The Plastic Merchant (TPM) Update: Some Small Developments But No Good News

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The Plastic Merchant Update

It’s been over a month since gift card reseller The Plastic Merchant started bouncing checks before going radio silent. We were the first site that I know of to write about the issues when they arose and I know a number of readers were affected. Some small developments have arisen so I thought I would get you up to date.

Here are our previous posts on this saga in case you want to catch up:

No New Contact

On the day of our first post (June 6) a member of the TPM staff wrote all sellers explaining that the owner was ill. To this date I am not aware of anyone else who has been contacted or heard from anyone related to the company. In other words, it has been 33 days since they have said anything.

Website Remains Up

Throughout this whole ordeal The Plastic Merchant website has remained operating. Up until the past day or two there was even still capacity to submit cards. This means that sellers who didn’t know the situation could theoretically have submitted even more cards. Thankfully that has now seemed to change.

I checked the site a couple of days ago and noticed all of the capacities were still there, but as of today capacity has been zeroed out meaning people aren’t able to submit cards. This is something that should have been done 33 days ago and I sincerely hope no one out of the loop submitted cards that they won’t get paid for. This also means that someone is actively managing the backend of the site again.

Purchase Orders Cancelled

While this hasn’t happened to me, someone in our Reselling Facebook Group mentioned some unprocessed purchase orders have been cancelled. This is good and hopefully none of the cards submitted were used or sold. I am assuming they are being cancelled without being processed and that is good.

Going Forward From Here

I reached out once again to The Plastic Merchant team to see if they had any news to share or a statement for this post. Unsurprisingly they didn’t respond. There are still seemingly hundreds of people out a lot of money, so at some point hopefully they will contact those people and at least give them the benefit of an explanation.

I’m not aware of any bankruptcy filing by the company or its owner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that comes next. I still hope that things will be made right, but the doubt builds more every day we go without a response.

Any New Info?

Since I know many of you are involved in this unfortunate situation, perhaps someone has even more info? What have you heard/learned? Please share with others in the comments.


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14 COMMENTS

  1. I was selling to TPM and got stuck with about $2200 in bad checks and 1 check was never sent by TPM. Some of the gc I sold to TPM associated with these bad checks were actually redeemed/used but the majority were not.
    I have not received any response from any of my methods/attempts to reach TPM.
    It also appears that the “business name” is only a fictitious name registration on file with the state corporation division. So, it’s possible there is no “company” and may be operated as a sole proprietor, which could expose owner of TPM to personal liability.
    Maybe the state AG could help????
    Thank goodness that I can use most of the gc’s I sold to TPM to minimize my exposure. So, I may only “lose” about 5%-10%.

    • It’s already been confirmed that Mike was operating as a sole proprietor using a DBA. In addition, the checks all bore his name.

      • I had the same issue. I got stuck with about $200 in GCs I submitted, but when I went to redeem them they are showing as already redeemed. He took the $200 in GCs and ran. I’m not sure it’s worth pursuing a lawyer at $200, but at $2,200 it might be worth pursuing legal action, no?

  2. I am out ~$2400 due to a bounced check with no responses to my emails.

    It would be great to get something back, but I am not counting on it.

  3. My last check for $1680 cleared but my submitted PO that was scheduled to be paid on 6/4/18 never came. There were 27 $50 gift cards in that order and 12 of the 27 were sold and had zero balances. I reported the cards stolen to the merchant and had new cards reissued for the 15 that still had full balances. That left me upside down $480. Meager in comparison to some but infuriating just the same. I am in the process of submitting a formal complaint to the Missouri State Attornery General and copying my Pennsylvania AG. I am hoping more people do this too. Perhaps if enough complaints come in, it may pressure him to surface and make good on his debts or deal with the legal consequences that are sure to follow. https://www.ago.mo.gov/about-us/contact-us
    I am eager to hear any updates. Thanks!

  4. Unpaid from 6/4 and 6/18, sent multiple e-mails and have not heard anything back. My gift cards were already drained from those purchase orders. I sincerely hope that the owner is in good health, but someone else should have the ability to communicate or pay out the funds and continue the business in the mean time. Or at least have a plan of action to pay out and temporarily suspend the business if they can’t handle it. Clearing the capacities out and cancelling orders without any communication just makes this more fishy to me.

    I also plan on submitting a formal complain with my state’s AG. I also recommend reporting a scam to the FTC, because that is what it seems to be at this point. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

  5. Thanks for the update Shawn. I can also confirm that an unprocessed $400+ order of mine no longer appears under the “submitted” — but not yet processed column. (I’d requested a cancellation upon learning of bad news, but never heard back.) So appears that uncertainty now removed. I’m still out a “small” order that was processed on 5/25, but never paid (and yet cards therein drained).

  6. Are there any updates if Mike sold our data? Arianna from Pointchaser indicated that he did. And that some company is going after us now.

  7. Tar and feather him. And shame to the bloggers and podcasters that held him out as some genius. Who killed this deal? Glad I couldn’t get my head around it or I’d be left with rubber instead of plastic.

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