Gift cards make a perfect present for practically anyone. Not sure what to buy the person who has everything? They'll probably appreciate an Amazon gift card. Need an easy pick for the office gift exchange? Opt for a Visa gift card, and the recipient can spend it wherever.
SEE ALSO: Time Is Running Out to Return Gifts
Gift cards for Amazon, Visa, and iTunes are all safe bets, but what if you end up with some you'll never use? Maybe they're for a restaurant you don't like or a store that isn't nearby. If you find yourself in this position, you can sell your gift cards. Here's how to do it.
Can You Sell Gift Cards for Cash?
The short answer is yes, but you may get more value by trading a gift card for another gift card. For instance, you could sell a $25 Walmart gift card to CardCash for $22 in cash. However, you could get more bang for your buck if you trade the Walmart card for a $22.77 Amazon gift card, a $23.54 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card, or a $24.31 AMC Theatres gift card.
4 Expert Tips to Help You Sell Gift Cards Online
If you're going to sell gift cards via resale sites, remember that doing your research can pay off. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Shop around to find the best rate. If you want the best value for your gift card, then take the time to do your research.
- You can sell gift cards without mailing them in. This can save you time if the site allows it. Just be sure to check the sites — you might be accepting a smaller payout for the convenience of not mailing in a card.
- Review the fraud protection measures. Sites want to protect gift card buyers, so you might be asked to provide a copy of your photo ID, a credit card number, or similar information.
- Consider your payment options carefully. Quick payouts could leave you with less money, but waiting for a check in the mail might not be worth your time.
Which Gift Cards Are Most Valuable?
Gift cards from stores selling a wide variety of goods seem to have more value than those from niche retailers. We saw higher rates for stores such as Walmart and Target, as well as decent rates for Home Depot and Lowe's. But for gift cards from stores like Petco or Hallmark, the sell and trade rates were notably lacking.
On CardCash, we found that a $25 Petco gift card will only net you $16.13 in cash, or a maximum of $17.90 if you trade. A Hallmark gift card is worth even less; you'll be lucky to receive $15 cash for a $25 card.
Where to Sell Gift Cards
CardCash isn't the only game in town for selling gift cards. Other sites are available, and each has its pros and cons, so you'll need to decide which one is best for your situation. Here's what you need to know about a few of the popular resale sites:
Raise.com is an auction site, so that means waiting for your gift card to sell. When you input a gift card and its value, Raise.com will suggest an amount to sell your card at. For instance, it recommended listing a $25 Walmart gift card for $24.89. While that sounds like a good deal, Raise also clarifies that you'll only receive $21.16 for the transaction after fees.
Gift Card Granny
This aggregator allows you to check gift card offers from multiple sites at once. You'll see offers from Cardpool, GiftCash, and eBay, as well as others. Gift Card Granny is handy if you want to quickly check available offers without having to jump from site to site. That said, you'll still have to complete your transaction elsewhere.
Cardpool gives you a few choices for selling gift cards. Opting for payment via an Amazon gift card will purportedly net you up to 6% more; a $25 Walmart card could go for $18.55. If you choose to get a check for the same $25 card, that drops the value to $17.50. Want to head to an exchange location instead? They'll give out instant cash or gift cards in exchange for your own gift cards.
What Are the Risks if You Sell Gift Cards Online?
You could make a good chunk of change if you sell your gift cards for cash. The practice isn't without risks, though. Be aware of these potential pitfalls:
- You probably won't be able to sell or trade at full value. Most of the time, you'll be fortunate to only lose a couple dollars on the card.
- With gift card auctions, you won't be paid until it sells. You might receive more money in the end, but the card could take time to sell. And if you have to mail your card in before it can be sold, that prolongs the process even more.
- There may be fees. When you sell a gift card on an auction site like eBay, you could end up paying a variety of fees that drop the value further.
- Non-gift card sites can be more risky. Selling gift cards on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist comes with significant risks. You could receive more money for your card, but if something goes wrong with the transaction, you won't be as protected.
- You might want to avoid the rush. In the past year, we posted the most gift card deals in November and December. During these months, even popular gift cards could be worth less because the market is saturated.
Readers, have you sold an unwanted gift card online? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!