Another gift card resale site down? Gift Card Mart outage persists

Miles to Memories is reporting on what sounds like has been an extended outage at gift card resale site Gift Card Mart. A message at the top of the Gift Card Mart site notes that they are temporarily unable to buy or sell gift cards, and according to the comments at Miles to Memories this has lasted for quite some time. It may be a temporary outage — that’s what Gift Card Mart is saying — but the outage is obviously a cause for concern.

Shawn reached out to the owner of Gift Card Mart for a statement. See the Miles to Memories for the full statement, but here’s an excerpt:

We initially suspended customer gift card sales under the assumption that it was a short-term necessity while we fixed some underlying technical issues; however, after a few days, it became increasingly likely that the outage was going to take longer than expected.

Again, according to the comments, this situation has continued for several weeks already.

Gift card reselling was a huge avenue for manufactured spending for quite some time and those who were even remotely interested in that avenue as recently as about a year ago are no doubt familiar with the demise (disappearance?) of The Plastic Merchant and may find this news about Gift Card Mart concerning.

While I have known people who have sold to Gift Card Mart, I have never personally done business with them. I did get into TPM for a while and my gosh do I count my lucky stars for having the downright luck to have stopped when I did. Meeting folks who were much less fortunate on that really turned me off from gift card reselling, hence my lack of familiarity with Gift Card Mart. Truthfully, I’d thought about getting back into it a few times this year and Gift Card Mart is a site I’d have likely looked to get into if I had. At this point, I’m glad I held off.

Further details are slim at this point. There’s one comment at Miles to Memories from someone who claims to be owed a payment and another theorizing that the issue could be a cutoff from credit card payment processors. I’m sure there are plenty of other theories one could conjure — but it bears mentioning that it certainly could just be a technical issue as the owner of the site says.

However, I thought it was worth reporting this latest gift card resale issue for those who are considering testing those waters. It is a good reminder and warning not to get in over one’s head. While gift card resale can obviously be a good way to increase spend and earn rewards, you should take measures to mitigate your risk, one of which should be spreading it over multiple resale avenues. My lucky light bulb moment with TPM was when I realized that I was essentially handing over a large sum of cash (in the form of gift cards) to a stranger under the promise of being paid later (a blog commenter equated it to extending your credit to a stranger — almost like handing that person your credit card). That’s essentially what a merchandise re-seller is doing as well, and merchandise resale can certainly be a profitable and positive endeavor. Gift card resale no doubt can be as well — as long as it is done with reasonable precautions.

I hope that this issue at Gift Card Mart is temporary and I further hope that nobody has been or will be negatively impacted.

H/T: Miles to Memories

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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PhatMiles
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PhatMiles

It is not Gift card mall, it is Gift Card Mart

toomanybooks
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toomanybooks

Giving thousands of dollars’ worth of negotiable instruments to some guy online who says he will pay you back at some time someday in the future. And you only make a couple percent. Or maybe lose 1%, but you’ll make it up on the points you earn. Think of the volume.

Strange how that might not work out. It’s a puzzlement.

losingtrader
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losingtrader

Wow, disappointing. Depending on the volume you do and whether you treat this as an actual business, you may want to purchase credit insurance from a commercial insurance broker.
The “technical problems” sounds like a millennial excuse for “good luck getting your money.”
You could also request a surety bond from the company . I doubt you’ll get that and it wouldn’t cover default for financial reasons.
If the company can’t get a surety bond you don’t want to deal with them

Gene W
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Gene W

Gift Card Mart has always paid on my sell orders in the last 4 years. They were a little slow in December 2018, but eventually paid.

I would miss them if they didn’t come back. They were definitely a tool in my MS arsenal.

Corey
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Corey

This company always communicated well with me and paid me what I was owed, though I stopped selling gift cards about two years ago. From what I remember of speaking to their account reps their website was a constant battle for them, even years ago. Apparently it was initially created by a terrible programmer. So their website technical issues have been long running and wouldn’t surprise me. That said, I haven’t had contact with the company in years and have no real info about the current outage.

Blue
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Blue

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/gift-card-reselling-proceed-with-caution/#comment-2124543

Thought I remembered making a post about that during the TPM days.

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[…] risk involved with gift card reselling, as seen last year with The Plastic Merchant and then over the last couple of months with GiftCardMart. Both of those are sites I’d sold to in the past and I lost some money with The Plastic […]