There was an interesting article in today’s paper. Evidently there were $110 billion of gift cards sold last year, but $1.7 billion were unused.

So guess what? A new business was formed. What to do with gift cards you don’t want. So many people would rather have the cash, even if it were a little less than the face value of the card.

Think of the possibilities. You don’t have the money for your driver’s license or electric bill, but you have a gift card or two in your wallet that you can’t figure out what to do with. Voila!

A friend of mine was given a gift card to a restaurant he would never go to. For over six months he has been carrying this $25 gift card in his wallet. I immediately phoned him to give him the web site

I also told him about Plastic and Gift He checked them out and is what he went with.

This company is very efficient. Just select the merchant, the amount, and they make you an offer on the spot. He selected Chili’s, $25 card and in one second was offered $18.75.

Then you just type in your email, name and address and they send you a prepaid mailing label for you to send them the card and the receipt. Just print it out, stick it on an envelope and drop in the mail. How easy is that?

If you don’t have a printer, email to a friend with a printer and your troubles are solved.

As soon as they get the card in the mail, they mail you a check within 24 hours. How great is that? Or, you can ‘flip’ your card for another one you would rather have. Another option is to trade your card in for an Amazon gift card. Since Amazon sells just about everything from books to beauty supplies, why not?

As he is practically a Vegan and avoids fried and processed foods, he can use the money and go marketing at Whole Foods. For $18.75, he could buy Chard, Kale, Brocolli, Carrots, and Bananas. (Or he could have gotten big juicy cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake.)

However, if you want to purchase gift cards, you can select the merchant from a huge list and it tells you the % of savings. Such as, if you wish to buy a Chili’s gift card, the discount is 12%.  So for $22 you could buy a Chili’s gift card. Since they purchased for $18.75 (less postage and handling,) the $4 is their ‘profit’. Pretty nifty.

Now, lets say you want to go shopping at Sephora. You can buy a gift card at 13% off and use it and immediately save 13% on your purchase. They even have 10% off on a Tiffany gift card. Plus the card is darling. Robin’s egg blue with a big diamond ring on the front.

Somehow I can’t imagine going into Tiffany’s and buying something for $1000, handing them the card for $1000, and it ‘only’ cost me $900.

You get the idea.Scan