New to Manufactured Spending? Start here (2019)

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Old Feb 4, 19, 5:01 am   -   Wikipost
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NEW TO MS? It's suggested that new arrivals should do some serious reading for a month of all the posts and wiki to get an understanding of MS before asking common questions.

Note: the 2017 - 2018 version of this thread is here, 2016 version of this thread is here, the 2015 version of the thread is here

Welcome to Manufactured Spending. Marathon Man did not write this message, but he has edited it and anyone can. If you are new here, please spend some time reading before posting. Most likely your questions have already been answered multiple times. Consider deals that you share. These threads are searchable by Google. A volatile deal may be worth holding close to the vest.

Hints

1) On FT, topics are heavily consolidated. Sometimes the title of the thread and first few posts may not properly reflect the broad range of discussion inside the thread. Be sure to visit any thread relating to the product or service you want to learn more about because you might be surprised by how in depth the discussion really is. High "View Count" and "Replies" are good indicators of active "master threads" on a specific topic.

2) Use Google to search FT. It works a lot better than the built-in search.

3) A glossary wiki for MS located in the thread Glossary, Manufactured Spending Forum

Important Rules

1) MSing is very YMMV. It varies by store, manager, and right down to the cashier working at the moment. Some might argue that MS is like card counting in a casino. It is not illegal but casinos donít like it. Orhers have said itís like having a fake ID in college to use just to get into bars where all the fun is. Just because it worked here yesterday doesnít mean it will get you in today. MS is like being a wood worker constantly using a table saw. Always watch what you are doingóalways! Or you will lose something. That being said, always be nice and courteous in the face of rejection. The biggest secret for success is to lay low so you can try again.

2) DO NOT spend more than you can afford. START WITH SMALL AMOUNTS TO TEST THE WATER! As an example.. don't start with a $5000 purchase of VGCs if you can't afford to float that much! Instead, buy one and try it, and scale up once you are comfortable with a new method. It's easy to lose track, or get robbed, when you are handling so much money. Getting a refund is NOT always possible.

3) DO NOT ask employees, cashiers, customer service representatives, etc... about how to MS, or about things you read on this forum. The information you read here are very specific, unknown, legal uses of products or services. Most employees, cashiers, and even managers do not know about them. At best you'll get bad information. At worst you'll create a lot of unnecessary misunderstanding.

4) It bears repeating that there are no guarantees. you could easily buy $10,000 in gift cards or some other instrument, only to discover that your method for liquidating them vanishes the very next day. MS is not "normal" financial activity ("normal" being defined by the banks), and thus is often perceived as "suspicious" even if it is legal.

5) never underestimate the risk of criminal activity. gift cards can easily be stolen, loaded onto a compromised account, loaded in a debit card skimmer, or even fraudulent (e.g., an already used card put back on the rack).

6) MSing can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from smallish amounts to meet minimum spend requirements to get a credit card signup bonus, to accumulating huge numbers of points for travel/cashback/etc. Remember too that you will often have expenses such as purchase fees, liquidation fees, and gas.

If you have a question that does not seem to fit anywhere, or you have not found an appropriate place for it, post it here.

- A helpful note from seat17D about some of the inherent risks of MS

New MSers can also read all these threads:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...-spending-719/
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Old Sep 7, 19, 11:00 pm
  #211  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: LAX
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Originally Posted by DBFL View Post
Seems very unlikely they were there for MS. Itís more likely that they are BBís target demographic. People that need a card to use but canít get credit cards and probably donít even have a bank account. Do you really expect someone that fits that description to be all that educated?
Your points are valid, I suspected that, too. I think what got to me more was how long they were holding up the already long lines. Thankfully I didn't have ice cream!
cajunguy is offline  
Old Sep 12, 19, 5:44 pm
  #212  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
FYI Simon Malls, still running their VGC $1000 promos until end of OCT. Simon malls have the lowest fees at $3.95 per activation
Abalos is offline  
Old Sep 12, 19, 7:41 pm
  #213  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 22
Yup, heard the same thing from them today about going til end of Oct. The lady at the counter said they were likely making it permanent.
History05 is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 1:30 pm
  #214  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
Hi, I have the same question as your post, did you receive any good leads?
Thanks.
Omar Barraza is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 9:25 pm
  #215  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by Omar Barraza View Post
Hi, I have the same question as your post, did you receive any good leads?
Thanks.
What's your question?
History05 is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 10:12 pm
  #216  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by History05 View Post
What's your question?
If there are better alternatives to Square's POS for MS?
Omar Barraza is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 10:57 pm
  #217  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by Omar Barraza View Post
If there are better alternatives to Square's POS for MS?
Getting Visa gift cards and converting them to money order is common
History05 is offline  
Old Sep 21, 19, 12:36 am
  #218  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 646
Originally Posted by Abalos View Post
FYI Simon Malls, still running their VGC $1000 promos until end of OCT. Simon malls have the lowest fees at $3.95 per activation
Are these available online or only in the malls?
bbriscoe34 is offline  
Old Sep 21, 19, 12:45 am
  #219  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 646
Not new to MS, but getting back into it just to get several sign up bonuses.

Currently, I have the Wells Fargo Biz, Chase Ink Cash, Bank of Am Cash Rewards Biz, and Amex Biz Blue Cash that I'm working on the SUBs for. Soon will get the new Hyatt for myself and P2 (once 2 years since last bonus elapses.) And probably another Citi AA Biz if I can find a mailer.

Anyway - just to confirm how the current landscape works - will the Simon and Giftcardmall (via Rakuten) VGCs work fine to get the SUBs with WF, Bank of America, Citi?

I know they are fine for Chase and bad with Amex. Though I am buying just a few from grocery stores with my Surpass card to get the free night.

Additionally, I have 0% interest promos on my WF Biz and my BOA Biz Cash Rewards - does it cause any problems to go ahead and max them out and just pay the min payment during the 0% period? Since they are Biz cards they shouldn't report to my CR, should they? I just don't want to cause a shutdown risk...
bbriscoe34 is offline  
Old Sep 26, 19, 12:40 pm
  #220  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
WM fail

Good day

New to MS
I just came from inside a WM to convert a VVGC to MO. Card - $200. Tries to convert first time as the card states the pin will be set up upon first use. It kept going under CC. I canceled out to get to debit after the first 2 attempts but to no avail. I then go to self checkout to attempt to activate pin setup. No avail. I leave store to try another place to setup pin. Pin is established after first being declined. I return back to WM to same willing lady MO attempt again. I succeed to getting to debit screen...but then I get slapped with a declination code. Twice. Woman passes me paper and I look up information.

Debit not available appr. code = 93 is what paper says.

Tidalcommerce.com gave me this as the conclusion:



Violation, cannot complete




Thereís a violation on the customer account, and the issuing bank has prevented the transaction


Ask your customer to call their bank, and if the bank confirms everything is okay on their end, attempt the transaction again. Otherwise, just ask for a different card or payment method



How should I progress from here to liquidate any further VVGCs into cash?


Thanks!

Also, issued by Bancorp Bank. Distribution by InComm Financial

Last edited by Mak3awish; Sep 26, 19 at 2:42 pm Reason: Corrected wording, added information
Mak3awish is offline  
Old Sep 26, 19, 3:40 pm
  #221  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Posts: 1,111
Does VV mean Vanilla VISA?

Vanillas have long had a $ limit at WM, in the range of $49. So an attempted $200 transaction won't fly.
GetawaysRus is offline  
Old Sep 26, 19, 6:39 pm
  #222  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
Does VV mean Vanilla VISA?

Vanillas have long had a $ limit at WM, in the range of $49. So an attempted $200 transaction won't fly.
Yeah Iíve been seeing the limit for that regularly over the past couple weeks of reading up on MS. However, I only recall the information being in regards to debits for adding on to either BB or Serve, not for MO. Are you implying that MO are also under that blanket of limited to $49.99 or less for VVGCs? If so, does that also cover OVVGCs?
Mak3awish is offline  
Old Sep 26, 19, 10:43 pm
  #223  
Moderator, Manufactured Spending
 
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Originally Posted by Mak3awish View Post
Yeah Iíve been seeing the limit for that regularly over the past couple weeks of reading up on MS. However, I only recall the information being in regards to debits for adding on to either BB or Serve, not for MO. Are you implying that MO are also under that blanket of limited to $49.99 or less for VVGCs? If so, does that also cover OVVGCs?
You'll see the same limit buying MO. Applies to VVGC and OVVGC.
ChrisFlyer66 is offline  
Old Sep 27, 19, 1:05 am
  #224  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by ChrisFlyer66 View Post
You'll see the same limit buying MO. Applies to VVGC and OVVGC.
Thanks for that clarification. In that regards then, would it be safe to assume that VVGCs would be a good way to start off small while one figured out how to MS in their area? Iíve personally have been searching for VGCs but I have yet to lay my eyes upon one yet. VVGCs, OVVGCs, and VMCGCs run rampantly in my neck of the woods

If someone wanted to stay small, would just focusing on the VVGCs at $500 a buy and constantly pulling $50 on Serve and $49 MOs be a feasible option to possibly keep suspicions off of your back?
Mak3awish is offline  
Old Sep 27, 19, 5:17 pm
  #225  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,830
Originally Posted by Mak3awish View Post
Thanks for that clarification. In that regards then, would it be safe to assume that VVGCs would be a good way to start off small while one figured out how to MS in their area? Iíve personally have been searching for VGCs but I have yet to lay my eyes upon one yet. VVGCs, OVVGCs, and VMCGCs run rampantly in my neck of the woods

If someone wanted to stay small, would just focusing on the VVGCs at $500 a buy and constantly pulling $50 on Serve and $49 MOs be a feasible option to possibly keep suspicions off of your back?
YMMV, but at my WM, even <$50 does NOT work.

Just stay away from Vanillas if you're liquidating at WM.
lumangoy is offline  

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