Personal and Household Financial Losses Through Unused Gift Cards and Vouchers

As inflation has continued to skyrocket toward record highs, many families worldwide are wondering how to get more money coming into their household and how to make each pound stretch a bit further. From side hustling to strict budgeting, people are doing what they can to make their lives more comfortable and allow less money to slip through the cracks.

However, you may be chasing harder solutions that you need when you’re already sitting on top of a pile of cash.

You may be wondering, “why would I be looking at all these other ways to make ends meet if I was sitting on top of cash? How could I have missed anything?”

Simple: because it’s in the form of gift cards and vouchers.

While we may not consider gift cards and vouchers to be real money in day-to-day life, there are very real ways that these items can cause personal and financial losses as they go unused. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can get new value from gift cards and vouchers you probably already have lying around your flat.

In this article, we’ll go over how gift cards and vouchers end up going unused, how this impacts personal and household financial losses, and how to use your spare gift cards and vouchers to ease this month’s financial stresses.

How Do Gift Cards and Vouchers Go Unused?

It may seem unreasonable to believe that much extra cash could be burning a hole in your pocket, but the numbers back it up: up to £300 million of gift vouchers are wasted each year in the UK alone, according to the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association. In the U.S., over $21 billion is sitting around in the form of unused gift cards, with an average that has been climbing up to an average of $175 per person.

An estimated 6% of vouchers bought by consumers go unused, so if you have purchased or received more than 20 in your lifetime, there’s a good chance you’ve got at least one unused gift card or voucher lying around.

This can happen for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons that gift cards and vouchers don’t get used include the following:

  1. They are for a product the current owner doesn’t use or a business they don’t frequent. For example, a popular gift around the holidays may be gift cards and vouchers to day spas for people to get some pampering done, such as facials, manicures, and pedicures. However, if someone is given a voucher for a day spa that isn’t conveniently located near their home or work, they may be less likely to use it. This may also happen in the case of gift cards or vouchers to restaurants the recipient doesn’t enjoy, for another example.
  2. They are misplaced among other cards. If you’re part of the 68% of adults in the UK that have at least one credit card or over half of adults in the U.S. that have at least one credit card, you may have experienced this before. Credit cards, debit cards, and ID cards can create quite the pile of clutter in someone’s wallet or purse, leading less frequently used cards – such as a one-time use gift card – to fall to the bottom, perhaps never to be seen again. If you haven’t decluttered your regular wallet or purse in a bit, you may want to have a look. Who knows what you may find!
  3. They go through the wash. In this tragic scenario, a paper voucher may be lost in the laundry without the owner even noticing. Unless there is some salvageable scrap that shows the value of this voucher, it may be washed away in the rinse or thrown away without anyone knowing its initial value.

Now that we’ve gone over some reasons that gift cards and vouchers are left unused let’s talk about how that’s costing you.

How Does This Impact Individuals and Households?

There are a couple of main ways that your unused gift cards and vouchers can cost you: expiring without being used and simply sitting unused until they are lost.

If you didn’t know that gift cards can expire, you might want to check the balances on any that you have! Some gift cards and vouchers have an expiration date listed on them, while others may slowly go down to a balance of £0 because of annual or even monthly fees that are charged each month it’s not used until it is worthless. Because of this, if your gift card or voucher sits around for too long, it could literally be worth less than the original purchaser paid for it.

Another way that people experience personal and household financial losses because of gift cards is the item being unused until it is lost for good. Whether it falls out of a wallet, ends up in the laundry, or gets eaten by a pet, once a gift card or voucher is destroyed or lost, there’s no way to get it back.

So, how do you get some use out of the gift cards and vouchers you already have to avoid these financial losses?

Fortunately, there is a way to use these gift cards and vouchers that can help you pay your bills and manage day-to-day expenses.

How To Get Value From Unused Gift Cards and Vouchers

Now, you may be wondering, what are you supposed to do with these unused gift cards? You don’t like that restaurant or go to that business’s locations any more than you did when you first received it, so what are you supposed to do other than let it sit until maybe, someday, the mood might strike you to use it?

Simple: you can sell it on the Card Personal Exchange Market, also known as CardPEM.

This marketplace is a great benefit to people all over who can exchange unused gift cards and vouchers for cash. Usually, the cash you get for a gift card will be lower than the full value of the gift card, but which would you rather have: £40 in your bank account or a £50 voucher to a spa you’ll probably never visit?

It’s usually preferable to have money in the bank than an unused gift card in your pocket, especially with inflation making basic daily expenses more costly each day.

Here’s how you can turn that little lost card at the bottom of your bag into cash in the bank.

How To Resell Unused Gift Cards and Vouchers on CardPEM

Unlike some marketplaces for gift card and voucher resale, CardPEM offers sellers an efficient, secure, and trusted online platform to use when turning unused vouchers into cash they can use anywhere.

This is a personal exchange market, so each seller can determine the discounted price they want to list when they sell their gift cards and vouchers. Currently, the platform accepts e-gift cards, e-vouchers, and machine-readable gift cards that can be scanned from a picture on a phone. There isn’t any required minimum discount, but if you want to sell your gift card or voucher quickly, it’s a good idea to see what comparable items are currently going for. For example, if you want money quickly in exchange for a £20 gift card to Caffè Nero or Starbucks and see that similar gift cards are going for £17.5, you may list yours at £16 to make it a more appealing option. If you have more time, however, or don’t see any similar gift cards for sale, you may list your item at less of a discount.

Once your gift card or voucher has been purchased, the details of the purchased gift card will be shared by CardPEM with the buyer. Then, the buyer will have 14 days to confirm that the gift card has the correct balance or notify CardPEM of any issues with it. After the buyer validates the gift card balance or 14 days have passed, you’ll have the cash to withdraw to your PayPal or bank account and use how you like! You can withdraw it to your own bank account for upcoming expenses or use that balance to purchase a different gift card or voucher that you are actually likely to use.

Who Buys Resale Gift Cards and Vouchers?

The short answer: lots of people!

Gift card reselling is of great benefit to both the seller, who gets to see new value coming in for a previously unused item, and the buyer, who gets to purchase goods or services at a discount because of the relatively low price they paid for the gift card or voucher.

People may choose to buy resale gift cards and vouchers instead of buying them directly from the source for many reasons, including:

  1. Wanting to get some of their favourite goods or services at a discount.
  2. Trying to get the best deal on gifts for friends, family, and associates.
  3. Prioritising reduced waste of resources already in the economy.

Whatever the reason, you can be assured that the buyers on CardPEM are legitimate individuals interested in getting a good deal, just like you’re interested in turning those unused vouchers into money you can use to pay your bills.

I’m Ready To Sell, Now What?

Simply register for an account on CardPEM! You’ll need some basic personal information to get started, including your name, email address, mailing address, and mobile phone number. Once you’ve registered and your account is fully approved, you can start listing gift cards and vouchers you’d like to sell as well as browsing what gift cards and vouchers others are selling. Sign up today and start turning your unused gift cards and vouchers into cash!

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