My first instinct was, If all you are looking for is to use the unused credit on your gift card, then
why not simply donate it to your local non profit organization?
Now if that isnt the case, and we are trying to create a business venture, there are many factors to take inconsideration. Most have been mentioned already.
To say if a firm doesn`t participate, they are not going to have any Gift card business... I don`t think that is realistic.
My company sells gift cards, when they sell this card, that is almost as good as cash in hand, well it is cash in hand , it is almost a sure thing as dollars in sales. Now if they participate within this universal program and someone does purchase a money card from us , and the person they give it to can go anywhere to spend it??? what are the chances that it is going to be spent at my company??? Not as good as if I didn`t participate
Yes I ( as a business) will get some dollars that were purchased elsewhere and I will have some that were purchased from me go to other businesses. It will not be an even trade, dollar for dollar and I guess that if a particular business was in possition to get more than it lost it would probably want to participate, if not I don`t see it happening.
As far as a universal card, I think it is called a visa card that can be spent anywhere. so tecnically it is already being done to a certain extent.
Now back to the original idea of taking unspent gift cards and somehow consolidating them in a way that would make them useful. I can somewhat see potential,,, but it you look at the whole picture I have my doubts.
Ok you have a gift card with $2.34 reaining on it, How much time and effort are you going to make to capitalize on the 2 bucks.. time , effort, gas wear and tear on you car.....most people here think that their time is worth more than 10 bucks an hour.
Ok you set up a program where people can send their card in to a firm, postage, envelope, time... maybe do it on line so we are only talking a couple of minutes... hopefully.... maybe..
It would cost a few pennies to get it started Im sure. But I still think that you will need to get the participation of the retailers to be able to tap into their program,, all for what....
So a potential customer will not be required to come back to their store, (loss of sales), to spend the small amount that would become theirs after time, no waite,, it is already their money.
I see some potential in the idea , actually the idea is a nice one , but I can`t the the practicality in it.
Something like it already exists, I can not see retailers wanting to participate and the expense factor to get the job done is in question...
the concept is a good one, if it can be implemented in the right manner. I just can`t see it at the moment.