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I Liked Manufactured Spending In New York City




I’ve completed fours week of the new job in New Jersey and I realize how much I miss New York. Everything was literally within walking distance. I had an awesome routine. I was on a first name basis with a few of the folks in my routine like the cashiers at CVS, the clerk at the Post Office, and many others.

It worked because it was a routine. I would be there on a near daily basis and my purchases would always stand out in their minds. Like when CVS restarted to stock Vanilla Reloads, I was buying $500 denominations and that stuck in the cashier’s minds. Each time a new cashier was there, they called the manager. I was really friendly with the overnight/early morning manager. In the course of our exchanges, I found out he was an avid coffee drinker. It was also shortly after I came back from Hawaii, so I gave him a bag of coffee as a thank you. After that, he told all the new cashiers if they ever saw me, to always let me buy any gift card with a credit card, within the confines of the CVS system. In addition, they would purposely leave Vanilla Reloads behind the register for me.

Duane Reade was a little different because I would be going to the bigger stores and I was never getting the same cashier each time, but they all recognized me and stopped asking the manager on duty if it was OK for me to purchase with a credit card. It was a bit frustrating with them because one store allowed me to buy Paypal MyCash Cards with my AMEX Old Blue Cash, meanwhile the store on the other end of the block said no, but would allow me to buy the Vanilla prepaid cards.

The Post Office was my favorite. He and I would chat about anything. Any issue regarding postage, how certain things worked, he was my go to guy. While many of the supplies can be had for free if you order online, he helped me with the entire process all the way to getting it down to the T so that I can write about it and let you know the process as well.

With the new job, I thought having a car I could drive to different paths and go to more manufactured spend friendly stores. The office location is nearly in the middle of nowhere and I haven’t found many places on my route. I’m still learning the best way to go to and from work and see what stores are available. There are two grocery stores in my path that say they sell ReloadIts, but only one sells it. The clerk turned me down in my attempt to purchase it with a credit card. She saw it said “Cash Only” and wouldn’t allow me to buy it. Like starting a new job, finding new manufactured spend avenues will be back to square one.

With the change, there is one thing I don’t expect to do: drive an extra 5 to 10 minutes that’s “on the way” to my destination. My route needs to already include the location because that’s what I’ve done when I was in New York and that’s all part of my efficient route. It’s part of what Matt mentioned at TravelCon when we were in LA, he won’t go out of his way to do it.

For the longest time, I have been looking for a bank that would allow an unlimited amount of transactions per account that was for free. On my drive, I finally found one. Something I couldn’t find in NYC. If I spend $35/month, I could sign up for Capital One’s Spark Business Checking, but I would rather not.

One of the things about manufactured spending in New York was that not many techniques worked, so it forced you to look outside the box. The one in person activity that I do see changing is more frequency to grocery stores and see what’s available, because as the old New York lottery slogan used to be “hey, you never know!”

 

27 comments… add one
  • Great Post! I guess I can relate in that way that MS is new for me and in a way, it is new for you too. We have to drive everywhere in Hawaii so I really just try to MS when running other errands.

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    • Thanks yep – if it’s not remotely on the way, it’s tough to consider and justify

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  • I can totally understand the frustration… That’s why I’m a weekend warrior; I generally only MS on the weekends, and I embed it into my normal Saturday and Sunday routine. I could do it on the weekdays without going too much out of my way, the problem is, if I did, it would take time away from reselling, or more enjoyable activities…. besides, it usually takes me a week to get over the Walmart experience.

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    • Weekends are for me to catch up on the MS during the week, mostly to keep up my shoddy book keeping and doing the more enjoyable activities.

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  • Hey where are you in NJ? Feel free to email me, we can chat a bit, maybe I can assist.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

    Reply
  • I used to try and only hit stores that were already “on my way” to wherever I was going. This greatly limited the quantity and variety of places I could use for MS. Definitely aim to optimize your route, but don’t automatically rule out a place just because you have to drive an extra 5 mins.

    Instead figure out out much its worth to go there. All of your calculations need to be in terms of ROI, including time spent.

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    • Definitely – still trying to learn the route and checking Google Maps for some stores. There’s a few stores that have potential that I will need to drive by when I get a chance

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  • You mentioned the Paypal cards. How do you avoid account shutdowns with those? I’ve managed to pick up a couple of them but I’m nervous to do more in case I get shutdown (I use Paypal a lot for accepting international payments so losing Paypal would be pretty catastrophic for me).

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    • Likewise, I don’t hit the PayPal My Cash cards too hard, maybe 2 to 3k a month for 3 months then taking a month break. I value Paypal highly to want to do anything to be shut down.

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  • I will be in Manhattan for three weeks straight for work with limited transportation options. Any suggestions on efficient MS while there? The six month period on my WF card is about to end and I would like to complete some MS there before it runs out. I live in Texas and there are many options near my home and work.

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    • Refresh my memory, what bonus areas can you do with the WF card? If there’s drug stores, depending on the product (OneVanilla or PayPal MyCash) and store, Duane Reade can be a very good resource.

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      • Drug stores, grocery stores and gas stations. What about options to liquidate cards? Usually go to WM or local grocery store to buy MO.

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        • I’ll shoot you in an email in a little bit to take this offline

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          • Thanks!

      • Can you purchase gift cards at Duane Reade with a credit card in nyc? I know every CVS I have tried is cash only. New to the game would love any recs you have for nyc.

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        • Last time I checked, it was still possible at Duane Reade, I’m not sure after a 3 month break

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  • Place really matters. We are in Canada and I keep forgetting that, as my MS radar perks up every time I see a grocery, office supply store, gas station or drugstore. But then I just walk on by….

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  • Congrats on the new job though!! 🙂

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  • I went to visit a friend in St Louis and was SO excited to find a WM MCE working very near her house. Great!, I thought. I cleared out the rest of the 200 vgc’s in my purse from some office store deal. Then I went on the lookout for more. I stopped at least 5 places and found nothing bigger than $50, and usually not even that at office and grocery stores. I didn’t exhaust the options by any means, but I think I wasted at least an hour or maybe 2. It was a good reminder that just one link in the chain is not enough. 🙂 And that sometimes the link that I think is the difficult one might be the easy on somewhere else. And vice versa.

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  • I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan and I would love any tips you might have about efficient MSing in NYC. I’ve been pretty quite on the MS front lately but now I have the time to be getting back into it. Thanks and love your blog!

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    • It really depends on your portfolio cards, both credit and prepaid and what you want to do and how much you want to spend.

      If you do Duane Reade for PayPal MyCash cards to PPBMC you can make some money using the OBC

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      • Thanks! Mostly I’m looking to be able to meet minimum spends or retention spending bonuses quickly and easily. I’ll definitely read up on PayPal MyCash and not getting shut down. Thanks!

        Reply

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