Are Gift Card Resellers a Scam?

by Kevin on February 21, 2013

Is PlasticJungle a scam? Is GiftCardRescue a scam? Is CardPool a scam? These are all websites that serve as gift card resellers. I’ve talked about utilizing gift card resellers in the past both as a buyer and seller of gift cards. Yet the stigma remains with some of these sites that they are scams because they either take forever to pay you or just claim to never receive your gift cards at all; essentially stealing them from you.

I thought it would be useful for my readers to share my personal experience with some of these sites. My experience should not be seen as a ringing endorsement or a scathing condemnation. I would hope your experiences would be as good as mine if not better, but I can’t guarantee that.

Is Plastic Jungle a Scam?

The big websites are the easiest ones to go after with scam claims. Smaller websites with smaller customer bases might react differently and try to appease every person that gave them a negative review. Once you reach economies of scale and outsource part of your business processes, addressing individual reviewers is impossible.

Plastic Jungle has a “meh” reputation in the industry. My experience, unfortunately, has been about the same.

If you’re looking to buy discounted gift cards then you are just comparing who has the cards you want at the best discount. I’ve had no problems with Plastic Jungle when buying. My gift cards have worked without any issue.

I’ve even sold them some gift cards successfully, but I was less than impressed with their process compared to others in the industry. Plastic Jungle’s website is broken. There’s no other way to say it. You sign in, click on a different part of the website, and it forces you to re-sign in. Sometimes you refresh the page and have to sign in again. (And it isn’t like Amazon where there is a separate page to log you in because they want to make sure it is you; this is just broken code.) Broken code does not provide a feeling of confidence for the customer.

The next big issue: there is no phone number listed for the company anywhere on the site. They have an address, great, I’ll send a letter. This means they are understaffed and can’t handle the influx of calls they would get so just take the phone number off the website.

Following that you have the problem that there is no automatic updating of the process when you sell your card to them. There is no tracking on the postage they pay for which makes it a heck of a lot easier to claim they never got your cards. (They didn’t do this with me, but it just seems like a poor business practice.) When they cut the check to me I had no way of tracking when it would get to me. Emails went unreturned and things just seemed to magically happen after I sent an email.

The bottom line is: you can sell your cards to PJ, you might have a good experience, and you’ll probably get paid. But the lack of automation, tracking information, and overall ability to communicate with the customer left me wary of doing it again.

Is Cardpool a Scam?

I have had a significantly better experience with Cardpool. Simple things like the website not breaking and automatic updates on your order instill better confidence in the customer. I sold a large number of gift cards to them over the holidays; the only hold up I ran into is they called to verify I wasn’t a scammer. (At least that’s what I think they were doing, they wanted to see where I got the cards, verify my address, and so forth.)

When I’ve had issues with Cardpool there is a number on the website I can call. (I did, however, run into the problem of leaving their bulk reselling line a voicemail and never getting a call back.)

Overall it seems like they have their stuff together. You get an automatic email update when they receive your cards and are processing them. You get another update when they send the check. It is very streamlined, and I know when to be looking for a big check in my mailbox. The process just seems to run really smooth.

Is Giftcard Zen a Scam?

GiftcardZen is a new player in the industry with a smaller team. However, I’ve really been impressed with them. I have only sold a handful of cards to GiftcardZen, and I haven’t purchased any, but the transaction went very smooth. The only downside compared to the others is they didn’t pay for shipping at all. All you get is an address to ship your cards to rather than a pre-paid postage label.

However, this wouldn’t deter me from buying or selling with them again because their personal communication was phenomenal. It’s nice to know there is a legit human being on the other side of the email address. All of the team members have a photo and listing on the website, so when you talk to Aaron on the phone you know it is the Aaron that is helping run the site.

Is GiftcardRescue a Scam?

I have purchased thousands of dollars in gift cards from GiftcardRescue.com. I have yet to run into a problem with a card that was canceled due to being purchased with a stolen credit card or anything like that. I haven’t sold any of my cards to them, but based on my previous buying experience I wouldn’t hesitate to. There email support was a little slow, but did respond. Their prices haven’t always been the best, but that’s where having a price comparison website to shop around at all the resellers helps.

What about you? Have you had any horrific or amazing experiences at gift card reselling websites?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kip February 21, 2013 at 7:13 am

I have never sold gift cards to these companies and have bought from them once, but I am wary about utilizing them in the future. From what I have heard, it is a very commonplace scam for JoeBlow to steal something and return it without a receipt then sell the store credit to these sites. I am wary about supporting this practice.

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Michelle February 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

Hmm this is all good to know! I have never bought/sold from any of these, but I do like at their websites a lot.

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Golfing Girl February 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for the comparisons…I haven’t used them but may consider it in the future.

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Golfing Girl February 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

PS No phone number is a huge red flag for me.

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Sun February 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I’ve bought and sold on pj and cp. it’s not that these sites are scammy, it’s the people that buy and sell. I’ve bought dozens of gift cards on eBay before. For low value cards, it’s just not feasible to pay for signature delivery. So, then it becomes a he said, she said issue.

Knowing this, when dealing with gift card resellers, only buy and sell electronic codes. That has a lot less potential for issues.

We used cardpool last year to buy jcpenny gift cards at 22% off face value. We used the ecodes to buy our baby dresser and crib at a substantial discount.

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Chris February 26, 2013 at 8:14 am

Until this post I’d never even knew these sort of sites existed! I would always be a little worried about fraud but getting stuff at a 22$ discount is worth the risk!

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