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Losing a gift card is a terrible thing, especially if it’s a high-value card. When you lose or misplace a gift card, you may not be sure what you can do next. Can it be replaced? Can you get your money back? Or do you just have to deal with the loss?

Surprisingly, a lot of gift card users aren’t sure what their options are when it comes to recovering a gift card that’s been lost or misplaced. In this article, EJ Gift Cards will help you learn more about what you can do if you lose a gift card – and how you can recover its value, and spend it on your favorite items.

Let’s get started by discussing the information that you will likely need in order to replace a lost gift card.

Start By Looking For The Gift Card Number

You can’t just call up a customer service representative, say “I lost my gift card” and expect them to issue you a replacement card without some kind of confirmation that you owned the card, and that it was a legitimate purchase.

So, you’ll need some kind of information that relates to your gift card purchase in order to recover the balance of a lost gift card. Most commonly, you will need the gift card number.

Okay, you might be thinking – “how can I possibly find the gift card number if I’ve already lost my gift card?” Well, you might be surprised at how many places you can look! Here are the most common locations where you might be able to find the gift card number.

  • The activation receipt – When gift cards are purchased in-person, they’re activated as soon as you pay for them. This means that information such as the gift card number is often printed on the activation receipt. You might not find the full gift card number, but you will at least find a partial number that can help you as you talk to customer service representatives about replacing your gift card.

    The activation receipt will also include information about the date and time of the purchase, which can be helpful when trying to recover your funds.
  • The purchase receipt – If you are unable to find the activation receipt, you should at least try to find the purchase receipt. This will provide you with evidence of a gift card transaction, even though it may not list detailed information about the gift card that you purchased, or when you purchased it. This is not as good as the activation receipt, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Your email – If you purchased a gift card online, whether it was physical or digital, you probably had a confirmation emailed to you at some point. This will often contain some information about the gift card, and may even have the gift card number, or part of it.

    Even if you can’t find the card number, an emailed receipt is still a good record of the transaction, and a way that you can prove you’ve received your gift card, and purchased it legitimately.
  • Your bank statement – if you can’t find a physical or emailed receipt for your gift card, don’t panic. You’re not out of options yet. Your bank statement won’t have any information about the gift card number, but if you can comb through your purchases and identify the day on which you bought a gift card, you might be able to get a customer service representative to pull up your receipt.

    In addition, you’ll be able to prove the dollar value of your gift card purchase, based on the information provided by your bank or credit card company.
  • The card issuer’s website – If you’ve already used part of the balance of your gift card online, you may be in luck! If a record of the transaction exists, it should be easily accessible on the card issuer’s website. There is a possibility the gift card number is saved on their website, and at the very least, you’ll be able to prove that there was a transaction made with the gift card you purchased.
  • Ask the person who gave you the gift card – This can be an awkward conversation, especially if you got the gift card as a gift. You don’t want to tell someone that you lost their thoughtful gift, but as a measure of last resort, this is still a good idea. It’s possible that the person who gave you the gift card saved the receipt, or otherwise documented their purchase. It may feel weird to ask, but it’s still a good idea to do so.

If you can manage to dig up your lost gift card number, your chances of getting funds back are significantly increased.

However, you don’t always need the gift card number. There are some retailers who are willing to replace your card as long as you can just produce the receipt. If you’re looking to sell a Target gift card online, for example, and you can’t find your card, they will replace it as long as you have a valid receipt showing proof of the transaction.

But wait – if you can’t find any of the above information, your chances of getting your money back are quite low. Retailers can’t just “take your word for it” if you say you’ve lost a gift card.

Whether you buy from a “gift card mall” kiosk in a store that sells GAP gift cards and sells Nordstrom gift cards, or directly from the retailer, you will need some kind of proof and transaction data in order to get a gift card replacement.

What If My Gift Card Is Lost In The Mail?

The gift card “aftermarket” is exploding in popularity. With gift card resellers like EJ Gift Cards, you can sell unwanted gift cards, and buy discounted gift cards to save money. For example, you could sell Apple Store gift cards, and pocket the money – or use it to buy other cheap gift cards online.

However, unless you only buy digital “e-gift” cards, you must often have your gift card purchases sent to you. Usually, this process is quite simple – you buy the card, get a tracking number, and watch as it arrives at your home!

But on occasion, gift cards can be lost in the mail – or a scammy gift card reseller may fail to send your gift card. Here’s what you can do in order to replace a gift card that’s lost due to mail error, or a fraudulent seller.

  • Contact the gift card seller – If your gift card has not yet been sent to you, or you didn’t get an email confirming that it was sent, contact the gift card seller or reseller directly. Check to see if they actually sent the card – it’s possible that it slipped their mind.

    You can also double-check your address, to make sure that it was entered properly, and your shipment is coming to the right place. You can also ask for the USPS tracking number, which will help you confirm whether or not your card has shipped.
  • File a complaint with the US Postal Service – If the reseller has properly labeled and shipped your credit card, and can prove this by showing you the tracking number and proof of purchase, it’s time to file a complaint with the US Postal Service.

    If you can prove that your gift card was lost or improperly shipped, you may be entitled to compensation and monetary rewards for the loss of your card. You can send a search request with information about the package, and USPS will attempt to locate it.

    If your mail still cannot be found, or the contents were lost or missing, you can file a claim for compensatory damages. You must do this within 60 days of the date of mailing.
  • Dispute the charge with PayPal or your credit card company – If the gift card reseller fails to send your gift card, or is otherwise unwilling to talk about when they sent your card, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company, or with PayPal.

    If you can prove that you purchased an item and that the seller failed to provide it to you, your cardholder will issue a chargeback, and return your money. Similarly, you can go through the PayPal dispute process in order to get a refund.

If you end up losing a gift card in the mail, you can usually get it replaced, or get a refund from the seller – so don’t stress out. Just follow our above tips, and get started now.

How To Avoid Losing Gift Cards

Now that we’ve discussed how to replace lost or missing gift cards, it’s time to talk about how to prevent this issue. While you might be able to replace a missing gift card, you are never guaranteed success.

Because of this, it’s still a good idea to take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen.

  • Take pictures of your gift cards – Got a new gift card? Don’t let your smartphone’s fancy camera go to waste! Snap a picture of the front and back, and make sure you scratch off the security code, if necessary.

    You may never need to reference these photos again – but if you lose your card, you’ll easily be able to dig through your phone, and get the card number and other information.

    If you want, you can even use a gift card app like Gyft to track all of your gift cards.
  • Save your receipts – Saving receipts may be old-school, but it’s still the best way to ensure that you have a proof of purchase for a gift card. You can just stash the receipt away in a file folder, and reference it in the future if you have to.

    We also recommend taking a photo or scanning your receipts. The ink used to print receipts is low-quality, and can fade almost completely within just a few months.
  • Ask for gift receipts with gift cards – Chances are, the person who got you a gift card still has the receipt, or has a gift receipt. Ask them for it! It’s not weird – it’s common sense. Obviously, you won’t be returning the gift card. You just want to make sure you have a proof of purchase, in case you lose the card.
  • Register your gift card – Some stores let you register your gift card online. This makes it easy to replace your card. You already have proof that you own it, so you can just contact customer service and ask for a new card. In some cases, though, this may cost you a fee of $5 or more, especially with “open loop” VISA and American Express gift cards.
  • Shop with legitimate gift card resellers – This is the best way to avoid losing gift cards in the mail. Make sure that you buy a gift card only from a legitimate gift card reselling platform like EJ Gift Cards, and that you get a proof of purchase and a tracking number as soon as the card is shipped.

There’s always a chance that you will lose a gift card and be unable to replace it – but if you follow these tips, you’re sure to reduce your chances of losing your gift cards.

Buy And Sell Gift Cards Now With EJ Gift Cards!

If you’ve got a gift card you don’t want, you can sell it directly to EJ Gift Cards now for cash via PayPal. We accept hundreds of different cards, and offer industry-leading rates for all gift card purchases.

That’s not all, either. We’re also a leading gift card reseller! We offer both physical gift cards (USPS Tracking included, of course), and fully-digital eGift cards. With great discounts and hundreds of different cards available, we make it easy to save money while shopping for your favorite stuff!

So don’t let your unwanted gift cards go to waste. Sell gift cards now for PayPal, and use your money to get great discounts on other popular gift cards to stores like Nordstrom, the iTunes store, and so much more.

Got questions? Check out our FAQ, or contact us now to learn more about EJ Gift Cards.