Things are changing in the manufactured spending landscape. Once reliable options like gift card churning are becoming more challenging. The Plastic Merchant went bust a few months ago and now Walmart has new money order process: Going forward, cashiers have to enter all the FinCEN form information electronically. That should make things easier, right? It would, if it didn’t have to be entered multiple times.
In the past, customers would fill out one form for multiple money order transactions. Now the information has to be entered for each transaction, drawing out the purchase process to a downright unbearable extent. Nearly all the regulars at my go-to Walmart stored have stopped buying money orders and several readers have told me they’re throwing in the towel. So is manufactured spending dead? No, far from it. It’s just moving into the next stage of reincarnation.
How to Get Creative
Every time a major deal goes bust (Vanilla Reloads, Redbird, Bluebird, etc.), a group of gamers will cry out, “manufactured spending is dead!” Of course it only takes a while before they regroup and focus their efforts on another scheme.
You have to constantly evolve and get creative. Otherwise, yes you can play dead the second your point-earning source dries up. Necessity is the mother of invention and nowhere else is that more evident than in this hobby. People will stick to one tried and tested method forever – it’s the shutdowns that forces them to explore other options.
Another thing to point out is that Walmart money orders are not completely out of the game either. You can still liquidate gift cards via money orders – both at Walmart and other stores. It’s just more of a hassle because now it takes five times as long. If you’re dedicated (and have the patience of a monk), then you can continue on…unless the system eventually locks you out.
Then you’re really SOL, which is where adaptability once again comes into play: You have to be able to find other avenues to earn miles if your current one gets shut down. The next scheme might even be more profitable (and less risky) than your tried-and-true methods.
In fact, there might be other, more lucrative manufactured spending methods out there right now that no one is talking about. Mass exposure shuts down the super lucrative deals, which is why gamers have become more discreet. I applaud this new strategy and those who benefit from it. Oh and if you want another discreet person in your club, let me know. I keep my promises. 😉
So don’t give up on manufactured spending just yet. Walmart money orders were just one piece of the equation. There are other places to buy money orders and I know folks who are doing some pretty creative MS that’s generating cash and miles. The difference is that people aren’t talking as openly about how they’re manufacturing spend anymore. That’s probably best in the long-term anyway. How do you get in on these secret deals? Network with fellow gamers, learn to keep a secret, and share a few pro-tips of your own. But not everything – keep an option in your bank pocket in case your manufactured spending strategy gets shut down. Always adapt and you’ll survive the cyclical nature of the game.