August 29, 2010

Tips on Selling Gift Card in Person

Gift card and cash transactionThis is the third and final installment of a step by step guide for selling gift cards on Craigslist. The first two parts cover the pre-posting preparations, such as researching resale value of gift cards, and strategies on posting an effective classified ad on Craigslist. Whether Craigslist was used to advertise the unwanted prepaid card or not, the negotiation and safety tips in this article will maximize your chances of having a successful transaction.

Up till now, there is little chance of getting scammed. However, once you post the free classified ad on Craigslist, the floodgate will open up with people contacting you. Most will be legitimate buyers, while some could be scammers. It is your prerogative to decide who you want to sell to. It could be the first person, whoever is more cooperative and less shady, most convenient for your schedule, or combination of them. If you do not feel comfortable selling your gift card to an individual, then you do not have to sell to them. You are under no obligation to do so.

If the ad was descriptive as explained in part two of this guide, then negotiation should be straight forward with most effort focused on deciding when and where to meet. As a refresher, the ad should have specified Cash Only, in person transfer, pricing option, gift card balance verification process, and time/place to meet. Under no circumstance should you waiver on a cash only transaction. Do not accept non cash payment options. No checks, online payment, credit cards, or money orders. Also, all transaction must be conducted in person. Meeting face to face reduces the chance for fraud. Do not mail gift cards to buyers willing to pay via PayPal or wire transfer. Consult Craigslist’s guide on scams.

Pricing option is up to your discretion. Hopefully, you have researched the resale value of a gift card and applied a pricing strategy. If negotiation is not your strong suit, then stick with “price is firm”. If no one responses to your ad, then repost with a lower price or with OBO (or best offer). Reposting ads is free on Craigslist. Even with firm pricing, there is a possibility potential buyers will offer a lower price. Do not be offended and courteously counter with your own price or decline it.

Verification of gift card’s remaining balance should be done at the store. It is important to meet inside the establishment versus outside for your safety, especially if meeting at night. Pick a place with high traffic and security cameras. Make sure this information is communicated with the buyer. If the gift card’s issuer does not have a physical store in your area, then meet at place with Internet access, such as public library, so amount can be verified online or via phone at a busy café. Do not scratch off the PIN unless in front of the buyer and verifying via online or phone. Lastly, under no circumstances should you send the buyer the gift card number and PIN to verify the balance. Once a buyer has the gift card number and PIN, they can spend it online, so don’t give it to them unless you have the money.

When negotiating a time and place to conduct the transaction ask the buyer for a number to reach them in case you are late. Reciprocate with your own number. Mention what you will be wearing or where you will be waiting for them. If buyer asks for your ID, ask for their ID in exchange. Honest buyers and sellers should not have a problem exchanging identification. One final precaution is to make sure the ID is real and has a local address. If not, ask for another form of identification.

When meeting the buyer in person remember to smile, shake their hand firmly and introduce yourself. Review the transfer process with the buyer, which starts with verifying the balance. Once the balance is verified and buyer is satisfied, exchange the money and gift card simultaneously. One last thing to check is to make sure the money is not counterfeit. Checking for the security strip and watermark on (US denominations of five dollars or greater) is a quick and easy method to check for counterfeit.

Following these tips should lead to a successful and safe transaction. Remember, if at any time the buyer does not corporate or acts strangely, inform them that the deal is off and you have changed your mind. You are under no obligation to sell even when meeting face to face. Good luck.

If you have experience selling your unwanted gift card in person or via Craigslist, please share your experience with us. All tips and advises are welcomed.

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