Plastic Jungle Review: Go For The Gift Card Swap!

by Millie Kay G. on 2010-12-1612

When it comes to gift cards, I’m usually happy to receive them.  However, I’ve also let cards languish because I wasn’t thrilled about the store or because the store wasn’t local to me.  But then I discovered a few gift card exchange sites such as Plastic Jungle, which can help me swap the card I have for one I’d be happier to use. 

So if you’re stuck with some unused gift cards, all is not lost. You have a few options: for instance, you can choose to list them with a site like Plastic Jungle in the hopes of being able to sell your card to someone else or trade them for another card you prefer. Once your card is listed, the site will notify you when you have an interested buyer.

For more on Plastic Jungle, you can check out this link.

Another possibility is to sell your gift cards to the site for up to 92% of their balance amounts. Note that these cards need to have a minimum balance of $25 to be eligible.  You’ll need to sign up for a free account and provide your debit or credit card information before you can sell your first card.

 Plastic Jungle may collect a commission for each sale, so don’t forget to check the underlying terms and factor that expense in when you offer your cards up for sale.  When you buy or sell a card, the shipping is always free.

Are You Buying A Gift Card?

If you’re scrambling for a last minute gift idea, a gift card could come to the rescue. If you decide to visit to buy a discount gift card, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck with a brand you haven’t heard of before.  You can find cards from popular places and top merchants such as Best Buy, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.  I also saw cards offered for sale from iTunes, Starbucks, and various restaurants.  Categories include clothing, electronics, and jewelry, among others.

Plastic Jungle review

You can search for cards by merchant, card value, or card discount.  The discounts offered on these “used” cards run up to 30%, which can be a bargain compared to obtaining the cards new.  For instance, a Bath & Body Works card valued at $91.77 was discounted 15% to $78, while a $25 Godiva card was discounted to $17.50, a savings of 30%.

Plastic Jungle has been adding new gift card brands to their site — but you’ll just have to check if the card of your choice is available. 
If you want to browse through a broad variety of cards, you might also want to check other marketplaces like eBay. I say this because some popular cards such as Amazon or Toys “R” Us were not available when I shopped around (although you can receive purchasing power at Amazon via an exchange).

 Luckily, there’s a Wish List feature and a way to set up notifications by email when the card you’re looking for shows up on your Wish List.  This list is also a great tool that allows you to receive alerts when a specific price range or discount on your desired gift card is fulfilled. 

So here’s a common question: how do I know if I’m getting a good card when I buy it?  That’s where the Plastic Jungle guarantee helps.  For buyers, the site guarantees that they’ll receive their gift card within 15 days of purchase; that the card will match or exceed the listed value at the time of purchase; and that the card’s valid and authentic.  If you have a problem with a gift card you purchased, you’ll need to contact Plastic Jungle and possibly fill out a claim form.

Sign up to start buying or selling gift cards at Plastic Jungle.

Are You Thinking of Selling Your Gift Card?

Now if you’re a gift card seller, you may wonder about a few things. Shipping the cards you want to sell won’t take a lot of effort. Sellers no longer pay a shipping fee. When you’ve made your sale, Plastic Jungle will send you a prepaid USPS mailing label. You can then print out the label and use this to send off your card. Plastic Jungle will pay you by check once the package is confirmed as delivered.

For sellers, the Plastic Jungle guarantee says that you’ll receive payment in a timely manner, for all sales that you’ve confirmed and fulfilled. You can adjust the price of your gift cards at any time, and the buyers or prospective buyers aren’t allowed to contact you directly.  If you happen to have a problem, you can contact customer service via the phone or email.
Users who need more help can check out the Learning Center to find out more about buying, selling, managing their account, and getting paid.

The bottom line here is that the gift cards you’re hiding in your desk or wallet can be recycled if you’ve decided not to use them anymore.  By trying out Plastic Jungle, you have a chance to get a gift card that you’ll enjoy a lot more.

Tip: A good number of credit cards give away gift cards as rewards. Check out the AmEx gold card as an example. You can also check out these Citibank card promotions for more of these types of rewards cards.

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. Accountability December 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

Fortunately I’ve never received a gift card I was unhappy with, but this is a great site to know about in the event it ever happens! And I do like the option for buying gift cards at a discount. Thanks for telling us about Plastic Jungle!

Matt December 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

Great website of gift cards! Now I will know where to look for them…

John December 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm is another great resource for buying and selling gift cards

krantcents December 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Great idea! I remember reading somewhere that literally millions of dollars of gift cards were never used! Great deal for the issuer, not so great for the person receiving the card.

debit December 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

It’s amazing how many gift cards go unused (or at least a portion of the balance). The gift card rescue site is a great way to sell those unused cards.

Astrid December 27, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Just used the site. I was a little skeptical since I had not seen really any reviews but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t know when this article was written but they now let you enter in the card info online and can send the cash to your paypal account on the spot! I have my money (minus the 8%) and I’m happy.

Silicon Valley Blogger December 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Thanks for supplying us some feedback on your experience. It’s nice to hear that it worked out for you. I haven’t received gift cards this year so I am not going to be able to use it for a while, although I had a decent experience with it before. Would love to hear general experiences though to see how it pans out for others.

SA1 January 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Unfortunately, I’ve had two bad experiences with Plastic Jungle. Here’s what happened.

1) Placed an order for a card. Days later I got an e-mail telling me that they couldn’t find the card that I ordered, so they were “canceling” the order and crediting my paypal account with the purchase amount. Then, almost a week later, I got an e-mail from plastic jungle telling me that they had FOUND the card, so they had taken it upon themselves to “re-open” the previously “canceled” order, re-charge my account, and ship the card to me. Ridiculous! What kind of company handles orders like this?

2) Well, as mad as I was… I thought I’d give it one more shot to try and save some money on a large online purchase by ordering some electronic gift card codes from plasticjungle and then using the codes on the retailer’s website.

Well, what plasticjungle had failed to tell me is that the codes would not be e-mailed to me for another 48 hours. Why does it take this long to process an order that should be completely automated?

I placed the large order with the online retailer anyway, thinking that by immediately using PlasticJungle’s online order cancellation request that I would be able to cancel the order before they were (manually?) e-mailed to me. No dice… the codes were e-mailed to me, upon contacting PJ they would not accept a return or issue a refund, and now I’m out hundreds of dollars with a handful of gift card codes. I am just sick after this whole ordeal, and am disappointed in this company (and myself for trusting their ability to do good business), in so many ways.

I wouldn’t return to PlasticJungle! They’re not worth the trouble to save a few dollars… you may be out more than you hope to gain.

Not Thrilled March 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I was very disappointed with Plastic Jungle. I ordered a gift card for my mother for her birthday. I received a merchandise return credit on a card—one that can’t even be exchanged for a gift card. Needless to say, I can’t give this as a gift. I don’t feel comfortable using it. They are willing to take the card back but I found this to be very misleading.

Now I am going to have to purchase another gift card from the store. I don’t know if I would trust Plastic Jungle.

Christina May 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

PLASTIC JUNGLE IS A SCAM. I am ready to take this company to court. They lost my gift card (over $500) and refuse to give me my code back that they needed to check the validity of the card. When you call customer service it just goes to voicemail and they tell you to go online and fill out a form. I have yet to talk with “Kyle” directly. This I believe is fraud!

Angie B. August 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

I had used Plastic Jungle to sell a gas station gift card that I was not able to use in my area. They provided free shipping both ways. I requested payment via paypal and had my money within a couple days. I have tried another gift card site since then and this one is way better than the other one I tried. I’m still dealing with issues from the other one.

Jasmine December 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Sounds like you can’t please everyone. A lot of disputes happen because of bad communication or when customers expect too much. In general, I think card exchange sites are a great idea.

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