Whether it’s a birthday, graduation or holiday, it’s likely that you’ll get a stack of gift cards for any celebration. Also likely: you’ll end up with a few you can’t use or don’t want.
Maybe your boss gave you a Starbucks gift card, but you aren’t a coffee drinker.
Or your Aunt Rita gave you a gift card to a steakhouse, but you’re a vegetarian.
There is no reason for this well-intentioned gift to go to waste. You can sell gift cards online for cash.
Tips to Sell Gift Cards Online
There are plenty of websites to sell your gift cards, and each is a little different. Some will let users bid on your gift card, while others will purchase it from you and then sell it themselves.
Here’s what to keep in mind as you find a buyer for that unwanted present.
Consider Ways to Get Paid
Depending on the service you choose, when you sell a gift card you can receive a check in the mail, a Paypal payment or a more useful gift card.
Paypal might be a quick form of payment, but keep those pesky fees in mind if you want to maximize your payout. Checks may take a little longer, but they’re as good as cold, hard cash. And depending on your spending habits, another gift card might be the best choice, as the conversion rate is going to be the highest.
Each selection has its own perks, so choose whichever best fits your needs.
There is, however, one notable exception that you probably should avoid when it comes to gift cards: eBay.
Don’t Sell Gift Cards on eBay
Ebay has always been a popular place for buying and selling things online — but it might be the worst way to sell gift cards.
First, an eBay buyer isn’t likely to buy your gift card for more than 80% to 90% of its value. For a $100 gift card, you can count on a loss of between $10 and $20.
On top of that, you may be responsible for eBay’s insertion fees, a final value fee and a performance fee if your eBay seller account isn’t in good shape. Then, if you’re using Paypal for payment, expect an additional 2.9% fee. Yuck!
Suddenly, your $100 gift card is only worth $70.
What’s better? Online gift card exchange sites. They’ll purchase your gift card for 90% or more of its value and resell it for you.
Here are the top sites that put the most money in your pocket.
4 Best Websites to Sell Gift Cards
To get a quote on your gift card, all you need to do is input the brand and balance. On most of these sites, there’s an option to enter the gift card number to sell it and receive payment electronically — no need to mail anything.
Rates will vary depending on the service and the brand, so I thought it would be fun to see which would offer me the best price for my gift cards.
I picked three leading online gift card buyers and asked for quotes on a $25 Walmart gift card. Here are the results:
Gift Cards Still Need a Home? Auction Them Off on Raise
The gift card exchange site Raise has always been one of my favorite places to sell my unwanted gift cards because I get to set the price. However, as with eBay, you don’t get paid until the gift card sells.
Still, on Raise you can list a card without paying up-front fees, so there’s no risk.
You can sell any gift card for store credit — new or partially used. Most cards sell within 24 hours, and Raise takes 15% of the selling price.
As with any product, the more demand, the more you can ask for it. Gift cards for major retailers — Walmart, Target, Best Buy — tend to sell on the marketplace for 95% of their value.
You also maintain control over your listing. If your card doesn’t sell in the first couple of days, you can always adjust the price to attract more buyers. Or you can unlist it if you change your mind.
If you do decide to sell a gift card, shop around and find the best offer. Check with two or three companies before handing over your gift card.
And remember, you can buy discount gift cards on all these sites, too. Keep them in mind when you need a gift.
Dana Sitar is a former branded content editor at The Penny Hoarder. Adam Hardy is a former staff writer.