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Consumers sitting on billions in unused gift cards, vouchers and store credits

Experts say unused gift certificates or similar credits are often forgotten, and the issuing businesses sometimes go under.
Credit: AP
FILE- This Dec. 22, 2009, file photo shows a gift card kiosk in New York. If you know you won’t be using a gift card, you can sell them at a number of sites, including CardCash, Cardpool and Giftcard Zen. How much money you get depends on a number of factors, including how likely someone else will want to buy it from the gift card seller. You can also trying selling it on your own through eBay. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

INDIANAPOLIS — Here's Allison Gormly's "What's the Deal" report for Monday.

Unused gift cards? Cash them in.

You may be among the more than half of adults in the U.S. who are sitting on gift cards, vouchers or store credits.

That means roughly $15 billion is floating around out there, according to a Bankrate.com report.

Their advice? Use the money ASAP.

The longer you keep it, the more likely you are to forget about it, or that the business will go under. 

Postage hike takes effect in August

Your trip to the post office is about to get more expensive.

In late August, a stamp to mail a first class letter will be 58 cents - up from the current 55 cents. 

Other first-class mail products are going up, too, an average of 6.8 percent.

A vice president with the post office said the hike is essential to achieve fiscal solvency.

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'Shrinkflation' hits more consumer items

If it seemed you're finding less cereal in the box or less ice cream in the container, you're not going crazy.

Some companies are opting for smaller packaging to offset rising costs.

It's called "shrinkflation" and it's been around for decades.

For example, MousePrint.org posted that the Wheat Thins family-size box just went from a 16 to 14 ounces, and Costco paper towels are down to 140 sheets from 160.

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