25 thoughts on “Can Cardpool Solve the Unused Gift Card Problem?”

  1. Here’s what a Gift Card communicates to me: “I wanted to get you money, but I didn’t trust that you wouldn’t spend it on something stupid, so I’m restricting what you can use my money to purchase”. Of course I understand when my parents send a gift certificate for Ikea, it means “you need furniture, but we trust your judgement as to which furniture suits you best” or when my sister gives me an Amazon.com gift certificate it means: “since I live on the other coast, this is the easiest way to send money, and since were all Amazon.com Prime, it’s just like money”, but other than that the first thought applies…

  2. I don’t accept gift cards. I’ve sent gift cards back to people and said thanks, but no thanks, I’d rather have cash.

    I also don’t send gift cards. I’ll send cash. People who think that’s rude don’t get it. Gift cards are rude. Cash is always welcome.

    1. Otto

      That is a strong position to take. I like it 🙂 By the way growing up, uncles and aunts all gave me cash, which kinda came in handy when in college.

  3. Giftcards can hardly be seen as a form of modern marketing. Most giftcards have little experience economy attached to them. I also believe it is a missed chance to give somebody a token which can be meaningful. The I-am-so-busy-argument in my opinion is weak and sounds immature. You are able to figure out which startups will ‘rule the world’ , but you aren’t capable of asking a friend what a person likes or dislikes. Like most things in life: its a choice.

  4. I used Cardpool to get rid of some old giftcards I had lying around. The transaction was pretty straightforward and easy.

  5. nice website idea…..wow have to say though a gift is a gift to me no matter how much thought it took…life is waay to short to over analyze why someone got me a gift card instead of an item or cash!

    1. Monal, I have to agree with you! Jeez, people — if someone took the time and spent their hard-earned money to buy you a gift, feel blessed and enjoy it. Why spend YOUR precious time feeling slighted because the giver wasn’t 100 percent sure what you’d like? He or she tried!

  6. The awesome thing is, I’m always guaranteed a discount if I buy the gift cards off of CardPool. So even if I’m not getting the gift cards for someone else, I’d rather purchase items from the stores with these discounted gift card instead of buying directly from the store at full price.

    Also, I just bought a couple gift cards from these guys. They get delivered uber fast.

  7. I love the idea and I sure see the need.

    Best of luck to Anson Tsai and Tim Wong, though at this stage it’s hard to say in what way they’re different than the rest of the gift card swap platforms recently emerging.

    It makes little difference though. If they’ll catch enough market share, they can make it happen!

  8. Gift cards has a place and it does work. I have purchased gift cards in the past from Chapters book stores in Canada for my nephews and nieces who love to and are avid readers, so here I am giving them a gift of what they like but leave it to them to choose what they would pick to read. So you see my purchase of gift cards has always been targeted. I would never give a gift card from a store if I know that the recipient never shops at that store, so there is a bit of investigation involved before I buy gift cards in order to ensure that the gift card will indeed be used. But I still in most cases do give monetery gifts, that way they but what they want. Card pool is an interesting idea, I would certainly use it if I received a gift card I did not particulalry like. I agree with your analysis that their would need to really have a high trading volume in order to effectively monetize this application.
    Whatever you say about gift cards, the thought still matters

  9. The fact that these services exist show that companies like eBay are stupid and don’t deserve to be around. You mean to tell me that eBay couldn’t just create a section on their site for gift card which would eliminate all of these competitors? They are the place online where people go to buy and sell and if Amazon and Best Buy don’t want to touch this, you might as well hand it to the company whose known for people buying and selling online.

    I’m sure all of the shills in the comments have great things to say but these services won’t be around for very long unless they find something more than gift cards to make money.

    I’ve seen some services where you bid on gift cards auction style where you’re guaranteed at least to “win” the amount you bid but you might get a discount. That’s probably better than sites like Cardpool.

  10. Shite! Why didn’t I think of this!!
    If there’s one thing that’s going to save Silicon Valley, it’s that it remains a premiere magnet for smart, hardworking people who are constantly looking for the smallest opening to exploit.

    Good luck with this!

  11. OM: Thanks for mentioning Rackup in the remarkably similar unwanted gift card companies but we are not trading used cards.

    We are enabling retailers with technology to sell first hand ones with a bonus, for which consumers compete. Kind of cash forward vs. Cash back.

    Marc Rochman, CEO

  12. Anson and Tim are champions. They work hard and with utmost integrity. I’ve been super impressed just watching them at YC.

    I like that the system appears zen simple for the end user but that’s only possible because they solved some complex puzzles on the back end. I can’t wait to see the service improve with some of the aforementioned improvements.

  13. I hate gift cards! I always either forget about them or by the time I use them they’ve expired or decreased in value. I’ve started making a cash fund on the wishlist I make on myregistry.com for my birthday and christmas every year so that people will just contribute to that instead of getting me a gift card. I would much rather have a “universal” gift card that I can spend anywhere and doesn’t expire (aka cash!).

  14. There are several ways you can use unwanted gift cards. Though I rarely miss the opportunity to do a little guilt-free shopping, some gift cards do hang around in my wallet a little longer than others. I’ve used the services described and enjoyed getting cash for a gift card I couldn’t use. But I’ve also just passed them along to someone else…for nothing more than a thank you in return. Getting cash is nice. Making someone’s day with a gift card, is awesome.

  15. How do they (or Plastic Jungle, etc) know what is the remaining balance on the card? Seems like there would potentially be plenty of fraud on these sites. What am I missing?

  16. To answer Stephane’s question, most of the sites have you enter the card number before you send it, then when they receive it, they verify before sending you money. Cash for gift cards, I think, is a wonderful way to get your money, Otto!

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