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From Shawn: Gift Card Reselling has really become a hot topic in the miles & points world and I wanted to bring you a more advanced post on the topic. For that reason I asked Noah from Money Metagame to write about becoming a bulk seller. He is a newer blogger, but the quality of his content and his knowledge are impressive. Enjoy!
Hello Miles to Memories readers, Shawn was kind enough to invite me to do a guest post and I thought I would take the opportunity to expand your knowledge on gift card arbitrage. My name is Noah and I write and manage Money Metagame where I talk about churning, financial independence, gift card arbitrage, and many other ways to optimize your finances as a whole. I just started in the credit card game about 10 months ago, but after reading up on the topic via various blogs and forums, I dove in head first. Luckily, I have wonderful fiance who goes along with my crazy ideas and between the two of us, we’ve signed up for over 20 credit cards in that 10 month time span. More recently, I started an LLC dedicated to buying and selling gift cards and have moved over $20,000 worth of gift cards since I started. Enough about me though, let’s talk about how you can take your gift card game to the next level by becoming a bulk seller.
A Quick Recap on Gift Card Arbitrage
Shawn wrote an introduction to the topic, so I highly recommend you read through that for the basics. To quickly recap though, here’s the standard procedure for practicing gift card arbitrage:
- Check the current gift card sell rates at Gift Card Granny
- Find a gift card you can buy for under that rate and buy it
- Don’t forget to subtract shopping portals, store bucks, and credit card returns from the buy rate!
- Check physical vs. digital and make sure you can sell that type at the rate you want
- Wait for the gift card to arrive
- Almost no wait if it’s a digital card!
- Sell the gift card by either mailing it in or submitting the code and pin digitally
- Wait for the payout and count your money
Just repeat that for as long as you can find deals. Amex Offers, Bank Amerideals, ebay sales, Staples, and big grocery stores are a great place start, but with gift cards being an over $100 BILLION dollar industry, just about any store will offer gift card based deals from time to time. Heck, most of the deals I just linked are just from the past few weeks!
So Why Become A Bulk Seller?
If you start taking advantage of many gift card arbitrage opportunities, you might run into limits with unloading them. At the very least, the gift card exchange you choose to sell to will probably start asking questions like where you get all the cards from. Luckily, they don’t mind that you’re buying them purely to resell and as a matter of fact, they actually prefer it because they’re getting the card straight from the source. Even if you don’t run into selling limits, you’re probably leaving money on the table by not becoming a bulk seller. Let’s look at several of the benefits of becoming a bulk seller:
- Higher Payouts – If nothing else, this should get your attention. Several of the exchanges offer higher payouts for bulk sellers. An extra % or two may not sound like a lot, but it will make a HUGE difference in your final profit.
- Free Shipping – Several types of cards such as gas stations and restaurants typically can’t be sold digitally, so you’ll have to mail them in. Most of the time, non-bulk sellers will have to pay for the postage themselves and that can get pricey. Free shipping for bulk sellers will save you money on every card shipped.
- Higher Selling Limits – I’m not sure about all the exchanges, but SaveYa for example currently limits non-bulk sellers to $300 per rolling week. As a bulk seller, you won’t have to worry about selling limits and are only limited by the number of deals you can find.
- Better Customer Service – After becoming a bulk seller, you will probably be given an account representative that will be quick to respond and assist with any questions or concerns you might have. This certainly beats trying to call or email the general support line.
Which Bulk Seller Program To Choose
Everyone has their own needs, so there is no one-size fits all answer. Here’s some things to consider before deciding which gift card exchange is right for you:
- Bulk Seller Benefits – Check if they offer the benefits I listed above and to what degree, payout % is probably the most important, but don’t discount the others too much.
- Minimum Sale Requirements – Some bulk seller programs expect you to sell a minimum amount per month, so make sure you’re comfortable moving that much before committing to a large number. Not all bulk sales programs have minimums.
- Payout Options – Some offer ACH transactions for quick payouts, some mail physical checks, and some even offer higher payouts if you want Amazon gift cards. Figure out how you prefer to get paid, and choose a program that offers that option.
Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to commit all your volume to one program. If you qualify and apply for multiple, you can split your volume according to which one pays out the highest for each brand. No one exchange will always have the top payout for every brand, so some diversity will help your bottom line.
My Own Experience With Bulk Sales
After I got comfortable flipping gift cards, I looked into becoming a bulk seller at a couple exchanges. Glancing over the public rates on Gift Card Granny, I decided to apply for bulk sales at SaveYa and Gift Card Zen. Gift Card Zen wanted me to commit to $5k in sales per month and I wasn’t at that level yet, so that option didn’t work out. SaveYa on the other hand welcomed me with open arms. SaveYa’s benefits of no minimum sales requirements, fast ACH payouts, and digital sales fit well with what I was looking for. Getting my bulk seller account up and running was a rocky process, but I’ve been selling cards without problem ever since.
About a month after becoming a bulk seller with SaveYa, I started investigating Raise and decided to become a bulk seller with them as well. Unlike the other exchanges that pay you a fixed rate upfront for the gift cards, Raise is actually a marketplace where you set the price and get paid only after the card sells. Non-bulk sellers pay a commission of 15% on every card, but bulk sellers get much lower commissions on most brands. The commission varies by brand, but is generally between 6 and 13% with the more popular brands on the lower end. I’ve had a great experience selling on Raise, and the payouts for the popular brands beat what I was getting via SaveYa.
I currently sell to both SaveYa and Raise depending on each card’s respective payouts at each. Raise tends to win on the more popular brands such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Lowes, but SaveYa wins out for less popular brands and ones that can’t be sold digitally like Shell and Red Lobster. After I started selling with Raise, my sales have been almost a perfect split between the two exchanges with Raise slightly ahead at 54% of my volume. I can’t recommend becoming a bulk seller enough if you’re interesting in maximizing profit while generating a lot of credit card spend.
I just want to say thanks again to Shawn for letting me do a guest post here on Miles To Memories! Myself and a couple other bloggers recently started a $20k Reselling Challenge where we’re putting merchandise reselling head to head against gift card churning. Check back later on to see who comes out ahead in both money and time spent. Anyway, I’d be happy to answer and questions you guys have about gift card arbitrage, bulk selling, or anything else you think I might have the answer to. Leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
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.