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Gift cards are a dying breed, but there are still billions of dollars of unused cards rattling around in drawers across the nation. In fact, the average U.S. household is stashing $300 in unused gift cards that could easily be turned into cash—if you know how to do it right.
The dealhounds behind CouponSherpa have made it pretty simple. They’ve launched a new movement called Gift Card Exchange Day (Dec. 26), during which consumers can dust off their unwanted or slightly used gift cards and sell them for cold, hard cash.
“There’s something like $60 billion in unused gift cards floating around out there and if people knew they could exchange gift cards for cash, they would do it a lot more,” says CouponSherpa co-founder Luke Knowles.
The site works like any online marketplace. You throw up a listing for a $50 certificate to Home Depot (or wherever) and a crop of gift card resellers will be waiting in the wings to make you an offer.
On average, you could pocket between 75 and 92 per cent of the value of your original gift, he says. (Just don’t tell the person who gave it to you in the first place.)
You can also trade your unwanted card in for an Amazon gift card thanks to a partnership between CouponSherpa and the online mega-retailer.
If you’re interested in picking up gift cards at a steep discount, the company’s Gift Card Granny site is an online marketplace where consumers and businesses bid on cards daily. About 500 cards are resold per day, Knowles estimates.
The cards sold on the site have no expiration dates and don’t depreciate in value and most used cards come with return policies, depending on the seller.
If online bidding wars aren’t your thing, there are other ways to clear out your stash of unused gift cards. Re-gift them to friends and family or donate them to charities like the Make a Wish Foundation.
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