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Is Gift Card Reselling Worth the Hassle?

In Monday’s post about my month in manufactured spending, I mentioned how around $24,000 of my manufactured spending total came from gift card reselling. Since I became aware of The Plastic Merchant back in October, I decided to incorporate gift card reselling into my strategy for several reasons. First, it allows me to diversify spending on my credit cards. When you’re charging thousands of dollars worth of purchases from Giftcards.com and Simon Mall, banks tend to get suspicious. Buying gift cards directly from merchants helps give your spending patterns more normalcy. 

Manufactured spending by mail

Gift card reselling can be done from home, so no painful visits to Walmart. For those who don’t even have access to a Walmart, this works out especially well. Lastly, buying merchant gift cards is great for those times when your credit cards aren’t quite maxed out, but you don’t have enough of a spending limit to place a ~ $2,500 order from Giftcards.com. In those times, it feels productive to not let your remaining credit limit go to waste by purchasing merchant gift cards that you can resell.

The down side of gift card reselling is the time it takes to liquidate gift cards. You have to take shipping times into account (or delivery time for e-gift cards), the amount of time it takes to type up the gift card numbers and any photos TPM may require, as well as the amount of time it takes to get paid. Regardless of whether you’re selling gift cards to TPM or some other third party, getting paid can take 1-2 weeks. Combine that with delivery time and you may look at a 3+ week period between purchasing gift cards and being able to pay off your credit card. It’s important to be prepared to pay out of pocket until payment comes through.

That being said, I do like the fact that gift card reselling can be done from home. There are days when the thought of driving out to Walmart in the cold (or very rarely, the rain) isn’t so appealing. On those days, being able to generate some miles through gift card purchases seems like a worthwhile tradeoff.

There are a lot of readers who complain to me that they’re not able to liquidate Visa gift cards via money orders at Walmart. That’s a tough position to be in when you’re trying to meet spending requirements or earn a substantial amount of miles in a brief period. For those people, the ability to earn miles and meet spending requirements via gift card reselling could be a welcome relief. 

So in short, there are a lot of positives to gift card reselling, especially through TPM, which offers higher buy-back rates than your typical gift card site. That being said, it’s important to be aware of the longer time it takes to liquidate and get paid for these cards. I’m not putting all of my eggs in one basket, but gift card reselling is something I’ll continue to incorporate into my manufactured spending strategy.

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Ariana Arghandewal

12 Comments

    • iTunes gc’s are always in demand. As are Amazon. But TPM tells you which ones they need and how much of them they’re able to buy. So I just buy what they tell me to, basically.

  1. There are a lot of fields to fill out on TPM application. Do you think someone with no experience will be accepted to resell on their site?

    • Yes, they will. I actually reached out to them and they gave me some pointers on what they look for on the application. I’ve got a post coming up on that tomorrow.

  2. I filled out TPM application, and the message says it will be 1-2 weeks until I hear from them one way or another. Once (or rather – IF) they accept you as their potential reseller, do they give you some info as to what types of gift cards they prefer, in what quantities, at what payout, etc?

  3. Hi Ariana! Do you use Dwolla with TPM? Do you think it’s safe or should I stick to mailed paper checks?

    • I’ve been getting paper checks, mainly because I don’t have a Dwolla account and don’t want to sign up for one just for this. From what I hear, it is a totally legitimate service though.

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