What do you do with a gift card that you'll never use?
If you're thinking about selling it on a swapping site it may not be as simple as you think.
Chris Cadarelli let me know he sold two cards valued at $100 dollars each to Scottsdale based Cardflip.com The website buys unwanted gift cards and sells them at a discount.
He says on November 16 the company agreed to pay him $88 per card. Once he sent the cards, he expected to be paid in 3 to 5 days.
But 10 days later, Chris says he hadn't received any money and the gift cards he sold were down to a zero balance.
He writes, "The merchant does not answer phone calls and the few email replies I did receive did not resolve my issue." Thinking he'd lost his money, Chris filed complaints with state and federal agencies.
Websites are convenient for buying and selling gift cards but they're also risky. You don't know where the card are going to or coming from. Even the most reputable sites get complaints about unresponsiveness, long delays in payment, even no payment at all.
Cardflip.com has a D-minus rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Getting rid of unwanted gift cards doesn't have to happen online.
Another company Cardpool.com has listings of tellers and freestanding kiosks where you can turn over the card, have funds verified, and get paid almost immediately.
Also, stores like Walmart and Target exchange several gift cards for store credit. And you can always just regift them.
If you're buying cards, use a credit card for more protections if you end up with a dud.
Chris says he was paid--two weeks later but says, "I'm still not entirely convinced that I would have received payment had i not taken all of the steps that I did."
We reached out to the company for comment, it did not respond.