Thursday, March 19, 2015 Review - Selling a Gift Card Online

This past holiday season I was given a gift card for $100 at Nordstrom department store. While this is a nice store, it is kind of far away from where I live and it is not a place I usually shop. I looked at their online store and even made my way to the retail store but nothing was really jumping out at me. So I decided to look into options for selling the gift card.

I was hoping to get a decent return on the card and hopefully have it be as simple as possible. By simple, I was looking for a company that would let you enter in the card information and then give you a credit by Pay Pal. I did not expect to get much for the card, but I figured it was worth investigating just in case.

A quick search for "sell gift cards" brings up a lot of results. I was surprised at how many companies are offering this service. I started comparing some of the top sites. Each lets you enter in your amount on your gift card and they let you know how much they will buy it for. The percentages vary by store but overall they were higher than I was expecting. I found most of them were giving about 85% of the value for the card.

I started comparing features. Some of them want you to mail the card in and they often pay a bit more for the physical card, but of course this process takes longer. Also some offer to pay by check which again takes longer. Some require your credit card information for security purposes if you want to be paid electronically.

After comparing a bunch of the different sites I decided to go with because they offered a good return and you can enter your card information online and get a payment through PayPal. Also the processing time looked to be one of the fastest available at 1-2 days. Reviews looked to be pretty good and their BBB rating was ok so I figured I would give it a go. 

I started entering my information. They actually asked for the gift card number and pin before even signing up for an account which I was a bit wary about. I decided to make an account first before entering in the information. They ask for basic information such as name, address, and phone number. Nothing too personal like social security or credit card numbers.

To be paid through Pay Pal, you have to verify your account and this is done by sending them 1 cent via Pay Pal. Overall it was pretty quick but a couple things were confusing. For example, at the end when it asks you to review your information, it had the name in the spot of the address field even though I had filled it in correctly. Also after the order had been processed, at the bottom it had information about printing out a form to send with your card in the mail. I had selected to enter the card information digitally so I was confused why they were asking me to mail in the card now. I think it was just in case you had selected the mail option, but it was confusing none the less.

I received an email confirmation that payment should arrive within 1-2 day. Overall I would be getting $80 instead of $85 because I chose the digital method vs mailing in the physical card. You could get the higher amount if you don't mind waiting longer for the physical card to be sent out and processed. Fingers crossed, I hoped everything would turn out ok.

The next day I received the payment via Pay Pal for $80! I was very pleased with the speed of the transaction considering how other sites had a longer processing time. Also I was expecting a Pay Pal fee of 2.9% + $.30 to be deducted but there was no fee charged which was nice!

To sum up the experience, I got 80% of the value of the card within about 1 day. There were a few parts that were a little confusing along the way, but overall I am very pleased and would use this service again if I have any more gift cards to sell in the future.

Update 6-19-15: I had another gift card to sell so I used CardCash again.  This time from some reason it did not have the option to enter the code online and get paid by PayPal.  For the PayPal option, I had to mail in the card.  I decided to go with this option because it also gives a few more dollars if you mail in the physical card.  Once again, the checkout was slightly confusing, but I was able to get through it, print out the form and then mail in the card.  Within a few days the money was sent to my PayPal so overall it was a good experience. 

Update 12-21-16: This year I had another gift card to sell so I thought I would use the same site but for some reason they declined it even after filling out all the information and having it initially approved. It was a high value card to maybe they did not want to send out a lot of money but if this is the case, they should not accept the submission in the first place. I even had to give extra information such as credit card back up and phone confirmation but they still declined it. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Last Man On Earth Review

When I saw the previews for The Last Man On Earth, I knew I had to check it out. Just the idea alone of being the last person on Earth is incredible thought provoking when you try to imagine what it would be like and what you could do. This is the idea behind the new show staring Will Forte. With so many shows these days recycling the same ideas and themes over an over again, it is nice to see a show stepping outside the box with an ambitious and interesting idea.

Note: Spoilers for first 2 episodes ahead.

The show takes place in the near future in a time when it seems all of mankind has vanished except for one man. He travels around looking for others but finds he is the only one left. In the first episode, it shows how he lives, the problems he deals with, and how he keeps himself entertained. He gets to do a lot of fun activities now that there are no rules and he can do pretty much anything he wants, but it is not all fun an games when he comes to the realization that there are no other people left. He gets to the point where he has just about had enough when he runs into another person!

When I first heard he would not be the only one left on Earth, I was kind of disappointed, but in actuality, it does enhance the show. In the 2nd episode he find a woman (Kristen Schaal). They are surprised to see each other and relieved to find they are not the only one left, but soon realize they do not really get along very well. He is kind of rough around the edges and has no regard for rules anymore while she is still more civilized and insists on following the rules even if they do not really apply anymore. This makes for a very interesting dynamic as they begrudgingly begin to work together. Even though they do not get along, in the back of their mind, they know the future of mankind may depend on them!

Overall the first 2 episodes were quite entertaining and I look forward to watching it next week to see what happens and how they progress in this world where they are the last man and woman on Earth! The Last Man On Earth airs Sunday nights at 9:30pm/8:30pm central on Fox.

Update: Just finished watching the first season.  Overall, the series started strong and had a lot of potential, but as the episodes went along and they continued to add more characters, I felt it kind of went down hill.  They focused mostly on interactions between the characters, most of which were about jealousy and negativity.  I would have liked if they focused more on the environment and the situation of being the last people on Earth.  This is what made the first episodes fun.  What are your thoughts on the first season?