I’ve seen a few twitter conversations this week about pure Manufactured Spending (MS) vs. Reselling and MS in general, as far as time/value of MS. One was with @Milesabound who’s argument was that reselling just doesn’t compete with MS, unless reselling on a significant scale. My argument was that in some cases, it can make sense.
In retrospect, I kind’ve agree with @Milesabound with respect to the ease of being able to scale MS. However, I stand by my opinion of reselling, for two reasons:
- Reselling affords the opportunity to leverage portal bonuses to a greater extent
- Reselling provides the opportunity to receive cold hard cash, in addition to cash back.
While I will completely agree: If the sole purpose of the miles and points game is to generate miles/points specifically for travel, then yes, you will likely best off with pure MS.
If however, you are looking to put the time in to potentially receive an out-sized reward, then I would argue for reselling.
Think about it this way: I’m not a stock broker or a stock trader, but, pure MS is like buying an index fund. Greater stability (at least in theory). Reselling is like stock picking. You shouldn’t dare go for stock picking, or reselling, if you are unwilling to put in the time. But, lets say, you just want to pure MS, you’re looking at a maximum of 5% return (5x), really its less, because as you scale, your ability to liquidate becomes more costly. I’m specifically vague here, because I assume that either you, the reader, know what I’m talking about, or will visit Saverocity Forums to research, because quite honestly, if you aren’t willing to research, you probably shouldn’t be MSing, let alone reselling.
Back to Reselling
Just like stock picking, reselling has inherent risk. If you leverage portals, you can mitigate that risk, and potentially see a significantly higher multiplier than pure MS. Look at how I pursued the Southwest Companion Pass, with updates here, and here. I went through the Southwest Rapid Rewards Portal, I bought e-gift cards with 9x, then went back through the Rapid Rewards portal, and bought product, receiving essentially 19x (9*2+1 for the card) Rapid Reward points. The best I see through pure MS is 5x.
I think its great to have a debate and difference of opinion. There isn’t necessarily a right answer. Yes, one way may generate a higher multiplier than another way, but if you can’t leverage that higher multiplier efficiently, it is outweighed by the increased time commitment.