It’s the holiday season so you know what that means: A blizzard of well-meaning gift cards from a variety of stores will be sent to family and friends everywhere. It’s an American tradition.
Here’s another one: When the cards come from stores where the recipients don’t shop, they are in danger of becoming part of the millions of dollars in potential consumer spending gathering dust in sock drawers all over America.
CardCash.com has a solution: The Brick-based company has created a secondary market for gift cards issued by more than 300 retailers. Simply put, they buy unused gift cards at a discount, giving recipients cash to spend when — and, more importantly, where — they want.
The company has been a success almost since the day it launched in 2008 as its sales have grown from $1 million that first year to a projected $50 million this year.
It’s more than enough to land CardCash at No. 17 on the NJBIZ 2013 list of the 50 fastest growing companies in New Jersey.
And to think, the company grew out of the frustration of co-founders Elliot Bohm, 33, and Marc Ackerman, 31, who couldn’t figure out what to do with gift cards they got from stores where they never shop.
“We came up with the idea by living through what our customers are living through,” Bohm said.
Here’s how it works.
Prices can vary depending on the supply and demand for a particular store, but essentially it goes like this: CardCash will buy a $100 gift card for about $85, then resell it for $90, making $5 on the sale. The seller of the card is turning an unused card into cash — and the buyer is getting a $100 gift card for $90.
“We have two kinds of customers,” Ackerman explained. One is the typical American consumer with an unwanted gift card burning a hole in their wallet. The others are businesses that use the service to save money on their business purchases.