So you’ve decided to sell your unwanted gift card for cash, you’ve done some searching and found a bevy of places promising you quick payment for your card.
But which one to choose?
Here are some tips to finding the right gift card exchange service to do business with. After all, if you take the time now to find the right exchange you’ll save time later when you get more gift cards over the holidays.
Let the Seller Beware
With so many gift card exchanges out there, there’s bound to be ones that just can’t deliver on their promises. Be sure you go with one that has excellent ratings, or you may end up regretting it. The right exchange will offer you the fair market value for your card, securely, and in a reasonable timeframe.
You’re really in the driver’s seat here, since these exchanges need a steady influx of cards in order to make their business sustainable. Check around and see which ones will give you the most for your card, with the least wait time, and with the easiest process.
The real risk isn’t in getting 1% less for your card, but not getting your money at all. Be sure you don’t go with a company that is just out to scam you out of your card without sending you your money.
Big and Popular is Easiest
Hopefully your friends and family got you a card from a popular retailer, because it makes a difference in how much you’ll get for it. Gift cards from big-time places like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and iTunes are in demand and will be able to be resold at a higher price since people buy from these locations regularly.
It’s a simple case of supply and demand, the more demand there is for a card, the easier it will be to sell it, not just for you but for the company that buys it.
For example, Apple gift cards are some of the easiest cards to sell for cash because for many iPhone users they’re as good as cash. But if you’ve got an Android and Aunt Betsy got you an iTunes gift card, you’d be more than happy to swap that for some cold hard cash.
Smaller Stores Can Still Be Exchanged
You might not get as much as face value of your card as you would from bigger and well known gift card buyers, but you can still get a fair amount for your card from smaller, lesser-known stores. Along the same lines of supply and demand, low demand means you’ll likely get less for a card from a smaller store, since fewer people will be searching for those cards.
Bass Pro Shops is an awesome store, but you’re not as into fishing as Uncle John thought you were. While there’s a good market for fishing, hunting, and camping, it’s just not as universally popular as Target or Wal-Mart. You’ll likely end up getting less for a card like this than if you had Starbucks gift cards, for example.
It might take some digging, but you can generally find a place that will buy your card, no matter where it’s from. Just don’t be surprised to see that it’s not worth as much as some of the nationwide brands.
Don’t Settle for Less
It doesn’t hurt to try out different services to see how much they’re willing to give you for your card. Don’t settle for less than you feel you deserve, but remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Getting lured by the promise of a higher payout will not be worth it if the payout never comes.
Successful gift card buying services are really good at knowing how much a card will sell for after they buy it from you, so don’t take it personally if they’re not willing to give you as much as you had hoped. You’ll still be able to get something for the card, and be able to use that money where you want instead of letting it go to waste in your wallet.
Everyone should be left feeling good at the end of a proper gift card transaction. That includes you the seller, the gift card exchange, and the person that ends up buying your gift card. This starts with you, and how happy you are when it’s all said and done.
Digital Gift Cards vs. Physical Gift Cards
You’ll have an easier time selling your digital gift cards because everything is handled electronically. A physical gift card may require you to mail it in so the next person will be able to use it.
A good card service will show you right away if you’ll need to mail the card in, that way you can decide if you want to go through with the process of mailing it in before getting paid.
A bad card service will withhold that information until the very end so that you’re already invested in the transaction and will just continue on even though you don’t really want to.
How Many Different Cards Do They Accept?
A quality company will have a large list of cards accepted, as well as a search function that will quickly determine if they accept your card or not. A company that focuses only on a handful of cards is best avoided, as they might not be around as long as a company that takes a wide variety.
And when you think about it, it just makes sense to go with a service that can handle all of the cards in your holiday stack. It’s like one-stop shopping, and can simplify the process instead of having to go to more than one site and fill in all of your details again and again.
How many cards should they be able to handle? With so many different gift cards out there, it’s reasonable to say that any service worth their salt should have at least a few hundred cards they’re able to trade cash for. Selling gift cards shouldn’t be a headache. Avoid all of that hassle and stick with a company that knows how the business works.
Cash (or PayPal) is King
Exchanging your card for anything less than cash or a cash equivalent like PayPal is probably a bad idea. The only reason you’re willing to take less for your card is so you can use the money to buy something from another store, or just to pay a bill or two.
You might find a site that wants to trade you one gift card for another, but that limits you to buying something from that other store. Unless it’s a store you know you shop from regularly and can get the full amount, it’s best to just get the cash and get exactly what you want from where you want.
Of course, it’d be easiest to find a place locally that would take your card and hand you cash money, but finding a service that will PayPal you the money is the next best thing. PayPal is accepted all over the Internet, and if you get a PayPal debit card you can use it like cash anywhere, instead of being confined to one particular store.
An Easy-to-Understand Process
If there are a lot of hoops to jump through, that may be a red flag telling you to go with another service. The steps to get your money should be well laid out and easy to follow. It’s not rocket science we’re dealing with here, it’s selling a card that has value.
In most instances, you’ll be asked to enter the amount of the card you have. From there you’ll be shown how much they’re willing to give you for your card. If the offer looks good, you will need to provide the necessary information to receive your payment. Other than that, it should be rather straightforward.
Some unscrupulous companies will try to sign you up for email offers, make you take a survey, or otherwise add unnecessary steps in order to complete the transaction. Avoid these and save time and money by going with a company like EJ Gift Cards that shows you the simple process beforehand.
Fast, Secure Transactions
No matter which card exchange service you go with, be sure that you have a secure connection for your transaction. All legitimate services will be on an encrypted server, with an https in the URL address bar, or the lock icon at the top if you’re on your smartphone.
Important: Never enter your gift card number into a site that isn’t encrypted.
Also, the process should be quick, it shouldn’t take an hour to fill out all of the forms, or answer a bunch of questions about who you are and why you’re selling your card. Let’s keep it simple, shall we? If you find yourself spending a long time on a site, or in an endless loop of special offers and other nonsense, slowly back away and move on to a better service.
Customer Service Counts
Customer service is one of the easiest things to get right, so it’s a huge dealbreaker if you find a card exchange website that does not list their customer service contact information. Every legitimate gift card buyer ( no matter how small) can afford to have someone available to answer your questions. If there are no signs of you being able to talk to a real human, that should make you think twice about going with them.
Check online reviews and ratings for the card exchange, and pay close attention to the negative reviews. Are people saying there wasn’t a way to reach someone by phone in case of a problem? A quality operation will have someone available to talk to and guide you through the process.
Send them an email if you have any concerns and gauge their response to see if you like the way they do business. If their message isn’t up to par, or worse, you don’t receive a message, move on.
Make sure the exchange doesn’t put a limit on the number of gift cards you can sell. After all, they should make a profit from each card you sell to them, so why limit the amount that you can redeem? Once you have a quality gift card service in your corner, you’ll always be ready when you get a gift card, knowing you can easily turn it into more useful cash.
When you get that influx of cards during the holidays, it can be a real nightmare trying to sort through them all, trying to figure out which ones you want to keep, and which ones you’d rather cash out on. Entering them at the same site and seeing how much you can get for each one will make the process a whole lot easier, and fun!
Don’t Stress Out
Remember that the person that got you the card wanted you to enjoy whatever you bought with it. If you get bogged down by the process of selling the card, or bummed out that you’re not getting the full value that’s on the card, you’re missing the big picture. The happy, positive emotions and good intentions that went into the card are what counts. Be sure to stay relaxed through it all, and put the money that you do get, to good use.
The next time you see the person that got you the card you can give them a big hug! You don’t have to tell them what you ended up buying with their card, but just sending those happy vibes back to them is all they really wanted in the first place.
You’re All Set!
With these tips you should be well on your way to getting the most from your gift card, and also avoiding the pitfalls that come with choosing the wrong company to do business with. Now you’ll be able to put on a genuine smile the next time you get a gift card from a place you’ve never heard of or don’t like.
Determine the value, get the money, buy what you really want. Repeat. It should always be that easy!