When the store closes, don't lose money on gift cards

When the store closes, don't lose money on gift cards

Contributor: Kerry Kavanaugh
Email: kkavanaugh@abcactionnews.com
Last Update: 8/14 9:46 am
Even in a tough economy, billions of dollars in gift cards go unused every year in the United States. That dollar amount could rise as more retailers close up shop, making it difficult for customers to redeem their gift cards.

From Macy's, to Home Depot, to Disney, major retailers are closing some of their stores. So, what happens if that store is near you and you have an unused gift card?

Thanks to the web, you can now sell them or even swap them.

It is big business for sites like giftcardbuyback.com. The site will purchase your gift cards for 60% to 80% percent of the face value, depending on the store. On the site, look for “sell cards” and find a list of retailers and restaurants gift cards the site will purchase. Beside the store names you'll see the percentage the website buys at. There is no fee to sell your card through giftcardbuyback.com and you can refuse their offer.

On swapagift.com, you post your unwanted gift card. You can try to sell it, and you name the price. That price could include a swap it for another gift card you can use or want more. On swapagift.com, your best bet is to get someone to buy it or swap it. If the site purchases the card from you, you can lose from 30% to 40% of the face value.

Want a sure bet to keeping all of your money? Redeem your gift card online. Check out your retailer’s website to see if that's an option first.

If a store goes completely belly up, like Bennigan's and Steak And Ale restaurants did a couple of weeks ago, then these websites won't work for you. You can however try and file a claim through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.


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