The holidays have come and gone, and this can only mean one thing: you have new gift cards in your life. Gift Cards are a mixed bag. And it makes sense. We don’t know what people want or need, so we purchase gift cards for them instead. It’s when we pick the wrong gift card that there’s a problem. So here we are, with $250 in gift cards from stores we never go to. What is to be done? The helpful website, Raise.com, is here to step into the breach.
Raise.com is a great idea: a marketplace where “used” gift cards can be purchased and sold. Raise sells new gift cards right alongside the used stuff, but its the used thing that makes their model unique. If you have a gift card you don’t want, even if you’ve used part of it, then selling it for cash is an option with Raise.com. Raise gets a 15% cut of your amount of sale, and that’s it. No seller fees, no support fees, no nonsense. For those buying gift cards on Raise, the situation is even simpler. Buyers can select between traditional “physical” gift cards and virtual gift cards, which can be printed or scanned straight from your smartphone.
A Deeper Look
2014 was a huge year for Raise.com. The company has grown tremendously since its early days as a one-man apartment startup. Raise now boasts over 100 employees who provide very good customer service. Investors who bought the hype at the end of 2013 are certainly glad they did so. The company continues to grow aggressively, meaning that 2015 could be another banner year. Raise has recently provided a new Raise app, a payoff to the end-user for all that growth.
The Raise app makes things better for the user, in ways that could make Raise the go-to gift card market for years to come. Sign-up is simple. Your mobile number is stored and confirmed for security. Then your credit or debit card is simply photographed by your phone, recorded in Raise’s system. You’ll get a $1 fee on the associated account, just to make sure your account is communicating with the Raise system.
Raise is beta-testing an app innovation that could really set the company apart and make them a household name. In the future, Raise would contact your mobile if you were standing in a store for which discounted gift cards were available. If you were buy up one of these discounted cards before check-out, you’d essentially be paying with discounted money. Get 20% off your gift card? Get 20% off your order.
Of course, this is all possible now (minus the instant notifications). Users who just use Raise’s services for its discounted card feature get the same “free money” described above, just with a little more homework involved. For this user, this arrangement isn’t a problem at all, though I do look forward to the day I don’t have to go searching the marketplace on my own time.
So check your wallet? Do you have a few gift cards sitting around that you don’t think you’ll ever use? What about those partially used cards to Williams-Sonoma with the leftover $12 balance? Raise.com will be more than happy to help you sell your unwanted gift cards, and can probably help you search for ones that you do want. At a discount. It’s a business model that we all needed, and I’m happy to say that Raise.com is here to meet that need. I do hope that this review hasxperience the services of the site for yourself now.