***Update: GardCardRescue returned my $300 in gas cards to me without even opening the envelope. They just wrote return to sender on the front. So for those of you waiting, there still may be some hope if your cards haven’t been processed yet.
This has been a bad month for those of us who manufacture spend though gift card arbitrage. We not only learned that GiftCardRescue is no longer buying gift cards, but that their assets have been frozen due to litigation (potential bankruptcy) and will not be paying for the gift cards that they have purchased in recent weeks (HT: Will Run For Miles).
The CEO of GiftCardRescue, who was once featured on the show Shark Tank, sent an email to a number of customers essentially saying “sorry, but I can’t pay you.” I sent $300 in gas cards to them about 3 weeks ago and I’m still awaiting payment. I’m sad to say, but I was one of the fortunate ones, some people have reported being owed upwards of $5,000. In fairness, a second email was sent last week informing customers that they would make every effort to return gift cards that had not yet been processed, but I’m not holding my breath.
If this has happened to you, I suggest contacting the ebay seller directly to try and track down the gift card numbers and then asking the issuer to reissue a new card. If you are still owed a large sum, you may want to consider hiring an attorney who may help you recover some of your losses. I’ve attempted to contact GiftCardRescue for comment and payment, but they have not yet responded. Their call centers are not answering and it appears they have essentially shut down operations with the exception of liquidating their current inventory.
On top of the GiftCardRescue fiasco, it has also been reported that ebay is now limiting the amount of their gift cards you can use on merchandise to $2,000 per 60 day period. For those of us who liked to use our Chase Ink to buy ebay gift cards at 5x and then use them to purchase discounted gift cards, it now appears that is no longer going to be a viable and sustainable option.
This process was inherently risky, so it should come as no surprise that something bad has finally happened. Initially, I really enjoyed this form of MS, but now it’s just become more trouble than it’s worth in my opinion. I’m done with it. I got into this game to get some free points, not lose money. There are safer alternatives for manufactured spending out there that don’t require shipping gift cards to a buyer and hoping they pay you. Sure, other methods may cost a little more, but weighed against the risk, buying Visa gift cards makes more sense for me.
Did you get burned by GiftCardRescue? Have you been able to reach them or recover any losses? Sound off below.