Reselling Can Be Quick, Easy & Profitable – An Example Using Staples Gift Cards

With the demise of many manufactured spending techniques over the past year or two, reselling has become more mainstream as a way to not only earn points but to also make money as well. Reselling can be challenging, risky and not for the faint of heart (try stomaching falling prices onall on Amazon) but there are times where it can quick, easy and profitable with almost no risk. Yesterday eBay was selling $150 Staples Gift Cards for only $130 and in just a matter of minutes, I was able to make a quick profit AND earn thousands of free points. Let’s walk through this example so you can be ready for the next “easy” deal.


This deal had a maximum purchase limit of 5 cards so if you purchased the limit, the initial cash outlay would be $650. Assuming you had no use for Staples gift cards, you’d need to resell them and I used GiftCardWiki to get a sense of what I could resell these cards for. As of last night, the best sell rate was at 84% off face from ABCGiftCards since these were electronic gift cards. Without anything else, this looks like a money loser as selling all 5 cards would only net $630, thereby creating a loss of $20 but we can do much better.

The first step would be to shop on eBay via a shopping portal and I use CashBackMonitor to figure out which portal has the best rate. As of yesterday, ShopAtHome had the best rate which would earn you 1.5% back on your purchase. You can also shop through your favorite airline shopping portal, such as United’s which offers 1 mile per dollar spent for United Explorer credit card holders.

The next way to maximize this deal is if you have a Chase Ink card as the vendor on eBay, Paypal Digital Gifts, has historically coded as a utility purchase which is a 5x earnings category for the Chase Ink card. This isn’t guaranteed to last but it has been going strong for months now. Lastly, on all eBay purchases (with some minor exceptions) users earn 2% back in eBay Bucks which can be spent the following quarter on eBay (basically it acts like an eBay Gift Card). Yesterday however, there was a targeted promotion in which many users actually earned 8% back on purchases over $100 instead of the standard 2%.

So all together, here is how a $20 money loser at face turns into a $90.50 winner.

Cash Outlay  ($650.00)
ShopAtHome Portal Earnings (1.5% of $650)  +$9.75
eBay Bucks Earnings (8% of $650)  +$52.00
Sold Price to ABCGiftCards +630.00

Profit = $41.75 without factoring in any credit card points.

Using a value of 1.5 cents per Chase UR point, I earned 3,250 points which is worth $48.75 to me. So all together, I locked in a profit of $90.50 for about ten minutes of work. This deal had almost no risk since the electronic gift cards arrived within minutes of my order so I could immediately flip them. I literally owned these gift cards for about 10 minutes. This was essentially a perfect deal for any beginner and a good introduction to the basics of reselling (including the frustration of checking out with Paypal but that’s another topic for another time).

To maximize this deal, you needed a Chase Ink card and an eBay account that was targeted for eBay Bonus Bucks. If you had just either an Ink card or a targeted eBay account, this was still a deal worth buying. Going forward for future reselling deals, I highly recommend obtaining a Chase Ink for the ability to earn 5x Chase UR points at office stores and utilities (which as mentioned includes Paypal Digital Gifts for whatever reason). As for getting targeted eBay offers, there is no specific way to get targeted but here is a good of ways to try from Doctor of Credit.

While this was a quick and no brainer deal to me, please be advised most reselling deals are NOT this easy, especially if you resell physical products. You have to watch out for falling prices, damaged goods, factor in return risk and have the ability to float money for potentially several months. I am by no means a reselling guru and I am very limited in my reselling activity, generally reselling only a few thousand dollars a month split between gift cards and electronics. I recommend reading reselling blogs like MilesPerDay, Tagging Miles for more tips & information on reselling and following blogs like Doctor of Credit, Frequent Miler or Miles to Memories for alerts on “easy” deals like this.