October 13, 2014

Raise – Turn Gift Cards Into Cash

Raise is a marketplace where people can sell the unwanted gift cards sitting in their wallets. A win/win for users on both sides of the transaction, Raise buyers are able to purchase gift cards from a variety of retailers and restaurants for discounted prices.

Generate cash from your unused gift cards by listing them for sales on the Raise marketplace. Enter some information about the gift card you’re selling, and Raise will send you a confirmation within 24 hours. Once your gift card has been “approved,” you’ll be able to adjust the price based on how popular your gift card appears to be on the marketplace. (The less desirable the retailer or restaurant your gift card can be used at, the less money you’ll be able to sell your gift card for.) Your listing will go live on Raise as soon as you set your price, and you’ll be notified immediately when a buyer has indicated that he or she is interested in the sale. At that point, you’ll be instructed to print a prepaid shipping label and put the gift card in the mail. You’ll be paid by Raise when the delivery of the card to the buyer is confirmed.

Raise offers a number of buyer and seller protections that competing gift card marketplaces do not. The marketplace acts as an intermediary between users, and it fully insures all gift card balances with a 100% money back guarantee. The marketplace also offers its own rewards program, which doles out points to buyers and sellers based on how frequently they utilize the service.

Practical Uses:

  • Purchase a Starbucks gift card at a discounted price
  • Sell the gift cards you received for your birthday
  • Earn rewards points for buying and selling gift cards through the marketplace

Insider Tips:

  • Set gift card prices based on current marketplace demand
  • Users earn $1 in Raise Rewards for every 100 points they accumulate
  • Redeem rewards points to get money off future gift card purchases
  • Cards must have a minimum amount left to sell on the marketplace
  • Brands can join Raise’s Brand Partnership Program

What we liked:

  • Raise gives people a way to purchase gift cards at a steep discount
  • People can make money by selling gift cards they weren’t planning to use
  • Sellers can set their own prices
  • Raise works to protect both buyers and sellers from fraud
  • Sellers can list gift cards from local businesses or national chains

What we didn’t like:

  • Raise charges a fee for sellers to list physical cards in the marketplace


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • Founded by: George Bousis
  • Web site:
  • Costs:

  • Sellers pay a 15% commission based on the selling price after a gift card has sold
  • A shipping fee of 1% or $1 is deducted from the balance when selling physical gift cards

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