Want to know what the best gift is for retailers? The billions of dollars in gift cards that goes unused each year.
But if you have a gift card you know you'll never use, you can unload it and get something, if not the full value in return.
While shoppers pack the mall for bargains and to redeem their gift cards, the truth is, millions of those little cards will go unused.
"Like a visa gift card I can use for the mall or wherever I want to in town, but if I got a Target gift card I'd have to find something there and I don't know if I'd find something I'd like necessarily," shopper Josh Weber said.
"We had a gift card last year and we just didn't find that thing we wanted to use it for. So we ended up buying another gift card with it because it was going to start losing money," Amy Elser said.
But instead she could have sold her gift card online. Websites like GiftCardBin
, orPlastic Jungle
all resell gift cards.
Here's how it works: The sites make money by paying the seller a percentage of the card's value and then selling it for slightly higher, but still under the full value of the card.
For example, on "Giftcardrescue.com
," the cards range from restaurants like Applebee’s and Outback to department stores like Macy's and specialty stores like Pier One. Buyers end up saving anywhere on average from 10 to 15 percent.
The buyer gets a deal and the seller has some money in their pocket instead of a card taking up space.
Grocery store and hardware store gift cards sell the fastest on the sites, because people have discovered them as a way to save money on their necessities as well. Also if you're looking to resell a gift card online, it doesn't have to be full. If you've spent some of it, you can sell the remaining amount.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.