It’s just after the holidays, which means that you probably received a lot of gift cards. I’m sure some of these cards are awesome and you can’t wait to go shopping with them. But others may not be so great and you might wish you got cash instead (Jelly of the Month Club, anyone?)
But remember, it’s the thought that counts, and those gift cards may be worth more than you think. Do not let your gifts go to waist! And don’t use them to buy random crap you don’t need, either.
Although it may seem overwhelming, selling your gift cards can be pretty easy. You have many options to choose from when deciding what to do with your cards. Here are 5 tips on how to sell gift cards for cash and get your money’s worth.
Coinstar gift card exchange
That’s right. You can now exchange gift cards for cash at a Coinstar kiosk near you.
So gather up your gift cards (and any spare change you may have, while you are at it) and head on over to your local kiosk. One thing to note – gift cards must have at least $20 on them to be accepted.
The exchange rate varies depending on your location. Here’s a list of the gift cards that Coinstar currently accepts, too. This way you won’t waste time going there.
Sell gift cards online
There are a bunch of websites that will pay cash for gift cards and take those unwanted ones off your hands. And most of them will pay you right away.
Some of these sites will give a fixed rate, while others will go to the highest (or lowest) bidder. Like Coinstar, your gift card will have to have a certain balance before most sites will buy it. It’s usually $20-25.
Also, you’ll need to pay a small fee to sell the card, so you typically won’t get he full amount on the gift card back. Here are some popular websites for cashing in on those cards:
Gift Card Granny claims to be the best online resource for selling (and buying) gift cards. Here’s a quick video on how their site works.
Trade gift cards in at Target
Love Target? Me too. Target has just launched a new gift card exchange program where you can exchange your gift card from another store for a Target gift card.
Just like in the suggestions above, you will be giving up some of the gift cards’ value to do this. For example, Target may give you an $85 Target card for a $100 Walmart card.
Likewise, Walmart offers this same type of program. So if you prefer one over the other, you have other options available to you.
Gift card auction!
Although it may seem that its hay day is over, eBay is actually still alive and well. Remember that account you made back in the early nineties to sell your Beanie Baby collection? Well, pull it up and list your gift cards on eBay.
You may lose some money, but remember, it goes to the highest bidder so it may be worth the try. If you have a few unwanted gift cards on hand, you may even consider doing a bundle deal for more chances at bidders.
Gift card exchange (or sale) at work
Odds are you aren’t the only one lugging around a wallet full of designated cash in the form of gift cards at work. So why not host a gift card sale during lunch or around the watering hole?
That coworker of yours that hates coffee and has a $50 gift card to Starbucks (not the $200 special ones)? I’m sure they would love to exchange it for your card to Applebee’s. Although I can’t imagine a world where anyone hates coffee.
Again, you may have to let go of a few bucks and offer a discount. But I’m sure there’s a coworker or two out there dying for a good deal on your Kohl’s gift card.
Another option with this idea is to hold a raffle where the gift card is the prize. I’m sure many people would be willing to by a $1 ticket to get a $50 gift card. But before you go wheeling and dealing at the office, check with your HR department first.
As you can see, there are many options when you want to know how to sell gift cards, both online and in person. There’s no reason to let them go to waste in your wallet for the next few years, or go forgotten in your junk drawer for the next decade.
So gather up those gift cards and get to selling! That’s free money you’re holding on to!
What other ways have you sold or exchanged gift cards? Please share below!
Gift card photo by 401(K) 2012