Launching today is Perth-based Cardnap, a site that lets you search for the best deals on gift cards. Cardnap wants to be what Hipmunk is for airline search, in that the startup is employing a user-friendly UI to make browsing and filtering your gift card results a non-teeth-grinding experience.
Cardnap not only lets you search for discounted gift cards, it allows you to resell your own, too. No doubt you have a few Pets.com gift cards lying around, and while Cardnap will probably turn you down on that one, you can resell your gift cards and get most of your money back. (The site offers returns as high as 92 percent.)
Cardnap Co-founder Lachy Groom tells me that the percentage of return on your gift card will vary, based on the demand for a particular brand and how many deals or promotions that company is already running for its gift cards. So, while you may only be able to get 70 percent value for an iTunes card (which is already heavily discounted at stores), for example, a WalMart gift card might yield a 90 percent return.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a rise in popularity of card-exchange marketplaces, like Cardpool, PlasticJungle, GiftCardBin, and ABCGiftCards, to name a few. Cardnap has forged partnerships with each of these sites to allow you to easily search their inventories to discover which site is currently offering the best rates on a particular gift card.
Groom, a 16-year-old entrepreneur who sold his first company at 15, tells me that Cardnap was originally intended to be an “Australian version of Cardpool”, but in the last year, he and co-founder Josh Davies decided to pivot.
The reason being, Lachy said, is that while eCommerce adoption is growing in Australia, that growth remains slow. At this point, the Aussie market is too small to create the mass demand that a secondhand gift card marketplace needs to get off the ground. Though sites like cardlimbo are giving it a shot, without a real equivalent to Amazon, the market will remain more fertile abroad.
As this is the case, Cardnap made the smart decision to identify the real pain point within existing gift card marketplaces, which have popped up in earnest across the U.S., and improve upon it, rather than launch a standalone card exchange. The search capabilities and UX for many of these sites, which are still largely in the early stages of growth, remain unpolished and clunky. So, Cardnap is aggregating the top card vendors in one location, and allowing users to search for the best cards and the best deals by nearly any parameter.
As of today, Cardnap is working on integrating its search with eBay and expanding to Canada, the UK, and Australia, and Lachy said that GiftCardRescue will be added to search results within the week.
Now, you may notice that one of the biggest card exchanges is not included in Cardnap’s search results. Lachy asked that the site’s name not be used, because the vendor has declined a partnership with Cardnap because “it was worried about the market share” the startup has already begun consuming, he said. This seems like an odd move, considering partnering with Cardnap is a win-win for gift card exchanges, as it will bring added traffic to the sites and likely higher profits.
Nonetheless, it seems that the startup has attracted the majority of the other noteworthy card sites, so the loss likely won’t affect their business. In fact, the founder tells me that the site has already become profitable. Considering it has only been a week since the startup’s soft launch, the future could very well be bright.
The co-founders are actively seeking seed funding, and have had some interest from Silicon Valley investors, though they’re not ready to reveal who quite yet.
So, if you’ve got some gift cards lying around you just can’t seem to re-gift them on unsuspecting family members, or you’d like to find a discounted 1-800-Flowers card in anticipation of Mother’s Day, check out Cardnap. You can find physical and electronic gift cards and sell your old cards for cash, Amazon exchange, or Facebook credits. Worth taking a look.