Gift Card Mart Suspends Gift Card Buying/Selling Operations Temporarily: What Is Going On?!?

19

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Links in this post may provide us with a commission.

Gift Card Mart Temporary Shutdown

Gift card reselling went from a relatively new idea to a hot industry in a short amount of time. Over the past few years we have seen the rise and fall of a few companies as the space matured, most notably the sudden disappearance of The Plastic Merchant.

One company I have occasionally bought from and sold to has been Gift Card Mart. I first started selling to them 3-4 years ago and have never had any issues, although it has probably been over a year since I have done any business with them. Now, it seems they aren’t doing business with anyone. At least temporarily. 

Based on a tip from a few readers I checked out their website and it says the following:

Due to technical difficulties, we are currently unable to accept purchase or selling orders. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding.

Gift Card Mart statement

When I learned this information I reached out to Jake Breedlove who runs Gift Card Mart and asked for a statement. Here is what he had to say.

We initially suspended customer gift card sales under the assumption that it was a short-term necessity while we fixed some underlying technical issues; however, after a few days, it became increasingly likely that the outage was going to take longer than expected. 

As a gift card exchange, our business model depends on our ability to sell the cards we purchase and with all but our ACH Debit customers being cut off from making new purchases, suspending further card acquisitions was the next logical step to prevent a ballooning balance sheet and protect against any structural instability.

Regrettably, this service outage has now persisted for several weeks and consumed significantly more time and resources than anticipated, and though we don’t yet have an estimated resolution date, I can assure you that we are working hard to restore normalcy as quickly as possible, and we’re looking forward to launching a brand new purchasing experience for our customers.

I want to sincerely thank everyone for their patience during this challenging time, and I am looking forward to putting this operational hiccup behind us.

Data Points

Other than the message showing on their website and the statement from the company I have no other information. Given the history of what has happened in this industry though I thought it would be wise to share this information and to also ask for your data points. 

Specifically, if you sell to Gift Card Mart:

  • Do you have open unpaid work orders?
  • Have you heard a different reason than what is mentioned above for them shutting down temporarily?
  • Have you been paid late on any sales?

Please share any data points and your personal experiences below. 

Conclusion

The Plastic Merchant debacle created a lot of nervousness in this space, so any time the smallest irregularity surfaces it can cause overreaction. In this case we don’t know anything is truly wrong, although we don’t know the opposite either.

Please share your data points in the comments and I’ll make sure to add any more information from Gift Card Mart or others as I get it. 

Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Shawn, I’m glad you wrote this as I was just having a conversation about the GCM situation today. I think I had a couple thousand dollars outstanding when the stopped doing business around July 1st. They paid me everything I was owed. I was a bit nervous to be honest since they slowed to a crawl processing and paying out in the 2018 Holiday season. But, ultimately they’ve always squared up. It will be a tough loss if they don’t get back up and running. But at this point i don’t have much expectation they’ll be back.
    Would love to know where everyone is reselling these days.

  2. In an email sent to me on July 1, Jake apologized for forgetting to send me a large and overdue payment on June 25, before the outage occurred, and wrote the following:

    “If for some reason this is going to be a more extended delay, I’ll be sure to let you know and I will figure out another way to square things with you.”

    Unfortunately, none of my subsequent emails had been answered.

    • Lol at a “business” that “forgets” to pay it’s debts. It’ll only forget to pay creditors whom have no meaningful recourse.

  3. Svm stopped recently selling on eBay. Was always good sales when they had them. Black Friday was always a bargain.

  4. Reading between the lines here, it sounds like credit card processors cut them off which could be attributable to high chargeback rates. Not really surprising in this space where unfortunately it seems difficult to root out fraud by buyers and sellers alike.

    After the TPM debacle (where I did lose money) I am still selling but very slowly and in small amounts and thankfully never to GCM. I am sorry for anyone dealing with this, and I hope it all turns out OK.

    • Like you my giftcard sales have slowed down since TPM. Fortunately, I didn’t lose anything in that fiasco. Since then my sales are about a quarter of what they were a few years ago. Have you found any other reputable buyers recently?

  5. I’m not owed anything from GCM. Jake has always been an up front guy with me so until something concrete presents itself I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I completely understand why there would be fear, I too was caught in the TPM damage like many here. If this were a case of TPM or other failed gift card sites why would GCM tell you not to sell to them? Think about that for a minute – they’re suspending all activity. If a site were looking to squeeze the last remaining drops would they not continue to accept cards until the masses bring virtual pitchforks?

  6. I too have always been paid, but it is true that communication has decreased drastically. It was always exceptionally reliable and Jake was super responsive. Around the new year it was suddenly nonexistent, and although I did resume selling to them it was only reasonable to be concerned by that change.

  7. Thanks for publishing this article. I’d definitely be interested in any further developments with GCM.
    Any good or bad news about other GC exchanges would likewise be of interest.

  8. Fraud has been getting rampant on some sites. Lots more stolen credit cards are being used to buy gift cards for resale to wash the proceeds and are now the biggest reason cards are suddenly depleted of value as gift card funds are captured back. Then there are the unethical sellers. Most have stopped stealing gift card value by depleting the cards seconds after they sell and instead wait until merchant guarantees expire and then deplete any remaining funds. Consumer reporters tell consumers to instantly initiate chargebacks and don’t deal with the reseller. Burned consumers no longer risk the hassle to score <10% savings off the face value. Cards that offer very high discounts are more likely to have been bought with stolen funds or hacked.

  9. Fraud has been getting rampant on some sites. Lots more stolen credit cards are being used to buy gift cards for resale to wash the proceeds and are now the biggest reason cards are suddenly depleted of value as gift card funds are captured back. Then there are the unethical sellers. Most have stopped stealing xgift card value by depleting the cards seconds after they sell and instead wait until merchant guarantees expire and then deplete any remaining funds. Consumer reporters tell consumers to instantly initiate chargebacks and don’t deal with the reseller. Burned consumers no longer risk the hassle to score <10% savings off the face value. Cards that offer very high discounts are more likely to have been bought with stolen funds or hacked.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here