How to turn gift cards into cash
It's not hard to find someone who really wants it.
This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.
you ever receive a gift card for a store where you never shop? Or have
you ever had a gift card for a store that filed for bankruptcy? When a
retailer files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, gift cardholders get in line
with every other unsecured creditor.
What does that mean? It
means you can kiss the value of your gift card goodbye. One solution is
to run out and spend the gift card if you hear the retailer is in
financial turmoil. But there is another solution.
Buy and sell gift cards
is an active secondary market for gift cards. And one place to buy,
sell or trade gift cards is called Plastic Jungle. Registration, which
is free, is required to buy, sell or trade gift cards. You can save money -- and lots of it -- by buying gift cards, but let's first look at generating cash from selling cards.
Sell gift cards.
There are two options for selling a gift card on Plastic Jungle. First,
you can sell the card directly to PJ for what they call "QuikCash."
page has a nifty tool that will tell you how much it will pay for your
card. A $50 AMC Theatres gift card, for example, will net you $32.50. A
$50 Best Buy card gets you $35. From what I can tell, the highest
paying gift cards sold through PJ's QuikCash pay out at 70% of the face value of the card.
you can put your card up for sale to third parties on PJ's site. You
set your own price, and can accept cash or trade. You can also enable a
feature to allow bidders to make a counteroffer.
Buy discounted gift cards. You can also buy gift cards
at Plastic Jungle, and at a great discount. I noticed, for example,
that Home Depot gift cards are selling at an 8% discount off the card's
face value. So why would one ever shop at Home Depot without one of
these discounted cards? I guess to avoid the hassle of buying the card
online. But if you plan ahead, you can save a lot of money by buying
these cards and using them at the retailers you shop at regularly. Now,
that's smart money management at its best.
Trade gift cards.
If you have a gift card for a store where you don't shop, another
option is to trade the card. A trade can avoid the loss of 30% or more
when you sell the card, and you can nab a gift card for a store where
you enjoy shopping. Plastic Jungle has a section for trading gift
cards. When card owners list their cards for sale, they can also list
gift cards they would consider for a trade.
All in all, Plastic Jungle looks like a great online tool to manage your money.
I expect to start buying discounted cards for those retailers where we
shop every month. If you've used Plastic Jungle, please let us know
what you think.
Other articles of interest at The Dough Roller:
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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