Who doesn’t love gift cards? Over the last decade or so, gift cards have quickly become the most popular gift – both to give, and to receive. 93% of Americans have given or received a gift card, and that number is sure to continue growing as merchants sell gift cards through advanced technologies like mobile applications, the internet, and other specialized sales channels.
That’s probably why the gift card market is so strong – and shows no sign of slowing down. Total volume of gift cards sold is estimated to hit around $160 billion by 2018. Consumers love gift cards because they’re a fantastic way to give a flexible gift, and retailers love them because they provide free marketing and promotion – and help boost sales.
Of course, gift cards aren’t perfect. Every once in awhile, you’ll end up with a gift card that you can’t use. Whether it’s to a restaurant you don’t like, a store with no locations near you, or because of any other reason, it can feel quite bad to waste the balance of that gift card.
And that’s why the gift card aftermarket was born. For nearly a decade, third-party gift card buyers, gift card sellers, and trading companies have been using the power of the internet to exchange gift cards online – often at steep discounts.
Today, the aftermarket gift card industry consists of hundreds of gift card marketplaces, thousands of individual sellers, and a market cap valued at around $1 billion. And while some retailers aren’t fans of their gift cards being bought and sold, there’s really nothing that they can do about it
The aftermarket gift card industry is a big business – and if used correctly, it can offer some tremendous advantages to consumers. While it can be a bit intimidating at first, there are plenty of great ways that the gift card aftermarket can benefit you as a consumer.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 6 reasons that the gift card aftermarket is good for you as a consumer, and we’ll help you gain a deeper understanding about the world of pre-owned gift cards.
1. Consumers Can Sell Unwanted Gift Cards
This is, perhaps, the single biggest benefit that the gift card aftermarket has had for consumers.
In the past – even 10 or 15 years ago – it was basically impossible to sell the balance of an unwanted gift card. Sure, you could try to sell it to friends or family members, but you were unlikely to find a buyer – especially if the gift card was to a more obscure restaurant, store, or entertainment establishment.
This inability to sell unwanted gift cards – combined with an unregulated gift card market – led to some serious issues with gift card spillage. Gift card spillage refers to gift cards that were purchased by consumers, but never redeemed – sitting unused until they expired.
This problem peaked in 2009, when nearly $5.2 billion in gift cards went completely unspent. This is one of the reasons that the Credit CARD Act of 2009 set forth new regulations about the usage and expiration of gift cards.
Since 2009, the rate of spillage has decreased dramatically – partially due to the regulations of the Credit CARD act, but also because of the rise of easy-to-use online gift card marketplaces. Sites like EJ Gift Cards, Gift Card Granny, and dozens of others now buy and sell gift cards directly from consumers.
The ability for consumers to sell gift cards to other people who can actually use them combined with the new regulations governing gift card sales has led to a dramatic decrease in gift card spillage. In 2016, gift card spillage was estimated at around $1 billion – much less than the $5.2 billion peak in 2009.
All of these statistics add up to a single, simple fact: the ability to buy gift cards and sell them online has made gift cards an even better choice for consumers, because they no longer have to worry about being stuck with a gift card that they don’t want or need.
2. It’s Easier To Find Rare Or Regional Gift Cards
If you’re looking to buy a regionally-specific gift card online directly from a merchant, you may be out of luck. Most regional chain stores don’t offer online gift cards, and few provide the online checkout options required to buy a physical gift card online, and have it mailed directly to you.
Usually, this isn’t a problem – but sometimes, if you’re looking for a specific gift card for a friend or family member who lives in a particular area, this lack of online ordering can be a real problem.
Third-party gift card resellers have made it much easier to find rare, region-specific gift cards. People sell gift cards from all around the world on these websites – and rare, obscure regional gift cards are no exception.
This means that it’s now much easier to find the perfect gift card online, and have it shipped directly to your door! Speaking of which…
3. You Can Buy Any Gift Card Online – And Have It Shipped Directly To Your Door!
Despite the rise in online shopping, there are still many merchants who won’t sell you a gift card online. Whether because they lack the online infrastructure to do so, or simply only offer physical gift cards, this can be a real inconvenience – especially if you’re used to online shopping.
Being unable to buy a gift card online can also be a problem if you live in a rural area, or an area that’s far away from most brick-and-mortar retail stores that sell gift cards. You’d have to drive for hours just to buy a gift card – and that’s not exactly our idea of a fun afternoon!
However, aftermarket gift card marketplaces offer a solution. These websites offer both physical and digital gift cards for sale – and regardless of which option you choose, the card will be sent directly to you! This makes shopping on the gift card aftermarket, a fantastic choice if you’re unable to get away from your busy life and purchase a gift card in-person at a retail store.
4. Discounted Gift Cards Can Lead To Serious Savings – All Day, Every Day!
We haven’t even gotten to the best part about buying pre-owned gift cards – the deals! Marketplaces that sell gift cards on the aftermarket don’t just sell them at face value – they sell them at deep discounts!
While the total discount you can find on a gift card ranges quite a bit, you can find some serious savings on gift cards to just about any store. Whether you’re interested in buying gift cards for your own use or as gifts, this means you can save a tremendous amount of money.
Gift cards to large stores like Target, Amazon, and WalMart can usually be found for 2-8% off of face value – that may not be much, but over time it amounts to some significant savings!
And gift cards to smaller, more niche stores can often be found for much less. A gift card to GameStop will get you around 14% off face value, and gift cards to retail stores like The GAP, Old Navy, Kohl’s, and others can be found for 15%-25% off.
Other cards to restaurant chains and specialty stores can be purchased for 35%-50% off – and sometimes even more! If you buy gift cards online for stores where you shop at all the time, you can save some serious money in your everyday life.
And if you take the time to purchase aftermarket gift cards during storewide sales, you can stack up some serious savings by combining your discounted gift cards with other deals offered by a retailer.
Think about it – if you spend $75 on a $100 Kohl’s gift card and then buy $100 worth of items, you’re essentially getting a 25% discount – even if you don’t purchase any items that are on sale!
So if Kohl’s offers a 25% off storewide sale, you’re essentially stacking your savings – and getting a 37.5% discount! If you use store sales and discounted gift cards to your advantage, you can save a huge amount of money.
So people who buy and sell gift cards on the aftermarket can enjoy some serious savings – especially if they look for gift cards that are being sold for deep discounts, and combine them with other sales!
5. When Gift Cards Are Bought And Sold, Everyone Wins!
You may be wondering what the catch is – why you can get discounts on popular gift cards when buying them from the gift card aftermarket.
Well, that’s one of the best parts about pre-owned gift cards – there’s really no catch. Everyone benefits due to the power of supply and demand.
People who sell their gift cards to gift card marketplaces like EJ Gift Cards benefit by getting cash for gift cards that they would never use. They sell their cards for less than face value in exchange for getting a cash payment.
The merchants who buy these gift cards then collect them and resell them for a slightly higher price – profiting on each transaction.
Finally, the people who buy these gift cards – that’s you! – benefit because they still get to purchase gift cards for less than face value!
This makes the gift card aftermarket quite rare – in this industry, everybody wins, and nobody loses! Whether you’re interested in buying or selling gift cards, you can take advantage of the gift card aftermarket – and never worry about being taken advantage of!
And while there are a few scammy sellers out there, it’s quite rare to be scammed when buying a pre-owned gift card online from a reputable marketplace – so shop away!
6. Retailers Are Taking Notice – And Offering More Deals!
The vast majority of customers still buy new gift cards directly from merchants and retailers, but the rise of the gift card aftermarket has still attracted the attention of most retailers.
This means more discounts for you – even if you only shop for new gift cards! Even a decade ago, it was rare to find discounts on new gift cards, but it’s fairly common today, especially around the holiday season.
Websites such as Restaurant.com, Groupon, daily deal websites, and even Amazon.com often offer discounts on new gift cards from various merchants. You can even find discounts on new gift cards directly from brick-and-mortar retailers if you look in your weekly Sunday circulars – especially around popular holidays.
So keep an eye out when you’re shopping online – even if you’re not interested in buying pre-owned gift cards, you’re likely to find some great deals on new gift cards, due to retailers who want to compete with the discounts offered by the gift card aftermarket!
Need To Sell Gift Cards You Don’t Want? Turn To EJ Gift Cards!
While the gift card aftermarket has numerous benefits for consumers – as outlined above – it can be difficult to get started, and take advantage of these benefits for yourself.
Selling gift cards you don’t want is a great way to dip your toes into the world of aftermarket gift cards – so start by selling your unwanted gift cards with EJ Gift Cards now!
We make it totally simple to sell your unwanted gift cards. Simply follow our step-by step process, get a (reversible) offer for your gift card, and enter your payment information if you’re interested in our offer.
We accept hundreds of gift cards from stores and restaurants all across America, and we pay through PayPal, so you can be sure that your payment will be totally safe and secure. And if you have any problems, our customer service team can help you through the process!
So don’t wait another second. Start taking advantage of the benefits of the gift card aftermarket by selling your unwanted gift cards with EJ Gift Cards today!