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Dec 28, 2006 09:26 PM

Restaurant Gift Card - Exchange?

My S/O received a *VERY* generous gift card to a local $$$$ restaurant - enough money for a multi-course dinner for four - from his employer as a performance bonus.

My S/O was then laid-off a week later.

While we enjoy fine dining, we could really use the cash right about now (kind of hard to enjoy that kind of excess while job hunting, trying to cover the health insurance, and knowing that the meal is the equivalent of 3/4 of the month's rent, etc.) - is it acceptable to approach the restaurant management and see if we can exchange the gift card for cash? Should we try to sell the card on eBay? Other ideas?

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  1. I seriously doubt that the restaurant would be able to/ want to do that for you. If I were you, I would ask the employer if you could exchange it for money with them... they may know of someone else in the company they could give it to and while they don't necessarily owe you that money, it would be a nice gesture on their part. Good luck to you and your S.O. and I hope better times are to come.

    1. First of all, sorry about the tough break and good luck to your S/O with the job search. Sometimes these things turn out for the best.

      I think gift card laws vary in different states and provinces, but I believe that a gift card may be returned for a refund if accompanied by the original receipt. Policies may alos differ from store to store. Given your situation, I think there's no harm in checking with the restaurant and explaining what happened... they may give you a break and redeem it for cash.

      1. restaurants are extremely reluctant to exchange cash for gift certificates. it's a losing proposition for them.

        tacky thing for your s/o's employer to have done, but it would be far tackier to approach the ex-boss about a switcheroo. i suggest you tuck the thing away and then use it to celebrate when a new job is landed.

        good luck.

        1. I have frequently sold gift cards on e-bay. usually I can get about 10$ less than the card amount. If you are worried about the auctions, use "buy it now" and set your own price.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bethd127

            Agreed. If you set the Buy It Now price even $10 under the actual price, somebody's going to buy it on eBay eventually. After all, that's saving $10. You may have to be a little patient though if it's an independent restaurant located in only one city.

            You may also want to try Craigs List, since that can be localized. But usually, the buyers aren't as, well, well-off as some on eBay.