2016’s Best Places To Sell Gift Cards: Top Picks Ranked
We love gift cards. They wouldn’t be the most popular type of holiday gift for nine years running or generate over $100 billion in annual sales if we didn’t. But there’s a limit to our fondness for these little plastic packages of spending power. The gift cards we get aren’t always from our favorite stores or capable of buying the things we actually need right now. And perhaps that is why nearly $1 billion in gift cards go unused each year, according to the industry research firm CEB.
So why not turn your unwanted gift cards into cash? It’s actually pretty easy, when you know where to look. There are a number of websites, retailers and specialty businesses that will buy your gift cards directly or list them for sale to a community of interested individuals. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, however, so choosing blindly could be a money-losing proposition.
With that in mind, our editors compared the most popular options in terms of a handful of factors that are crucial for any seller to consider, including the buyer’s commission, payout methods and customer feedback. We graded each on a 100-point scale and used the resulting WalletHub Scores to identify the best places to sell gift cards in 2016. You can check out the results and underlying methodology below.
|Gift Card Exchange||WalletHub Score||Speed of Sale||Average Resale Value ($100 Gift Card)||Payout Options||User Rating|
(Sell to Site)
(List on Site)
(Sell to Site)
(Sell to Site)
Gift Card Granny
(Sell to Site or List for Sale)
|N/A||Depends on Offer||2.75|
(List on Site)
Tips For The Best Gift Card Sale
- Establish An Amount You’d Be Satisfied With: have a number in mind before pricing out options. If you can’t get enough, maybe hold out. Just need to be realistic.
- Give Friends & Family First Crack: If they want to buy for your set price, logistics will be easier. Could also be opportunity for swap.
- “Shop” Around: Get quotes from a few different exchanges.
- Reconsider What You Could Buy: For example, is $80 in cash worth more to you than $100 in clothes or perhaps boring household essentials?
To identify the best places to sell gift cards, WalletHub compared each of the most popular options based five main categories:
Average Resale Value (50 points max): The amount of your gift card’s value that you receive back from a buyer is the most important factor to consider when selling a gift card. Given that reimbursement amounts typically vary by retailer, we determined how much each buyer would offer for 20 of the most popular popular gift cards on the market (in $100 denominations) and averaged our findings.
- 50 points: $85.00+
- 40 points: $80.00 to $84.99
- 35 points: $75.00 to $79.99
- 30 points: $70.00 to $74.99
- 25 points: $65.00 to $69.99
- 10 points: $50.00 to $64.99
- 0 points: < $50.00
Type Of Exchange (20 points max): Some exchanges buy gift cards directly from individuals and other companies and then sell them directly to consumers. Other exchanges enable consumer-to-consumer transactions, too. Which is better largely depends on personal preference, so we didn’t give much weight to this category. But we did favor exchanges that emphasize exchange-to-consumer transactions, as they tend to be both more dependable and more trustworthy. Furthermore, we gave better grades to buyers that pay with cash, as opposed to store credit, for example.
- 20 points: Aggregator
- 15 points: Sell to site / In person
- 5 points: List for sale
- 0 points: No gift cards available
Popularity (15 points max): A well-liked, highly reviewed service figures provide a pleasant user experience. To approximate the relative popularity of the top gift-card buyers, we obtained their ratings from a range of major review sites (including the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot and Reseller Ratings). We then averaged these results to create an overall popularity rating.
- 15 points: 4.0 to 5.0
- 10 points: 3.0 to 3.9
- 5 points: 2.0 to 2.9
- 0 points: < 2.0
Payout Options (15 points max): The ability to sell a gift card means nothing if the means by which you’ll get paid don’t suit your preferences. We therefore gave preference to buyers with numerous payout methods.
- 15 points: 3+ payout options
- 10 points: 2 payout options
- 5 point: 1 payout option
After obtaining the necessary data from the websites of each exchange as well as related resources that that speak to their popularity, we ranked the exchanges from best to worst in each category. We then used the weighted average of these rankings to calculate an overall WalletHub Score for each exchange, on which we based our final rankings.
Image: AndSim / iStock.
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