What is the lowest return you would MS on

Old Oct 2, 17, 8:24 pm
  #1  
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What is the lowest return you would MS on

There are still options out there which will offer you 2%, (3% is rare) - before cost return. Usually 1% is cost to acquire and liquidate. Does it make sense to MS with 1% net ROI? I find efforts and risk is worth when net gain is upward of 3%. This is assuming you can easily acquire VGCs and liquidate them. What is your take on this?
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Old Oct 3, 17, 5:04 am
  #2  
 
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If you figure out how much time you spend traveling, waiting on line, purchasing, calling, fixing mistakes, making payments, etc., you can figure out how much you’re netting per hour. Then see if 2% before cost return is worth the risk and hassle for you.

I find that I usually spend more time than I expect, so my own minimum is 4%.

On the positive side, you can gross up your non-taxable net by (1-marginal tax rate) to compare that hourly rate to taxable income.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 6:54 am
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I use mostly 2% or higher cards and do volume orders online to make it worthwhile for me. I also use CFU for 1.5% for URs that I combine with other accounts.

Let's say you receive your orders of $15K(can be lower or higher) GCs weekly that you can also drain soon as you receive them, you don't have to make frequent trips to your recycling center(s). You can do a hold for pick up arrangement at your USPS so you pick them all together and proceed to your recycling centers. Since I pick up my priority envies, I do NOT nor intend to buy MOs there.

I'm only speaking for areas where it's a breeze to MS, this *doesn't apply to many areas. For me volume ordersvia choosing the best portal makes up for the higher fees online. Since I found the method that works for me with lesser trips and drainage all in the same day, I have more time to do other things.

*not all areas are MS friendly but those who can make it work for them, volume orders is doable; there is no limit, it's all up to the individual how much/how little they want to MS.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 7:55 am
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Two things:

+ I live in a MS-deprived area, such that my only really convenient option is CVS OV, followed by USPS MO, followed by bank deposit.

+ I'm a cash-back person, vs. travel, other.

Personally, I measure my return in dollars per $2k OV CVS/USPS run. I ignore transportation costs, which are extremely minimal (I could walk if I weren't so lazy).

Net profit works out to be around $17 per run (using 2% card), or $37 (using 3% card). I also figure that each complete run takes about an hour of my time (all at once, or in pieces). No alternate use of my time (as I'm currently willing to spend it) would produce any revenue.

Apologies for length of response.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 8:41 am
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I think it all depends on time + risk for you. For me 2% net after cost is probably my break point. At 2% net though it has to be fairly easy (ie online order and quick redemption). At a higher profit I'm willing to jump through more hoops than at 2%.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 9:28 am
  #6  
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For me my time is sunk cost. IN other words, I'm not MSing at the cost of more valuable things. Depends your situation, but we all have free time. For me biggest factor is the risk you are taking in terms of misplacement, losing GC, MO etc.and whether the risk outweighs the reward.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 10:01 am
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Biggest risk for me is shutdowns. Interestingly enough most have mine have been on the lower profit margin options.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 11:09 am
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Unless you live in a high-crime area where you can get robbed, your ONLY risk should be sudden shutdown of liquidation avenues.

If you worry about misplacement or losing cards or MO, STOP now and do not do any MS. You're not smart enough for it.

And the loss of liquidation is only a risk if you're MSing with money you can't float, which is also a big NO-NO. So that said, MS properly done is a ZERO risk venture. Just comes down to profit vs. time spent.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by tuphat View Post
Two things:

+ I live in a MS-deprived area, such that my only really convenient option is CVS OV, followed by USPS MO, followed by bank deposit.

+ I'm a cash-back person, vs. travel, other.

Personally, I measure my return in dollars per $2k OV CVS/USPS run. I ignore transportation costs, which are extremely minimal (I could walk if I weren't so lazy).

Net profit works out to be around $17 per run (using 2% card), or $37 (using 3% card). I also figure that each complete run takes about an hour of my time (all at once, or in pieces). No alternate use of my time (as I'm currently willing to spend it) would produce any revenue.

Apologies for length of response.
There are cards out there giving more % at drug stores.

Personally, I wouldn't MS at 2%, I need to be higher or get something big out of it. like a RT flight
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Old Oct 3, 17, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bargainhunter3 View Post
There are cards out there giving more % at drug stores.

Personally, I wouldn't MS at 2%, I need to be higher or get something big out of it. like a RT flight
A card that permanently gives unlimited CB >3% at DS, that you can get now? Please name it. Old Amex's, WFCs, quarterlies need not apply.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 7:03 pm
  #11  
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The other risk of course is of SAR and or Postal inspector showing up. All of this is a reason 2-3% and doing lots of volume to earn peanuts doesn't cut it for me. When I get 5%, you don't have to run lots of volume to make meaningful dough. Also, I don't go after points unless I can convert them to cash or gift cards.

If you worry about misplacement or losing cards or MO, STOP now and do not do any MS. You're not smart enough for it.
There is nothing smart or dumb about it. These are real matters happens in real life. to real people. Sometimes, what you don't know, is what you don't know. I consider myself very through. When you are dealing with so many cards etc, the possibility of what I'm taking about is there.

One time, I left the 500 VGC on the POS counter, forgot to put it my little pouch that I carry and started to walk away. The cashier yelled at me as I started to walk. This is what I do every time but that one time, some how slipped my mind.

Last edited by Gitangali; Oct 3, 17 at 8:34 pm
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Old Oct 4, 17, 6:59 am
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Losing just one loaded variable GC can happen to anyone and it's not about being smart or dumb. One can try their best to be organized but sometimes, Murphy's law takes over and you lose one, sometimes more. We need presence of mind when draining lots of these at one time so if one is extra cautious, they can take a pic of their VGCs front and back just in case they lose it, they will be able to report it lost/stolen and ask for replacement. Inconvinient? Absolutely! but you'll never know its value until you lose one, two or more! Not knowing vital info on the card, it is definitely lost because they're like cash. Anyone who picks it up especially the GCM cards that say card is active (or GCcom activated cards) can easily find out balance of card, process it as credit and wipe out the balance in minutes. They don't even need the PIN to wipe out the balance buying goods.

It is really up to each individual to know their strengths/weaknesses/capabilities for them to decide the level of MS they'll do, if at all. We can't blame others if we can't do it right, we alone, are fully responsible no matter what.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
Losing just one loaded variable GC can happen to anyone and it's not about being smart or dumb. One can try their best to be organized but sometimes, Murphy's law takes over and you lose one, sometimes more. We need presence of mind when draining lots of these at one time so if one is extra cautious, they can take a pic of their VGCs front and back just in case they lose it, they will be able to report it lost/stolen and ask for replacement. Inconvinient? Absolutely! but you'll never know its value until you lose one, two or more! Not knowing vital info on the card, it is definitely lost because they're like cash. Anyone who picks it up especially the GCM cards that say card is active (or GCcom activated cards) can easily find out balance of card, process it as credit and wipe out the balance in minutes. They don't even need the PIN to wipe out the balance buying goods.

It is really up to each individual to know their strengths/weaknesses/capabilities for them to decide the level of MS they'll do, if at all. We can't blame others if we can't do it right, we alone, are fully responsible no matter what.
Just curious if you really take a pic of every VGC?
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Old Oct 4, 17, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by lumangoy View Post
Just curious if you really take a pic of every VGC?
In the past when I was just learning how to handle these online GCs, I did but not anymore. I have a friend who still does it, she says she's O-C that way I have just deviced means and ways to minimize, if not totally avoid loss, by doing once a week recycling.

we still have to keep in mind that even if we have card info and don't realize it's lost and whoever found the card has already drained it, I'm not sure if the issuer will replace it especially if used within same zipcode we're in. It will be up to the person who lost it to prove they were not the ones who used the card; maybe they'll be required to file a police report but IDK if that is enough for the issuer to replace the funds. IOW, we really have to be very, very careful with these GCs and treat them like cash.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
In the past when I was just learning how to handle these online GCs, I did but not anymore. I have a friend who still does it, she says she's O-C that way I have just deviced means and ways to minimize, if not totally avoid loss, by doing once a week recycling.

we still have to keep in mind that even if we have card info and don't realize it's lost and whoever found the card has already drained it, I'm not sure if the issuer will replace it especially if used within same zipcode we're in. It will be up to the person who lost it to prove they were not the ones who used the card; maybe they'll be required to file a police report but IDK if that is enough for the issuer to replace the funds. IOW, we really have to be very, very careful with these GCs and treat them like cash.
I agree.

I take a pic of all receipts and balance it out in Quicken. This way I know I've drained the VGC and where I put the funds in.
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