Gift Card Reselling Organization
I’m going to start today’s post with an admission. Getting organized when it comes to gift cards has been a gradual process for me. Yes, I have suddenly founds hundreds of dollars I previously had lost track of and I have come close to losing money on gift cards I purchased that went bad. (Fraud and thievery is huge in this space.) Thankfully, in my case the upside has been large enough to offset the time needed to organize, but it is definitely a process.
The way I see it there are two HUGE reasons to get yourself organized now when it comes to gift cards. First, you will want to know how you are doing on them. Are you making money or simply spinning your wheels and spending your time for nothing? The second and equally (or perhaps more) important reason is money. It is easy to lose a lot of it if you aren’t careful.
Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to getting organized, but I thought I would share some of what I do. Hopefully others will share their tips in the comments as well. Now, let’s take a look at some of the things I do to stay organized with gift card reselling (arbitrage).
Gift Card Reselling Organization
While it may seem like a daunting task, getting organized when it comes to gift card reselling isn’t too difficult if you make it a part of your routing.
All of my gift cards are logged into a Google Sheet which can be accessed from anywhere. I protect this sheet with two factor authentication since it contains VERY sensitive information. Since I travel often and deal with gift cards even while traveling, being able to access this information from anywhere is key.
So what exactly do I track? Here are the most important fields in my opinion. Keep in mind I log all of this information when listing or selling the cards so I don’t have to rely on remembering to go back later. I also track each year separately but am considering actually breaking it down to months now due to the number of cards.
- Source: Where did I buy these cards? I assign codes to individuals I buy from and generally just put the store name if it comes from a retailer.
- Buy Date: By having this information I can quickly go back to receipts if there is an issue with a card. I can also use this information along with the source to look back at specific deals or discounts.
- Merchant: Just the brand name.
- Card # & PIN: These two items are logged in their own respective columns. It’s up to you whether you want the entire number or some other way to reference the card so you can get that information if needed.
- Face Value: What is the value of this card?
- Purchase Price: How much did I pay for the card?
Of course there are a couple of things missing from above. Once the cards sell, I go back and fill in the following information:
- Sold Date: So I can go back and check things if needed.
- Sold Price: How much did the card sell for?
- Net $: How much did I receive after any fees or costs I incurred for selling this card. Sometimes this is the same as the sold price, but sometimes it isn’t.
If I sell to a bulk reseller then often I can fill in all of the information at once, whereas if I list cards on a marketplace I will have to fill it in once the cards sell. After all of the information is input my spreadsheet automatically calculates three things:
- Percentage off Face: At what discount did the card sell? This is more for me to look back later and track discount trends for different brands.
- Profit $: How much money did I make (or lose) on each individual card.
- Profit %: What percentage profit did I make.
From this point you can get as fancy as you want in taking this data and outputting it elsewhere to further enhance your business. I’ll admit that enhancing my spreadsheet is something I have long had on my list of things to do, but for the most part I haven’t done it. Having the profit information is key though, since I need it for my bookkeeping and taxes. (As always when it comes to taxes consult your tax professional.)
Receipts & Card Storage
While tracking all of the information above is important, so too is keeping physical cards and receipts safe. I have a large safe at home where I store physical cards so they are in my possession if something goes wrong. I also make sure to keep all of my receipts and generally have them organized chronologically. A next step would be to digitize all of them. I am currently trying to find the easiest way to do this.
I’ll admit that I don’t actually track rewards down to specific cards or deals. I do earn a ton of rewards when buying gift cards and try to make sure I am earning 2X or more on every purchase. Some of the ways I do this is by having the right cards in my wallet. Having cards that earn bonus points at places where you source cards is key. In other words my organization when it comes to rewards comes with making sure I have the right cards to earn the maximum number of points.
Putting It All Together
The best advice I can give anyone when getting into gift card reselling is to make the organization part essential to your workflow from the beginning. By logging as much information up front and regularly reconciling your profits, you will more easily be able to grow your business and more importantly will minimize potential losses.
What are your keys to organizational success when reselling gift cards? Share what has worked for you in the comments!
Want to learn more? Make sure to visit our Million Dollar Reseller archives.