Learn how I converted a forgotten dress and some old gift cards into $92.24 in CASH…
Back in August, I started getting rid of a lot of things in my home. Between the piles of items to donate and sell, I found a couple of things with some value.
One of the items I found was a dress I’d misplaced when I was the maid of honor for a wedding in 2009. I was so sad to see this somewhat pricey, brand new dress (still in its original packaging) just hanging in the bowels of my closet.
To receive the maximum value for this dress, a couple of things went through my mind. Should I sell it on eBay for $12? Should I return it to the store? Should I just not exert the effort and donate it?
After a quick phone call to the retailer, I ended up mailing it back to J. Crew. In its place, I received a gift card for the current value of the dress, which was $99. This was better news than risking an awkward internet sale, so I was a happy camper.
At this time, I also had a Victoria’s Secret gift card I received a Christmas ago. This made me turn to the hunt for the best deal online , and I was able to use both Plastic Jungle and Cardpool to cash in. Now, here’s the full comparison between these two services (drum roll, please!)
How I found the site: PlasticJungle came highly recommended by my sister, who used it in the past.Interface : The PlasticJungle site was easy to navigate, and offered a decent list of gift cards for selling. It wasn’t cheesy-looking, like it was some tacky Angelfire site from 1997. (Some of these buyback sites are pretty fugz.)
Process: You basically indicate you’re selling and pick from a list of retailers PlasticJungle accepts. You have to enter the number of your giftcard, and might have to scratch the secret PIN on the back of the card, and enter that, too. You can then choose to get paid by check or directly through PayPal. Afterwards, you’re provided a .pdf mailer with postage to print out, paste onto an envelope, and send in your giftcard.
Customer service: Despite using the mailer they provided, there was some delay in receiving my mailed-in gift card. I only found out it hadn’t yet been received by PlasticJungle through an automated email warning me that my deal with them was to expire soon. I tried to clear this up with their customer service reps, but there were few options other than reissuing the card itself from the original retailer (Victoria’s Secret)…which seemed like a lot of work. I didn’t know that they worked it out until I found a check in the mail.
Turnover time: 23 days
Value: My $25 Victoria’s Secret card was purchased for $20.25, an 81% buyback rate.
Notes: I chose for a check to be mailed to me to avoid PayPal fees. PlasticJungle didn’t accept J.Crew cards, so I had to go elsewhere.
How I found the site: Because PlasticJungle didn’t accept J.Crew cards, I went ahead and researched the value of J.Crew cards on other sites. Cardpool offered the best deal for this particular retailer.Interface: Really intuitive interface. Your Grandpa can even use it.
Customer service: Never encountered them, since there were no hitches! A very, very smooth process.
Turnover time: 5 days
Value: A $99 J. Crew gift card sold for $71.99. A 72.7% buyback rate.
Notes: While letting go of about $30 in credit money, $72 is better than the *possible* $12 I would have made on eBay for that dress.
VERDICT: Cardpool.com > PlasticJungle.com = CARDPOOL, FTW!