Don’t Sell Your Gift Cards to Just Anyone!

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Thanks to the prevalence of gift cards, gift giving is easier than ever before. The guesswork is gone. Gift-receiving has become more efficient as well. We spend fewer hours returning merchandise and are less likely to shove presents we’ll never use into the backs of our closets. But what happens if you receive a gift card you don’t want or can’t use?

Enter the gift card reseller market — a place where you can buy discounted gift cards or sell unwanted gift cards for cash. Gift card resellers can be found in malls, on the Internet, at online auction sites, and in want ads. Though all may offer cash for gift cards, not all gift card resellers provide the same benefits or services.

Below are the five characteristics I look for in a reputable gift card reseller:

Secure Exchange. Meeting a stranger to exchange a gift card for cash could result in a scam, robbery, or other crime being committed. Reputable gift card buyers offer secure gift card exchange via the mail, a website, or a physical storefront—all safer than personally dealing with someone you don’t know.

Guaranteed Transactions. Whether in store or online, reputable gift card swappers also guarantee their transactions so you can safely submit a gift card and be assured that payment will be made. If there is a problem with the exchange, you can refer to the guarantee and take appropriate action with the company.

Payout Options. At GiftCards.com, you can elect to receive payment for unwanted gift cards via check, PayPal, or MoneyGram. Other gift card resellers offer payment via Amazon.com gift cards. Since the amount you’ll receive may vary by the payment type selected, a variety of payout options is a plus.

Fast Turnaround Times. The amount of time it takes to receive money for an unused gift card depends on the options the reseller has available. A physical gift card mailed to the company in exchange for payment by check could take more than a week to complete. A gift card code submitted in exchange for a PayPal credit could be complete within the hour. Resellers that offer a variety of choices allow you to pick the turnaround time that meets your needs.

Customer Service. Finally, the mark of the best gift card resellers is live customer service. If anything goes wrong with the gift card transaction, you’ll want someone you can call in order to correct the situation.

I recently helped my kids sell a few gift cards. They’d each received a gift card to a novelty store outside our area. After looking at the merchant’s website, my boys decided they’d rather have 18 dollars cash than 25 dollars in stuff they didn’t really want. We submitted the gift card codes, opted for payment by check (so they’d each get one), and the envelope arrived a few days later. They’re both satisfied with the money, and I’m happy we didn’t waste a couple of well-intentioned gift cards.

Shelley Hunter, a.k.a. Gift Card Girlfriend, is your consumer guide to gift cards. As the founder of GiftCardGirlfriend.com, Shelley created a strong following and become an authority on all things gift cards. She is currently the Content Manager and company spokesperson for GiftCards.com.

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