Manufactured Spending

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 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 credit to place a ~ $2,500 order from 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. Factor in delivery time and you may look at a 3+ week period before you can 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 to Walmart 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 if you’re trying to earn a substantial amount of miles in a brief period. Those people will appreciate the ability to earn miles and meet spending requirements via gift card reselling.

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, 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. However, gift card reselling is something I’ll continue to incorporate into my manufactured spending strategy.

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  1. Which gc’s do you find to be the most successful at reselling?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. Hi Ariana!

    Do you tend to go with eGiftCards or with the physical GC for reselling?

  5. What’s the average payout time with TPM? Monthly?

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

  7. Curious to see what people’s strategies are for buying/selling? Many deals for GC’s, but selling on eBay is risky as the buyer can use your GC and say it didn’t work and you’re out of luck. Any other sites like TPM that offer similar ease?

    A few of the others seem to be that you have to submit an offer to the respective buying source, they’ll email you back (one site has me waiting 3 days already) just to find out if they’ll buy back. Seems like a lot of work.

    Don’t have a WM nearby so was hoping for some easy’ish spend. Don’t mind not making anything – would like to break even or better, but seems like TPM is the best, but don’t have a lot of inventory sometimes.

    Another issue is getting quantity to purchase so it’s not a great deal on a $50 gift card that you can only buy one of (without many many different accounts)

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