Selling gift cards online electronically is a fantastic way to turn your useless gift cards into cash, quickly and easily. In the past, there were no easy ways to do this – you had to just hope that you could sell off a gift card to a friend or a family member. If not, you’d be stuck with gift cards you never used piling up in your wallet.
Modern innovation has changed all this. Online marketplaces, buyers, and other gift card purchasing websites have experienced rapid growth over the last few years, and even physically-based companies like CoinStar are taking notice – most CoinStar machines will now accept gift cards, though their selection is still somewhat limited.
However, just like any growing market, the world of selling gift cards online electronically is basically the wild west. There are dozens of different buyers, marketplaces, forums, auction sites, and other websites where you can sell your gift cards – some of which are more reliable than others. With all of the choices out there about how to sell gift cards online electronically, it’s easy to get confused and use a website that’s unreliable, scammy, or just plain slow.
So to help you understand the world of selling gift cards online electronically, we’ve put together a list of the most common forms of gift card buyers and marketplaces, along with their advantages and disadvantages, to help you pick the best service for your needs.
- Direct Gift Card Buyers
What Are They?
- Direct gift card buyers are companies that specialize in buying gift cards directly from consumers. Their business model is fairly simple. Customers who need cash for their gift cards come to them to sell their cards, which they buy for less than face value – say, 70% on a $100 gift card.
The customers will accept these rates, and then the transaction will be made. The customer is paid, and the direct gift card buyer then resells the gift card for slightly more than the purchase price – allowing them to make a small profit while still providing the customer with a good value.
Direct gift card buyers are the most simple type of gift card marketplace out there. You sell you card, you get paid. End of story.
- Extremely Fast Payment – Payment is instant at the best direct gift card buying websites. As soon as your gift card is verified as legitimate, funds are transferred to your bank account, usually using PayPal or a similar payment service. Rarely, will the wire payments be used. And though some gift cards do have to be sent physically, the best direct gift card buyers will offer to render payment immediately upon shipment and the sending of tracking information.
- Simple And Easy To Use – Direct gift card buyers offer the absolute most simple customer experience. No messing around with bargaining, hidden fees, or complicated step-by-step processes. When you sell gift cards online electronically, the direct gift card buyers will help walk you through the process, and it will be incredibly simple and easy to sell your gift card, get paid, and move on with your life.
- Enormous Variety Of Gift Cards Accepted – Most direct gift card buyers will buy just about any kind of gift card. Now, if the gift card is more niche or hard to use, the percentage price paid will reflect that – but still, it’s better to have 50% of the value of a card you wouldn’t use than to have no cash at all.
- Slightly Lower Rates Than Marketplaces – Most direct gift card buyers offer lower rates than gift card trading sites/marketplaces. The reasoning is simple, though – marketplaces often charge fees, and since customers list and trade their cards themselves, there is less labor involved for the buyer.
Because direct gift card buyers offer the fastest, most convenient solution for those with busy lives, they generally enjoy a slightly higher profit, and offer rates that are below those of marketplaces.
Who Should Use Them?
- Anyone who is looking for the absolute fastest, easiest method of selling gift cards online electronically should use a direct gift card buyer. If time is of the essence, and convenience is important, there is no faster, more efficient way to turn your unwanted gift cards into cash.
- Gift Card Marketplaces
What Are They?
- Gift card marketplaces are a bit more complex than direct gift card buyers. Not only do they allow their users to sell gift cards online electronically, they also offer the opportunity for individual users to work with each other to trade gift cards – you could trade a GameStop gift card for Amazon credit, for example.
- Generally, these sites work similar to an auction site. You list your gift card at a percentage of its purchase price, and then ask for payment either in cash or in another acceptable type of gift card. Once another user accepts your offer, the details of both cards are exchanged, and the transaction is finished.
- High Exchange Rates – It’s not altogether uncommon to find rates in excess of 90% for your gift cards – though usually this is only the case when trading for another type of gift card. Cash payments are not usually that high.
- Bargaining – You can haggle with other users somewhat on most of these websites, allowing you to secure a sweeter deal if you take the time to do so.
- Lots Of Gift Card Options – You can usually exchange your gift cards for just about any other kind of gift card or store credit.
- Slow – The listing process takes quite a while, and you have to wait for offers from other users before your gift card sale is processed. This can mean you have to wait anywhere from a day to a week before your card actually sells and you can enjoy the profits.
- Niche Cards Take A Long Time To Sell – When selling a card that’s not super popular (restaurants, smaller shops, etc), you have to rely on another buyer being interested in it – this can mean that your smaller, less valuable gift cards can take quite a while to be sold.
- Hidden Fees – Most gift card exchange companies take a service fee out of every sale. Combine this with the fees from PayPal and other payment methods, and your 90% payout isn’t really 90%. Now, this isn’t underhanded – this is just part of the business model, of these websites but it’s something to consider.
Who Should Use Them?
- Anyone who is looking to trade their cards for other gift cards. Generally, it’s not as good to just get paid out in cash – you may get slightly more than you would from a direct gift card buyer, but hidden fees will eat into your profits, and your payment will take a much longer time to reach you.
What Are They?
- eBay is the largest online auction marketplace in the world – but we probably don’t have to tell you that. And though eBay isn’t purpose-built for selling gift cards, there are a surprising amount of them for sale, so eBay is as viable an option as any other gift card marketplace.
- Reliable – eBay is extremely reputable, and has plenty of resolution options for any conflicts or disputes that you may encounter when selling gift cards
- Huge Audience Of Buyers – eBay is a huge marketplace, and reaches an auction audience that is perhaps bigger than any other marketplace – though not all of these buyers are interested in gift cards
- Set Your Own Payout Price – You can set your own price for your gift card – meaning you can often get 90%+ for your gift card by selling it to another eBay user
- Not Purpose-Built For Gift Cards – If you sell a gift card on eBay, you run the risk of getting scammed. Same if you buy one. The marketplace is simply not purpose-built with the verification tools and other features of other websites where you can sell gift cards online electronically
- Tough To Sell Niche Cards – If your gift card isn’t to Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, or other big box stores, it’s going to be hard to sell it – most people aren’t interested in gift cards for smaller, niche stores
- Long Listing Times – Listings can easily go on for several weeks, especially if you’re taking bids on a gift card. This means you won’t have access to your gift card – or your funds – for an extended period of time.
Who Should Use Them?
- eBay is really not purpose-built for selling gift cards. While it can be done if you only trust eBay and no other gift card marketplace, we would recommend avoiding eBay entirely, and relying on a purpose-built gift card buyer or exchange.
- Gift Card Trading Forums
What Are They?
- Gift card trading forums are somewhat similar to online gift card marketplaces, but they’re exclusively peer to peer – each individual member who is offering a gift card will work with another member who is interested to make a deal, whether for cash or another type of gift card. By doing this, they eliminate some of the services fees associated with purpose-built online exchange marketplaces.
- Good Payouts – The payouts on these websites are usually quite high, as each user is interacting directly with another interested user, and no third party is profiting from the exchange.
- No Service Fees – Since all trades are done directly peer-to-peer, there are no hidden service fees taken by a marketplace/exchange company, leading to higher payouts.
- Flexible Payment Options – You can request PayPal payment on these forums, or make it clear that you’re interested in some other forms of payment, like other gift cards.
- High Reliability – Surprisingly, these forums are tightly regulated – if they weren’t, nobody would trade gift cards on them. Each user is generally tracked, and moderators ensure that they have a good reputation on the site.
- Hit Or Miss For Less Popular Cards – The same problem that applies on gift card marketplaces and eBay applies here. If you have a less popular gift card, it may be hard to get a good rate – or even get any interest in your card at all. This makes this a poor option for those of us looking to get rid of less popular cards.
- Scam Risk – Though these sites take every precaution to prevent scammers, they’re still out there, and using a trading website that lets you interact directly with another person always puts you at some level of risk.
Who Should Use Them?
- These forums are best for anyone who wants an absolute maximum payout, and is willing to spend the time required to find an appropriate buyer, vet them, and make the deal. However, the inconvenience of doing so can rule gift card forums out as an option for many.
So What’s The Best Way To Sell My Gift Cards Online Electronically?
If you want to spend the least amount of time selling your cards, get instant payment, and not bother with dealing with other people, third-party fees, or any other bothersome, time-consuming tasks, your best bet is a direct gift card buyer, such as EJ Gift Cards.
EJ Gift Cards accepts a huge list of gift cards – even difficult-to-sell, niche cards, offers payments over PayPal, and has a simple, step-by-step selling process that is backed up by an excellent customer support team.
Direct buyers give you the most money for the least time spent selling your gift cards online electronically, and because of this, they’re the best option for anyone in a rush, and who needs cash-on-hand immediately.
So check out EJ Gift Cards. Get rid of your useless gift cards, and get paid. Instantly.