A gift card exchange can be an outlet to get your hands on the cards you really want after a special occasion results in a stack of gift cards for merchants with whom you don't particularly want to shop. Websites featuring exchange services for gift cards allow members to trade, sell, and buy gift cards from other members.
Gift cards are just like gift certificates; they are for a specific amount of money and usually valid for only one merchant or a grouping of merchants. These cards can be welcome gifts unless the card is for a store in which the recipient has no desire to shop. Then the dilemma arises as to what to do with the card. The option of re-gifting exists, but gift card exchange websites allow people to either make some money off their cards or trade them for cards they will actually use.
Gift Card Exchange Websites
Although there are plenty of exchange websites to choose from, it is important to read the procedures of each website carefully before posting your card onto the site. Some exchanges require a membership fee, but there are others that are completely free-of-charge. You should look for a website that verifies the validity of each card number prior to the completion of the transaction so you don't wind up exchanging your legitimate card for one that isn't valid.
Here is a brief listing of some of the exchange websites available online:
- Card Cash offers members the opportunity to buy, sell, or trade gift cards. Membership is required in order to access the online forum; but, membership is free and there is no charge for listing a card. This website also purchases cards from members. The purchase is at a discounted rate; however, it is preferable to tossing the card into a drawer and never using it. Plastic Jungle verifies card numbers to make sure the cards are valid.
- Card Avenue also requires a membership to the website prior to visitors being allowed access to the card listings. There is no fee for registration, but fees are charged for both selling and trading cards. Additional PayPal fees may apply in some instances. Card Avenue does not verify every card account balance, but they do offer a "Card Cowboy Balance Verification" for some types of cards. Traditional gift certificates are also featured on this website.
- Star Gift Cards purchases gift cards at a discounted rate and then resells them for a profit. There is also a feature which allows website visitors to post cards for trade. All cards are verified on this website prior to a transaction, and the amount paid for cards sold to the site is clearly stated and depends upon the card issuer. There is no charge to register for this service, but there are fees associated with selling and trading cards.
These websites can be great resources for people who receive generous gift cards yet do not care for the merchant from which they were issued. Although you may not receive full value for the trade or sale of your card, it remains a viable option to obtain a card that you will actually use or to receive some cash for the card.
You don't necessarily need to go through a website that is specifically designed for trading gift cards in order to find someone with whom you can swap your card. Other websites exist which allow people to post just about anything online, including gift cards available for trade. Location-specific websites are a good resource or you may want to check with another source such as Craigslist. This site allows visitors to post ads free-of-charge, but there is no method of verification for these ads. So, conducting a trade over a site like this is at your own risk.
Before going through the process of selling or trading a gift card, you may want to take the time to check out the merchant to see if there is actually something you want to buy after all.