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lost causes

Old Borders Gift Cards Are Officially Large Guitar Picks

Pedestrians pass by a Borders book store with signs announcing that it will be cloing its doors, March 4, 2001 in Washington, DC.  Borders, the second-largest US bookstore chain, filed for bankruptcy on February, 16, the latest blow to an industry hard hit by competition from electronic readers and online booksellers. It planned to close around 30 percent of its over 640 stores in the US. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

After Borders Books declared bankruptcy and closed in 2011, people with unredeemed gift cards ($210.5 million worth, apparently) went to court to get a piece of the store's liquidation proceeds. On Wednesday, a judge ruled they're not going to get it, saying it would be unfair to the company's other creditors. So now those gift cards are just pieces of plastic, good for picking locks, strumming guitars, and apparently selling as collectibles to suckers on eBay.

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Photo: MANDEL NGAN/2011 AFP