Gift card trade hits new high

As gift cards have risen in popularity over the years (a whopping $87 billion of them were bought last year, according to research firm TowerGroup), you could be forgiven for assuming that they're the perfect, one-size-fits-all holiday gift.

Apparently some of the people you gave those ultra-convenient cards to didn't see it that way.

Plastic Jungle, a clearinghouse where people can buy and sell their unwanted gift cards, says its Web site traffic has gone up by an astronomical 250% since Christmas.

The bump is due to people unloading their gift cards for cash. Plastic Jungle lets people sell their cards at a discount and then sells those cards at a slightly less-steep discount, pocketing the difference.