Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ON FUN ~ Re-Gifting...



So if you are like us, you probably found a gift card in your stocking, via a holiday swap at the office, or from a well intentioned friend. Sometimes, they are perfect. They are for a place we frequent because it is nearby and we enjoy it. Other times, it isn't. They end up scattered throughout the house. Some are by the phone. Others are in my purse. And some are in Andy's Jeep. We never can remember which ones we have, where exactly they are and if they even have anything left on them. This generally happens to us with restaurant gift cards since we don't eat out all that often. But other times it is for a clothing store and I just can't bring myself to go try on clothes. Those ones for bookstores, Home Depot, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond and PetCo get used up ASAP though!

In the spirit of a new year, clean slate - go round up all those gift cards. I've got a great idea. Seriously. Go find them all. It's OK. I'll wait for you....Done? OK. Lucky for you I remembered this site I came across a few months ago and bookmarked for future reference. It is called Gift Card Buy Back and seems to be a great solution for those who don't plan to use their cards but don't want the hassle of selling them via auction on EBAY or finding an interested party on craigslist. The deal is, you take your cards and see if the vendor is listed on Gift Card Buy Back's site. If it is, it will tell you the % they will pay you for it. So for example, if your card has $25 on it, and it is a fairly established store or restaurant, you might be able to cash it in for $20. You're out $5 but no hassle. No guilt carrying around that card from Aunt Tilly that you know you'll never use. Instead of being out $25 you are only out $5.

The part I like the best however, is that there is also a Gift Cards Again companion site where you can buy those cards that others cashed in, but you pay a discounted rate. I saw a $75 Barnes & Noble gift card on there earlier today that could be bought for $60. That's an extra $15 for nothing. It's like getting bonus cash. Which is why that sucker was snapped right up by the time I went back to look for it while writing this post.

You can cash in your cards and use the proceeds to pay off your holiday bills. Or use the money to buy cards you'll really use at discounted prices. If your vendor's name isn't on the buy back list, you can still get rid of them by donating them to your favorite charity. When they are re-sold, the charity receives 75% of the proceeds. If you run a charity or volunteer for an organization in your community, have them register on the Gift Card Donor site and then spread the word for friends and families to choose your organziation any time they donate unwanted gift cards.

Somehow I don't think Aunt Tilly would mind that kind of re-gifting.

10 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think our local news program mentioned something about this. But I didn't pay attention much, because gift cards don't last long around here. I don't go to the mall often, but if I have a card, I clear my day and go, sans children, and enjoy myself.

stacybuckeye said...

What a great idea! In Christmas 08 Jason & I rounded up all of our gift cards/free money and split them (we had a lottery to see who would get what). That all we had to use for each other for gifts. It was fun and it gave us a clean slate. But now we have so many and I have no idea where they are (I probably shouldn't admit I didn't collect them when you told me to)

Natsthename said...

How cool is that?

Thanks for sharing that site. I have 2 Macaroni Grill cards I know I'll never use, and now I can get something out of them!

Adelle Laudan said...

What a cool idea. I haven't received a gift card I couldn't use before. I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for the heads up.

Happy T13!

Cindy said...

I have been hearing about this lately. Is it only US?

Thankfully I have yet to receive a GC that I can't use. Everyone knows to get me Chapters/Starbucks/Tims/Walmart etc

Usually the gift cards don't last too long here. We end up using them shortly after getting them.

Penny said...

Nice!
Thanks for the info my darlings!

Janet said...

I regifted something this year... something I rarely do, but I couldn't use this gift at all. But...the person who gave it to me had written something with my name on it ON the container...and when the person I regifted it to opened it, she asked: "Did you regift this?" I didn't want to lie, not really, so I said: "Yes.", thankfully, cause I hadn't noticed it had my name and a message on it! Phew!

LJ Ducharme said...

I rather like gift cards - particularly for bookstores. Unfortunately I only got one this year, and for Starbucks. I generally don't 'do' Starbucks, but I'll make an exception in this case.
Selling it seems so .... dirty. But then again - how many bad fitting or ugly sweaters have I suffered through over the years? When a perfectly good Gift Card would have sufficed.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Great idea! It seems I only get gift cards to places I wouldn't want to go to in a million years!

Oil and Vinegar said...

This is a great idea! Thanks for posting this!