The Plastic Merchant Website Is Gone & With It Your Records

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The Plastic Merchant Website Closed

The Plastic Merchant is a gift card reseller that a lot of people in the miles/points community did business with. Unfortunately after briefly bouncing checks a few times before, about a month and a half ago things went bad quickly. 

You can catch up with all of the developments by reading these three posts:

Website Gone

For about a month after everyone seemingly lost contact with the folks at The Plastic Merchant, the website continued to function normally. Even though no one had heard from them and several people had bounced checks, the website still allowed people to submit cards and work orders.

Then, about 10 days ago all of the capacity and abilities to submit orders was taken away. This was a good step since people who hadn’t heard about the situation could no longer submit cards they probably would never get paid for. At that time the submission was taken away but people’s account and records remained.

The Bill Isn’t Paid

Unfortunately that isn’t the case anymore. While the homepage is still up on their website, when you try to login to their back-end database, the following error occurs.

It looks like the TPM people didn’t pay the bill unfortunately.

Records Gone?

While I’m sure your account and sales records are still being stored by their vendor for now, my guess is you’ll never get access to your account again unless the bill is paid. And I don’t expect that to happen. Hopefully everyone out there kept their own records of sales, etc. and didn’t rely on their website.

Conclusion

At this point I guess we can pretty much assume The Plastic Merchant is gone. I haven’t heard any news regarding court filings for bankruptcy or legal investigations, although some have said they have filed complaints. We simply don’t know the entire truth, but hopefully it will come out at some point. For now, the site and its records are probably gone for good.

 


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36 COMMENTS

  1. This is so frustrating. Thanks for the update. I can’t decide if I’m more pissed about $1000 I have outstanding or the fact that I have nowhere else to sell gc. I get so irritated when I see all the GC deals this last month

    • He isn’t the only game in town. If you sell enough in a month, you might as well he a bulk seller yourself. Otherwise, find folks to partner with.

      • Like through Raise or GCW? I’m a little leary of GCW and I was approved for Raise, but haven’t finished because it just doesn’t seem profitable. I don’t know anybody else in this “game” so….

        • The more you sell with raise, the easier it gets. I currently sell to Cardpool, GCW, and Raise. It’s NEVER slow for me, maybe for a day or two, but I’ve always got things in the hopper.

          Reach out to your local Miles/Points meetup group, there’s bound to be someone who’s a GC reseller there. That’s how I met alot of the heavy hitters in my area.

          • Ok Stephen, I’ll play…. this has been one of the greatest sore spots in my past 4 years of gc reselling — the whisper-whisper of folk supposed with “friends” who keep them in the know, point them to the deals that mere mortals don’t know about…. Nice to know you have “a lot of heavy hitters” in your (un-named) area….. How, pray tell, does one find out if you have a miles/points meetup group in one’s area? And again, why the….. would you trust any of the sharks in the local pool?

          • @escot

            – Reddit, Facebook, etc. for local meetups
            – M2M is on top of alot of the deals, there are other regional ones you have to do your own legwork on.
            – GC reselling, in spite of it being zero sum, is better when played as a collective whole.

          • That seems a little uncalled for. You have no idea how much work I’ve put in. I did $75k last year selling to TPM which is probably nothing to you, but for me, just starting out, it was a LOT!, but that was my 1st and only experience with any sort of reselling whatsoever! And to have it end this way, is a little unsettling. GCW seems super shady to me. I can’t even figure out how the slack group really works. I’m not asking anyone to hold my hand. Just stating a fact. If you don’t want to help a newbie, you don’t have to answer or respond to my comment…I won’t be upset. But you don’t have to be snide either.

          • I do have an idea of how much work you’ve put in: not enough to find a simple gift card reselling platform apart from, and better than, TPM.

            It’s not rocket science. Stop whining.

        • Are there any information about GCW and their background? They seem to be a secret club without any real names & faces. They feel even shadier to me.

        • Is there any information about GCW and their background? They seem to be a secret club without any real names & faces. They feel even shadier to me.

          • No, no one knows who he/she/they are, GCW does not disclose their identity. GC trading is a game of measured risk. TPM wasn’t the first one to go bust either, Gift Card Rescue preceded him and they even had investment from their appearance on Shark Tank

          • There’s really no information on who runs GCW, but it seems that all the help is Asian. The identity of the owner is never disclosed and it all seems a little suspect

      • Not realistic…. bulk seller rates (10% if you’re lucky) are still not good enough…. I happen to have that currently via raise on a trial basis, but I worry they could take it away any time. (if I don’t keep up the 2,500/month — and that will be hard in very slow months like the past mont) In the past, raise has been even more capricious/change their policies on a whim than tpm ever was)….

        and this knowing crap about “find someone to partner with” — really? You’d trust someone you meet in a meet-up in Vegas? (no offense Shawn)

        TPM had the right idea — a platform promising a “no surprises” experience for gift-card re-sellers. Alas, Mike didn’t deliver, nor should we have ever “trusted” him.

        • I partnered with friends I met who are into the points and miles game. We had been exchanging info around how to do MS for a long time, so there’s some level of trust there. We eventually had to pivot more to GC reselling because the local walmarts and grocery stores were turning cold.

          We’ve cleared over 650k YTD and pulled down a solid 5 figures in profit. Even at 10% starter rates you can do way better than what TPM was offering. TPM would have been break even at best, maybe a slight loss cuz you had the “privilege” of using his platform to MS.

    • Has anyone tried selling with The Gift Card Broker? It seems like their model might be less susceptible to fraud? But not sure on credibility.

  2. Sometimes whatever happens, it happens for good. I was a seller with TPM for transactions worth above $10K a month. At the end of year 2017, I was awaiting my check for some $3.5K in first week on Jan 2018 and it didn’t arrive. Then next week, I became little restless since I had to pay credit card bills. I got in touch with TPM and they said that would send my check with tracking information and I got my check couple of days later. What surprised me, why the check sent as normal letter didn’t arrive. They closed my account after this.
    Thank God, I would have lost my money if I would have continued with them. The website was sometimes very slow and the explanation was that they operate on a very low margin.

  3. I still have enough popcorn… Arianna wrote that someone got the TPM seller list to go after them… I think it will take a long time till everything is over.

    Just sad that TPM Mike didn’t respond so far. Especially after all the big talk and bragging in the last two years. But maybe he is still in the hospital?

    • exactly — he indeed was a big talker — and arrogant and snobbish as hell. Yes, this all reeks. Part of the reason I trust no one — no one — in this space going forward. (so stop with the telling me that giftcardwiki is a viable alternative….. yah know, the one without any sop, the one where Chinese is the first language, the one where you wait for weeks/months til payment)

      sour grapes

    • TPM is not the first one. And will probably not be the last one. And everyone who didn’t learn out of Giftcard Rescue is either not long enough in the game or didn’t do their homework.

  4. My favorite is the wanna-be lawyer who keeps defending TPM by posting excerpts from the UCC about the sale of goods. Newsflash — just because a gift card seems like a physical item, that does not make it a “good.” Also, parties can agree to contract terms different than what is in the UCC, such as parties agreeing that the recourse for bad gift cards is to deduct the value from any money owed by TPM to the seller. Finally, though the UCC may have the word “uniform” in the title, I don’t think any “uniform” law out there has actually been adopted by all 50 states, and the UCC is no exception.

    • True, after the bounced checks, people SHOULD have stayed away BUT until you have been burned a few times in life, you probably will take the risk. Years ago, I was burned on some penny stock investments. I am much more cautious these days where my money goes.

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