing out of expired gift cards, right?

2. Instant pay outs are rare.

Depending on the resale site, if your gift card is put on sale under a gift card auction, there is a high chance you will not get its cash value until it is sold. On the upside, the longer it takes to sell, the more money you are likely to receive. However, the payment processing on the bank can extend the payout process.

3. Resale sites may charge extra fees. Selling gift cards on auction sites like eBay may mean you also need to pay extra fees. Then again, it is better than having nothing.

4. There are more risks in selling your gift cards on non-gift card sites. These include Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace. Although the process may be faster and the value offered may be more, the protection that these platforms give is nothing compared to well known gift card sites.

5. Their values might decrease or increase over time. Although most of the time, gift card value decreases the longer it takes to sell, there are seasons that can cause a spike on their value, especially in times where the market is unsaturated.

The Tips

With all these risks, it pays to be always aware of your move. Consider the following tips:

Tip #1: Look for resale sites that offer the best rate. Though initially, Google will suggest to you a list of potential retail sites, it would be unwise of you if you entirely rely on that list. Your research should not end there. Make sure you already checked for reviews and feedbacks; see what people have to say about their experiences.

Tip #2: Sell gift cards electronically. You need not mail them in if the resale site allows an electronic version of your gift card. Mailing will only eat up your time. Just make sure, though, that the resale site still offers a good payout amount (some sites charge big for the convenience in electronic selling).

Tip #3: Check the fraud protection protocol. If the resale site is not strict, there is a chance your security might be compromised. As much as possible, only transact with resale sites that are strict about their buyers and sellers; the latter should at least ask for a copy of their photo ID and payment/bank information.

Tip #4: Carefully examine your payment options. More often than not, resale sites that offer instant payouts buy gift cards for a cheap amount. Don’t easily fall for these sites unless your need for money is urgent.

The Most Valuable Gift Cards in the Market Today

Besides retail stores, other types of establishments including restaurants are already producing gift cards too but among all of them, stores and huge brands that sell different types of goods seem to produce the most valuable gift cards. Some high valued gift cards are from Amazon, Walmart, and Target while gift cards from Lowe’s and Home Depot have quite cheaper rates. If you are planning to hoard gift cards from Bath and Body Works for your loved ones, you might want to reconsider. On Card Cash, a $25 worth of BB gift cards can only be traded for $18 to $20 worth of cash. Hallmark gift cards are worth lesser ranging near $15.

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