Lesson 3: Meet Your Coaches and Their Paths to Success

Your coaches are Norma and Ed, and between the two of them, they’ve experimented with just about every kind of gift card reselling and found different paths to success.

You may even think they’re “experts”.  If by expert, you mean trying stuff out, failing, tweaking, and trying again, yep, they’re pros at that!

While both have similar ways of finding and buying gift card deals, they differ on how they resell the cards.

Norma values simplicity and predictability by selling to bulk buyers. Ed likes to roll up his sleeves and dive in to get his money back within 10 days if possible while maximizing for every dollar and optimizing for every mile.

You can decide which style suits you, and let one of us walk you through your first successful experience buying and reselling gift cards.

Better yet, try out both styles!

In this section, we’re going to peek under the hood to find out what drives each of us, and why we got into this hobby. Along the way, you’ll discover the pitfalls to avoid and the mistakes we’ve made.

You’ll also learn about some of the home runs we’ve hit, and better yet, learn how simple and safe it can be.

Gift card reselling the simple and predictable way

Hi everyone! I’m Norma. To be honest, I was a reluctant gift card reseller. I wasn’t too interested in it at first. It seemed like a lot of work, time, and another big learning curve to overcome.

So why did I start?

Because I saw the writing on the wall. I have always liked stability and having a security net. Being a critical care and emergency room nurse taught me to prepare for situations before they happened. I knew eventually it would become difficult to meet minimum spend. It’s one thing paying a bill a year in advance but two or three years ahead? I don’t think so.

Thus I began researching gift card reselling to avoid the need to learn under pressure.

Unlike Ed, I wanted something simple that required minimal research or analytical skills. I decided to go with a bulk buyer.

One of the biggest hindrances when I started out was a lack of organizational tools. Just wait until you get 100 e-gift cards in your mailbox without being able to match up order or confirmation numbers. It drove me crazy!

I spent hours searching for tools and talking to different people and experimenting with what did and didn’t work. I really wish I had a course, like this, to walk me through all the steps.

An emotional roller coaster

Having said that, I do have a love/hate relationship with selling gift cards, so you probably won’t see me as enthusiastic all the time, like Ed. For me, it’s like being on a teeter-totter. (Does anyone remember what those are?)

When I succeed at a great deal, like making a couple of hundred dollars just walking into a Sam’s Club or Publix, I’m up in the air.

When I fail, like forgetting to go through a portal, I come crashing down. The hardest part, and an on-going problem, will be jumping in on deals while the fire is hot. I like to research and check out prices and methodically make a decision.

For me, selling gift cards is a means to an end. It’s a way to meet minimum spend and to generate ongoing points. It’s a back up method, on top of regular expenses, that provides a sense of comfort and security.

For those reasons, I was determined to master the art of gift card selling and not quit. Yes, I’ve messed up and missed deals. I try not to beat myself up knowing there’s always the next time. Being stubborn helps. You just keep plugging away.

My Method: Selling to bulk buyers

Gift Card Reselling the fast and furious way

Hello, I’m Ed.

Some of my friends call me the Traveling Homeschooler, because my wife and I decided to give our kids the world’s biggest classroom – the entire planet.

We have found that taking school on the road has given our kids a perspective that they wouldn’t get in a traditional classroom, especially for languages, cultures, world history, and geography.

We are able to do that because we attained some degree of financial independence a few years ago.

But that has little to do with us being wealthy. Because we aren’t. If you see the beater of a car I drive, and the modest little home we live in, you wouldn’t mistake me for Mr. Monopoly Monocle.

No, the cornerstone of our financial freedom has more to do with good stewardship of our finances and a realization that we didn’t have to spend like idiots to be happy or spend to impress idiots.

A huge part of that equation is using travel miles and points to travel further, more often, and for longer, usually almost for nothing.

Being on the road, or even out of the country, presented some challenges. I wanted to find a business that was travel-friendly, and stumbled on the art of gift card reselling.

I started small, with buying just a few cards at first, then selling them on a few marketplaces, including Raise, SaveYa and Cardpool.

When I was able to iron out the wrinkles in my process, I started buying and reselling gift cards in huge volumes.

Crazy facts with gift card reselling

Here’s one crazy fact. It may sound like a lot of money, but when I was starting out, I never had more than $2,000 out of pocket at any one time. That’s because I picked my gift cards carefully, listed them quickly, and priced them competitively. It also helped that Raise pays out quickly with ACH transfers within 4 days.

I usually churn through the same $2,000 several times over before I ever need to pay off the credit cards I used.

Here’s another crazy fact – I’ve actually made some money out of all this. Not a whole lot, but compared to the 1-2% I used to PAY to meet minimum spend, getting paid was, and still is, a vast improvement.

Oopsies. We all make them.

I’m not saying that it’s been a smooth ride. I’ve certainly made some silly mistakes along the way, and I still make them from time to time!

The one that I remember was when I forgot to check if a good deal for Chef’d could even be sold on Raise.

Turns out that so-called “good deal” was on Raise’s Do Not Buy list, so I was out of luck (we cover analyzing deals in one of the DeepDive Marketplace lessons).

Luckily one of my backup plans is to only buy gift cards that my family can use, so that’s what we did with the Chef’d cards. Guess what we had for our Christmas dinner!

Having learned my lessons, I now ALWAYS hold back my eagerness and do my research.

Things have been gone much smoother since.

My Method: Selling to gift card marketplaces.

So now you know what drives us with gift card reselling. Which method will you choose? Selling to bulk buyers or direct to the marketplace?

Regardless, the learning curve has been steep for us at time, but you don’t have to suffer through trial and errors. Learn from our mistakes!

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