(UPDATED – Response Sent Out) Are There Issues with The Plastic Merchant? Reports Are Not Looking Good!

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Are there Issues with The Plastic Merchant?

We have had quite a few people raising an issue in our Facebook Group concerning The Plastic Merchant.  They have not noticed any activity or sale orders being completed since the end of May.  No one has been able to get a reply yet either as to what the hold up is.

I also received a message from a group member that had a very large check bounce from TPM today.  A second bounced check report came up in group from a May 21st payment.

We reached out to Mike for a comment on these issues and did not get a response back.

They recently sent out an email to all sellers:

Dear Seller,

We are working on things and hope to have an update for you very soon. Sorry in advance for any issues this may have caused, and please be patient with us.

Sincerely,
Molly

FYI – People are reporting contacting the bank to check funds and even a $5 check would not clear at this time.  There are a few different reasons this could be outside of having no money in the account.  But I wouldn’t deposit any checks you have until this is cleared up since you will get hit with returned check fees etc.

What Should You Do?

The Plastic Merchant has had an issue or two in the past with bounced checks or delayed payments but they have always made it right.

I wouldn’t submit any new sale orders for the time being if it were me.  At least until some payments start going out and clearing.  You can always liquidate them somewhere else if there really is an issue.

Conclusion

I am not a seller at TPM but I thought it was worthy of a PSA type of post.  Hopefully they are just bogged down with all of the recent Amex Offers etc. and will clear the back log soon.  Let me know in the comments if you have any further information.

 


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237 COMMENTS

  1. I just tried to verify funds for a couple hundred dollar check I have yet to deposit and they said that it will not clear. Fun fun.

  2. I’m a little on edge. I’m not sure if the $4,500 of Amazon codes I submitted to him haven’t been used and I could at least apply them to my own account to avoid a total loss.

    • I would seriously consider adding them to your personal account if the PO hasn’t been completed yet. If it is from the recent Amex Offer I doubt they have been uploaded anywhere yet and you can send them an email saying you wanted to cancel the order etc.

      • Appreciate the heads up on this. I just submitted a $1,000 worth of Amazon with them too. I immediately checked to see if they all still had a balance and was relieved to see they did. I went ahead and unloaded them all into my own account and sent TPM a message explaining why I really had no choice since apparently they aren’t communicating with anyone about what’s going on with their business right now. Now I just have to figure out the best way to cash out my Amazon gift card balance. Sometimes this really is a job.

        • Glad you were able to get your money back out. I drain Amazon gift cards buying their Gold Box gift card deals that they have but if you don’t have anywhere to resell them (outside of TPM) that doesn’t really help you much.

          If you need the cash ASAP you can always buy Staples GC off of Amazon and resell to ABC gift cards etc. You would be taking a 7% hair cut on it (83% rate) but you could move it quickly.

          • Luckily I have lots of family that use Amazon all the time so I’ll probably just send out a public alert telling them I’ll do all the buying for them for the next little while and just pay me. 100% return is even better than 95% anyway. Maybe I should go this route more often…

  3. I got paid one day late, but the check cleared a week ago when I mobile deposited. But, it was for just $250 only.

  4. @Ben O. – when did you deposit it / when did it show as bounced? I deposited a small check on 5/29, and so far my bank hasn’t said anything about it/it’s in my available balance.

  5. My 5/21 check of 1200 seems fine so far. I deposited it on 5/29.
    The scheduled 6/4 payment is not processed yet. I got a bad feeling…

  6. “I wouldn’t submit any new sale orders for the time being if it were me. At least until some payments start going out and clearing.”

    Nobody should have submitted any new sale orders after the last meltdown. This type of statement is what will get a lot of users in trouble this time around.

    • Everyone is an adult here and it is up to them to decide how much risk they are willing to take. And you have to remember this is a developing story – that was written when the issue was delayed or no payments, before bounced checks came into the picture.

    • Wow. How hard can it be to send out an email to everyone explaining this on day 1? And how can a business like this not know how critical such a timely response would be? Even if they get this worked out, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in them going forward.
      (P.S. I hope Mike is o.k.)

      • Agreed. Hoping Mike is okay but once I receive payment (if I do) don’t see the relationship with TPM continuing.

      • Yup, I can’t see how one guy being hospitalized can create such a mess. The staff goes to work everyday right? Let’s say he got sick and hospitalized sometime around May 21. So the staff’s been going to work, sending out checks, processing orders all this time? Getting emails and messages and not responding. Watching checks bounce as the bank account balances dry up? Then, they decide to let everyone know that Mike is now sick and hospitalized? Either they are lying or this is one incompetent staff.

  7. There are 4 people involved (in theory) with TPM. Not sure why the other three couldn’t manage the operation in his absence…either way sending good vibes for Mike’s health and recovery !!

    • They couldn’t manage it in his absence, because the health story is likely made up, or rather nervous breakdown from being insolvent.

  8. This has the “GiftCardRescue” situation written all over it. If you don’t know what happened to the “GiftCardRescue”, you are in a wrong game. In any case you may want to run as far away from this joint as possible… for me, I would never do giftcard re-selling again. Not worth the time, headache, tears and sweats.

    • I disagree. This can’t be further from the situation. Mike’s model buys new cards from people reselling primarily in the travel hacking world. The GiftCardRescue guy bought from anybody. He had lots and lots of fraud which was his demise. Mike just charges back your account when there is fraud.

      You send in cards, Mike sells them, gets payment from the company he sold to and then you get paid. The timing is tight, and he had a company send a late payment previously which caused him to have checks bounce in the past. Mike has always made good on things in the past.

      Gift Card reselling is not for the faint of heart. You must also have enough capitalization available to you to withstand delays in payment or even chargebacks for hacking. If you are over extending yourself, then you need to scale back. Only risk what you can lose. If your risk tolerance is not able to accommodate gift card reselling risks, then by all means stop. Have some faith with Mike or worst case, what may be his family making good on what you are owed. You will be paid or you will get your cards back. You have legal recourse. It is just a timing issue.

      In the sum of all things considered, Mike has always been pretty honest with stuff happening and has owned up to his missteps and mistakes in the past and made good. Take a deep breath and realize right now you have a timing issue of being paid. Be patient. I know it is difficult when money is at risk and you get emotional about it. The travel hacking game we play isn’t for people with bad credit or being cash strapped. Be patient. You will either be paid or get your cards back.

      I have done business with many of the players in the industry and have seen a ridiculous number of issues that left me at the mercy of others deciding the validity of buyer claims with chargebacks and cards being burned. I fight them pretty hard. This isn’t a fraud case or hacking case. It is a case of one person that handles the checks and payments becoming sick enough to be hospitalized. We don’t know what happened or how soon, if at all, he will be able to return to work. Life can be inconvenient and messy. This is one of those times. I don’t have any reason to believe there is fraud but rather this is a case of life incapacitating a key company employee, Mike. And if you have ever worked in a job, you know people can be replaced, it just takes time. Be patient.

        • Seriously? You are cracking jokes? Disgusting. We have no idea what has happened to him health-wise and you are accusing him of making a fake posting? You have no shame. What is wrong with YOU?

          It is people like you as the reason everyone has become so uncivil and indecent.

          I try to put together a thoughtful and calming post and you act like a jerk.

          We have NO idea what his health situation is and my gut instinct tells me this is serious. But you go ahead and be the jerk. It is what you do.

          • Seriously? After what happened w/ the Bryan Colangelo situation you still don’t believe that burner accounts happen?

            And why are you only attacking the sellers? Why not one bad word about Mike? As far as I can see, The Plastic Merchant is in the wrong here. No matter what happened, this has been handled extremely unprofessionally.

            None of this adds up. How can being hospitalized create such a mess? Who is Molly? Why is Molly sending out emails now? When did Mike become hospitalized? Is there no backup plan? Why didn’t they shut down the platform as soon as Mike became hospitalized? Is the platform still accepting uploads?

            Who are you to tell people to be patient? Why do people owe TPM to be patient? This is a business. They are supposed to behave professionally. Sending out bounced checks is not behaving professionally. There are no good reasons to be sending out bounced checks. Being hospitalized is not a good reason.

            If you are starting a business and you are handling the amount of money that TPM is handling, then you need to have some backup plans, i.e. what happens if I become hospitalized?

            What was the excuse last time? iirc, he had 2 accounts w/ the same account numbers and he paid from the wrong account so that’s why the checks bounced? And that was earlier this year as well?

            That’s just alot of excuses.

            No need to plead for people to buy into all these excuses. TPM is a business. They just need to act like one.

            What other business behaves like this? BOA? Chase? If BOA sends me a credit balance refund check, do I need to be worried that the check might bounce because the CEO was hospitalized?

            Nope.

          • I am far from a jerk, I hope he is getting better, but there are other people running the business with him

            You have people like Eric on his team(https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-pogue-stl/?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_top%3BFa2tXH5mR0u3XuIvH%2F%2BNdA%3D%3D&licu=urn%3Ali%3Acontrol%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_top-search_srp_result&lici=aa9%2BuUkjRV6m8sU5GLiTKg%3D%3D) and Molly who should be making sure checks don’t bounce. The business should have a line of credit for when the checks can’t be cashed. People shouldn’t be getting bum checks.

            This isn’t the first time it’s happened to TPM and it’s not the first time it’s happened in the industry. I have the right to be skeptical of the company, even though I know no details of the CEO’s health situation.

          • I haven’t heard from his other employees (Eric or Anthony) since March. And these are the guys that used to answer questions, so surely they would have been able to send an announcement to their customers.
            I suspect they got canned or quit as soon as cash flow issues surfaced

  9. Yeah, done with TPM. I do sincerely hope Mike gets well real soon and back to his family. I also hope he does right with everyone that TPM owes money to.

    Luckily I was able to minimize my exposure to about $2K that I hope
    I do see one day.

  10. Just submitted $1k worth of home depot gift cards on the 2nd. Still not processed. Seriously thinking about buying things online that I was wanting but not necessarily needing and trying to use the balances before they’re drained.

    • I think that is reasonable, and let the guy know you want the PO cancelled. Some risk he bans you, but at this point who cares

        • Yeah that’s exactly what I did. It was actually still in submitted phase since 6/2 (and not processed) which is definitely not like TPM.

          Made sure the balances were good then emailed and bought a bunch of lawn and garden stuff that I wasn’t planning on buying for at least a year or two (like a mower). Didn’t plan on spending $900 at Home Depot today but I’m at least content with knowing the gift cards weren’t lost and won’t lose any sleep over it.

          That said I still have about $500 left that’s due to be paid soon. Small peanuts compared to many here. Hopefully they pay but I can live with whatever happens now.

          • Minimizing your risk and cancelling the PO is always the best option. If you are a father you just got your Father’s Day gifts a little early is all 🙂

          • Ok, minimizing risk…. check; reasonable to presume current un-processed purchase orders could very well soon be money down a sink-hole….. so get it out. With Amazon cards, easy to do.

            I too have multiple HD cards sitting in similar limbo, but I’m not interested in buying a ton (or even a quarter ton) of HomeDepot “stuff.” Not my thing.

            Realize “Mike” would snarl at us (or worse) for ever daring to sell a card we’d listed on Raise first to TPM second. But how bout the other way around? (from TPM to Raise?) Problem though might be that with Raise, it’s easy to withdraw a for sale item from a listing. But not so obvious when your cards are stuck in “not processed” limbo at TPM. Thoughts?

          • Got 4600 Amazon GCs pending with them, and planning to redeem them to my account. Any ideas on how to liquidate? Really appreciated!

          • @allen you can use the Amazon Gold box deals to slowly work down the balance purchasing gift cards or other items to resell. You could always use it for groceries and regular stuff. Last option is to purchase Staples gift cards etc. and dump it at a loss (depending on how much of a discount you bought the cards with).

  11. Ugh have a $3k check deposited June 1 that has bounced. A bunch of retailer cards. Tempted to just wait things out rather than looking up balances and trying to drain the cards on stuff to resell but maybe that’s foolish. I really hope that TPM is not trying to mislead us as to what’s going on.

    • I must have barely got in with my 5/29 $1k deposit that cleared. Hopefully they’ll make this right once their team is back to full capacity.

  12. The health story is true from what I understand, but it is only half the story. I would not submit anything else. And, frankly, I think those of you who are owed money are about to be in for a ride.

    • What is the other half of the story? Please share it especially if you have information that the rest of us don’t have. If you can’t tell us the other half of the story then you are just talking crap and have nothing further to contribute. I am also very concerned but I don’t spew lies or say things that are purely speculative.

      What is the other half of the story? I am waiting to hear it.

      • Funny how you demand the other half of the story from people, otherwise they are “talking crap” yet you demand nothing of TPM. Might he/they be “talking crap” as well?

      • I think the other half of the story is at the time the checks were issued, there presumably wasn’t money to cover them all in the account. The only exception would be if a check he deposited was returned.

        The hospitalization can explain why the current round of payments aren’t send. But it doesn’t explain why the money wasn’t in the account at the time the checks were issued.

        • one thing is clear and that is that Mike kites checks as a standard operating procedure period from the last meltdown and this one it is clear that at the time he writes checks to people he does not have the money in the account to cover it. He hopes that by the time it reaches the people and they get around to depositing them the money has appeared

    • Please do elaborate, Jessie. People are certainly owed money here and there are a couple of options:
      1. wait out: worked the last time and most people were made whole, not necessarily quickly but were made whole
      2. bust out: salvage what you can. Find out what cards you sold TPM still have a balance and use or exchange them

      option 2 is unethical but if there is good reason to believe that TPM is a fraud (less likely) or completely insolvent (more likely) and not likely to be able to pay the good, trusting citizens that wait it out, then some people might want to consider that option. Once bankruptcy is declared, you have to go through the court to get anything back

      • 2. Is fraud. If it’s already been sold to TPM and then sold on the secondary market to a regular, every day person. All you’re doing is screwing over someone who has no hand in the arbitrage world. Sorry, sounds unethical.

        Honestly, it sounds like a lot of people became over confident and over leveraged in the gc resell market. This has always been a risk, and you should have only put in to play what you were willing to lose. Why hasn’t anyone learned from the Kwame Giftcardrescue debacle that was less than 2 years ago? A lot of people lost money then too. In fact, it was posted on this blog also: https://milestomemories.boardingarea.com/gift-card-rescue-bankrupt/

        Hope Mike is okay and this is all just due to the accounting not being organized. Hopefully everyone is made whole, but if not, you should swallow the losses and take this as a learning lesson to not over extend yourself.

        • I am not over-extended at all, and played it conservative with TPM given the history. I still plan on repossessing what I am owed in the June 4 payout. Don’t blame the victims here, @Realist

          Giftcardrescue definitely taught me a lesson, when things get shaky bail out fast and take what you can get. He and TPM are honest guys and bad businessmen

        • 2) It is not a fraud. Fraud is not to pay your debt. Fraud is to mail checks that will bounce and do in intentionally.
          Every day person will get his money back from the reseller and reseller will try to get it from TPM. At worst, there will be a burden on a 3-rd party reseller.
          I cannot discuss if it is ethical or not. It is in the eye of the beholder.

        • @ Realist

          Why separate “a regular, every day person” from those in the “arbitrage world.” You make it sound like those in the “arbitrage world” should get less protections? Fact of the matter is, everybody is doing business through TPM.

          And re: your analysis of fraud, remember this, fraud voids all transactions.

          So the analysis would be: if you knew about the fraud, would you have entered into this transaction? If the answer is no, then the transaction is void. It never took place.

          So, let’s say TPM is misappropriating funds. You upload a bunch of giftcard codes to him. He sells the giftcards on the secondary market.

          The contract is this: You upload giftcard codes to TPM. He sells them on the secondary market. He’ll pay you within 2 weeks for your codes.

          If you knew TPM was misappropriating funds, would you have uploaded giftcard codes to him? Nope. So, that transaction is void. He never had the right to take the giftcard codes and sell them on the secondary market. Therefore, whoever bought the codes bought them from someone who had no right to sell them.

          I’ll give you another example. You own a car. You sell it to Mike Dean, TPM. He writes you a bad check in the amount of $20k. He then turns around and sells it to me, TNT. I write him a check for $20k. Once the check bounces, can you come get your car back from me? After all, I bought it legitimately from Mike Dean, TPM. But, Mike Dean didn’t really acquire the rights to sell the car to me. He acquired the car under false pretenses (making me believe he had $20k in the bank to cover the check).

  13. For whatever reasons, I read Ariana is one blogger that is still promoting TPM. I’m glad there are at least two replies on her site about issues with TPM to warn readers of major problems. Hopefully others check this site to find out more warnings about TPM.

      • She has talked about using them in the past and she was the first person to bring up the bounced checks last time. I am surprised she hasn’t written anything on it yet but she doesn’t post as often after getting her newer job so that may be why.

      • I like and follow her blog regularly. In my opinion she’s not promoting TPM. She’s had good experiences in the past and has acknowledged other people have not. I’ve been using TPM for a year at about $25k and only had one delayed payment before now. However, now is what matters to me. Like everyone else I’m frustrated and angry; there’s no excuse for this situation.

        I don’t have a link but her blog is PointChaiser.com

      • This is quoted from the article she wrote on June 4;

        “Merchant gift cards. One of my favorite things about the holiday (shopping) season? That I get to sit around in my pajamas on weekends and churn merchant gift cards for miles. It starts around October and goes well into December: Merchants like Gap, Nike, and pretty much everyone in between will begin selling gift cards at a discount. If you’re registered with The Plastic Merchant you’ll even get alerts about these deals. I’ve never churned more than $23,000 in a month, but it’s a fun way to pass the time while binge-watching The Real Housewives. It makes me feel somewhat less crappy because at least I’m being productive. But you don’t have to wait for October. Gift card churning deals are always around – you just might have to dig for them a little.”
        xxxxxxx

        The topic of her article is about earning miles and points from home aka pajama MSing. Had she warned her readers there are issues with using TPM, it wouldn’t sound like she is promoting it. JMO.

        • Yeah, thanks for the links

          Sometimes they recycle old articles so that might have been it.

          That sounds like general info and not up to date w/ what’s happening currently

          I think it’s an oversight.

          She should update that though

  14. Let’s give them a chance to rectify. Jeez! If he does have health issues, let it be. We knew the risks. It sucks, and I am waiting for about $500. I’ll provably look up what is outstanding and try to liquidate them if my check bounces, but let’s everyone not panic.

    Does it suck? Yes. But, regardless of what is happening, panicking isn’t going to change anything.

    I hope he gets better, and I’m hoping that whomever he has working there, can get some resolve to us.

    In the meantime, let’s just hope he’s OK and hope he’s back and makes it square with people.

    • Not sure why you categorize it as panicking. People are just on here trying to get info and trying to figure out what they should do. Seems like there’s no correspondence from TPM at all. Some people are liquidating their cards in other ways. So that’s one way to “change” things.

      My view: Mike could be hospitalized or he could not. That’s his personal life. I don’t know the guy. But he set up a business dealing w/ other people’s money. He put up alot of rules to protect himself, i.e. he won’t accept 3rd party gift cards. As a business, he should have set up measures to protect the sellers in case something happens to him.

      Did he do this? Nope. This was extremely negligent on him. Things happen. He should have set up measures so that whatever happens to him personally doesn’t interfere w/ the business.

      What’s next? Checks bounce because he had his wisdom teeth pulled? Root canal? His kids are sick?

      Keep all that separate from the business.

      • Concur, this line about “being patient” doesn’t quite wash. Reminds me of a certain Jimmy Steward movie…. Even if we are the most charitable souls on earth, we have every reason now to believe something is quite amiss….. Worse here, we’re not dealing with insured banks, where we know eventually deposits are guaranteed. Instead, we have a classic “run on the bank.” Those of us who can extend or cancel reservations — will and quite rationally so. Those of us who can find balances on cards still in po’s that weren’t processed — rationally, we have reasoned “fear” that the “house of cards” is about to collapse. Sure, we can be a good sport, believe that it’s only a minor health issue (ignore the fact that there were not contingency plans), that there’s really money there somewhere, that all will be well — big if, sadly. Or we can rationally salvage what we can while we can, lest be left …. holding the bag.

  15. I just saw this story. Some people act like a business bouncing checks is merely a clerical/admin issue. Writing volumes of bad checks can be a criminal matter. Most business banks charge hefty fees for companies bouncing checks. A business that bounces many checks (like it seems here) can owe the bank thousands in bounce check fees. A business bank would see that customer as a risk and possibly close the account. I have a business. If I am sick or whatever my checks are not going to bounce. And you can put a check on collection which means that when/if money is deposited into that account it gets processed and goes to you in good funds. The sharp guys know this so they wont deposit new money into any account that bounced a ton of checks. Some states allow suits for triple damages.

  16. I got a ~$12,000 check on May 29, and based on the past bounced checks made sure to deposit it literally hours after receiving it to reduce risk.

    My check does appear to have cleared. Truly sorry for all of ya’ll with bounced checks, and I still have payments upcoming for ~$1,300, so I’m not out of the woods myself yet. But wanted to share a DP that at least some checks are clearing.

    • I haven’t heard a DP about anything bouncing that was deposited on or before May 30. Once the coffers ran dry and weren’t resupplied, well, you know the rest

  17. A smaller issue to be sure, but I also find it concerning that I didn’t receive an email at all. Are they only sending notice to those that had pending checks or POs?

    I was lucky to be on a bit of a break due to work travel, with my last check deposited May 29. I’m not worried about my inactivity anymore…

      • Yes I have- I also double checked to ensure it wasn’t eaten by spam filters. So I’m not sure why I didn’t receive anything either.

  18. First of all, I hope Mike will have a quick recovery if he’s really hospitalized.

    I got my first check of $2,700 from TPM on May 29th and deposited it the same day at BofA. I have more cards to sell so I asked the manager how long it would take to see if the check cleared and she said it could take up to 2 weeks since it’s issued from a small credit union that is out of state.

    So, I won’t feel comfortable for another week that I’m in the clear.

    I was going to wait another week to submit another $5,000 of cards but now I’m not sure if I want to deal with them anymore.

    They took almost 6 months to approve my application and the only reason I signed up and bought the gift cards in the first place is because I met Mike twice in a 30 day period at two travel events and he had good references from friends of mine.

    The company just does not communicate well their potential sellers and it seems their current ones as well.

    An open line of communication can quash all these speculations but without that, TPM will have all this negative publicity on the internet and it will never be deleted which will impact any future business dealings.

    It’s time to find a couple of other trustworthy people or companies to sell to.

    Any suggestions?

    • Raise is most people’s first choice. You have to float it yourself but also cut out the middle man.

  19. @Realist – I have mixed feelings on your post. It’s a problem if someone else has purchased the card and there are no longer funds on it. Hopefully, they can file a claim with their credit card who will seek restitution. On the other hand if the agreement is to sell cards to TPM and then be paid for them on a schedule and those terms are not met it’s TPM’s issue. Banks repossess cars and foreclose on houses when people default with non-payment or bounced checks. The banks seek to recoup their investments and mitigate their loss. Why shouldn’t people who TPM breached their agreement with try to do the same?

  20. Hello all, Frequent reader, first time poster. Been trading with TPM for about 2 years now. First real issue I’ve ever had with him, but my alarm bells are up.

    I deposited a $1125 check last week; it bounced yesterday. I had outstanding add’l invoices for $100 & $118. I then submitted $900 yesterday literally 1 hour before that email. I sent email to cancel this order. Once the rumors of bantrupcy started, I took steps to protect all these cards.

    Here is my inventory I submitted to TPM that is unpaid & what I tried to do about it:

    $1125 check processed:
    8 x $50 itunes cards. I loaded these to my itunes account for a credit
    10 x $50 Uber cards. I tried to load these to my account, but were already registered
    There are an overpayment of $340 here that I expected to refund to TPM, but never got a response/the check bounced any way

    $118 Invoice:
    3 x $50 Brickers. I went to Chilis to try & convert to physical GCs. No go. I assume the $ is still on these & I’ll see to another trader in time

    $100 Invoice:
    $115 Lowes via Swych. I claimed on my Swych App. Tried at Lowes to buy physcial cards but no dice. May go back to tonight to just buy something, but i think this one is safe too now.

    $900 Submitted:
    $150 x 6 Best Buy. I went to Best Buy & bought new physical gcs, so these are safe.

    Final Tally: I have $400 itunes credit safe. My exposure is at least $500 (Uber) – $750 (other 3 cards). If this proves to be false alarm & he makes everything right & i owe him back for the iTunes cards. If not, I’m out $500 at the most. I’m sure others are in worse spots.

    What a disaster.

    • Buying Best Buy gift cards with Best Buy gift cards still worked. Interesting I thought that would have died when they ended 3rd party gift cards. Now I wonder if those savings codes would still work to purchase best buy gift cards. Off topic sorry.

      I think it is best to protect yourself as much as possible right now and cancel the purchase order. The lack of communication makes the situation tough.

      • These are from the $150 + $15 ebay deal. I actually used the 6 x $15 to convert to physical cards as well on Monday. I then sold him 2 x $45 physical cards. They were on the same invoice. I have those cards still & was going to go make them into new cards as well if possible. They were on the priority list at first though b/c wanted to protect the base first to at least get whole.

        • These are from the $150 + $15 ebay deal. I actually used the 6 x $15 to convert to physical cards as well on Monday. I then sold him 2 x $45 physical cards. They were on the same invoice. I have those cards still & was going to go make them into new cards as well if possible. They weren’t* on the priority list at first though b/c wanted to protect the base first to at least get whole.

    • I’m not worried about owing Mike. Should I miraculously receive a check in the mail I’ll gladly mail it back.

    • @Bryan that is a good bust out. I was able to salvage a lot of Cabela’s by calling Bass Pro Shops at 1-800-227-7776 and having them converted to Bass Pro gift cards over the phone

    • UPDATE: Trying to convert the Lowes/Brinker to Amazon using Card Pool. Guess I’ll know tomorrow.

      Hopefully looking like out ‘only’ $500 on the Uber ones that TPM already loaded. Any advice on this one? If not, I’m pretty content with this, even though it’s still miserable.

      • UPDATE: Bleh. Looks like my bust out isn’t going to work. iTunes reversed all but $100 of the credit. And my attempt to sell Lowes to Card Pool also did not go through. So I’m out:

        $450 for Uber Cards
        $250 for Itunes
        $100 for Lowes

        Pending: Brinker $150
        Safe on new cards: $900 Best Buy

        Here’s hopefully there is a resolution, for all our sakes

          • Update:

            The Itunes credit i thought had disappeared is in fact back. So I am whole. Plus, the Brinker cards were sold to Card Pool for an Amazon card, so that’s good. So Here where I stand:

            Out:
            $500 Uber (paid $450)
            $115 Lowes (paid $100)

            In:
            $400 credit at Itunes
            $120 Amazon Credit
            $900 in new Best Buy gift cards
            $90 in old Best Buy cards that i still need to convert

            I am going to take the suggestion & try and buy something with the Lowes card to try to get back that $100.

            So I’m out $450-$550. Not good still, but I’m sure others are worse.

            I will feel bad for doing this to the guy if he ends up resolving all this, but if that’s the case, I’d like to think he won’t take offense b/c what else was I supposed to do with no communications?

            Thank you for being the sounding board this week.

    • Almost everything I submitted for the 6/4 payment date has been redeemed (I found a few Cabelas and one Tory Burch that was full). I really don’t know what to do here. Do I take back what I can before the opportunity disappears or hold off and hope that payments are processed soon? If they would communicate AT ALL I would feel better

  21. My large TPM check has bounced. This consisted of several types of Merchant GCs (which I normally don’t use myself) which I submitted in April and May. However, to minimize my financial damages, should I see if there is a balance on them and use them myself? I feel that if Mike turns things around, this would be a violation of his terms, but I’m getting desperate here.

      • Mark, not again. This is the second bounced check from them. The first was a few months ago and was recovered. This time, I have a very bad feeling that Mike is going belly up.

  22. Mike used to communicate exceptionally well when I first started selling with him in Q4 2016. He would send out deal emails, updates, and other notes to sellers regularly. Lately, that has been lacking, and it has been making me feel more and more uneasy. I did $30,000+ of sales in Q4 2017, but since then I’ve been down to only several hundred dollars per month of easy PPDG sales with TPM.

    As for my data point, I had two checks clear on 5/27. At least…I haven’t heard back from the bank that they bounced, and this seems like sufficient time. Happy that I should be in the clear. Not going to sell anymore to him. I feel for all of you who could get burned by this. This post really made me panic.

    • Glad you were able to get out unscathed. I think anything before last day or two of May has been clearing. Scary situation for sure!

  23. Yeah, if there’s any legitimate excuse for this, it should have come out by now for damage control.

    How it’s being handled right now, they’ve basically destroyed their business and their reputation.

    So if Mike is really hospitalized and all of this is just accounting mixups, well it’s a sad situation because TPM has ruined their reputation.

    If TPM cared about staying in business, I think they would do more than just remain silent.

    ……….crickets………..

  24. My last check of ~$1000 was deposited on 5/27 with no problems (yet). I was also very lucky that I had just gone over my records and discovered a check I had not deposited yet. I thought it was unusual that I was down to $0 pending with them, but it seems I was lucky…

  25. Per contract law – my opinion is that this would be considered an anticipatory breach on TPM. Once there is an anticipatory breach, you are no longer obligated to uphold your end of the bargain. That means whatever gift cards you’ve uploaded to Mike you can go ahead and pull back w/o recourse (my opinion).

    An anticipatory breach is an action that shows a party’s intention to fail to perform or fulfill its contractual obligations to another party. An anticipatory breach negates the counterparty’s responsibility to perform its requirements under the contract. By demonstrating a party’s intention to breach, the counterparty may also begin legal action.

    Bouncing checks, lack of communication, being hospitalized —> all should be enough grounds for anticipatory breach.

  26. Thanks @TNT
    To add to the fire – let’s be clear here. We all know the guy has a lot of liabilities (the bounced checks, the payments that were supposed to be made on June 4, bills to keep the lights on, etc.). His assets are small, and getting smaller (as many of us are making a run on the bank and cashing out cards that we sold to him while we can)

    The very definition of insolvency is when you don’t have enough assets to cover your liabilities. He will need fresh capital to survive this. I won’t be giving him any, his bank has likely banned him by now, and he isn’t big or successful enough for real investors.

    I will never accuse him of fraud here, I wouldn’t have done business with him if I thought he was a crook. In this case, I believe his business is bust and admittedly we aren’t helping here. Since he is in the hospital, a bankruptcy filing may be delayed.

    One thing about bankruptcy filings, once you start one the court and lawyers calls all the shots. You will not get any response from the business owners (hmm . . . ), no payments are made without court order, and any transactions that might take place after the filing can be overruled by the court. Mike may be a nice guy, but he would be completely powerless to make anyone whole after a bankruptcy filing. The judge will ensure that creditors like employees, the IRS, accountants and lawyers get paid with what is left before any of us.

    Please do not count on Mike to make you whole, I know he may want to and if his business is somehow still solvent or he gets fresh new capital, then I trust he will make good like the last time. If he is insolvent and declares bankruptcy, then it is not up to Mike.

  27. I have two orders that were processed and set for payment on the fourth. And two PO’s just submitted that are still sitting there. Can someone please tell me know to pull this back? Thanks

    • You can’t pull them back. Best you can do is e-mail TPM and ask. You know you won’t get a response

      Several people in the thread above simply liquidated the gift cards in the submitted but not processed POs after asking TPM to cancel them

      As for the POs scheduled to be paid on 6/4/2018 – you can check the balances of anything you sold to him and spend them if there is anything left (this may or may not be legal/ethical)

      If that doesn’t cover what you are owed, then balance check the cards that you sold him and were paid out on in the past and liquidate them as needed (this may or may not be legal/ethical)

      Or you can hold your breath and trust the situation will resolve itself, or simply take the loss and move on.

  28. @smurf totally agree. But, is it better to cash out with cards he already listed that we can somehow salvage? If (I know it’s a big “if”) he does somehow make this right, a lot would be banned from him because of “cashing out”. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying we shouldn’t, and I realize being banned isn’t the end of the world.. it’s just been nice to have other avenues to sell.

    Definitely not justifying how they are handling this, but trying to think of the best outcome for us. I guess, at the end of the day, it’s better for “us” to not be out of pocket due to his lack of updates.

    Just saying this as it’s only been a day since the email – but I realize it’s been longer for those that have bounced checks.

    I’m wondering if, in all this, he was the only endorser and depositor. So, if checks are waiting to be deposited on his end, and they weren’t deposited, it could explain a lack of cash flow, if he wasn’t able to sign. I know people can endorse for a business but I don’t know his set up.

    Just thinking of the different possibilities and hoping for the best. I think my only unpaid expense are a few GC’s, I might be able to liquidate.

    • @ Mike G

      Yeah, I think that’s just more wishful hope. That scenario doesn’t pass any rational smell test though.

      Let’s say he’s the only endorser and there are all these checks waiting to be deposited but can’t because he’s seriously injured/sick in a hospital and can’t sign them right now.

      Wouldn’t Molly just let us know? Attention everyone, Mike is in the hospital and the banks are dry right now. Please don’t cash the checks until Mike gets out of the hospital. Don’t upload any POs right now. The business will be on hold now until Mike gets well.

      I mean, it doesn’t do the company any good at all to have all these checks bounce.

      We haven’t gotten anything like that. If there are legitimate reasons as to what’s going on, I think they would have been more transparent.

      If there are legitimate reasons, I can’t think of any that would make sense. Whatever the legitimate reasons may be, it’s in their best interest to let us know for damage control. My conclusion is – there are only shady/illegitimate reasons for the way they are acting.

      I don’t want to take away hope from you and others who have money tied up in this. Sometimes hope is all that you have. I just don’t really see it.

      • Pretty much all of your analysis has been well thought out and spot on. If TPM were genuinely concerned about the longevity of their business and maintaining their reputation they would be trying harder to right the ship.

        As you said they don’t need to give us money right now but anyone who knows anything about business knows this has been handled highly unprofessionally and that there should have been things put in place to help with damage control.

        This doesn’t diminish the seriousness of his health problems but let’s be real here, if we had health issues and began to have a reputation for bad gift cards or forgetting to upload within the reservation window we’d be kicked off of the platform. They may provide condolences for our problems but at the end of the day life goes on and business doesn’t stop for anyone.

        Just as with people, one’s true character is revealed when shit hits the fan and you have no umbrella to hide under. At the moment it feels like they stole our umbrella and left us with our mouths open.

        • To be frank, no one even knows if the health issue is real, or if it’s not induced BY being insolvent. It is awful convenient way to buy time… Just saying.

  29. I got back from vacation, and currently stuck with high 3 figure undeposited check from 5/21 (I don’t bother to deposit based on current TPM situation). It sucks that I cannot view already processed iTunes / Uber gift cards to see if it’s already redeemed or not.

    I would love to email TPM to see if they already sold those gift cards or remain in inventory (if yes, then I’ll just tear up check and get those cards back) but feel it’s pointless to do that since they never reply to any emails. So, my option is fighting with TPM to get processed cards back, or just suck up and cut my losses & MOVE ON.

    • Yeah it is a tough position. I wish the communication was better to at least get some things figured out.

    • If you go to the processing POs and click the Hyperlinks icon on the far right it should show you the card numbers. Then you can check the balance. It even shows the card number and PIN for paid POs.

  30. TPM promised already in 2016 that other people will handle his business and payments if he gets hit by the bus. Incidents after incidents later we are still at the same point, we just have more DP’s and saw communications going downhill.

    I am not even sure if I should feel sorry or not since the problems are now reported for a long time. TPM is a business. He always promised to be fair, but after he got enough buyers he started to show his real face in early 2017. Bellow BE to milk it more, Ink+ deals going downhill with -3pts of the +5pts you got. On top of that in 2017 more and more problems with bounced checks were reported. Communication where shorter, if still existing, no more full disclosures on problems, excuses that had their own smell… but people still continued.

    Now we have this issue and if TPM will still be in business, some people wills till be loyal and will eat every excuse.

    If you can do 10k with TPM, you should be able to do 10k on raise. If after all the times you still trusted TPM and where loyal you did something wrong. For folks with small volumes its a bigger loss with less alternatives.

    And that’s all facts and has nothing to do with his personality. His personality itself was already concerning for a long time. Too much ego. Tantrums in Slack. Banned sellers because they asked the right questions.

    • All well said, sadly. I too resented that TPM seemed to be setting prices by trying to tell us we were still breaking even — IF — we ate up half or more of cc points earned. (especially this past quarter) I also much resented that TPM had this nasty policy to muzzle all of us, so that we wouldn’t talk about TPM in public spaces. (and there indeed was a lot of pulled punches and self censorship on the few places that dared to host TPM discussions — in part as the various bloggers themselves were sellers with TPM. e.g., Ariana, DoC, Shawn, etc.) In short, it was an aggregators’ market…. trust us we were told, and be quiet while you’re at it…. til tpm house of cards blew up.

  31. So many private groups and yet no concrete postings. No offense, but I can say I heard from another private group that he isn’t. Doesn’t really add anything here.

    • I think the writing is on the wall, Mike. This just isn’t normal, and as others have mentioned, even if he simply is in the hospital, their lack of communication has destroyed the business and will be bankrupt bc of it. Time for everyone to protect themselves as MS Madoff is done for good.

    • Mike G, since there is no communication we are all forced to make decisions on speculation, circumstantial evidence, and rumor. Many times, rumors are simply premature facts.

      I have also been burned in bankruptcy before with things I prepaid on (gym membership). It is par for the course for the debtor to be ordered by the lawyers and judge to go into radio silence with creditors when a proceeding is underway. Assuming the silence means TPM is bankrupt is circumstantial, but it definitely fits the scenario

    • MPD doesn’t really have a clue. Raise recently instituted new pricing strategy that is not friendly to small sellers. Unless you’re selling $450k/month you won’t be able to compete. There are other sellers similar to TPM, who don’t have issues. But just like coveted MS methods, they aren’t talked about.

      Also the flippant comment about “networking” to get more volume is very naive and reductionist. You aren’t networking, you are engaging in a high revenue business that comes with a lot of effort, record keeping, tax liability and audit risk. If you sell $1m in a year and claim next to zero profit, have fun with your audit.

      • Meh. I sell a couple of grand a month to a private buyer I met by “networking” at meets. Your post makes too much assumptions and ends up sounding just as clueless.

        • I’m talking about raise in particular in regard to the volume and competing.

          As for using the term networking, that was the authors term. I just meant that he was really downplaying the reality of what that avenue entailed. It’s easy to sell to others, not so easy to be the aggregators.

          • Concur with “fellow seller.” That mpd post is less than helpful — Raise has its strengths (like the reliable ach payouts — which was the achilles heel at TPM). But Raise has indeed become rather less friendly to moderate to smaller volume sellers. I actually had reason to believe Raise had started to cater to TPM — as one of its top bulk sellers. (documented the connections several times…. would call Raise b.s. account rep. on it, and he would neither confirm or deny…) In any case, afaik, current (basic) raise bulk seller threshold is back down to 2,500 per month, plus 35 separate cards listed — and that will get you a mere 10% Raise take on your sales…

            With the loss of TPM as one of the top raise bulk sellers (sic) — if my hunch is right — Raise will again become more friendly to we “little guys.”) For now, over the course of a year, I can average that 2.5k per month.

            But I have another issue with raise, and why I’ll miss TPM…. and that even with b.s. rates, Raise is just not as competitive as they used to be. TPM often would offer higher than 90% payouts on popular cards (95.5% on Amazon, 91.5% on Best Buy, 90.5% on Home Depot, etc., etc.) Raise currently does not come close to those levels… They used to give select better prices on some cards — like 8% on Lowe’s, but they ended that last November or so. (at least for me)

            Anyway, I hope Mark that you or Shawn or M2M will soon post an update on gift-card reselling options, “post-TPM.” (with your usual calm candor on strengths, weaknesses, and traps to avoid)

          • @havai

            regarding your rates discussions, that’s what I mean by saying that smaller people won’t be able to compete. When you’re global rate is 10%, or even if you are bigger and it’s 8%, you still can’t compete against someone doing a million a month and has rates a few points below.

            Also I wouldn’t hold your breath about them being more friendly now that TPM seems to be gone. There were others of similar size to TPM, they just don’t crave the limelight as much.

            I’m waiting for a blogger to post a TPM clock that keeps running time since last payment/communication lol

  32. Well, I managed to convert 5 Cabela’s to BP to secure $500 of the $800 I had. I didn’t bother trying to deposit the check based on what everyone else is experiencing.

    Question for the group – there are still some that haven’t been drained yet, and I’m still short $300. Given they are still available to convert (although from a previous sale to them), do you think it’s wise to get to those before they’re also gone to make myself whole? I wouldn’t do any others that still haven’t been drained, just the 3 to make myself whole.

    I realize it’ll probably cause a chargeback to TPM, when/if the dust settles, but on the other hand, the bounced checks aren’t a good sign and I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well. Figuring if I do cash out 3 from a previous sale and make myself whole, if it results in a ban, it is what it is. I didn’t end up “owing” him anything and I’m not out anything.

    • Yeah, I am tempted to start trying cards from past sales to TPM for which I have successfully cashed checks. Of course only to make myself whole. I am doubtful that I will turn up much but I feel like I may be screwing myself over if I don’t at least try to recoup some of my losses. Curious what others think also.

    • I’m asking myself the same thing. I won’t come close to being made whole if this all goes south but it’s tempting to pull back some of the cards from early May that still have balances

    • I did it. Didn’t feel good about it but I have certainly stated in other comments here that this is all likely to end up in bankruptcy and a bunch of creditors are going to get screwed anyway. I found plenty of Cabela’s with balances on them sold and paid more than a month ago that I was able to make myself whole with. Didn’t take a cent more than necessary to make myself whole.

      Everything you need to know about converting Cabela to Bass Pro Shops gift cards can be found here. http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/together

      • Yeah I went through the past month and was able to find enough cards with balances to recoup most of what I lost (or expect to lose). Also felt pretty bad about it.

        Is there a reason to convert cabelas to bp rather than just using them to buy new cabelas gift cards?

        • You can usually buy Cabela’s with Cabela’s online, yes. And that could wash the cards as well. I chose Bass Pro because of a slightly better resell rate (at the time) and the fact that it is less suspicious to Cabelas/Bass Pro to convert from one brand to the other instead of to the same brand.

  33. I decided to start using up some cards — was able to recover about 1/3 of what I am owed due to the bounced check. Not great but better than nothing. I haven’t tried the itunes codes I sold. Is there any way that the itunes credits could be used for any type of merchandise that can be resold? Of course who knows if the codes will actually still have value but it’s not even worth it for me to try if I can’t spend the value in some useful way. I don’t subscribe to any streaming services or downloading videos/music.

  34. At this point, they haven’t responded to my email, I have a check that won’t cash, and if someone is “in the hospital”, they likely won’t be able to fix this any time soon.

    Maybe it’s frantic, but my “business” decision is to try to make myself whole. If the business comes back around, great, if not, at least I didn’t wait around. If he bans based on this, so be it.

    At the end of the day, this is a “business” and if he’s not taking care of things properly, the relationship wasn’t worth much anyway.

    I do hope he’s fine and things reverse but if there is an opportunity for me to get whole, so be it. He’s going to have a ton to deal with already with all the bounced checks, medical (or otherwise) bills, and everything else going on.

    I wouldn’t drain more than he owes me, as I do want his business to succeed for all of us, but seems like this may be a bit too rocky of a road to come back from, and I know I’ll kick myself later for “holding on” and not realizing it’s a business, not a friendship.

  35. I’ve been thinking about this, and those that are more familiar w/ how this works please chime in. I’ve been thinking about how a business such as this goes bankrupt?

    What would be legitimate reasons for going bankrupt? TPM probably has low overhead costs. They don’t have a brick and mortar place to take care of. They probably operate from home. No rent. I don’t know how much it cost to maintain a website but probably alot cheaper than paying rent for a brick and mortar place. They buy giftcards from people and resell them at a lower price. So, the only thing I can think of is that a big deal went bad and TPM got shafted and that’s putting them under. That would be the only legitimate reason. Because if that’s not the case, then they really shouldn’t be bankrupt. Whatever they owe people, they should still have the giftcards as assets to cover.

    For example, let’s say people have uploaded $85k worth of giftcards to TPM (at a value of $100k). TPM has sent out $85k of bad checks but somehow they weren’t able to sell the giftcards. But, the giftcards (valued at $100k) should still be there. So, the only legitimate reason I can think of is that they sold those giftcards to a buyer and got shafted. Now they are short $85k.

    Now, what are the illegitimate reasons why TPM would go bankrupt? There are many a common one would be a pyramid scheme. TPM has been commingling funds, using the funds for personal use.

    So, in the same example, people upload $85k worth of giftcards and TPM was able to sell them for $100k. Now they have $100k in the bank. This bank account is also used for personal use, so he uses it to pay off his mortgage, for vacations, for his car notes, etc. Now, he’s drained $20k from the $100k and he only has $80k left. So, he’s only short $5k and he requires new people uploading more giftcards. So now, the new people are used to cover the old people. And this goes on and on until it all catches up.

    Now, maybe this is just reckless to think about this out loud since it’s pure speculation. That’s not my intention. I’m just trying to understand what would be the legitimate and illegitimate reasons for suddenly going bellyup (if TPM in fact is going bellyup).

    • Cashflow could be an issue if they have a lot of inventory that is not moving. If they don’t have a substantial line of credit that could get them in trouble real quick. Cash flow is the silent killer of most start up business.

      • Yes, but cashflow problems would not lead to bankruptcy Mark. If it’s merely a cashflow problem then they are not insolvent. They have the assets to cover. They just have a problem liquidating the assets/giftcards at the moment.

        So I’m just wondering, if they really are insolvent, what would be the reasons why.

        • Ah gotcha. I would say they would have had to misappropriate the funds into something else that failed. Trying to grow the business another way, a second business, or invested in the stock market etc.

          • HE has talked in past about having a large ticket reselling operation that has long float times. Since it seems TPM is a sole proprietorship ,not an LLC (By law it would say LLC on check and official things) he could commingle funds with ticket sales and personal use, no problem. From what I can tell the only way TPM “exists” as an entity is a business checking account, and a single DBA filed in MO. Other than that, it is simply the owner as a person.

    • You forgot: health care, daycare, salary for his employees, lavish lifestyle for his known bragging, paying off his personal CC’s with the biz account which he did “accidentally end of 2017 when some checks bounced, …

    • By all accounts, TPM had 3-4 full time employees. Also by all accounts Mike and his wife quit w2s and were living off of TPM money. He had very high overhead. Also trying to ball out of control and act like mr big shot.

  36. PSA for everyone: If you don’t intend to liquidate/bust out/make yourself whole somehow and a bankruptcy is declared, you will need to substantiate your claim to the courts to have any chance at a recovery of what is left of the assets (which are probably close to zero anyway). Suggest you printout copies of your unprocessed or unpaid purchase orders and take some screenshots. Save your correspondences with TPM, and make sure you have a saved correspondence that documents exactly what liabilities he has towards you. You’ll submit that stuff with your proof of claim to the bankruptcy court if (when) this happens.

  37. Everyone …

    My thoughts are this is a “start-up” business that 3 or 4 people run on the side (in addition to their day jobs). Therefore, if one person is out it can create havoc. Sounds like they need to hire more people (even if it were part-time). My guess is — it will be worked out eventually, after they work through the back-log. Worked last time. For a start-up business though — sounds like they are handling a lot of money.

    Here is the message I received below, which most people have seen emailed on June 6.

    Dear Seller,

    Unfortunately, Mike is very sick and has had to be hospitalized. We are working on things and hope to have an update for you very soon. Sorry in advance for any issues this may have caused, and please be patient with us.

    Sincerely,
    Molly

    • I think the silence since then makes it a lot different then in the past. This is a much wider scale of bounced checks and action has not been taken in 2 weeks to correct any of it. People are pulling out their cards etc.

      I don’t see any way that TPM recovers from this and I am not sure they will even try to.

      • Agreed. Fortunately, my exposure with TPM was $800. I received a check that I didn’t even try to deposit as I see everyone’s bouncing. I just converted the $800 in gift cards that hadn’t been liquidated yet to make myself whole.

        I sent email to them a few days ago and no reply. Whatever they are dealing with, I’m sure sucks, but it’s also not appropriate to have zero updates and everyone being in a lurch.

        If everyone cashes out of what they are owed, or even part of it, I don’t see how TPM would be able to recover. I’m sure their own bank account will have hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of fees, not to mention chargebacks from vendors who were sold cards that are no longer valid.

        Frankly, even with the fees paid off, and making everyone else whole, if he truly is hospitalized, I couldn’t see where this would be straightened out in the short-term, or even why he’d want the headache.

        I tried to be optimistic, but with the exposure (and knowing it’s a fraction of what everyone else has), I realize that if he’s willing to ban people for speaking poorly about his site and yet expecting us to just sit idly by while “whatever” is happening, with no explanation, that’s unfair.

        I wish him well, but I’m glad I’m at least “whole” and can move on. Not sure what everyone else’s ideas are, but I don’t see a happy ending here.

        • I agree, I don’t see how he can recover from this without a huge injection of cash into his business. Not an easy decision, but I’m also going to cash out of previous cards. Tested the first that were submitted, processed, yet unpaid, but they were already used.

          Is the best course to go through previous cards and try to use until I am “whole”? My exposure isn’t terrible compared to some, so I’ll use them for personal. Man I feel bad about this.

          • That’s what I did. I cashed out the ones I could easily replace and resubmit should this all turn around somehow. Surprisingly there were 4 large Amazon cards that had the full balances (from early May) so I just added them to my account

          • @Jim – thank you. Was able to recover cards from the bounced check, and I see some balances on April POs. I’m not going to reach 100% whole as the denominations are different, but close. Thanks again.

          • Yes – that’s what I did. I went back and saw there were some balances left on some Cabela’s and transferred those over to Bass Pro. It made me “whole” as far as unpaid balance.

            This is all being handled so horribly, but at the end of the day, if this does go belly up, I’d rather know I had some protection for things that were owed, than said “Well, I felt bad because he was in the hospital” and got nothing.

            At the end of the day, it’s about protecting us. I feel horrible for whatever he’s going through and I did feel bad for having to pull out the cards, but on the same token, I didn’t do this, either, and when you aren’t communicating anything, people will do whatever they need to, to protect themselves.

    • Kudos again to Mark Osterman and M2M. You didn’t use TPM either, but you had the self-awareness to realize that a lot of M2M readers DO — and you alertly put out a “PSA” for all of us. I happened to learn of it via your M2M partner DDG….. and just in time to avoid throwing more cards into the inferno.

      We’re all feeling awful about this…. yet grateful for this alert and the discussion and strategy/thought sharing within.

      • Thanks Havai much appreciated. We always try to give our readers the best info we can even if it doesn’t directly affect us. I am a little surprised more blogs didn’t cover it because of that fact. Our goal was to make sure everyone was aware there was an issue so it didn’t compound on them any further.

      • It’s pretty crazy that other bloggers, ESPECIALLY ones who promoted him in the past, are for the most part silent! Ariana just mentioned him two days before the story broke, and wrote a glowing article right during the last round of bounced checks. I am shocked that more people aren’t at least posting PSA style warnings.

        What’s crazy is that the site is still up and running…If you weren’t tied into this blog or private groups, you wouldn’t even know and would still be submitting cards!!!!

  38. As a victim of GCR, get what you can out of your cards. This company is toast. You will never see a dime from this if you wait.

  39. I have to say, I feel horrible about “cashing out” so to speak, but then again, I believe we all deserve a bit of communication. Having someone go into the hospital, however horrific that is (and I know from experience), is tough, but there has to be a balance, especially in this type of business. The customers have to be aware of their current state and, if there’s an issue, what it is, other than a quick email explaining a medical issue.

    I don’t see how he will recover from the bounced check fees, cards that are liquidated, as well as whatever other business expenses/issues are happening that we aren’t aware of. I’m glad I was able to recoup the outstanding couple hundred dollars that were submitted already and will gladly mail his check back to him.

    A shame.. but at the end of the day, it’s a business and has to be run like one.

    • I feel horrible for the people that can’t “cash out” and are stuck big $$. These are good honest people who trusted Mike and TPM. Now they are stuck in limbo. That must be a nightmare and I feel for those people.

      If Mike is truly hospitalized, then he must have surrounded himself w/ the most incompetent staff I’ve ever seen. They ran his business to the ground while he was hospitalized.

      • That is assuming, he has a staff; since no one has vouched for him at this point, those who did business with him should now do what they must to recover their funds or just move on with the ‘loss’ and consider it as part of doing business.

  40. Like you guys, I feel bad about redeem some iTunes cards from early May because I prefer to re-coup some of my $800 undeposited but worthless check from 5/21. What I can do at this point, due to no communication from TPM. It’s a frustrating experience, especially leaving buyers in dark and it’s not appropriate at all because we are obliged to follow his SOP / rules since.

    I am not a law expert, but would love to hear some professional legal/bankruptcy opinions on buyers to re-coup some unused gift cards due to TPM sending out bad checks and no communication?

  41. @angry380 – I would love to hear from legal experts on this as well. If we redeem GCs that have already been processed, but only up to the amount to make us “whole,” what are the possible legal consequences? I’m assuming at some point we’re going to hear an update from them. I’ve seen comments that this clawback is unethical, and I did pause before doing this, but it seems to be the only solution to minimize losses.

    • @max – I agreed that it might be not an ethical move but it’s unethical for them to send out bad checks and failure to process 6/4 checks along with virtually zero communication another than “he’s in hospital and you guys gotta wait till next update!”. I would rather getting gift cards that I already paid for to salvage much as possible (I am able to get 2/3 worth back from $800 undeposited check) but I feel pains for folks with 4-5 figure checks.

    • Redeeming cards from old POs that you were paid for is theft. You can’t do that to make yourself whole. Those cards were bought and paid for, and are now with a new owner. TPM doesn’t hold inventory, and most of it goes to a major gift card website.

      It’s an entirely different matter if you’re doing so with cards that you were never paid for (either because the PO is unprocessed or the check bounced). In that case, you may have a good argument that you have the right to limit your losses.

      But I’ve seen people saying they are going back several months to reclaim cards.

      • Of course, we all aren’t thrilled with current fiasco but you are absolutely correct that no one should redeem cards from old POs that TPM already successfully paid. I hope that everyone use their good judgement by focus on recovering gift cards from either unprocessed POs or bounced & undeposited checks.

      • @Matt

        I understand your position. Let me offer a counterargument. If you enter into a contract under false pretenses, then that contract is voidable by the person that was defrauded.

        Let’s say TPM is misappropriating funds. It’s safe to assume that if everyone here knew that, no one would upload giftcards to him. No one would do business w/ him. So, every contract that he entered w/ all of us are voidable by us (as long as he’s been misappropriating funds).

        Even the ones that were paid out are still voidable. You can get your giftcards back, you just have to give TPM his money back.

        I’ll give you an example. Let’s say I have 2 Hometown Buffet giftcards for $100. I want to help out veterans so I advertise that I want to sell my giftcards for $50 but only to a veteran. TPM shows up and claims that he’s a veteran and buys my giftcards. He gives me the cash for $50. He takes the $100 worth of giftcards and sells them to someone else for $85. Later on I find out TPM is a fraud. He’s no veteran. I’m livid and I want my giftcards back. I check the balance and the balance is still there. Can I get my giftcards back?

        I would say yes. Because TPM defrauded me, that makes our transaction voidable by me. So, I can take back my giftcards and just give TPM back his $50. So, what happens to the poor guy that bought the giftcards for $85?

        Well, he was defrauded by TPM too. When he bought the giftcards from TPM, he was assured that TPM owned the giftcards wholly. That the giftcards were obtained legitimately and not fraudulently. But that was a lie. TPM didn’t obtain them legitimately. He obtained them fraudulently. So he never had the right to sell them to anyone else.

        So the analysis here would be the same. Let’s say you sold giftcards to TPM 4 months ago. He paid you for it. Now you find out that TPM might be a shady business and you suspect that they were shady 4 months ago. So, if it’s true, then you have the right to void that transaction and give TPM back his money.

        So let’s say the transaction 4 months ago was worth $4,000. Right now, he owes you $800 from another transaction last week. Can you void $800 of the transaction 4 months ago and now call it even? My opinion is – I think there’s a good argument for it.

        • Then you would pursue the action in court. IANAL, but I don’t think you can steal from someone saying “but he stole it first!”

          That being said, I don’t blame anyone for trying to make themselves whole. Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about legal action.

        • Your example of the Hometown Buffet gift cards and the veteran is not germane to the reality of the transaction.

          Each card transaction is a contract to sell. The SOP is in accord with this, as it says that if a card is processed and accepted, then payment is due. Now, with regard to cards from past months, the seller uploaded those cards to TPM. TPM accepted the cards and tendered payment. The contract is complete. There is nothing to void — each party has performed all duties and obligations under the contract.

          • @ Matt

            Like I said, if TPM has been operating a fraudulent business all this time, then there are no valid contracts at all. You can’t “complete” an invalid contract.

            The analysis would be this: If you knew TPM was operating a fraudulent business at the time you agreed to upload giftcard codes to him, would you have done it?

            If the answer is no, then he fraudulently induced you to enter into a contract with him. That contract is voidable by you.

            It doesn’t matter what his SOP states because those only apply to valid contracts.

            In order to enforce a contract, first you have to determine if that contract was valid.

            Here’s a definition:

            ————————————————————————-
            What is a ‘Voidable Contract’
            A voidable contract is a formal agreement between two parties that may be rendered unenforceable for a number of legal reasons. Reasons that can make a contract voidable include failure by one or both parties to disclose a material fact; a mistake, misrepresentation or fraud; undue influence or duress; one party’s legal incapacity to enter a contract; one or more terms that are unconscionable; or a breach of contract.

            —————————————————

            So it doesn’t matter whether TPM paid you already. You can’t “complete” a contract formed invalidly. The contract is a voidable contract.

  42. There is only one mention in his SOP about legal actions
    “4.3.1 If a seller is charged back for a gift card and there are no funds owed to the seller in the form of purchase orders yet to be paid, the seller must arrange restitution with The Plastic Merchant within one week of being notified. Failure to do so may result in legal action.”

    Reading from that he can subtract whatever amount is missing from the money he owes you.
    I doubt he will recover from the mess he CREATED. There will be no buyers that would do business with them because of the amount of the cards that will have no balance and those cards had been already sold to other people. There is only one thing that he has to consider – filing for bankruptcy and it is a shame.

  43. Excellent catch John…… Went back and read through the TPM SOP as well. Maybe a reviewing attorney stuck that clause in there, “If…there are no funds owed to the seller in the form of purchase orders yet to be paid,…” However it got there, it indeed is a clear, if rare spot of clear black ‘n white protection for sellers….

    (About that SOP, it was among the early positive features of TPM…. Now if only GCW had anything even remotely close to a SOP manual….)

  44. Well @havai, I for one have cards that were sold and drained and the PO has yet to be processed. So I can’t even “cancel” as somehow those cards were already sold and I remain unpaid.

    At the end of the day, it is what it is. If he gets chargebacks on anything that was legitimately sold, he’ll deduct that from what he owes us. Since he’s likely owing us much more, it’s a moot point.

    We didn’t ask to be placed into this situation and better communication would’ve alleviated some (or all) of this.

  45. If you’re waiting on TPM to pay you back, please email your amount. I’m collecting data that I’ll publicize tomorrow. In just a hand full of hours I’ve heard from more than 2 dozen people. Cheers, Mark dogbuckeye@yahoo.com

  46. In my view, the analysis here is simple. The SOP says:

    4.2.1 If a seller submits for sale a gift card that does not have the stated face value at the time of sale or at any point in time within one year of the date submitted, excluding spending on the gift card by an end consumer as verified by The Plastic Merchant, the following resolution terms shall apply:

    4.2.1.5 If the stored value cannot be resolved and no replacement gift card is provided to The Plastic Merchant, the seller will be charged an amount equal to the buy percentage of the gift card at the time it was sold.

    So, if I use any card I have sold and don’t provide a replacement, TPM can charge me against what TPM owes me. I feel like this message board has been infiltrated by Raise employees who want to convince us that we are committing theft. That might be true if we used cards and didn’t repay TPM, but if TPM owes us money, then TPM can simply deduct the “buy percentage” of the cards from what TPM owes us. If Raise wants to prevent the chaos that is occurring, then Raise can provide a cash infusion to TPM. But that’s none of my concern.

    • It really doesn’t matter what the TOS says. You transferred title to the cards when you submitted them. TPM then transferred title to the institutional buyers. You’re stealing from the institutional buyer who knows exactly who you are and will go after you.

      • This is exactly what happened. Title was sold and ownership of the cards transferred. End of story. The mental gymnastics people are going through to justify draining old cards is astounding.

        Most of these cards went to an institutional buyer (not Raise I might add). If you redeemed the gift cards or otherwise used it in a way that’s tied to you individually, given the scale of what’s going on, I suspect the institutional buyer may be motivated to come after you. These buyers have relationships with the brands that would make tracking the redemption and usage of the cards easier than one would think.

        • Matt & Notaraise employee (who are probably the same person) — No seller on TPM has any relationship with the institutional buyer. The institutional buyer can pursue recourse against TPM, but as I suspect you know, there is probably no money there. Also, the notion that brands have relationships with bulk secondary gift card buyers seems quite farfetched. Your scare tactics are amusing, though.

          • @Bob, exactly.
            Can I go after Bank of America for violating their contracts let say with Wells Fargo? LOL

          • My man, some brands sell discounted GCs directly on Raise. If you don’t think secondary GC sites have any relationships with brands you should do some more research.

        • @Matt, sure… Just imagine they go after you and you show them your receipts. Then what? They only one they can go after is TPM and TPM can go after people that sold their cards and only if they owe you.
          In your model, neither TPM nor institutional buyer have any liability and sellers have liabilities with TPM and institutional buyer. Your wishful thinking.

          • You show them your receipts, which they can relatively easily turn around and prove are false, since those cards were taken back by you.

            Just because you sell something to a criminal doesn’t mean you can the go and steal it from whom that criminal sold it to.

      • @NotARaiseEmployee – That’s to say the least is laughable. Institutional buyer can go only after their suppliers. People who sold to TPM have their receipts as a proof of purchase. So, Institutional buyers can go only after TPM as it specified in their CONTRACTS with TPM. So, your wishful thinking or imagination is based on the false premise.

      • @NotARaiseEmployee

        You can look at the 2 contracts like this:

        First contract between seller & TPM – I promise to transfer gift codes to you. You promise to pay me for the gift codes. You also swear that you are operating a legitimate business and not a scam. If it turns out that you are operating a scam business then we have no deal and I can void the contract.

        Second contract between TPM & buyer of gift cards – I promise to pay you for the gift cards. You promise to transfer the gift card codes to me. You also swear that you own and obtained these giftcard codes legitimately and not fraudulently. If it turns out you don’t own or obtained them illegitimately, then we have no deal and I can void the contract.

        • There is no inherent promise that the business as a whole is sound. You’re reading contract terms that simply don’t exist. You sold a card and were paid the agreed rate. That’s it. You don’t get to loot the store because a different deal went south.

          • @ Matt

            A couple of points then.

            1) You differentiate between sellers reclaiming their giftcards now vs giftcards that were paid for 4 months ago. Why is it ok to reclaim giftcards now? Isn’t it because you believe the contracts now are voidable due to TPM’s actions? So basically, your premise is, as long as you haven’t been paid your money, you can void the contracts but after you have been paid, you can no longer void the contracts.

            So I urge you to read up on voidable contracts then because that’s not how it works. TPM can’t validate a voidable contract simply by sending you the payment for it. A voidable contract can’t be validated by the party that misreprented.

            2) “There is no inherent promise that the business as a whole is sound.” Actually there is. If there wasn’t then the contracts now wouldn’t be voidable. They are called implied promises:

            —————————-

            Implied Promise

            Definition

            A contractual promise that is held to exist despite a lack of express terms or agreement stating the promise. The failure to comply with an implied promise may constitute breach of contract.

            ———————————-

            So every business contract that you enter into, there is an implied promise that that business is not acting shady or fraudulently. That should be common sense. That doesn’t need to be expressed in the contract – “TPM promises not to behave fraudulently or illegally”

            Reasoning behind implied promises? So you don’t have to list out every single term.

          • @ Matt

            And also, even if you don’t believe in implied promises, then it would still fall under a failure to disclose a material fact. Acting fraudulently or shady is a material fact that needs to be disclosed when entering into a contract.

            As you can see, no one is going to do business with TPM anymore even if they ever get back into business. So it’s something he hid from all sellers to gain their trust so they would upload giftcards to him and also recommend their friends to do so.

            Had we all had known, none of us would have done business with him. That’s failure to disclose a material fact and grounds for making a contract voidable.

          • @ Matt

            A voidable contract occurs when one of the involved parties would not have agreed to the contract originally if he had known the true nature of the all of the elements of the contract prior to original acceptance. With the presentation of new knowledge, the aforementioned party has the opportunity to reject the contract after the fact.

            —————————

            Breaking this wording down – “after the fact” means even after payments were made, i.e. 4 months later after the “presentation of new knowledge”

          • Attention everyone, I’ve been reading more and I’m right in parts and Matt’s right in parts. I forgot about Bonafide Purchaser for Value (BFPV).

            So in contract theory:

            1) All our contracts w/ TPM are voidable contracts if he’s been operating a shady business

            2) How long are they voidable for? They are voidable As soon as you become aware, such as these past couple of weeks.

            3) However, once they are sold to a third party bonafide purchaser for value, they no longer become voidable. Third party bonafide purchaser for value get the highest protection.

            4) So if you are going to take back old giftcards, you can take back cards that haven’t been sold to a third party. (So my opinion is cards listed but unsold are still voidable). Once they have been sold, then you lose the rights to take them back.

            That’s contract theory.

          • @ TNT, Matt, et. al….. have been reading through this walk through contract theory and practice. (and will re-read after second cup of java) Sincerely appreciate your efforts to break it down, yet am also remembering why I left Dickinson law school….. decades ago. 🙂 (I have a “sinking feeling” that we could and will have advocates making eloquent legal arguments all over this case….. while Rome burns and the Raise stooges try to convince us to stay paralyzed….)

            About your last summary point TNT, “Once they have been sold, then you lose the rights to take them back.”

            Ah, but there’s the rub…. Practically speaking, how do we know for sure if they’ve been sold…? Cards submitted, but not yet processed — that’s easier. (they haven’t even been processed, much less sold, afawk) But for cards processed and actual payment received, that’s trickier when balances still appear…. Maybe they were sold to a third party; or maybe not.

          • @ havai

            So, in this instance, there would be 3 possible lawsuits

            1) Seller vs. TPM – seller claims the contract was a voidable contract and they have a right to void the contract and get reimbursed.

            2) Buyer vs. TPM – buyer claims the contract was a voidable contract and they have a right to void the contract and get reimbursed.

            3) Buyer vs. the Seller – Buyer claims that they were a bonafide third party purchaser for value and they bought the giftcards before the seller voided the sale to TPM.

            Now if it’s a large enough amount of money and the buyer can’t recoup their losses vs. TPM, then I can see the buyer going after the seller.

            And to your point about not knowing if the giftcards have been sold on the market or not – I think this is why it wouldn’t be considered theft. Because you honestly don’t know if it’s been sold or not. And if it hasn’t been sold, you still have the right to void the contract w/ TPM.

  47. I’m another one with a bounced check. $1700
    Amazon 3 x $500
    Best Buy 3 x 100
    BB are all empty. One of the Amazon card still had funds and I was able to load to my account.
    Did not do much business in the last couple of months, no cards from previous PO’s had any funds remaining.
    PPDG and SVM must have been a large part of his business. They both have had few opportunities these past two months. This likely played a part as his float money slowly dried up.

  48. When these cards are sold and some come back as bad, they’ll go after TPM.

    TPM, can then look into whom sold what cards and attempt to get clarification and/or replacement. If people refuse to pay up, he can decide what he wants to do then – court, etc.

    He has two separate agreements – one with those he’s selling to and those he’s buying from. The terms of his agreements don’t commingle. A seller could simply say “I made a typo and can’t find the card, here’s another one” and make him whole if they desired. Likewise, they could say, I’m still owed $x and go from there.

    It’s all speculation at this point. Regardless of what route you take, HE will undoubtedly be the one with the legal issues.

    His company should really have done more to keeping people updated as opposed to letting the frantic behavior continue. This isn’t the day and age when people wait around for information. Unfortunately for them, this is the day and age of instantaneous information gathering and people will panic and/or make up whatever reasoning they need to come to a better resolution for themselves if they are not given information.

  49. I did get and cash a check for $1600 on May 26th. It’s been two weeks and I have not heard back about it bouncing so fingers crossed I am ok there. I have $1100 in Bath and Body Works Cards that have been submitted via PO and were scheduled to be paid on 6/4. I also had two Wayfair and one Home Depot card that was submitted but never processed. I emailed them cancelling those three cards and am going to liquidate them. My question is should I try to liquidate the Bath and Body Works cards that are in limbo waiting to be paid? Or should I wait it out a bit? I have isolated the cards and they still have balances on them.

    • I’m surprised you have any doubts. Protect yourself first. You can trust yourself to fix things should it end up being a mistake.

      • Indeed. for those of us who’ve been paralyzed, think it’s time to liquidate what we can, esp. the cards submitted, but never processed, and do so asap. (before some bankruptcy court freezes everything)

        Question though…. JC, if you see this…. at the beginning of this thread, we had someone liquidating Home depot cards by just buying HD stuff. (and if one has to return anything purchased via HD gift cards, you’ll get store credits, not gift cards)

        Beyond that, any thoughts on alternatives for liquidating the HD gift cards…. Yes, can sell via raise, or exchange for other giftcards via other outlets…. (all at a modest loss) Yet seems they all have the same warnings about charge-backs and such…. Or am I missing something?

        • “Clean” them by getting another gift card with the existing one(s). I don’t know if this is possible with HD? But then you could sell it without any worries.

          • Unfortunately, it’s just NOT possible to use Home Depot gift cards to purchase 3rd party gift cards at the store. (checked with several HD stores — and gather it’s a corporate wide policy)

            Back to square one. Seems my options reduce only to buying stuff I don’t need or hazarding to sell or exchange via other outlets.

          • What happens if you buy stuff with HomeDepot giftcards and then return it? Some stores refund it onto a new GC.

          • @ TPM fangrl & esusan
            I spoke with Home Depot twice today. They said if I take the cards to the store they can reissue them. They’ll likely ask for a receipt. Also, I was told returns are issued with store credit, not gift cards.

          • Interesting Max, thanks…. So if I read you correctly, this would not be an attempt to use an existing HD gift card to “buy” a new one, but a request for a re-issuance of the same value Card. I have my original receipts. Curious though how we ought answer if they ask, so “why” do you need us to reissue a e-card (purchased on line, via gyft) that still has its original balance on it? Is this commonly done?

            Re. returns of merchandise purchases with gift cards, that also is my understanding since last year, that such returns will get us a store credit only (which can’t be used for on-line purchases)

          • @esusan You got it! I decided on a very plausible reason. The agent on the phone even gave me his extension and said to call back if the store hassled me.

          • “I decided on a very plausible reason.” No doubt. Yet could you kindly clue us in as to just what rendered your reason so plausible? 🙂

          • @esusan

            I kept the giftcard codes on my phone. I recently lost my phone so I want new cards just to be safe?

  50. Many TPM Debtors Are Waiting

    by Mark Schneider

    Disclosure: I sell to a small variety of bulk buyers, including a little bit to TPM/Mike. I am waiting on a relatively small chunk of money TPM owes me. I do not represent TPM or any other bulk buyer or seller.

    Two days ago on a handful of sites (see below) I asked if people would share with me how much they are owed by TPM and are waiting. This by no means is scientific research. It’s purely anecdotal.

    My motivation was mainly two reasons. First, I wanted to know for my own emotional health if there were many people waiting for TPM to make this situation right and pay them. Second, I wanted to present another voice in this online dialogue that at times has been dominated by rumors and gossip which can cause or has caused panic and rash decisions. The faceless internet can sometimes quickly spread dubious facts and I wanted to present some concrete facts, whether you think this is good or bad news.

    In the last 48 hours I heard from 40 people who are holding over $57,000 that TPM owes them. Most of these people expressed a great deal of concern about the situation. Below is a list of amounts. The identities are confidential.

    I asked people to contact me from the following sites: Gift Card Exchange FB, Miles to Memories FB, Miles to Memories Blog, Shane Sco FB, and Gift Card Wiki. As well I gave out my email address for people to share on other boards and slack channels.

    If you would like to add your total to the list, I will maintain it into the future.

    I am also part of a separate effort to contact Mike / TPM. If you have any information, please share.

    List of Amounts

    1300
    400
    800
    950
    500
    1200
    1100
    7300
    82
    2150
    800
    4000
    550
    120
    300
    620
    280
    3300
    400
    1100
    660
    1100
    360
    660
    550
    1049
    4385
    9000
    Total: $57,113

    * You can reach me at dogbuckeye@yahoo.com

    • I personally know people who are owed $7k and $20k individually, besides many more small time ppl. TPM employee Eric has it listed on his linked in profile that TPM has 1500 sellers. I would not be surprised if the real total is 5-10x your small sample.

  51. Googled Eric Pogue, Bulk Sales Manager for Plastic Merchant, and saw his Linkedin profile has been removed/deleted.

    He probably doesn’t want to be associated with TPM. This is a very bad sign.

    • Because you keep the ship afloat until you just can’t anymore. When that hapns, you get a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, then the payments stop. You don’t choose bankruptcy, it rams itself down your throat.

  52. Given the climate of what’s happening, I think he’s going to likely be the one people are going to want to go after, just like any “business” that goes under. Not the people that panicked and liquidated their cards, whether processed or not. Whomever he sold to has an agreement with him and he with us. It does not pass through, in either direction, when things go wrong with the middleman.

  53. If TPM remains silent for another eeek without providing a plan to pay us back, we should reach out to USPS to begin a criminal investigation into mail/wire fraud. Bankruptcy should not be an easy out for them.

  54. The only recourse at this point is to file a complaint with the FTC. You can call them at 1-877-382-4357

    It is a simple over the phone report.

    The key thing is to say that is you believe you have been scammed.

    Federal Trade Commission
    1-877-382-4357

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