It's possible to end up in a situation where you are scouring a retailer's online site or store simply to find a product to purchase so that you can make use of the gift. It's a lovely gesture, but sometimes it falls flat when you'd rather be able to spend the value at a retailer of your own choice. Well that's where handy site Zeek comes in, solving the problem by allowing you to sell your gift card (for a small fee) so that someone else can purchase it who actually wants to use the retailer in question.
Not only does Zeek allow you to sell unwanted gift cards, you can also find generous savings on a vast array of gift cards available for purchase.
Recently I was kindly offered a £50 credit to check out how Zeek works so that I could share the experience with all of my readers in an honest review. Unsurprisingly I couldn't wait to jump straight in and give it a go, particularly because I also have the opportunity to offer £5 free to all new members signing up using this link.
So, here's how I found the Zeek user experience...
First things first, with my frugal hat on I checked on Quidco and TopCashback to see if there were any cashback deals to be had for signing up with Zeek. Sure enough Quidco offered 4% and TopCashback offered 4.04% cash back for first purchases, nice! I found the sign-up process very quick and simple, opting to sign-up with my Facebook account (though there were also options to use your Twitter, Google or email accounts).
Since I didn't have a gift card to sell, my experience was instead from the perspective of a buyer. The great thing about Zeek is that you can pick up a bit of a deal, because you can buy gift cards for less than their face value, so I was excited to see what was on offer. I found the site easy to navigate with options for "Buy Gift Cards" and "Sell Gift Cards" always present on the top navigation.
|Just some of the many gift cards available to purchase at a discount|
Selecting the Buy Gift Cards option, I was presented with a vast array of well known brands including NEXT, Debenhams, iTunes, Argos, Tesco, Boots, Pizza Express, Prezzo, John Lewis, Toys R Us and many, many more. I had been a bit sceptical about how much choice there might realistically be, but I wasn't disappointed.
Under each brand a percentage was displayed to indicate the maximum discount available, though the exact amount of money-off depends on the individual gift card being purchased. Since the cards on sale at any given time depend entirely on what has been sold to the site by other Zeek users, the denominations of card available for each brand can be quite variable.
On selecting a retailer, it was then possible to see any gift cards currently on sale, with the purchase price for each clearly listed.
|For each retailer there are a mix of card values to purchase with varying levels of discount|
I opted to buy a £25 Debenhams card for online use, and a £30 physical card to use at Cafe Rouge, enjoying 8% and 7% discounts respectively (total cost £50.80).
For online cards, once purchased they're available immediately to spend, and can be accessed via a handy wallet option on the Zeek site. Physical cards are posted via recorded delivery to be received within 7 business days.
So my Debenhams gift card was available to use immediately from my Zeek wallet and I received my Cafe Rouge gift card in the post about 4 days after my order was placed. Unfortunately the Cafe Rouge card which I received was for £20 instead of the £30 I'd ordered. I immediately contacted Zeek to explain the problem and I have to say they responded very quickly and were keen to rectify the mistake. My personal view is that most companies will make a mistake at some point, but it's how their Customer Services handle the challenge of making things right that makes a good company really stand out.
Zeek, didn't disappoint, offering me two options to resolve the Cafe Rouge situation. I could either post the £20 gift card back, and once received, they would send me a £30 card (assuming they had one available for that value), or, they offered to credit my account with the £10 I was missing plus an additional £5 as an apology for the situation. I opted for the latter which meant I had another £15 to spend! This time I decided to opt for another online card, so I purchased a £20 Interflora card for £18 at a 10% discount.
In total I spent £58.80 for gift cards of value £65.00 which meant I'd saved £6.20 (nearly 10%).
Although I haven't tried selling an unwanted gift card to Zeek yet, the process sounds relatively simple. Gift Cards can be sold as long as their value is between £10-£500. The cost of sale is 7% of the card value (with a minimum fee of £3).
There are some things to consider when deciding to use Zeek for gift card trading:
- For gift card sales, some of the face value is forfeited due to the sale fees (though this is nothing new - sale commissions are common practice across vendor sites on the internet)
- You're not able to resell a gift card through Zeek if it was already purchased through their site
- For purchasing, it would be nice if you could see the expiration dates of cards you are buying, as far as I could tell this wasn't an option to check before purchase (although for some of the retailers the duration is stated on the purchase page). Having said this, the 3 cards which I purchased all had long expiration dates on them (the earliest expiration being October 2017)
- There's no easy way to search using the denomination you're interested in buying, instead you have to click into each gift card retailer to see what is on offer. A few times I clicked on a retailer to find that they only had £100 gift cards available, sadly outside of my budget
- Turnover of gift card values available for sale can be fast, so you have to be quick if you see a card that you want
- At the moment this service is only available in the UK. Although Zeek have advised that you can follow on Facebook, Twitter and their blog to find out when they're launching further countries
The things which I really liked and why I will continue to be a Zeek customer are:
- The concept itself is a really good one - I love a bargain, so being able to essentially buy "money" for less is always a winner in my book. Plus it's nice to have an outlet for disposing of gift cards I simply wouldn't get around to using otherwise
- The site is easy to use and the purchase process was quick and simple
- The discounts I saw while looking through the different brands ranged all the way up to 25% off - certainly not to be sniffed at!
- The handy Wallet feature allows you to easily see all cards purchased, and keep track of which ones have been used, as well as the all important expiration dates
- I cannot fault the Customer Service, which was always super quick and very helpful
- Zeek offer a referral program, which means that you can invite your friends to sign-up and they will receive a £5 free credit (as will you)
If you're interested in signing up to Zeek to make use of the promotional £5 credit, I would recommend following these steps:
1. If you already use a cashback website such as TopCashback or Quidco, navigate to Zeek via these to get your 4% cashback! (correct at time of publishing)
2. Sign-up for a Zeek account
3. Hover over your profile in the top right corner of the site and select the Promo Code option. Enter the promotional code: 23R7773N so that your free £5 will be applied to your account
4. Ensure that you spend your credit within 10 days of applying it to your account, because otherwise it will expire
Alternatively, if you don't use any cashback sites simply follow this link to sign-up and get your £5 credit (and importantly, remember to spend it within 10 days so that it doesn't expire).
PLEASE NOTE: In the interests of transparency if you decide to use the free £5 credit offer, I too will receive a £5 credit in my Zeek account. If you don't like the idea of this, please don't let this put you off giving Zeek a try, here is a non-referral link to Zeek from which I do not benefit whatsoever (though obviously you wouldn't benefit from the free £5 either should you use this). I also use other affiliate links in this article for the cashback sites I mention. Happy shopping!
If you give Zeek a try I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts and feedback, do drop me a line in the comments below...