A cardinal of online agenda exchanges are authoritative it accessible to about-face unwanted… (Nati Harnik / Associated…)
Reporting from San Jose — So the acceptable annual is that Aunt Lula assuredly remembered your birthday. The bad annual is that she beatific you a allowance agenda to her admired store, and you’d rather eat bees than boutique there.
What to do? A beginning cardinal of online agenda exchanges are authoritative it accessible to about-face exceptionable cards into cash, cards from added retailers or alike arena time on online games.
And because sellers of bare cards about accept to advertise them at a discount, bodies are affairs from the barter sites to cut costs.
Ruben Collazo, a software architect in Tampa, Fla., has acclimated websites like GiftCardRescue and Plastic Jungle to annual abatement cards from retailers including Lowe’s and Best Buy. “Over the aftermost year, I’ve adored 9% overall,” he said.
You can accord or get cards for restaurants, movies, antic goods, alike Disneyland. “The absolute bulk of allowance cards awash in 2010 was about $100 billion, and 10% of those go unused,” said Kwame Kuadey, arch controlling of GiftCardRescue, which is based a Baltimore.
“A lot of bodies don’t apperceive they can advertise their allowance cards for cash,” Kuadey added.
That’s boring changing. New competitors are jumping into the market, and Kuadey said his site’s revenues accept quadrupled anniversary of the aftermost two years to $2 million.
Still, that’s beneath than a division of the affairs handled on industry baton Plastic Jungle, which was launched added than bristles years ago.
“There’s now about $30 billion in bare allowance cards out there,” Plastic Jungle CEO Bruce Bower said. “There’s a huge bulk of bulk that’s aloof gotten ashore in the economy.”
Bower and Kuadey anniversary said their companies buy allowance cards for 80% to 85% of their face bulk and advertise them for 85% to 90% face value. The exchanges accomplish money by pocketing the difference.
The CEO of a aboriginal aspirant in the bazaar said that aspect of the card-exchange abnormality is unfair. “It’s actual important to us that if you accept a allowance agenda for $20, you get $20 for it,” said Marc Rochman, who launched Redwood City, Calif.-based Openbucks this month.
Rochman is a adept of the agenda industry; he founded Agenda USA, which articles hundreds of millions of allowance and prepaid adaptable cards for retailers. “From the ample chains like Starbucks bottomward to the bounded bakery, about everybody has a allowance agenda program,” he said. And recently, online gaming companies such as Zynga Inc. accept been accepting into the act.
Rochman’s idea: Let consumers use the aforementioned cards at altered retailers, online or off. Openbucks has artificial agreements with a scattering of above chains, including Subway and CVS Pharmacy, to acquiesce their cards to be spent at d sites such as World Golf Tour and Parallel Kingdom.
Rochman said that not alone gives consumers addition way to use allowance cards but additionally lets bodies who don’t accept admission to acclaim cards — including adolescence — participate in online commerce. After a beta barrage bristles months ago, Rochman said his armpit already has tens of bags of users.
Of course, any fast-growing bazaar draws its allotment of abeyant scams. Kuadey and Bower say their companies accommodate safer alternatives to affairs cards on outlets such as Craigslist or EBay, because the exchanges action money-back guarantees to users who ability get ashore with a counterfeit card. Plastic Jungle additionally works with agenda retailers on the advanced end to verify that cards awash on the armpit are valid.
Still, Bower said, “there are instances area there’s artifice in the system.”
Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com, warns shoppers to beacon bright of sites that ask for a Social Security cardinal or coffer annual information.
“If they alpha allurement you for claimed information, that would be a red banderole for me,” said Hardekopf, whose Birmingham, Ala., aggregation helps consumers analysis and accept amid acclaim agenda offers.
Collazo, the Tampa shopper, said it’s important to analysis a site’s agreement and altitude carefully, because aircraft and acknowledgment behavior can alter and some sites won’t alter cards absent in the mail.
But overall, “what I like about this industry is there are no bearding ‘gotchas’ anywhere,” Collazo said. “There aren’t any aircraft costs or hidden fees; if you appetite a $100 card, you pay $80.
“It’s a abundant way to save money.”
Delevett writes for the San Jose Mercury News/McClatchy.
Here’s What No One Tells You About Exchange Gift Cards For Cash Near Me | Exchange Gift Cards For Cash Near Me – exchange gift cards for cash near me
| Encouraged to help my own website, with this period I’m going to provide you with concerning exchange gift cards for cash near me