Gift cards make great gifts on many occasions, especially if you're giving someone a gift you don't know well. While gift cards can be bought in stores or restaurants where they will be redeemed, you don’t have to go out of your way to buy the ones you want. Instead, there are many gift card websites offering gift cards for major retailers at a discount, including Cardpool.
What is Cardpool?
Cardpool is a website which sells discount gift cards from a variety of major retail businesses across the country who sell clothing, shoes, or from movie theaters, hotels, and restaurants. Although some of the discounts on the cards are small, as little as 3%, other companies offer up to 35% off on the value of their cards.
Along with selling cards, the website also buys or exchanges unused gift cards. So, if someone finds a card they were given in their wallet, and they don't want to use it, they can go onto the website to sell it for cash or exchange it for another gift card. There is a list of the 150 retailers whose gift cards they will buy.
An unused gift card can be sold through the website, kiosks or sellers can take them to participating grocery or department stores to get cash back instantly. There is locations page link at the top of their website to find kiosks and participating stores. If sold through the website, they can choose to have Cardpool send them a check or email them an Amazon eCard.
To exchange an unused gift card for another one from the site, start the process of selling the card and, instead of choosing to be paid with a check, request a gift card. If you choose the Amazon eCard, you will get it within one business day via email. Checks will take between five and ten business days to arrive through the mail.
If you want to buy a gift card, go to the website and click “Buy Gift Cards” at the top of the page. You can search for cards by putting the name of the retailer in the search box, start by choosing the category of the gift or browse their offerings. When you see the image of the card you want, the discount percentage is listed below it.
Click on the card if you wish to buy it and the gift card’s value will be displayed along with the discounted price. For instance, if you decide to purchase a gift card from a shoe store with a $50 value and there a 10% discount on the card, you would pay $45 for it.
Get Up to 92% of Your Gift Card Balance
If you want to sell an unused card, you can get up to 92% of its value for it. To find out exactly how much you can sell the card for, go to “Sell Gift Cards” and input the name of the retailer and the card’s balance. Once they verify the amount, you will receive an offer. If you accept their offer for the card, you can choose to get paid via check or an Amazon eCard.
The offers for buying unused gift cards vary because the exchange rates are determined by the retailer. While you may receive 92% back for one card, another may only offer 50% of the card's value. Of course, there is no obligation to accept an offer.
What are People Saying?
Reading reviews and testimonials is a good way to decide whether to do business with a company. While reviews posted on Cardpool’s website, there are also reviews on independent sites.
Reviews are Polarized
The reviews regarding Cardpool’s services vary greatly from one-star to five-stars. One-star reviewers were very dissatisfied because their orders were canceled after giving out their credit card information or receiving the cards through the mail took much longer than anticipated. Several other reviewers had issues using the Amazon eCards they received in exchange for selling their gift cards. One reviewer claimed they spent several months trying to redeem one and was never successful.
Some are 5-Star Good
Some reviewers gave the company good ratings, up to five-stars, because they received their Amazon eCards or physical cards right away or were paid promptly for gifts card they sold. These reviewers didn’t have any problems with buying or selling gift cards through the website. One five-star reviewer stated they have dealt with Cardpool for years without any issues.
Accusations of being Con Artists
Many of the low reviews depict the company has having ripped them off because they hadn’t received the amount promised for their unused gift cards. Others think the company is just stealing credit card numbers and addresses because their orders for gift cards were canceled with no explanation after they had input their credit card number. Some reviewers complained about zero balances on the gift cards they received and getting no response from the company when contacted about the problem.
How it Compares
There are other websites which also offer gift cards for sell at a discount, as well as buys unused gift cards. These sites, including CashCard, offer almost the same services, with similar discounts on cards and cash back offers of up to 92% on unused gift cards. Probably the biggest difference between these two services are the options for buying cards.
The options for receiving the gift cards you bought are the same on Cardpool as they are on CardCash and other sites. You can wait for a physical card in the mail or receive a printable eCard via email. The printable eCards usually arrive within one business day, and you can go shopping with it right away.
However, CashCard offers more options for paying for gift cards bought on their website. While you can only use a credit card to purchase gift cards through Cardpool, CardCash allows you to pay with a credit card, through a Paypal account or with Bitcoin. These options make it more convenient for the seller, and they don't have to worry about giving out their credit card information.
One advantage Cardpool has over some of the other discount gift card websites is their one-year guarantee. While some companies only guarantee the card value for 45 days, they guarantee it will be available for one-year.
If the buyer cannot redeem a card for the full balance within the year, they can contact customer service and ask for a refund. However, beyond the year, there may not be an available balance on the card to use.
What We Think
After examining Cardpool’s services and customer reviews, we concluded that while they provide a good service, they are sometimes slow to respond and their customer service department could be much better.
People like saving money, and being able to buy gift cards at a discount is enticing because you can save at places where you already shop or dine. Being about to sell unused gift cards for cash or other gift cards is also a good deal, especially if the unused card is from a store where you never shop. However, many reviewers had several problems getting the money they were promised in either check form or the Amazon eCard.
Not Executed Efficiently
While the concept is good, the execution doesn’t always work. Cardpool only offers one way to pay for gift cards, which is with a credit card. Many people do not like shopping with a credit card online, and some reviewers reported having their orders canceled after giving out their credit information. Also, when selling unused cards, customers only have the option of getting a check or an Amazon eCard in their email inbox.
Terrible Customer Service
One of the main problems with Cardpool is their customer service department is only available through email. Customers need to write them if they have questions about policies they cannot find answers to on the website or if they have a problem with a gift card they bought. It takes up to three days to get a response from their customer service department if you get one at all. Some reviewers reported it took weeks before getting help with their issue.
No Phone Number, Even in 2017
Even though Cardpool has been in business since 2009, they still do not have a telephone number customers can call to contact them. After eight years, their customer service department can only be reached via email, and they don’t even list the address for their headquarters on their “Contact Us” page. Not having a customer service telephone number in 2017 is unusual for customer oriented businesses, and it makes some people leery about doing business with them.
Coupons and Deals
Along with the discounts, they offer on gift cards, there are other ways to save when buying gift cards through Cardpool. If you go through this site, you can get $5 off on the purchase of a gift card for being a new user. There is a code offered on the site to get the $5 discount.