CONSUMERWATCH: Online gift card swapping
Published Wednesday, December 28, 2011 11:16AM CST
On average Canadians spend about $6 billion every year on gift cards and one Consumer Reports study found one in four of those gift cards go unused.
Cardswap.ca is a free website that helps people get rid of their unwanted gift cards. People can sell their gift cards to the website for up to $.90 on the dollar. Users then buy them from the site for a reduced rate. Sheliah Restall said she has saved $110 since September.
"I'll buy everything from gas gift card, Wal-Mart gift card, Superstore, anything I know I will be using in the future," she said.
"The service can be used by anybody either by saving money at the store you want to shop at or cashing in on gift cards you'd rather have money for," said Frances Ho is from Cardswap.ca.
Buy and sell websites like eBay.ca have listed gift cards for a lower price in the past, but the problem with that is there are no guarantees the card for sale contains the full amount. Cardswap.ca won't buy gift cards with expiry dates or if the value can't be validated.
"If you have any issues with any gift card you've received from us, you'll receive a full refund," said Ho.
Restall said the only downside of the website is the good deals often go quickly.
"It used to be that I could not check it five times a day and I'd be able to get the gift cards I want," she said. "Now if a Wal-Mart gift card is up, if I'm not on it in a minute, its probably gone."
Consumers can also receive a tax receipt by donating unwanted gift cards to the website; the money from the card is then forwarded to charity.
To learn more, go to http://www.cardswap.ca/