Overview: Raise Gift Cards
Do you have a few old gift cards laying around that you’ll probably never use? If you let them languish in your wallet, you may be missing out.
Many people would agree that getting a gift card as a gift is often a gamble. Sometimes, you get a card you’ll happily use, but, oftentimes, the purchaser simply didn’t know what to get and grabbed the nearest gift card.
If you have a stack of gift cards you’ll never use, raise.com may be able to help.
What Is Raise?
A quick review of Raise reveals that raise.com was launched in early 2013 as a platform for buying and selling gift cards. Before launching raise.com, founders George Bousis and Bradley Wasz started a company called CouponTrade, which was a platform for coupons, gift cards, and other online deals.
The name “Raise” was conceived as a suggestion that it was giving users a “raise” by improving their purchasing power, through either selling unwanted gift cards or purchasing new ones at a discount.
Image Source: BigStock
Can Raise.com Really Give You a Raise?
Let’s take a closer look at the organization and some Raise gift card reviews and see if it can truly save or even earn you money. We’ll take a balanced, in-depth approach and look at all aspects of the organization.
A Raise gift card review reveals that the organization has two components: users can either buy or sell gift cards. That’s it.
When you take a look at raise.com, you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with additional offers. Just choose whether you’d like to buy a gift card or sell one.
Raise does boast a wide selection of gift cards though. You can find gift cards for anything from Starbucks to Walmart to The Home Depot. It also claims to have about 1 million users – both buyers and sellers. Additionally, a review of Raise's website reveals it has saved users around $64 million.
Buying a Gift Card
Buying a gift card from Raise is very straightforward. You simply select a retailer or restaurant you’re interested in and browse by card value or price.
A review of Raise.com reveals that there’s quite a selection to choose from when it comes to price, and the discount percentage varies widely. There really does not appear to be any pattern to the level of discount you’ll receive. Some cards with only a few dollars of value have very high discounts while other cards worth hundreds of dollars are only discounted by 5% or 6%.
Although only some select gift cards are discounted as much as 50%, most cards offer at least a 5% to 10% discount. If you’re looking for a specific retailer, your level of discount may vary, but you will still get some degree of discount.
Raise.com makes selling gift cards simple as well. You start by searching for the company of the card you’d like to sell. If the brand is supported by Raise, you’ll just need to enter some additional details, like the card number and a selling price for the card.
When your card sells, Raise.com then provides sellers with a prepaid shipping label that you use to ship the card to the buyer.
A review of Raise.com reveals that it does hold sellers responsible for criteria listed in its 100-day guarantee (more on that in a bit), so make sure that the details of the card are correct and that it is still valid before listing.
How Do You Get Paid?
Once your gift card sells, you have three options for payment:
- ACH direct deposit: Your money is direct deposited to your bank account.
- Get a physical check. This method may take up to 14 days for delivery via USPS.
- Send your funds securely to a PayPal account.
What Does It Cost to Sell a Gift Card Through Raise?
Raise does not charge any listing fees, but once your card is purchased, it does charge a 15% fee. That’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when using the marketplace and setting your prices.
Image Source: BigStock
Now that we know how Raise works and how the service is priced, let’s take a look at some Raise.com reviews. There are a number of them out there, so we’ll take a look at just a few of them.
ResellerRatings: Raise reviews with 3 stars at ResellerRatings. Out of 283 reviews, 164 reviewers have given Raise.com a five-star review and 89 have given Raise just one star.
Many of the negative Raise reviews on this review site are from buyers who waited until after Raise’s 100-day money back guarantee had expired before trying to use their gift card – only to discover that the card was invalid or had a different value than expected.
The positive Raise reviews center around Raise’s customer service or satisfaction with the discount received. One positive reviewer writes:
“I ordered $500 worth of gift cards from Raise.com and didn't have any issues. They called me to verify my order since I was a new customer and placed a large order. As soon as I was off the phone, they emailed me my gift cards instantly.”
BBB Business Review: Raise.com currently has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau in Chicago, IL (Raise is located in Chicago). According to the BBB, Raise has received over 200 complaints, but it has also resolved all of the complaints.
The majority of the negative Raise reviews with the BBB center around one issue –problems with the product or service.
SiteJabber online business review: Reviews of raise.com are mixed on this popular review site. Overall, Raise has a 3.5 star rating out of 567 reviews. Many of the reviews are positive, but there are a number of negative ratings as well.
The negative reviews seem to focus around customer service issues and problems with selling gift cards.
One Raise.com review from SiteJabber states:
“After an awful experience with Macy's while attempting to redeem my gift cards, Autumn at Raise support did a wonderful job remedying the situation. She processed my request quickly and returned the $2,500 I was out.”
While another, somewhat less positive, Raise.com reviewer writes:
“When I did not receive my purchased card after 2 weeks, I followed up with Raise.com and was told that based on last tracking information (which is 7 days ago), the package has arrived at the post office hub (about 20 miles to my post office) and I should receive it any day now.”
Gift Card Granny: This is another popular website for reviews of gift card marketplaces. Raise reviewers on Gift Card Granny gave Raise a 3-star rating. The reviews are fairly mixed, with some reviewers citing great customer service while others claim that it’s subpar.
One user writes:
“I use the site regularly and prefer it to competitors because the customer service reps really go the extra mile for me. They usually have the best prices as well, but the service wins me over.”
Is Raise a Good Fit for You?
According to Raise reviews, the service appears to be a good fit for most people looking to either get rid of unwanted gift cards or purchase new cards at a discount. While there are some negative reviews, the majority of reviewers paint the company in a positive light.
If you’re looking to sell a gift card, there are very few negative reviews of Raise. It also appears to have adequate protections in place for sellers, though they do appear to be somewhat more protective of card purchasers.
For gift card buyers, Raise has some very strong protections in place. Raise’s money back guarantee covers purchasers for 100 days – that’s a much longer return policy than most retailers.
So if money is tight or you’re just looking for a way to save a few dollars, Raise could be a good option.
The biggest complaint that consumers seem to have with Raise, based on a survey of Raise.com reviews, came after they had passed the 100-day limit of Raise’s money back guarantee. Most consumers don’t appear to have issues if their gift cards are used within that time frame.
A Final Raise.com Review
Lets break that question down into two parts:
- Sellers: Sellers have some great protections through Raise. They’re covered by the same guarantee that covers buyers, and Raise handles more of the transaction –including the cost of shipping and creating a shipping label. Sellers are charged a 15% fee for listings, but sellers will pay similar fees through other online marketplaces. Overall, Raise appears to be a great choice for selling gift cards.
- Buyers: Buyers also have great protections through Raise’s 100-day money back guarantee. This guarantee is much longer than most retailers and is comprehensive. Given Raise’s guarantee, the service looks like a good, safe choice for buyers – as long as you at least check your gift card’s balance within 100 days of purchase.
So, if you’ve got a few unused gift cards laying around, give raise.com a shot. You may be able to make a few extra bucks. Or, pick up a few gift cards for a discount at a retailer you frequent.
As we saw in the raise.com review above, the company offers a valuable service to consumers looking to make or save money. One of the biggest advantages of Raise is its ease of use for both buyers and sellers.
When you're considering purchasing a product through an online marketplace – especially one in which you’re buying from an individual, not a business – it’s important to do your research. You're making a financial decision, so do your homework.
Hopefully, this review provided some insight into the unique offerings and value raise.com brings to the world of gift card marketplaces.
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