Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Buying and selling gift cards on Kijiji

Let's say you got a gift card for Christmas that you don't want. You're a vegetarian and someone bought you $100 for The Keg. We'll ignore the fact that vegetarianism is wrong, and focus instead on the financial situation.

Now you're stuck with a meaty gift worth $100 if you spend it. But what's it worth to someone else? Could you get full face value for your gift card if you sold it on Kijiji? Oh, my friend ... if you believe that, you've never sold on Kijiji before. Don't expect to get full face value for anything.

But it may still be worth your while to sell it for, say, $75. Your brain may say you're taking a $25 hit, but your brain is a filthy liar. Two weeks ago, you had zero. Then you had $100 theoretical that you're not going to use. Turning that into $75 real cash is still a $75 gain.

The Winnipeg Free Press tells the story of a Kijiji dealer named Jayden, who turned buying and selling gift cards into a business....and then a hobby:
According to Jayden, among the most ubiquitous gift cards in the Winnipeg market are for iTunes -- which dont sell well -- and the Keg. On the other end of the spectrum, Walmart and gas gift cards are hot sellers on eBay, he said, while Best Buy and Future Shop gift cards move quickly on Kijiji.
Despite the opportunity to get some cash for an unwanted card -- or grab a wanted card for a good discount -- Jayden noted buyers and sellers should be cautious when they take their gift cards online. Some of Winnipegs Kijiji sellers are sensitive to those concerns, pledging to confirm the gift cards amount at the retailer or via a 1-800 number before any money trades hands.
That's true -- you could get screwed. Perhaps the card you're buying was stolen off the rack and never activated.

So, assume the usual best practices for Kijiji dealing: Meet in person in a safe location; deal in cash; check out the merchandise before making the deal. In this case, that means calling the toll-free number on the card and confirming the value remaining. That's if you're the buyer.

If you're the seller, just don't be a dick. You're selling something you don't want, so don't get all precious with your price. Consider taking 50 cents on the dollar if you really want the cash.

And consider being more transparent to your friends. You're luck you have friends if you're a vegetarian, so show a bit of gratitude, even if your friends want to give you a little hot beef injection as a present.

Thanks to @DezDanielsWpg on Twitter for the story suggestion.

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