It might seem unorthodox for a start-up to announce its UK launch on Boxing Day, but when that company is Israeli app Zeek, which allows consumers to buy and sell unwanted gift vouchers for cash, and Boxing Day is the busiest day of the year, it makes good financial sense.
Zeek, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play, allows consumers to upload unwanted gift vouchers, set a price they‘d be willing to accept for those vouchers, and wait for a buyer. Cash is sent directly to sellers, and vouchers to buyers, giving both parties the chance to continue with the purchases they‘d much rather make – either with cash, or a voucher at a great deal.
Founded last year by Itay Erel and Daniel Zelkind, Zeek comes from Erel‘s personal experience. A $1000 gift voucher wedding present spent a year in his wallet, devaluing to nothingness when it expired 12 months later.
This provoked research, the kind that revealed approximately 30% of the world‘s vouchers go unused each year, amounting to around £65bn worth of store credit being wasted. With the help of Zelkind, Ziv Isaiah and Chairman Uri Levin, Erel founded Zeek: a gift voucher marketplace that has grown to 70,000 users in 10 months, saving over $200k.
Zeek‘s research into the UK gift voucher market shows most people receive 1-5 gift cards per year, and yet 47% of those people leave them to expire or lose them, resulting in over £1bn of wasted money. The average gift voucher/store credit sold through the platform is $50 at face value with a discount of 19%.
It was also found that 46% of all gift cards are sold between October and December, with 22% sold in December alone. Top retailers include John Lewis, M&S, Primark, Argos and Boots.
The mobile marketplace is available to download on iPhone and Android now.
If you do choose to gift someone with a voucher or gift card, opt for one of these brands‘, whose vouchers/gift cards have no expiry date: