Cash for gift cards
October 22, 2005 11:04 PM   Subscribe

A friend gave me a Target gift card. I don't want anything from Target. How can I get cash for the card?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (32 answers total)
 
Take it to the store and cash it in?
posted by JJ86 at 11:21 PM on October 22, 2005


eBay.
posted by keswick at 11:26 PM on October 22, 2005


Wait until you want something from Target. You will eventually. They have pretty much everything.
posted by kindall at 11:26 PM on October 22, 2005


Sell it to someone who shops there?

Google "sell gift cards" and check out the options. I don't know how legit they are, but whatever.

Not wanting anything from Target....that's such a foreign concept to me...
posted by jetskiaccidents at 11:27 PM on October 22, 2005


Cash it in? Probably not: "GiftCards are not redeemable for cash or credit except where required by law." Where that is, I have no idea.

You could always max out the card buying merchandise, and simply return the merchandise. You should be able to get a cash refund despite originally paying for the items with store credit.
posted by betheon at 11:28 PM on October 22, 2005


I tried selling gift certificates on eBay. I listed them for half their face value and didn't get a single bid. Just sayin'.

There's a website devoted to trading gift cards. It's supposed to get busy around January. I check it out one year, and it seemed like everyone wanted the same stuff (which doesn't make a good trading dynamic). Maybe there's a better, similar option today.

How can you not find something at Target? Even if you don't buy CDs or watch DVDs, it's October: Buy someone a Christmas present. That's like saying you can't use a gift certificate to Wal-Mart. I despise Wal-Mart; but if the money was already spent and there were a gun to my head, they sell plenty of things I'd normally buy elsewhere.
posted by cribcage at 11:33 PM on October 22, 2005


You could always max out the card buying merchandise, and simply return the merchandise. You should be able to get a cash refund despite originally paying for the items with store credit.

betheon, that doesn't work these days, I don't think. Most stores
posted by BaxterG4 at 12:53 AM on October 23, 2005


<ahem>

You could always max out the card buying merchandise, and simply return the merchandise. You should be able to get a cash refund despite originally paying for the items with store credit.

betheon, that doesn't work these days, I don't think. Most stores of Target's size keep each credit in a database and associate each with the terms on them, including whether that credit (or a remainder of it) should be redeemable only for merchandise or if it should also be redeemable for cash or the source of the credit, from which the terms of redemption are derivable.
posted by BaxterG4 at 1:01 AM on October 23, 2005


This is not meant as a snark, but don't you at least occasionally have need for toothpaste? Detergent? Socks? Paper? Soap? Cereal? Aspirin? Candy bars? Batteries? T-shirts? Shampoo? Film? Lightbulbs?

No? Okay, then I guess you don't really want anything from Target. Ebay it.
posted by scody at 1:56 AM on October 23, 2005


...that doesn't work these days...

Damn. That's good to know -- thanks.

In that case, it seems, I'll echo what everyone else is saying about Target -- there is more than likely something you'll want to buy, even if you don't realize it, and even if it's not for you.
posted by betheon at 1:57 AM on October 23, 2005


You can't cash it in, trading it seems problematic.... I think it's gonna be easier to just use it to get stuff from Target. There has to be something at Target you can use. Is there a SuperTarget near you? You've got to need groceries. Spend the gift card on groceries or cleaning supplies, and spend the same amount on something you want from where you want.
posted by Shoeburyness at 1:57 AM on October 23, 2005


P.S., as a consumer, I would be very wary of buying a gift certificate off of eBay. How am I to know it's not fake? In most auctions, a photograph is enough to satisfy my concern, but with a gift card there is no way telling if the card has been properly activated short of getting it scanned at your local Target. (Remember, these cards sit by the dozens next to most checkout lines; the cards only gain value once processed by a Target employee.)
posted by betheon at 2:00 AM on October 23, 2005


Echoing betheon, how would you know a card you got on eBay had not been used up, or almost used up? If the seller had gone to Target (or wherever) and used a $50 gift card to buy $49.50 worth of stuff, you would not be able to tell until you tried to buy >$0.50 with it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:54 AM on October 23, 2005


Don't you have any friends who DO shop at Target, and would be willing to buy your card off you?
posted by aubilenon at 3:56 AM on October 23, 2005


I once swapped a Starbucks gift card for a Nabokov novel on Craigslist. People also sell gift cards on there for cash.
posted by amber_dale at 4:23 AM on October 23, 2005


Go to Target and sell it to someone.
posted by Lotto at 4:44 AM on October 23, 2005


Sell it on craigslist.
posted by iconomy at 5:19 AM on October 23, 2005


I've seen these sold on places like SomethingAwful. Generally you get a poor return since you're a motivated seller. Maybe 75% of the value, if you're lucky.
posted by smackfu at 6:21 AM on October 23, 2005


I second Lotto's suggestion of going to the store and selling it there. I once did this with a Gap gift card: I approached two women who were about to purchase their items, explained my situation, offered my $20 card for $15, and stayed with them while they used the gift card so that they knew I wasn't conning them. It was some extra effort, but everyone was happy in the end: the women saved $5, I had $15 I didn't have before. (Not sure if this could get you in trouble with the store management, but no one at the Gap seemed to mind.)
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 6:27 AM on October 23, 2005


Re-Gift it! Give it to a homeless person/charity.
posted by Quartermass at 7:16 AM on October 23, 2005


Re: Buying/selling gift cards on eBay: The seller can post the card's serial number in the item description, and would-be bidders can call to confirm the card's value themselves. It's no more or less risky than buying/selling anything else on eBay.
posted by cribcage at 7:51 AM on October 23, 2005


I bought iTunes credits with mine. They sell other things that have sort of cash-equivalent value - phone top-ups, etc.
posted by sagwalla at 10:57 AM on October 23, 2005


The iTunes idea is a good one. I would suggest buying groceries, or Halloween candy if you'll need it, or a Christmas / holiday gift. Heck, you might be able to give the card itself as a gift if you know someone who would appreciate it. Or, does Target sell gift cards to other stores the way some grocery stores do? Perhaps you can just buy one for the amount of the Target card.

If it's a matter of just needing the cash, I would suggest trying to sell it to a friend or family member as opposed to trolling your Target store for a buyer. I would not be very receptive if someone approached me in a store and tried to sell me something.
posted by boomchicka at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2005


Are you in California? If so, just go to Target and ask for the money. (That's where it's 'required by law' as betheon remarked)
posted by muddylemon at 11:19 AM on October 23, 2005


I have bought many gift cards from ebay.....I make sure I buy from sellers with a lot of good feedback and I've never had a problem. Barnes&Noble and Border's certificates sell very well on ebay. I've never looked for Target, but why not? I'm a little like the others - how can you not need anything from Target? The Super Target stores even have groceries!

-
posted by Independent Scholarship at 1:43 PM on October 23, 2005


Give it to someone else as a gift. If it has your name on it, go to Target and get it exchanged for new one.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:09 PM on October 23, 2005


I've never done this before, but I would just go to the store in question and ask a shopper to buy it off you. Full value is appropriate, if they're going to use the entire card's value at cash anyway. If they're suspicious of your card having as much money on it as you say it has, offer to hang around until they actually use the card at cash.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 2:48 PM on October 23, 2005


I'm with the folks who seriously doubt that Target sells nothing you want. You don't have to buy the just-out-of-college furniture or the better-one-next-year-Jimmy bikes or the made-in-China-tools or whatnot. Just go get some nice deals on some CDs or stock up on bar soap or buy a bunch of soda for a party. Good grief!

You can wad up the Target bags before you bring the stuff in the house, so nobody ever has to know you shopped there.
posted by dhartung at 7:38 PM on October 23, 2005


I guess anonymous can't comment on why they "don't want anything from Target" - they wouldn't stay anonymous. Wal-Mart was mentioned - I don't know how they've done it, but Target has avoided the stigma Wal-Mart has, even though they're pretty similar in areas like pay, benefits, etc. I actually read an article about this a while back, wish I could remember where...anyway, the OP may have an ideological problem with Target, rather than just thinking they don't carry anything they can use.

Re: Buying/selling gift cards on eBay: The seller can post the card's serial number in the item description, and would-be bidders can call to confirm the card's value themselves. It's no more or less risky than buying/selling anything else on eBay.
posted by cribcage


I would hesitant to do this if trying to sell a card - I would think (but certainly don't know) that if one had the card's serial number, in addition to being able to check the card's balance, one could also use it at Target's online store.
posted by attercoppe at 7:45 PM on October 23, 2005


Are you in California? If so, just go to Target and ask for the money. (That's where it's 'required by law' as betheon remarked)

anybody know if this works for store credit? I've got a $500 home depot "store credit" card from some returned items that I wouldn't mind getting the cash for.
posted by fishfucker at 10:47 PM on October 23, 2005


Watch for reactions if you try to sell it to strangers, they may assume it is stolen. I'd try coworkers or family members first. I also disagree with Count Z. You're asking someone to engage in an extraneous transaction so you can get money, it behooves you to kick back at least 5 or 10 percent for their trouble.

Barring that, buy CDs, rip the tracks to your hard drive, and then sell the discs to the local used shop. While you'll probably only get a third of the value back, you'll be, like, screwing the man three ways!
posted by nanojath at 10:50 PM on October 23, 2005


If you have an ideological problem with Target, you might consider that Target already has the money for the card (let's say, $50). If you don't spend it, then Target has the $50 that was paid for the card, and $50 worth of merchandise which you never bought with it. If you use it, Target is at least out the $50 worth of merchandise.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:45 AM on October 24, 2005


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