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When earning points, it pays to diversify the different ways to earn points.  While most of my miles and points balance comes from credit card signups, I do participate in some manufactured spending techniques, such as reselling

(SEE ALSO: How I got a million points (and you can too!))

I’ve only done a limited amount of reselling, and my purchase of gift cards is mostly when office supply stores give away “free money” through discounts / instant rebates.  Recently, in an attempt to further diversify, I decided to tip my toes into trying to resell gift cards

How to resell gift cards

The basic idea of trying to resell gift cards is that you buy a gift card at a discounted rate, and sell it to one of the gift card exchanges for more.  Here’s an example from Gift Card Wiki

resell-gift-cards-new-york-company-gift-card-wiki

So, in theory, you could buy a $50 New York & Company gift card for $30.20 (39.6% discount), and then sell it to Gift Card Bin for $34 (68% of the cost).  You’d get a little bit of profit, plus $50 in credit card points (possibly meeting a minimum spending requirement), though you’d have to account for shipping charges plus risk of returns

Reselling gift cards: What’s the catch?

On the surface, reselling gift cards seems pretty simple, right?  Just do that example, scale it up into the hundreds or thousands, and all of a sudden, you’re flying first class to Bora Bora!

Here's the Intercontinental Bora Bora - only $49 / night!

Here’s the Intercontinental Bora Bora – only $49 / night!

But there’s always a catch, right?

I ordered 3 New York and Company cards a few weeks ago, but when they came, they weren’t ACTUAL gift cards, but merchandise / return credit.  They only have a card number and don’t have a PIN, so they can’t be used online.  I knew that was an option, and I think that Gift Card Bin should still take them.

I reached out to Chasing the Points, whose blog is one of the best ones out there for gift card reselling.  I told him about my situation, and he said:

Also generally speaking, I don’t do this kind of arbitrage because if the card is bad to begin with, it’s a hot mess to sort out and becomes more trouble than it’s worth. And like your experience, you’ve just received merch credit. I don’t want to get my hands “dirty” with merch cards. Merchandise credit is often from a return w/o a receipt (could actually be a gift and they didn’t like it, but there was no gift receipt so a merch card is also issued). Not saying merchandise credit a bad thing, but the original return sometimes maybe stolen and if the retailer finds out, they could easily turn off the card.
My preferred method is to always be the first person to activate the card, then you can always sell and know in good faith it’ll be a good card.
So, properly chastised, I sent off my cards to Gift Card Bin

Gift Card Bin sends my cards back

A few weeks later, I get my gift cards back in a package, with no note.  I emailed Gift Card Bin support, only to have them tell me that apparently there is a $300 limit on orders.  They attached a screenshot of their site.

resell-gift-cards-300-maximum

I find that slightly misleading, since the screenshot seems to indicate a $300 maximum for each card, but according to customer service, the $300 limit is a rolling 30 day limit, so you can only sell $300 every 30 days.

So now I’m stuck with having to individually ship and sell each of the 3 cards every 30 days (or take a lower commission).  All in all, my first forays in trying to resell gift cards have NOT gotten off to a very good start!

How about you?  Have you ever had success trying to resell gift cards?

 

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