How could your great aunt think you'd shop at that store? It's so 2009. Now you've got a $100 gift card burning a hole in your wallet? What should you do with that unwanted plastic worth a Ben Franklin?
Don't be like the owners of the roughly $2 billion in gift cards went unredeemed in 2012! The National Retail Federation’s estimates that number brings the total amount of gift cards not cashed since 2005 to $43 billion! Get this too: Gift cards were also more popular than ever this past holiday season, as the average person spent $156.86 on them and total sales approached $29 billion.
Card Hub which is the only marketplace that allows you to sell ANY gift card, regardless of denomination or store affiliation reveals 5 new ways to use unwanted gift cards:
Sell them for cash: An online gift card exchange enables consumers to sell gift cards for cash and fetch up to 95 cents on the dollar in return.
Re-gift: People don’t only give gift cards during the holiday season. They’re actually among the most popular types of presents for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions throughout the year as well. In fact, holiday gift card sales generally represent only about a quarter of the total annual sales. You’ll therefore have ample opportunity to give an unwanted gift card to someone else who may like it more than you.
Card Hub CEO, Odysseas Papadimitriou adds, “You know what your friends and family members like, and even if you aren’t quite sure you can reference their gift card wish list. If you think an unwanted gift card has someone else’s name written all over it, why not hang onto it, re-gift, and save the time, money and energy you would have expended looking for another present. Most stores allow you to trade in old gift cards for new ones, so there is no need to worry about giving a card that bears outdated branding.”
Pay down debt: During tough economic times, help making ends meet may be in higher demand than new clothes, music or whatever else one may purchase directly with a gift card. Selling an unwanted gift card in order to help pay the bills is a good example of using holiday presents for the things that really matter.
Swap them: Swap gift cards with friends, neighbors or colleagues if they so choose.
“Finding a willing partner for a gift card trade is a great way to turn an unwanted gift into something that you desire without sacrificing value." Papadimitriou says, "simply use your social network to find someone who likes the gift card you have and has a comparable gift card from one of your favorite stores.”
Donate to charity: Charity organizations usually accept donations in a variety of forms, which may include gift cards. Even if a particular charity will not accept a physical gift card, you can always redeem it and donate the resulting goods.
Bonus Tip: If the above options don’t work for you, simply using your gift card is always a possibility, especially since you’ll be hard pressed to find a store from which you want or need nothing. You see, almost all stores carry the essentials for their genre. For example, all clothing stores will have socks, all electronics stores will have headphones, and all hardware stores will have light bulbs.