Often the best ideas are the simplest. And what could be more simple than an online marketplace for gift cards, the premise behind Anthill’s SMART 100 Readers’ Choice winner for 2010.
Cardlimbo initially came to life when co-founder Fergus Koochew observed that Australians had almost no flexibility when it came to the use of gift card vouchers.
This observation is unlikely to surprise anyone who has been lumped with a Gift Voucher, with no intention of using it.
In fact, in the lead-up to Christmas 2009, the Australian National Retailers Association estimated that one in five Australians at the time intended to purchase a gift card voucher, making them last year’s number one Christmas gift item. At the same time, according to Choice (Australian Consumers’ Association), up to 1 in 3 gift card vouchers in Australia are now believed to expire without being used.
So, what is surprising about Koochew and Cardlimbo? He observed that the Australian gift voucher market is worth approximately, $1 billion a year and that Australians might be willing to take cash as an alternative.
Launched in March, Cardlimbo.com.au now gives consumers the opportunity to sell, buy or donate unwanted gift card vouchers online from over 60 existing major Australian retailers, hotel chains, cinemas and other service providers, including Myer, David Jones, Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi, Rebel Sport, Borders, iTunes and Village Cinemas.
“Up until now retailers are pocketing the funds of unused and expired gift card vouchers and consumers are missing out,” says Koochew. “The reality is many people would prefer cash rather than a gift card voucher in their purse or wallet and Cardlimbo.com.au now delivers this choice to consumers”.
Cardlimbo scored the top gong in Anthill’s SMART 100 Readers’ Choice Awards by prompting the highest number of Reader Reactions. The Readers’ Choice Index invited readers to vote for innovations in one of three following ways:
- Hit the VOTE UP button: Placed on the top left of each applicant’s profile page (1 point)
- Trigger a Reaction: Re-Tweet, Like on Facebook, Reactions to comments, etc (2 points)
- Leave a Comment: Words of encouragement (3 points)
Cardlimbo generated almost seven times more reactions (471) than the award average (61). To see the SMART 100 Readers’ Choice Top 10, click here.