It’s tough finding gifts people want. It’s really rough to receive something unwanted, such as a gift card you will never use. It would be much better to have the cash or cash equivalent in hand, as informal of a gift it may seem. Here’s a DIY guide which helps in trading-in or bartering that can help you transform gift cards into cash!
Sell it Off
Like unwanted tickets to a sporting event, you could auction off the gift card to the highest bidder. Ask friends, strangers, and family members to give you the cash equivalent. Similarly, place a free ad on Craigslist; be sure to tag the ad with mention of the affiliated manufacturer or restaurant as it will draw targeted attention and ensure an interested party responds.
If you’re feeling especially creative, you could ‘stalk’ a related gift card brand online and observe advocates. You could tweet at them or send them a private message asking if they would be willing to buy your gift card.
Find a Coinstar Kiosk
Coinstar Exchange kiosks allow gift card owners to swipe in exchange for money. Be mindful of the ‘offer’ on the screen, however, for you’ll need to pay a fee for the readily-available funds. For some, it’s a welcome exchange for never using an unwanted gift card. Go to a Coinstar site to find a kiosk nearest to you.
Find a Target
Head to a Target store or find a related mall kiosk. There, a Target rep will make a deal with you based on the monetary amount of the gift card. If accepted, you’ll receive a gift card to use at a Target. Considering the number of goods offered there, many accept. You may improve your chances of getting a higher amount on the card by signing up during promotions, etc.
Pay It Forward
A kind person was nice enough to endow you with a gift card. Regardless of your want in using it, it’s the thought that counts. So why not pay it forward, granting another with the same token? Sit on the gift card, waiting for a time another person has a graduation, birthday, wedding, etc. Give them the card – just be sure it hasn’t expired. Be considerate, however, and inquire as to whether they are a regular shopper of the affiliated restaurant, retailer, etc.
Donate to Charity
Charities are finding clever ways to accept donations. For example, Goodwill allows donors to donate a portion of gift cards. It’s a nice way to do something for others despite the unfortunate fact you did not love your gift. Make a negative into a positive by relaying the funds to a charity.
Barter at Private Shops
It won’t work at major retailers, unless specified as with Target, but you could approach specific store owners and inquire whether they would accept a gift card in exchange for things purchased in store. For example, you may have a gift card to an arts and crafts supplier. You don’t want it but you do like a piece of art from a local dealer. They may need to purchase art supplies anyway and might be willing to accept bartering with you in such a circumstance.
Today’s online services exceed expectation. You wouldn’t expect there to be a service that will provide you with cash for your unwanted gift card. But, there is such a service! If you’re presented with an unwanted card www.cards2cash.com can help. Get cash on the spot by presenting your card in specific outlets.
Go to the Source
You may be able to redeem the gift card in exchange for a gift receipt to another store that is under the same family of associated stores. For example, assume business A and business B are owned by the same parent company. You might be able to negotiate with a manager, trading in a business A card for a receipt to go to business B. It’s not guaranteed, but it doesn’t hurt to go to the source and ask.
Give it Back
It sounds absurd to give back a present yet it seems even more ludicrous to others to accept something unwanted. Therefore, you could approach the gift giver and explain you cannot use the gift card. In a best case scenario, the giver feels bad about the poor decision and presents you with the cash equivalent. It seems awkward, yet using the right delivery while conveying ultimate appreciation could result in cold, hard cash versus an unwanted gift card.
Danielle Hayes is a stay-at-home Mommy who has a 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. She enjoys writing articles when her hands aren’t full with the kids.