Gift Card Exchange Day: A chance to fix Christmas.

thShow of hands: How many of you have received an inappropriate gift card at Christmas?

Maybe it’s a steakhouse card from the grandparent who doesn’t understand what “vegan” means, or a gift card to a store where you’d never willingly shop.

Or perhaps a well-meaning pal sent a movie theater gift card, but your new apartment is an hour-long bus ride away from that particular chain.

The easy answer: Sell the gift card on the secondary market.

The best day to do it: Dec. 26, aka Gift Card Exchange Day

Rates are supposed to be at their highest on this day. Certainly the resellers stand to rake in a lot of inventory: According to the National Retail Federation, just over 80% of shoppers will be gifting with gift cards this year. Those who don’t want the cards, or who need the money more than the scrip, will surely be looking to sell.

Incidentally, I know that some people think that gift cards are by definition “inappropriate.” So if you receive a card on Dec. 25, by all means sell it and use the money to buy something you really want.

Your thank-you note has only to say, “Thanks for thinking of me during the holiday. Your generous gift will be put to good use.” And it will.

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  1. lostAnnfound

    I don’t think gift cards are inappropriate in general if you give one that the recipient can use. In the girls’ stockings (still getting them at 18 and 20 years old!) we put in gift cards to their favorite local movie theater, to the local coffee shop they like to stop by, etc., places they usually visit or shop it.

    Merry Christmas, Donna!

    • Donna Freedman

      Tomorrow morning at my daughter’s house four people will unwrap a total of eight gift cards. Elsewhere, my niece and my best friend are also getting gift cards. That’s because I cashed in rewards program points to pay for Christmas.
      Had the recipients expressed distaste for gift cards in the past I would have used the points to buy something for them. In fact, I did just that in one case: I cashed in points for a $50 Visa gift card and used it to buy a movie-theater gift card for a friend. Initially I thought to give her the card itself but somehow that felt wrong. Funny how it’s OK to give $50 in movie scrip but not $50 cash….Maybe I will ask her if she’d rather have had the cash. Then again, she’s such a movie hound that she might have spent it at the theate ranyway.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment. And Merry Christmas to all.

  2. What are some secondary markets for selling gift cards? The websites I found online, including cardcash.com and cardpool.com have absolutely awful reviews, so I am skeptical about working with them. I know eBay is an option, but I really don’t want money put into a PayPal account.

    • Donna Freedman

      I’ve worked with Cardpool — mostly buying, not selling — and never had any issues. Again, if you go to GiftCardGranny.com and select “sell” and then type in the name of the card you’ll get a list of sites that want to buy it.
      I believe that some sites will send checks vs. using PayPal. I personally opted for Amazon scrip because I got a small bonus that way.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.


  1. The most-wanted Christmas gift? Cash. - Surviving and Thriving | Surviving and Thriving - […] technically you can if you sold it on the secondary market. However, you won’t get more than 92 percent…

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