PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gift cards are very popular gifts — a quick, easy, and convenient way to take care of relatives — chances are good you just got one yourself.
“Gift cards are really the hottest item this holiday season,” says Prof. Audrey Guskey of Duquesne University.
But have you ever gotten a gift card for a place or something that does not interest you at all.
“Oh yeah. Absolutely,” said one shopper.
So what can you do — take it back for a full refund?
“I don’t think that’s ever part of the deal,” Prof. Elaine Luther of Point Park University told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
“I don’t think you get your money back from a gift card. I have never heard of a place where they would let you do that.”
But Luther says all is not lost.
“Now they have websites — there’s like an aftermarket for buying and selling gift cards.”
That’s where the website – GiftcardGranny.Com — comes into play.
“The best way to do that is to go to GiftcardGranny.Com, and see all the companies that will buy your gift card from you and what they’ll pay for it,” says Luke Knowles, founder of the company.
Knowles says there are a half dozen companies listed on the website that will buy your gift card either on-line and through the mail — although not dollar for dollar.
“Let’s say 60 percent to 92 percent of value depending on the card, and you may get your money today or maybe within a week,” she said.
And Knowles says more people than ever prefer to trade their gift cards in for cash.
Knowles: “In fact, the secondary gift card space is probably about a half-billion-dollar-industry this year.”
Delano: “A half-billion dollars in unwanted gift cards?”
Knowles: “That’s correct.”
Guskey says it’s better to take a little less cash than let the cards go unused which only benefits the retailers.
“As shoppers, we really have to be aware that gift cards are really gifts to the retailers and not to the consumers.”
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