CardSwap.ca is like Ebay for gift cards connecting people exclusively across Canada who can save on their favourite retailers or redeem their unwanted gift cards for cash. CardSwap.ca launched this holiday season to serve savvy shoppers who are looking to save money before heading to the malls, up to 40% off face value; and gift card holders who would prefer to have cash. CardSwap is providing Canadians with a way to save money and redeem money during difficult economical times which is especially nice this time of year. With a great easy to use site and a long list of retailers such as Starbucks, The Body Shop, Toys R Us, Aveda, and Sunoco just to name a few, it’s no wonder they are off to such a good start and attracting so much attention.
In 2007, $3.5 Million was wasted in the gift card industry and it is estimated that 10-19% of gift cards are never redeemed. It’s basically an untouched market in Canada. This Toronto based company plans to make use of the $3.5 Million unused cards. ALthough the first in Canada this type of e-commerce site has been proven by several successful sites in the US such as PlasticJungle.com.
So how does it work? If you have an unwanted gift card, simply register then post the (verified) gift card and you’ll be notified by email when the card has sold. The seller has full control over the price of the gift card and is charged 6% (minimum $4.50) of the sale price. If you’re a buyer, you can expect a card to be posted at a 10-40% discount and a full guarantee. To ease the fear of fraud, along with the guarantee is a no credit card policy as CardSwap uses INTERAC online as their sole payment provider which allows the buyer to complete the transaction with their own financial institution.
One of the features I like along with the aesthetically pleasing and easy to use site is the ability to create a Wish List of favourite retailers to be notified when gift cards from these retailers become available via email. This makes it easy to find out when gift cards from your regularly shopped stores are for sale without having to constantly visit the site. The only downfall is the seven store limit on your wish list. If you’re anything like me, I had about twenty selected. But registration is a breeze and navigation and usability is easy. You can even find them on Twitter for information and notifications on new available gift cards and exclusive contests.
CardSwap has already attracted thousands of registered users who have enthusiastically embraced this new online site. Just a couple weeks ago @CardSwap tweeted “CardSwap hits 2000 registered members in only 2 months!” And it’s no wonder in an economy dealing with hard times that we’d be drawn to an easy to use site providing a peer-to-peer online market for discounted gift cards for all our favourite stores.