There’s a growing market online for buying old gift cards.
It’s a particularly sad Christmas when people don’t even want the gift cards you gave them.
The gift card may seem like the perfect fallback gift for those who don’t know what to buy loved ones for the holidays, but sometimes even these presents don’t quite hit the mark. Consumers spent more than $130 billion on gift cards per year, according to advisory company CEB TowerGroup, but it said roughly $1 billion went unspent.
Gift cards are perfect for online shopping, especially when families are spread out across the country, said Eddie Alberty, vice president of Strategic Partnerships at e-commerce site Market America and Shop.com.
Based in London, Israeli startup Zeek is one of the most recent companies to enter the unclaimed gift card market. It advertises discounts up to 25% on gift cards and says nine out of 10 gift cards sell in less than 24 hours on its site. It takes a commission out of each sale, its amount depending on the gift card. Zeek is available for free download on the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
However, even the generic nature of gift cards doesn’t guarantee they will be used.