Holiday shopping in San Francisco.

According to Gift Card Granny‘s analysis of its resale gift card exchange, iTunes, Amazon and Best Buy top the list of the most resold cards with Millennials cited as the most active resellers.

The aggregator of an online gift card exchange features more than 340,000 discounted card deals on its site from a variety of major retailers and brands. The top 10 list of resold brands is based on data from the past year. Researchers at the company said the most common reasons for exchanging a gift card for cash “include receiving an undesirable brand or simply rather having money that they can spend anywhere. It has become a very popular practice.”

The number-one gift card brand resold was iTunes followed by Amazon and Best Buy. Wal-Mart came in fourth and was followed by Target, Starbucks, Apple and Macy’s. Nordstrom was ninth, and Kohl’s finished the list at number 10.

The gift card industry is pegged to gain 6 percent this year to nearly $150 billion, which compares to $97 billion in 2007, according to WalletHub — which sees the market swelling to $160 billion in 2018. Christmas and birthdays garner the most share by occasion for giving gift cards, WalletHub also noted.

Authors of the Gift Card Granny analysis report said that while iTunes is the most popular gift card in terms of reselling, “its return value is on the lower end of the payout spectrum at 65 percent or $65 when reselling a $100 iTunes gift card for cash. Gift cards for the grocery giant Safeway yielded the highest return rate at 92 percent.” Safeway was not in the top 10 list resold cards.

“Supply and demand are the largest determining factors in how much an online exchange is willing to pay you for your card,” authors of the report said. “The general rule of thumb is that exchanges will pay more for rarer brands that they have less of and are in higher demand with consumers as a result. Conversely, you will be offered less money for your gift card if it is a commonly resold brand and the exchange’s inventory levels are sufficient.”

By state, the researchers said that California, Texas and New York accounted for a combined 34.3 percent of gift cards resold in the U.S. due to the states larger populations.


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