Friday, December 11, 2009

Plastic Jungle

Mission Statement: Uh...doesn't really have one


My Donation: Nothing

Strike 3? This week has not been good for me, charitably speaking.

I was amped by the idea of donating my unused giftcards to charity. I had an old Macy's card lying around with about $8 (what am I ever going to get at Macy's for $8??) and a couple $5 Coffee Bean cards collecting dust (I mean, why go to Coffee Bean when you could have STARBUCKS!?).

And then I went to the website...

(Side rant: I love charity. I love the internet. I do NOT love how most charities use the internet. I get it, it's a charity. There's not a whole lot of money lying around for website upgrades. But seriously? If your Organization's site is so poor that it makes it hard for me to find out any meaningful information about your mission or operations, is it any wonder that I'm not going to bother donating to your cause? And P.S. Glamour - did you hire Olivia from "The City" as the junior copy editor who reviewed this error ridden giving calendar? 'Cuz I'm thinking a monkey could've done a better job...)

Ok, so now that I've gotten that out of my system:

Plastic Jungle (PJ) is not a charity. It's an online black market (ahem...) "vehicle" for after-market buying and selling of retail gift cards. If you persist and wade through the fine print and buried links, you'll find one page devoted to non-profit organizations, however, PJ puts the onus on the individual charities to round up a bunch of unused gift cards, mail them in, and then takes a sizeable 20% commission and convenience fee off the face value of the cards, remitting the remainder back to the charity in cash. P.S. gift cards with a value of less than $10 are not welcome. (The minimum value jumps up to $25 if you want to donate cards through the site.)

Seriously people? Worst idea ever. The brilliant (or so I thought) part of this plan is putting those piddly $5 gift cards (or remaining $3.56 balances at stores you don't really shop in) to some sort of productive use. For $10-$25 I can surely use that gift card on SOMETHING.

Sorely disappointed today (could ya tell)?

If anyone is looking for me this weekend, I guess I'll be buying Christmas presents at Macy's while sipping a Vanilla Ice Blended. (Oh, gag.)

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