Friday, July 4, 2008

best buy gift card


Sites Let People Trade Unwanted Gift Cards
Don't Like One Store? Get Credit At Another -- But Beware
Gift cards are one of the most popular holiday presents, with 75 percent of shoppers saying they're buying gift cards this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.
But what happens if you don't actually want anything at the store that issued the card? After all, about 14 percent of gift cards go unredeemed.
Thousands of recipients are now turning around and selling their unwanted cards online.
Buy, Sell, Trade
Two years ago, Michael and Mary Jane Kelly realized they had about a dozen gift cards just lying around.
"They were literally collecting dust, " Mary Jane Kelly said. "We weren't going to use them. They weren't restaurants we ate at. They weren't stores that we shopped at."
It gave them the idea to start swapagift.com -- an Internet site where people buy, sell and trade gift cards like they're baseball cards. The site boasts 15,000 registered users.
Kevin Kaufman used swapagift.com last Christmas, when his mother gave him a gift card to Home Depot. He traded it in for a Best Buy card so he could buy a camera, and was even honest about it.
"I was up front with mom," he said. "I told her right away."
People Like Options
The National Retail Federation predicts gift-card sales will be more than $18 billion this holiday season -- up nearly 7 percent from last year.
"I like them because it takes the guessing out of getting a gift or a present for someone," said Sarah Carter of New York, shopping at Tower Records.
Standing next to her, Joe Bowlind said almost all his gifts this year will be gift cards.
"We are seeing a lot more people buying gift cards," said Christina Sharpe, store manager of Tower Records in New York's Manhattan borough. "People are looking for flexible options."
Now, even after a gift card is given, there are options. Swapagift.com is is part of a growing cottage industry surrounding the aftermarket for gift cards -- including cardavenue.com, giftcardbuyback.com and giftcardsagain.com.
While using these sites seems convenient, there are pitfalls.
"A lot of these gift cards can be stolen," said Scott Krugman of the National Retail Federation. "They can even be counterfeit, leaving the recipient with nothing."
Gift Card Advice
The National Retail Federation says if you are going to take the risk, here's some advice:
Find out what kind of reviews the Web site is getting to see if people have had bad transactions.
Once you get the gift card, call the retailer. Each gift card is going to have a number on it. Make sure that this gift card is legitimate.
Make sure you know who you're exchanging with and that you have their contact information, because if something goes wrong with your gift card you're going to need to track that person down.
At the end of the day, some worry gift cards can be impersonal. That's why sometimes it's nice to give your gifts the old fashioned way -- wrapping big presents in pretty paper with ribbons.