My first MS...success story!

Old Mar 17, 18, 2:08 pm
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Red face My first MS...success story!

Long time lurker, first time poster in the MS forum.

My boys' (ages 6 and 8) piano teacher charged $234 a month. I'm sick of writing checks. So let's see if she takes money orders!

Ordered a $240 VGC from giftcards.com and activated it.

Rolled up to WM with my boys on a busy saturday afternoon and kindly asked for a money order for $234. Slid the card, entered the last 4 digits of the card when it asked for a pin.

Cashier printed MO, no problem.

MO in the mail to piano teacher!

I guess my problem is I now have a VGC with $5.12. I did try to buy some beer with it a WM after, but kept getting declined. Further research needed.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 4:49 pm
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Load the remaining balance to Amazon as gift balance
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Old Mar 17, 18, 5:18 pm
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Congrats! I remember the first time starting on this MS journey and was super excited when I first bought a money order from Wally World and USPS (Oh I miss those days!!!).

Enjoy!
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Old Mar 17, 18, 5:33 pm
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Just go not get too greedy and risk of getting shut down.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by mnfilmer View Post
Long time lurker, first time poster in the MS forum.

My boys' (ages 6 and 8) piano teacher charged $234 a month. I'm sick of writing checks. So let's see if she takes money orders!

Ordered a $240 VGC from giftcards.com and activated it.

Rolled up to WM with my boys on a busy saturday afternoon and kindly asked for a money order for $234. Slid the card, entered the last 4 digits of the card when it asked for a pin.

Cashier printed MO, no problem.

MO in the mail to piano teacher!

I guess my problem is I now have a VGC with $5.12. I did try to buy some beer with it a WM after, but kept getting declined. Further research needed.

i have never ordered from Giftcards.com because of their high fees. Just curious how much money did you lose?
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Old Mar 17, 18, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by mnfilmer View Post

I guess my problem is I now have a VGC with $5.12. I did try to buy some beer with it a WM after, but kept getting declined. Further research needed.
Let me help you with your research. Call the number on the back of your VGC and find out how much money is left. Spend it.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 7:05 pm
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Congrats on your first time success!
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Old Mar 17, 18, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by mnfilmer View Post
Ordered a $240 VGC from giftcards.com and activated it...I guess my problem is I now have a VGC with $5.12. I did try to buy some beer with it a WM after, but kept getting declined. Further research needed.
Not all retailers auto drain GCs. Mine does, but I don't shop at WM, so can't help you there. If you want to continue in your MS life I recommend buying the largest denomination to lower your cost. Also this is only kinda MS since you're actually paying a legit bill, but it's always nice to see people starting small and testing the waters to get used to it.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 9:37 pm
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You can verify the remaining balance on the GC.Com website if necessary.

If you know $5.12 remains but the cash register fails to autodetect the card balance, tell the cashier to key in that you are paying 5.12 with this card. Then enjoy your beer.

I have some local stores that will only auto drain a VGC if I run it as credit (rather than debit). If you slide the card and the enter PIN screen comes up, usually it is a green button to press and the terminal will switch to credit. Then you can enjoy that beer.
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Last edited by GetawaysRus; Mar 17, 18 at 9:46 pm
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Old Mar 17, 18, 9:58 pm
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This is not manufactured spend. This is just spend. And I have no idea what your profit was (I would naturally assume you lost money on this), but it doesn't seem like it can possibly be worth the hassle. I also don't like the idea of mailing money orders... if it gets lost you've created an unnecessary hassle.

Whatever your profit was, surely it would have been higher if you had bought a $500 card, deposited in your bank, and then sent a check. This isn't manufactured spend, this is manufactured profit loss.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 10:29 am
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The idea of using money orders to pay bills is an interesting one. If you have enough bills, you could completely avoid depositing money orders to your banks / credit unions, minimizing risk of shutdowns.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by dealhunter32 View Post
The idea of using money orders to pay bills is an interesting one. If you have enough bills, you could completely avoid depositing money orders to your banks / credit unions, minimizing risk of shutdowns.
I pay my apartment rent with money orders. Quick way to get a few thousand points a month without risking checking account shutdown.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 11:01 am
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Congrats but why does this have to be a new thread?
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Old Mar 18, 18, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by mnfilmer View Post
Long time lurker, first time poster in the MS forum.

My boys' (ages 6 and 8) piano teacher charged $234 a month. I'm sick of writing checks. So let's see if she takes money orders!

Ordered a $240 VGC from giftcards.com and activated it.

Rolled up to WM with my boys on a busy saturday afternoon and kindly asked for a money order for $234. Slid the card, entered the last 4 digits of the card when it asked for a pin.

Cashier printed MO, no problem.

MO in the mail to piano teacher!

I guess my problem is I now have a VGC with $5.12. I did try to buy some beer with it a WM after, but kept getting declined. Further research needed.

Which credit card did you use to earn miles/points or cash back on the purchase of the VGC from GCM? Did you use a CC that you have to complete a sign up bonus on? As others have said this is not manufactured spend, you probably just lost money. If that is the case, just keep giving the piano teacher a check and if you truly want to MS read the various threads for new to MS. Good luck.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by zeppoloveskafka View Post
This is not manufactured spend. This is just spend. And I have no idea what your profit was (I would naturally assume you lost money on this), but it doesn't seem like it can possibly be worth the hassle. I also don't like the idea of mailing money orders... if it gets lost you've created an unnecessary hassle.

Whatever your profit was, surely it would have been higher if you had bought a $500 card, deposited in your bank, and then sent a check. This isn't manufactured spend, this is manufactured profit loss.
So we now have a debate on what exactly MS is.
If we assume that MS is nothing more than generating CC debits by purchasing financial instruments such as VGCs and then paying those bills off in whatever fashion (BP, etc) as an endless cycle (one hopes) then this is not MS.

However, I like to believe that MS is more what the OP is doing than that endless cycle described above. He had a bill that could not be paid by CC. He generated a CC debit by buying a GC and converting it to a MO. He then used the MO to pay the bill. It is true that this will cost him some money. Whether it is worthwhile for him to do so depends on the CC he uses and what it gives him.

For me, I add a step when the MO is not permitted to pay the bill. I have a checking account where the MO is deposited and then the bill is payed by a check out of that account. My benefit from this is that I get CC minimum spend, some cash back and points that can be used for a myriad of purchases. By meeting my minimums on a single credit card, I get a healthy sum of cash deposited into my investment account. I also collect points to fly and stay at hotels using that same minimum spend.

I think that the bloggers have more than calculated the value of our activity. I calculated that paying bills with a check from my MS account costs me 0.8% additional to the actual bill. That is 80 cents per $100 spent. (and I am not including any specials such as the OM rebates where VGCs cost nothing to buy)

So OP, keep at it. Read everything here to avoid the disasters that await you and your hobby. Open a new checking account and partially fund it with MOs and pay those pesky bills that don't take CCs or MOs out of it. (But but but don't pay your CC bills out of it if you want a relatively peaceful and serene hobby ) Good luck
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