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Who buys gift cards? It’s a great question. Today, gift cards are very prevalent in our society. They offer a great mix of the convenience and flexibility of cash, yet they are a bit more meaningful – friends and family members can buy a card to your favorite store, which shows that they’ve put some real thought into their purchase, as compared to just plain ol’ cash.

However, sometimes plain ol’ cash is what you want – whether you’ve gotten a card for a store you never go to, or you simply would prefer to have cash on hand, for any number of reasons.

So the question remains. Who buys gift cards? In the past, this would have been a simple answer – basically nobody. But today, there are plenty of places where you can sell your gift cards, both online and in person.

But with more choices than ever, making the correct choice is harder than ever. Each and every company or person who buys gift cards has a different business, model, different intentions, and pays out differently, making it often hard to determine the best way to sell your unwanted gift cards.

Well, we’re here with a basic guide on the different businesses, persons, and marketplaces who buy gift cards, and to give you the basics on the differences between each one, the payments and percentages of face value you can expect, and more. Read on.

In-Person Sales – Friends, Family, Coworkers, Etc.

  • Offering your gift cards to Friends and family are inarguably the oldest method by which you can sell your gift cards. Before the advent of the internet and other services which allowed for easy transfer of gift card information and fast, simple payment, friends and family were basically your only way of selling a gift card.

    The process is simple – you have a gift card you don’t want, so you just ask your friends and family, coworkers, and acquaintances if they’re interested in purchasing your gift card, usually at a slight discount.Despite the fact that this is the oldest form of gift card sales, the internet has made this somewhat easier – you can post a status about your gift card on Facebook, for example, making it easier to find a buyer.

What Kind Of Gift Cards Do They Buy?

  • There’s really no way to tell. The stores and preferences of each person’s circle of friends, coworkers, and acquaintances can vary significantly. However, usually more common gift cards will be popular – gift cards to big box department stores like WalMart, Target, Best Buy, or large online marketplaces like Amazon.com. These can be surprisingly easy to get rid of by simply selling them to a friend or family member. However, a niche gift card is unlikely to interest most people. Gift cards for specialty stores, boutiques, and small restaurants are quite hard to get rid of by selling them to people who you know in person.

How Much Value Will I Get?

  • Typically, you can get quite a large percentage of total value, though this depends on your bargaining skills and your desire to rid yourself of your card. However, 90%+ face value of a card ($45 for a $50 card) is fairly typical – since you likely have a relationship with the person you’re selling the card to, they’re willing to give you a good price, as they still benefit.

How Long Does It Take To Sell The Card?

  • Anywhere from hours to weeks. If you get an interest from the potential buyer right away, great – but if nobody has responded or acted as being interested in your card after a few days, you’re likely to have a hard time selling it in person.

When Will I Get Paid?

  • Immediately. Typically, in-person sales are done with cash or checks, and you’ll immediately receive funds with no transaction fees taken out, which can make in-person sales of gift cards attractive to some.

Is It Worth It?

  • If you’re not in a rush, selling a gift card to a friend or family member is just fine. You’ll get a high dollar value for it, and help out a friend at the same time. However, it can be hard to find a buyer, making this method much less convenient than some other services who buy gift cards.

CoinStar

  • CoinStar has long been known for their coin exchange services – they offer a convenient alternative to counting up and packaging coins to trade them for bills or deposit them at a bank – albeit with a small service charge included. CoinStar even offers gift card payout options with the service fee waived for Amazon and several other retailers. However, most are unaware that CoinStar has recently implemented gift card purchasing services in many of their machines. While they don’t offer the best rates in the market, the in-person convenience of these machines can make them a good choice for some.

What Kind Of Gift Cards Do They Buy?

  • Here’s a comprehensive list. CoinStar buys a surprisingly large selection of gift cards, allowing you to get rid of even some of your more niche gift cards quickly and conveniently.

How Much Value Will I Get?

  • This is the main disadvantage of CoinStar. The simple service and immediate payment, as well as the physicality of the machine itself means that your payout will be relatively low. The “offer” is calculated based off of the balance of the card itself and the current desirability of the card, and can be as low as 60% of the face value on the card.

How Long Does It Take To Sell The Card?

  • Selling your card is basically instantaneous. After you accept your offer at the kiosk, the transaction is over – you’ve sold your card, and you’ll get paid.

When Will I Get Paid?

  • Instantly. The CoinStar kiosk will dispense your payment as soon as it has verified your card and you have accepted the offer.

Is It Worth It?

  • Well, if you’re in an incredible hurry and you don’t want to (or are unable to) use an online service, selling a gift card to CoinStar can be worth it. However, their offers are often very low – lower than almost any other kind of gift card buyer or merchant out there. So if convenience and physical availability of cash is paramount, CoinStar is a viable option. However, in our opinion, it should be your last resort – since you really don’t get a good deal for the value of your card.

Direct Gift Card Buyers

selling a gift card online

  • Direct gift card buyers are specialized online merchants who purchase cards from consumers at a discounted rate, and then generally resell them at a slight upcharge. By doing so, they can give competitive rates to sellers, offer an advantage to people who want to buy gift cards, and make a small profit while doing so.

What Kind Of Gift Cards Do They Buy?

  • This is one of the main advantages of direct gift card buyers like EJ Gift Cards. They will any gift card off of a list of literally hundreds, making them a fantastic choice for hard-to-sell, niche gift cards. Every different website has a different list of cards they’ll accept, but as a rule, you’ll find the largest selection of accepted cards possible on direct gift card buying websites.

How Much Value Will I Get?

  • This mostly depends on the value of the card – both its balance and its utility. Large balance gift cards from big-box stores will often command higher rates, even up to 80% or higher, while lower-balance, niche cards won’t be valued as highly, usually around 60%. However, the fact that these companies buy almost any gift card on the market helps make up for this – 60% of a useless gift card in cash is a million times better than 0%.

How Long Does It Take To Sell The Card?

  • Selling your cards to direct gift card buyers is generally instantaneous for gift cards that can be verified online. Most gift card sales will be immediate and you’ll receive payment immediately, but some gift cards require physical shipment. In these cases, you’ll generally receive payment once the card has been sent in the mail.

When Will I Get Paid?

  • Instantly – at least by reputable gift card buyers. Paypal and direct deposits are favored methods of payment, and the best gift card buyers offer instant rendering of payment upon receipt of a valid, confirmed gift card.

Is It Worth It?

  • Direct gift card buyers offer an incredible blend of convenience, instant payment, and great customer support. If you need to sell a niche card for a good price and get paid immediately, there is no better option.

Gift Card Marketplaces And Exchanges

  • Gift card marketplaces and exchanges are specialized websites upon which customers and merchants can interact directly, list gift cards for sale, and ask for payment either in cash or by way of another gift card. They generally offer fairly high percentages of value – sometimes 90% or more – but can charge hidden processing fees.

What Kind Of Gift Cards Do They Buy?

  • You can list any kind of valid gift card on most gift card marketplaces and exchanges – but whether or not the card will be sold depends on how desirable it is. The marketplace itself doesn’t buy your cards – the other users on the marketplace do. So while you can list any kind of card, your card may not always sell.

How Much Value Will I Get?

  • Value depends partly on how long you’re willing to spend with a card up for sale – if time isn’t an issue for you, it’s possible to get in excess of 90% face value of a card on these websites.

However, a higher price means you’re more likely to get undercut by other users selling the same card, and can drastically increase the time it takes for you card to sell. In addition, these marketplaces make their money by taking percentage-based service fees on your sales, which can combine with PayPal and other fees to decrease the amount you get from your sale.

How Long Does It Take To Sell The Card?

  • This depends mainly on 1. Demand for your card, 2. Your requested method of payment, and 3. Your price. If you have a high-demand card, and are requesting cash or an easily-available gift card for the sale of your gift card, and are offering a good price, you could sell your card in just a day or two. Conversely, if you are selling a low-desirability card, are asking for hard-to-get gift cards, and are expecting a very high price, it can take weeks to sell your card.

When Will I Get Paid?

  • This depends on the merchant responsible for the marketplace platform, but most payments are rendered through PayPal or similar direct deposit service, so you’ll get paid upon completion of your sale. And if you asked for a different gift card in exchange, you’ll get that information immediately.

Is It Worth It?

  • Gift card marketplaces are decent choices for high-desirability gift cards. Popular gift cards sell quickly, and can command rates easily above 80%. However, service fees and transaction fees can cut into this, and lower-value, lower-desirability gift cards can be nearly impossible to sell on these websites. In addition, gift card marketplaces will always take more time than other options like direct gift card buyers, as you must attract a customer who will place a bid or offer on your card. So while gift card marketplaces are suitable for some high-value cards, they’re poor choices for more difficult-to-find gift cards, and the profit you make is generally reduced by service fees and transaction fees.

Who Buys Gift Cards? EJ Gift Cards Does!

If you’re looking for the fastest, most efficient way to get rid of just about any gift card under the sun, a direct gift card buyer is your absolute best option, and EJ Gift Cards is the cream of the crop when it comes to fast, efficient purchases of all of your unwanted gift cards.

We offer an easy-to-use website, accept a tremendous variety of different gift cards, and pay you seamlessly upon receipt of your card information or transmission of package tracking data for your physical gift cards and after confirming the validity and authenticity of your card.

Because we offer the most convenient service with the best rates on the market, EJ Gift Cards should always be your first choice when selling unwanted gift cards.