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Website Turning Unwanted Gift Cards Into Cash

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Gift cards are among the most popular gifts today, but have you ever gotten a card that you know you'll never use?

"Yes, absolutely," says Katie Kelly of Oakmont, who acknowledged it happens a lot.

Turns out we leave billions of dollars in gift cards unused.

"The average household has $300 sitting in their wallet somewhere," says Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther.

Over the last six years, it amounts to an estimated $40 billion unused.

That's where a new website called Gift Card Granny comes in.

"Gift Card Granny is a website that helps people save money," founder Luke Knowles told KDKA money editor Jon Delano. "Most people don't realize that they can sell their gift cards for cash."

Knowles has developed a website to help you unload those unwanted gift cards.

"A lot of people just do nothing with those cards. Gift Card Granny is trying to educate people that they can sell those gift cards, not for the full price of the card, but for something close to that," added Knowles.

Gift Card Granny compares the price of selling your card to seven different wholesale card buyers.

Take Olive Garden, type in the name and you see the best cash offer for their gift card is 83 cents on the dollar. Cash amounts vary.

A Walmart gift card could get you 94 cents on the dollar.

"Pretty smart," added Brandon Sampson of Morningside. "I didn't know about that myself. I'll have to look into it."

Point Park's Luther has checked out Gift Card Granny.

"I really like this website," Luther said. "This website really allows you to not only sell your card at a discount and some, depending on the retailer, is pretty low."

In addition to getting cash for those unwanted gift cards, some of the card buyers on Gift Card Granny will trade cards for an Amazon gift card.

Finally, you can also purchase some of those gift cards yourself through the website. In other words, get a $50 gift card for, say, $45.

Bottom line, don't just let those unwanted gift cards sit in your wallet. They are worth cash to somebody.

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