2016 was a great year, I had a lot of fun and traveled to a bunch of new places. December ‘reselling’ ended on a very high note for me. Traveling for next-to-free is made available by reselling, I hope I encourage you to start reselling on your own. (or grow your efforts)
Reselling is a simple term for buying goods or gift cards and yes, reselling them for a slight profit. The biggest way to unlock free travel is to rack-up a trove of miles and points. When purchasing large quantity of product to resell, you naturally earn an equally large amount of miles from your credit card spending. Make sense?
Two Types of reselling
Some resellers focus on gift card reselling, others on reselling goods like electronics and appliances. January was the first month I started really putting effort to resell gift cards. Some gifts cards are purchased at 80% of face value and resold at 83% of face value.
Now, 3% profit isn’t anything that will make you rich, but keep in mind you are also earning points towards free travel. If you purchase $400 worth of gift cards at 80% FV and make a 3% profit, that earns you $15. Gift cards purchased from eBay via PayPal Digital Gifts with the Chase Ink card will earn you 5x Ultimate Rewards. (it counts as a utility which means 5x points)
By earning 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards on $400 in gift cards, you’d net 2,000 UR points. Those points are valued at roughly $35~ towards travel, not bad right? Add in your $15 cash profit from reselling the gift cards with a 3% markup, you’d make about $50 ‘in total value’.
Every gift card deal will vary, some with more cash profit and some with more points. If you sign up for a credit card and need to spend at least $3,000 within 90 days, reselling makes that a piece-of-cake. I’ve spent over $8,000 in gift card purchases in the last three weeks. (to resell of course, we are here to make money not spend it)
January Gift Card results
I took the first week of January off, I needed a mental break from eBay and credit cards. After one week I was itching to get back to it. In January (about 3 weeks of it), I made $254 in cash profit and earned 20,107 points/miles.
I am going to keep ramping up my gift card reselling efforts in the months to come, but I think it is a fair start. I only allocated about 7-8 hours in total to gift cards in January. Most of the points I earned were Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards Points.
That means my 20,000 points earned are worth about $300 towards travel. $254 in cash + $300 in travel value = $554 in total value
The key to maximizing your points return on gift card reselling is to have a variety of credit cards in your arsenal. Chase Ink and Amex Premier Rewards Gold Business cards are my frequent go-to since they earn 3x-5x at office supply stores. Always keep a 2% cash-back card around for when no “category bonus” is available (like with office supply stores)
Reselling on eBay
My main source of points and cash comes from reselling goods on eBay. I earn points when purchasing expensive electronics to resell on eBay or Craigslist, for example.
My best “score” in January was on two DJI Mavic drones that were pre-ordered. Since they were hard to come by, I was able to ask a premium when mine arrived early. I made a combined $375 cash profit by reselling these two drones. One was purchased for $999 and the other $1,299, retail. I earned 3x points on those purchases, which netted me a combined 6,900 Amex MR points.
In two hours of my time I made $375 cash and 6,900 MR points from these two drones. We all love deals like that, but the majority of cash and points will come from volume, sad to say. In December I earned a combined $2,500+ in cash & points with my eBay reselling. I would encourage you to research and start small if you are interested in doing the same. (did I mention start slow)
January was a strong month for reselling, I made $1,571 in cash profit. I average a 9-14% overall profit margin, so you can see that I am purchasing a large amount of goods. Last month I spent just a hair short of $13,000 in resell product and earned a combined 30,500 points in the process. The points I racked up varied from SPG, to UR, to MR, and even a few AA miles.
What’s the ‘point’
To make for easy math, we will say one “point” is worth 1.5 cents on average. That would mean my ‘eBay reselling’ 30,500 points are worth around $450 towards travel. Again, if you aren’t interested in travel, you could take straight cash-back instead.
A 2% cashback card (like the Citi Double Cash) on $13,000 spent would net you $260 in cash. Definitely not as much realized value as with travel points, but to each their own. If you are not going to travel, there is no sense in earning travel points, just take the cash back.
I don’t count the shopping portals in my totals, but I earned at least 1% cashback or 1 point on almost all online purchases. I like to check out CashBackMonitor to find the highest paying portal. (purchasing gift cards rarely earns you portal bonuses, by the way)
With gift card reselling I made $254 in cash and earned 20,107 points/miles. On the eBay/Craigslist side I made $1,571 cash and 30,500 points/miles.
All-in, I cleared $1,825 in cash and banked 50,607 points/miles. If you conservatively estimate the points worth 1.5 cents a piece towards travel, that would put my points value at roughly $750~.
$1,825 cash + $750 in points = $2,575 in “total earned value”
Again, I take the time to detail this to both encourage and inform. The reason I have people reaching out almost daily asking how to find the best airfare deals is because we humans are all alike. We like to save money and we like to make money. I want to help you do both, and certainly as it relates to travel.
If you want to become more serious about reselling, you should check out this page and reach out if you feel inclined.