Check those gift card balances

We’ve all got that one drawer. You know the one – it contains a little bit of everything, an assortment of items that even Marie Kondo wouldn’t be able to find a spot for. And there in the corner, wrapped in a nice elastic band, they sit: the gift cards.

Ah, yes – the gift card cemetery! Filled with cards to places you’ll never shop, stores that don’t even exist anymore, and somehow, three or four all to the same store, each with a sad little amount leftover from another purchase.

Friends: it’s time to reclaim the drawer! And the first step is you guessed it: the gift cards!

Gift cards can be tricky – they’re easy for the person giving the gift, and they mean you can choose what you buy. But they can seem like more work than they’re worth when they’re to a store you don’t even shop at, or one that isn’t within a three-hour drive (or doesn’t have free shipping – the worst). One solution is giving generic gift cards, like Amazon, or VISA. The downside? VISA gift card fees. Yup – it actually costs you money when you use the card (kind of takes the ‘gift’ out of ‘gift card’, don’t you think?).

Follow the steps below and soon you’ll find yourself with cash for things you actually want to buy, plus extra space in the junk drawer.

Step 1: Check your gift card balance

You could be sitting on a little goldmine of tiny plastic cards, and not even know it. Check the balance on your gift cards to see the exact amount at each store. If you have multiple cards from the same store (often leftover from returning items), you can usually even consolidate the amount onto one card with a quick call to customer service. This is a great option when each card has just a small amount leftover. To quickly check the gift card balance, visit the store’s website and enter the code on the back of your card.

Step 2: Ask yourself: will you ever use it?

Now that you know exactly how much you have to spend, it’s time to ask yourself the tough question: will you ever buy anything from that store again? If the answer’s no, move on to step 3! But, if the answer’s yes? Give it another minute and ask yourself again. Even though you really loved those low-rise hip-hugger jeans and belly button ring from the store five years ago, if you don’t realistically see yourself taking the time to check the site/go in-store, find something you like, then buy it (usually spending more than your gift card is even worth), then be honest with yourself. Now – pat yourself on the back (we’re very proud of you).

Step 3: Earn cash for something you really want

Yup, you read that right. Instead of hanging on to a pile of gift cards you’ll never use, you can actually make money for something you actually want when you sell gift cards online. Check out sweetgiftcards: the perfect partner to your junk-drawer gift card dilemma. Enter your card store and value, and bam! Money in your pocket for a store you’ve actually shopped at within the last year. Sell gift cards now, spend money on something you want later. It’s a win-win.

So, crack open that junk drawer, hunt down those gift cards, and sell, sell, sell! Then reward yourself with something that’s actually on your wishlist. You earned it.

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