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Gift Card Exchange Sites: Trading or selling your unused gift cards

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It's happened to all of us. You get a gift card for your birthday or the holidays and several months later you realize you've yet to use it. Or worse, the card you receive is for a store you've never heard of. In the past, I've been guilty of letting such cards collect dust in my wallet, but now there are various online sites where you can trade or even sell them for their cash equivalent. (Nothing beats a cash gift.)

All of the sites mentioned below offer some form of fraud protection, although only Plastic Jungle is rated with the Better Business Bureau, earning a B+ rating. As a result, I'd personally recommend sticking with smaller transactions. In fact, for the cleanest and quickest transactions, I'd sell my cards directly to the site (an option offered by most of the sites) rather than its members.

I'd also recommend staying away from any points systems as you never know when one of these sites may close. Otartel.com, another gift card-trading site, was recently shut down after scamming over a hundred customers out of $155,000.

Nevertheless, with a little precaution and diligence these sites can help you cash in on any unwanted gift cards.

Plastic Jungle
How it works: Plastic Jungle lets you buy, sell, and trade unwanted gift cards with other members. Alternatively, you can sell your card to Plastic Jungle via its QuikCash option.
What we saw: Using Plastic Jungle's QuikCash option, I was able to get $37.50 for a $50 Best Buy gift card and $35 for a $50 Macy's Card. Plastic Jungle also gave me the option of trading my Best Buy card for a $39.38 Amazon gift card or my Macy's card for a $36.75 Amazon card. Not a bad swap, but I wanted to see if I could get more mileage from my cards, so I hit the Plastic Jungle Marketplace. Here you list the price you want to sell your card for (discounted cards will obviously sell faster). In addition, you can also have Plastic Jungle automatically reduce your asking price every day until someone bites. If you're feeling generous, you can even have people make offers on your card(s).
Fees: As the sender, you're responsible for all shipping fees. Charges range from $0.58 to $16.25 depending on where and what service you choose. For tracking purposes, Plastic Jungle lets you choose between USPS Priority, USPS First Class, and USPS Express Overnight. For every successful sale or trade, Plastic Jungle charges the seller/trader a 10% commission fee (the highest of all the sites we looked at) which is based on the final gift card sale or trade price .

GiftCardRescue.com
How it works: GiftCardRescue.com lets you sell and trade cards with other members. In addition, they will also purchase gifts cards directly from you or sell them for up to 35% off original price.
What we saw: When selling directly to GiftCardRescue.com, the average buyback ranges from 60% to 65% of your card's total value. (You can find their price list here.) For the average card holder, that's not a lot and you can probably fetch more money from other sites. However, if you have Target or Walmart cards, GiftCardRescue.com will give you 80% of the card's total value. Here, my $50 Best Buy card fetched $37 ($0.50 less than Plastic Jungle), whereas my Macy's card went for $32.50 ($4.25 less than Plastic Jungle). Low- and high-value card owners take note: GiftCardRescue.com doesn't purchase cards under $20 or over $500.
Fees: Shipping is paid for by GiftCardRescue.com.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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