The Most Obvious Waste of $41 Billion: Gift Cards

cardsbig
Ahhh gift cards — you love 'em til you lose 'em or carry 'em but rarely use 'em (a shopper's nursery rhyme, you're welcome). Sure, they seem like the ideal present. Almost as good as cash, but more personal. And on the surface, gift cards are not exactly a waste of money — right up until you realize that nothing actually costs $10, $25, $50, or $100 on the nose, and then what? Are you just going to throw away a good $7.78 or are you going to carry around an extra slice of plastic in your already overflowing wallet?
News flash: What's meant to be a win/win with these buy-what-you-want gifts ends up amounting to a whole lot of nothing — or less than nothing, really. $41 billion of wasted present potential has supposedly built up in non-redeemed cards since 2005. And the 80% of shoppers who relied on gift cards this year really aren't helping the situation. Sure, a Starbucks card will always be swiped, but what about that $4.99 you have left over at Saks?
Turns out, instead of lugging them around, you can now sell your gift cards for almost 80% of the amount. Or, you can do as the rest of us do and just rationalize the extra splurge of spending on top of the gift card, to make sure you get its full value. Up to you, really.... (Gothamist)
Photographed by Laura Miller

More from Shopping

This post was originally published in March 2016. You've done the research, talked to some friends about it, and decided it's time to quit fast fashion ...
Sometimes, one glance at your Google calendar for the next day can leave your head spinning — how on earth will you get it all done? Maybe you've got a ...
This post was originally published on August 23, 2016. As great as summer dressing may be (the skimpy tank tops, breezy dresses, and super-short shorts ...
Flex dancing, a dance form characterized by rhythmic waving, gliding, and contorting of the body, is often thought of as a man’s world. But there are a few...
You never want something until you can't have it. So, each week in The Sell-Out, we're getting the scoop from your favorite retailers on what's selling ...
Some trends are easy to dive into head-first: Give us all the athleisure in the world, and we're definitely not complaining. Because no matter how many ...
We first heard about Nike's plans to really, truly make the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II a reality back in March, after the ...
(Paid Content) Classic white Keds have been in my shoe rotation since I was a wee one. As a picky shopper early on, this simple and economical option was ...
This story was originally published on October 8, 2015. You can expect to see a certain set of characters at every Halloween party. Cher Horowitz is in ...
Kendall Jenner recently admitted that she's always either braless or in a bralette, and she's not the only one. Tons of women (regardless of chest size) ...
Velvet in fall is like florals in spring; we've seen it before, and chances are high that we'll see it again every single year hereafter. That being said, ...
Let's face it: When it comes to buying shoes, we (unfortunately) can't purchase the entire store in one go (but if you can and you got that $$$, shoutout ...
The hunt for good-looking, affordable clothing (and accessories) can have you feeling like you're about to rip your hair out. Sure, you might happen across...
Get the skinny on your skivvies, right this way