Today, Plastic Jungle shut down their shop. They sent an email to all of their customers announcing that they would no longer buy and sell discount gift cards directly from and to consumers. Instead of doing business directly with consumers, Plastic Jungle will continue to offer gift card exchange services through their partners (United MileagePlus, FlexPerks, BestBuy, CVS, and Zeevex). This means that, instead of selling your used gift cards to Plastic Jungle for cash, you can trade them in for miles or points instead.
Of course, if you want cash for your gift cards, there remain several other options. Cardpool, GiftCards.com, and ABC Gift Cards are a few examples of services that currently compete with Plastic Jungle and will presumably continue to offer the services that Plastic Jungle is giving up.
Since I began blogging as Frequent Miler in September 2011, many deals I’ve written about have involved Plastic Jungle one way or another. For example, on September 22 2011, I published “Buy American Airlines Miles for less than 1.6 cents each. No limit.” In that post I showed how to effectively buy AA miles by buying Sears gift cards via the AAdvantage eShopping portal and then selling the gift cards to Plastic Jungle. This was back when miles earned from any source counted towards AA lifetime status.
More recently, I wrote often about how to take advantage of TopCashBack’s 4% rebate for Plastic Jungle purchases and sales (which later dropped to 2.5%, then recently to 1%). Thanks to that extra cash back, it was sometimes possible to buy discount gift cards from Plastic Jungle and to sell them back at a profit. It wasn’t easy, though. Plastic Jungle was able to detect if you tried to sell the same card back to them, so it was necessary to “launder” the gift card first by using it to buy a new gift card (stores like Walmart and Target allow this) before selling it back to Plastic Jungle.
In case you’re interested, here is the text of the email that was sent out today from Plastic Jungle:
The team at Plastic Jungle would like to thank you for your participation in our gift card programs over the past seven years. Since 2006, Plastic Jungle has been a leader in providing you with great deals on gift cards in a secure marketplace.
As our business has grown and evolved, we have seen that the greatest potential for Plastic Jungle’s long-term success is in working directly with our business partners. As a result, we will no longer be buying and selling gift cards at www.plasticjungle.com. This change is taking place effective today.
With this transition, there are a few important things you should know. First, all orders currently being processed will be honored with the same guarantee of service and safety that we have upheld for seven years. Second, our website will be available to allow you to access your account and retrieve gift cards until November 1, 2013. Third, Plastic Jungle will continue to offer gift card exchange services to customers through our partners. Finally, our customer service desk will remain open during this period to answer inquiries and resolve any concerns. If you have any questions, we encourage you to visit our FAQs page or contact Plastic Jungle Customer Success at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for being an important part of the Plastic Jungle family over the past seven years. We appreciate all of your support as we begin this exciting new mission as a company.
All the best,
The Plastic Jungle Team