Buying Many Many Petco Gift Cards
If you read this blog long enough (or many other good ones) then you will come across a ton of great deals. Some of the deals may not be for you and some are going to be no-brainers. Then there are the ones that are good, but require some amount of time and effort invested in order to see a worthwhile return. I recently ran into one of those and thought I would share my thoughts on the matter.
Petco Amex Offer
There recently was an Amex Offer for Petco. Unfortunately it has reached its maximum number of subscribers, but I know many of you who have automated your Twitter accounts will have it on your cards. Anyway, the deal is simple. Spend $10 at Petco and receive a $5 credit. 50% off is great, but the denomination isn’t.
Filling a Need
My first thought when I see deals like this is to utilize them by purchasing gift cards. I don’t need to spend anything at Petco right now, but I will at some point. By purchasing gift cards now I am locking in 50% off. We also have a beautiful dog who needs grooming and our local Petco does a great job. It really is a win win. Except, when you remember that I had to place a bunch of separate $10 orders.
Running a Test
To test how long each purchase would take, I made a couple of test purchases back to back. Even though portals exclude gift cards, I decided to use the Alaska portal to see if I could hit their holiday bonus. I’ll save you the suspense. They never paid and it didn’t work, but I found I could checkout in about 60-90 seconds for each card. Not terrible.
I should provide a caveat here though. I am fast on the computer. For some people it would take longer. Anyway, after running my test I had some time so I plowed through each of my Amex cards until I had reached my desired number of orders. At one point my Petco account locked up. I thought they were shutting me down for suspected fraud (after all I was using a different credit card on each order), but it turns out changing my name to my wife’s in the profile messed it up.
Time Vs. Value
Now it is time to figure out if this whole ordeal was/is worth it. Here are a few factors I consider:
- I like endeavours like this to provide me a value of at least $100 per hour.
- The Petco expenses I have are recurring. In other words, I will spend money on pet grooming whether I do this or not. This isn’t a luxury expense.
So I paid 50% of face value for my Petco cards, but I don’t quite see it as 50% off. I could purchase Petco gift cards for 25-30% off face value from a reseller. There are a few downsides to that. Holding cards from a reseller is a risk and the discount over time can diminish depending on the inventory. It still takes time to place purchases from resellers too, so the time spent would be less but not nothing.
Was It Worth It
This deal was right on the margin for me. First off, it was incredibly repetitive to place so many orders. There definitely was a frustration factor. What put me over the top was the realization that I was locking in savings on mandatory expenses. Our dog likes Petco more than the local groomer and our experiences there have been good. For those reasons I absolutely believe it was worth it, but it certainly is on the line and very close to the $100 per hour mark.
When you are looking at Amex Offers or other deals that require a lot of time, it is important to figure out what works for you. In my case I had the time and the need for these cards so it worked out, although I could see an argument against it as well. I’m sure most of you have gotten halfway through a deal when you realized the time and effort involved simply wasn’t worth it. I was close with this one.
As we move into the next month where the “deals” will be coming hot and heavy, remember to go at your own pace and to fully consider what you are getting yourself into. As for my beautiful dog, she is happy with my decision and loved her recent trip to the groomer!