The Plastic Merchant – A Great Way to Resell Gift Cards

I realize that I may be a bit late to the party, but I’ve only recently dipped my toes into Gift Card Reselling. I only do a little at the moment, and I am very opportunistic. I don’t work with any of the more popular portals, only one that a friend of mine runs – The Plastic Merchant (TPM). For those of you attending the Chicago Seminars 14-16 October 2016, you’ll get to meet the team, as they are a sponsor. For those of you who attended ResellingDO 3, Mike Dean, the founder, was a speaker.

The Plastic Merchant

I think the description on The Plastic Merchant’s home page pretty much explains why it’s a perfect fit for the miles and point community:

“A bulk gift card selling platform built for and by point, miles, and arbitrage enthusiasts.”

The key reason that I even got into this, was because of how easy TPM makes it.

Once you have an account, you can log-in and see at a glance what kind of payout rates are by the various brands and gift card options. A key difference between TPM and other sites is that, TPM buys specific denominations of gift cards, represented by their SKUs

The Plastic Merchant

As you can tell, it’s a pretty exhaustive list of options (469 different SKUs at last check!). Of course, the real benefit to me, is that I know, before I even buy a gift card, what I can sell it at, and the rough margin (though of course rates are subject to change). More importantly, TPM also allows sellers to ‘reserve’ capacity so you know you’ll be able to sell your cards, even if the gift cards are being shipped to you later (like we see with physical gift cards). Bulk sellers are also able to view how long prices will be honored and exactly how much they’re willing to buy.

Valuable Resources

The Plastic Merchant also has a variety of additional resources that really shine. One of those resources is the portal lab, which is very similar to FrequentMiler’s Lab, but, only available to registered bulk sellers.

The Plastic Merchant

In addition, TPM sends out e-mails every so often when there’s a particularly good deal to leverage, and even provides the TPM price, so you don’t have to go to multiple places to decide whether you want to jump on a particular deal or not. 

The Plastic Merchant

Example E-mail from The Plastic Merchant.


All in all, I think The Plastic Merchant is a great place to start, if you are looking to get into Gift Card Reselling. This is definitely one of those areas,where you can increase your manufactured spending. You still have the potential to generate a profit, but without incurring as much overhead or risk as reselling products.

Have you signed up The Plastic Merchant? 

44 thoughts on “The Plastic Merchant – A Great Way to Resell Gift Cards

        • I’m not trolling. These are legitimate concerns.
          More sellers = rates drop. Check.
          Rates drop = “profit” in points and miles. Check.
          PWAC advocates break even, or even paying for Ink UR. Check.

          By making this blog post, you’re part of the problem in the race to the bottom.

          • Whats interesting is Mike basically admits this on his portal page when he talks about public data points increasing competition. So as long as it’s in his ecosystem, and lining his pockets, distributing data points to a large number of people is ok, but distributing data points outside of that is bad.

          • Whats interesting is Mike basically admits this on his portal page when he talks about public data points increasing competition. So as long as it’s in his ecosystem, and lining his pockets, distributing data points to a large number of people is ok, but distributing data points outside of that is bad.

        • Because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a troll. Selling to TPM is great if you like hyped-up “free ink spend” with no profit and want to float your money for a few weeks until your payment comes through. I’ll stick to selling to his competitor who somehow has managed to figure out how to pay me the exact same day I sell him my gift cards. Must be a miracle /s

          • @Thomas – I was calling him a troll more because of the name, mostly… the free ink spend in all caps helps too, but you are right, I was too quick to call him a troll, we all make mistakes. Thanks for your comment!

          • I’m curious what is this competitor that you speak of? Someone mentioned ~3 week wait to get paid and I don’t think I’m comfortable with that

          • @Sean – so you’re telling me that every method of reselling gift cards allows you to reserve capacity at a particular rate? I haven’t figured out how to do that at Raise, for example… How could I do that with Raise? I’m curious.

  1. “Privacy Agreement
    You agree that all information communicated within any login page on is confidential and shall not be shared in part or in full. Examples include, but are not limited to, brand information, SKUs, rates, prices, portal lab, ledger and sales trends.”

  2. Weird that Mike throws hissy fits about the most trivial of things, but doesn’t give his five and six digit bulk sellers a head’s up that you we’re going public with this. Thanks, Mike!

  3. I’ll tell you what. Mike gives me the best dang rates east of the missisippi on Arby’s ™ giftcards. I make almost 5k a month selling to him with this 1 neat trick

  4. I’ve been selling on TPM for a while…The worst part is the 2-3 week payout. Sometimes it makes me post balances on my credit cards. I wonder if he has cash flow issues.

      • Same experience both USPS and Dwolla. It’s a minimum of a week and a half because payment is sent on the second weekend after each Th-Wed period. USPS and Dwolla both take ~3 additional days rounding it out to just over 2 weeks in my experience. Holidays have made everything slower as well.

  5. I do a little here and there with Mike and he’s always responded to my inquires swiftly and been on the up & up. His e-mails he sends out telling you the upcoming deals are very helpful as well. Anytime I’ve gone and checked some of the other GC reseller spots TPM has always been the highest paying. Granted I don’t sell in bulk and get any special rates anywhere. And IMO with GiftCardRescue screwing so many people over I worry about the legitimacy and the financials of some of these companies. I don’t mind making INK spend from time to time with little to min effort. This isn’t a huge revenue booster for me, mainly points. Its very little effort overall and Mike is a great conversation in person. I personally recommend him.

  6. if you don’t have anything that requires a professional degree for example, something like this where only a small amount of capital is required, the arbitrage is going to disappear quickly. \

  7. Wow, Trevor, you’ve arrived. You have your very own nastygram commenter.

    Must have struck a nerve. I have seen Mike’s presentations twice now, and have never acted on the idea of selling GCs. I guess I want to be excellent at one thing, rather than mediocre at two or three.

    And I’m not so much excellent at what I do, although I’m improving. So, I’ll file this post of yours under the Maybe Later column. And keep chuckling at how pissy people get when they fear their own very special deal has a few new eyes on it.

    • @MickieSue – It is quite the momentous occasion, having arrived and all!

      I don’t sell many GCs, but there are some money making deals, where its just so easy, I have figured, why not? That said, I have tried other marketplaces, like right now I’ve got ~$1k worth of GCs on sale at Raise. That’s the first and last time I go that route. But I totally get your point of being excellent at one thing vs. mediocre at a few. There is certainly value in specialization and the increased focus that comes with it.

  8. Pingback: United's Draconian Changes, Southwest Companion Pass & 5/24, Reselling Gift Cards & More! - Frequent Miler

  9. So I’ve sold about $30k of gift cards this year on I find that if you are willing to wait for the right moment, I can get the best price on by far. Example – I was able to sell LOTS of Kohl’s gift cards for 1% off (comes out to 14% after Raise’s cut). I’ve sold Justice gift cards for 7% off, Zappos at 4% off etc. If you are willing to float (or come close to it), I think Raise can be really appealing as a bulk seller.

    I recently signed up with GiftCardMart – because they also guarantee you rates at the time of your purchase. Also, I can ship all my physical gift cards to them – and not have to worry about shipping each one.

    But a lot of this main stream arbitrage has been getting pretty hard. Anytime there is a good deal on Ebay (SVM or PPDG), I have to wait for all those cards to get off the market (usually about 3 weeks) before I can make a profit of more than 1%.

    Personally, I’ve made a lot of money ‘washing’ gift cards from CardCash and selling them on Raise. GiftCardMart specifically told me they don’t want me to do that, but Raise is ok with.

    I’ve bought physical gift cards from cardcash for a super discount price (because people want digital gift cards, not physical) – and then used those gift cards to buy new gift cards from the same store. Oh – and I’ve even been paid out from some portals doing this.

    I then sell those gift cards on as a digital gift card – I’ve made 10-20% fairly easy this way.

    Other than that, the PPDG and SVM deals are pretty good and easy money makers – regardless of what’s going on in the market. I’m hoping to convince 7-8 of my buddies to let me use their Paypal/Ebay accounts (and IP address too) so I can capitalize on the really good deals (like 15% off Best Buy or Lowe’s or something).

    • @Daniel – Wow! Thanks for sharing your experiences / insights! Have you looked at TPM? Is there a reason you’ve focused on the other portals? Awesome to know that Gift Card Mart also confirms rates at time of buying!

      • Honestly this is my first time hearing about TPM. My cashflow recently got tied up in some reselling (bought a bit too much of a few items. I’ll still make money, but I had to pay off a lot of credit card bills), so I’m not doing too much volume right now.

        Like I said, I like Raise because they allow me to sell gift cards as digital cards when other places won’t. Sometimes it’s the only place I can sell something and make a profit. Raise is also a more lenient when it comes to reselling 3rd party gift cards. I straight up told them that I had bought a bunch of Zappos gift cards from, and they told me to list them anyway.

        It seems like TPM is trying to do something very similar to giftcardmart – strongly control who sells and what is sold – and guarantee that you only have legitimate cards.

        I also was getting $1.50 back for each card I sold on via Although for some reason for a whole month that wasn’t working for me.

        As for using portals when ‘washing’ gift cards – I just use whatever portal pays the highest – or that I know will payout. TopCashBack and Splender have been good to me so far.

  10. I would like to start buying gift cards through the plastic merchant but I sent in an application and didn’t get a response. Can anyone here help me get approved?

  11. 2018 update. Anyone reading this for the first time, please be aware that The Plastic Merchant stopped issuing payments in early June 2018 and checks issued around 1/1/2018 or later have been bouncing. A similar, but less severe cash flow issue occurred in early 2018

    An e-mail was sent to many TPM customers days after these issues surfaced that indicated that the founder was in the hospital.

    Given the prior history of cash flow issues, this latest incident may impact the reputation and solvency of this company

    Please do your research before working with TPM

    • Hmmmm. My impression was that Mike got in WAY over his head, and drowned his business. A lot of people got hurt in the process. But it wasn’t by intent. It was because what he was trying to achieve was not his actual area of expertise, and he grew too big, too fast.

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