If you receive a gift card from a store you've never heard of or one you're not likely to ever use, you may be wondering if there's a way you can trade it, or maybe even exchange it for cash.
Good news: There is, and not only for that new gift card. You may be able to get cash for gift cards that you've used but still have a decent balance. You'll never recoup 100 percent back, but you should be able to recoup at least half of the full value.
To get cash for gift cards, you can use a number of exchange websites that offer cash or another retailer gift card for your unwanted gift card.
There are a few reasons I recommend Raise.com as the most reliable and best online site to trade or sell your unwanted gift cards. It's also a great place to purchase unwanted secondhand gift cards at a discount.
LISTING IS FREE
At Raise, there are no upfront fees to list your gift card for sale. That removes the risks.
You can sell any gift card or store credit, even if it has been partially used and the balance is less than its original face value. And Raise takes only 15 percent of the selling price as its fee.
Raise has become such a leader in the secondary gift card market that most cards sell within 24 hours. Even if longer, your gift card will eventually sell, and sooner than you might imagine.
SELLER SETS THE PRICE
If you checked out other sites, you know that as a seller, you don't control the resale value of your card. They set the discount price and act as a kind of middleman. But not at Raise. You list your card(s) and then name the amount you are willing to take for it.
Generally, gift cards for the big retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Safeway and so forth are the most valuable and sell quickly for a small discount, like 5 percent of their value.
Common gift cards will have appeal, but even gift cards to local stores will sell, since people will look and see what is available for their area.
SELLER CAN CHANGE THE PRICE
Let's say you list a $100 gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond at a 5 percent discount. That means you would sell it for $95, and Raise would take its 15 percent fee and send you $80.25 via direct deposit, PayPal or a check in the mail.
But after three days, no one has stepped up to buy it. You decide to offer a better discount to attract more buyers. As a Raise seller, you can adjust or even delist your card anytime.
100 PERCENT GUARANTEE
Raise.com has one-year 100 percent money-back guarantee on all of the gift cards sold through its site.
Start by going to "Sell Gift Cards," or download the mobile app.
Next, enter the info for the gift card you want to sell. Raise will show you current listings for the retailer, the value of each card and its sales percentage so you can see your competition and set your price accordingly.
You can list any gift card as an e-gift card, which reduces your listing fee. In this case, instead of shipping a gift card, only the serial number and PIN are delivered to the buyer.
Last, enter the current balance of your card, and choose your selling price.
For any price you enter, you'll see your final payout estimate. You can adjust it depending on how much cash you want to make.
Once your card sells and is delivered to the buyer, the cash funds are yours.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.