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December 29, 2010

Gift Card Arbitrage


OK, so you got a gift card or three for stores you'd never frequent no matter what.

Guess what?

You can sell them for real cash money.

Stephanie Clifford's December 10, 2010 New York Times story related how gift card exchange and management sites have arisen to ease your pain.

She wrote, "Plastic Jungle is the biggest of the sites. It buys unwanted gift cards, including electronic gift cards, paying a discount depending on how popular the issuers are. It currently pays $92 for a $100 gift card from Target, for instance, but $70 for a $100 card from Baja Fresh."

"It sells gift cards, too, also at a discount, so that a $100 Target card can be bought for $97. (Its prices fluctuate throughout the year.)"

"Unlike sites like Craigslist that offer gift cards for sale, Plastic Jungle validates 'every card received by us before we pay out, then guarantee that it will work as promised,' he [Bruce Bower, Plastic Jungle CEO] said. When someone buys a card at its site, Plastic Jungle mails it to the purchaser, or sends the buyer an online code, and it can be used immediately. It deals only with cards that cost $25 and up."

"There are several competitors with similar models, including GiftCardRescue.com, Cardpool.com and MonsterGiftCard.com, but their inventories were smaller; Plastic Jungle recently had about 670 cards for sale, and the others had about 100 or fewer. There are also pure exchange sites, like TheGiftCardTrader.com, where consumers can swap cards between each other."


"In the last year, Plastic Jungle has grown quickly, selling about $10 million worth of gift cards, Mr. Bower said. That is about five times the business it did a year ago."

December 29, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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