Scottsdale, AZ - 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 Cardarelli 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 responded after our story aired saying in part:
"CardFlip made the payment to Chris on November 30 which was the 7th business day after his submission. After you brought this to our attention we reviewed it to see why this took an extra day or two for payment.
As mentioned, we have procedures in place to fight and avoid fraudsters. Chris Cardarelli had to be verified through bank account validity and blacklist sites shared in the gift card industry before his payment was released. There were 3 high risk transactions and 1 medium risk transaction he has on record which makes our verification process a little longer and deeper.
He went a little bit overboard quickly which is a typical sign of somebody trying to scam the company. He was trying to get a quick payout the day before a holiday which is another red flag. We process up to 1,000 cards every day, so we have detailed systems and procedures we need to follow to minimize our risk. Sometimes this delays payment for a day or two."
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