Monday, June 8, 2015

Thinking about Reselling? Beware of Retailer Bans

Recently, I started reselling merchandise and I hope that I have inspired some people to at least think about it as another form of manufactured spend.

For more information on some of my previous deals, check out some of my Turnover Tuesday Posts:

Week 1 - First attempt at reselling
Week 2 - My second straight fail
Week 3 - My iPad mini collection
Week 4 - Bed Bath and Beyond
Week 5 - An iPad Idea for Your Staples Gift Card Collection

Reselling Bans

Reselling is not all fun and games.  Retailers don't like resellers because they only buy items that are heavily discounted.  They would rather someone buy those items who might end up buying something else.

Some retailers say that resellers will not receive cashback through portals.  Check out Be Frugal's Terms and conditions for Sam's Club:

Sam's Club Cash Back
Terms & Exclusions for Sam's Club:
  • 4% Cash Back on purchases
  • Cash back not valid on bulk or reseller purchases. Determination of bulk/reseller status is made at the sole discretion of the Sam's Club company and is not reviewable by
  • No cash back on membership fees, tires, "Member Services," "Auctions," or gift cards.
  • Cash back not valid on orders placed for in-store pickup.

Other retailers try to curb resellers by banning them:

See just a few examples from some of the contestants in the 20kChallenge:

Bighabitat at staples for buying too many iPads - I was once banned by Staples as well.   I needed to move for other reasons and my ban did not continue once I moved.

Miles Per Day has been banned from Sam's Club, and Bloomingdale's

I highlight these only to show you that there are real risks involved and it can happen to anyone. If you are banned, you can't make any "regular" purchases anymore either.

Sometimes the bans are based on IP address, username, email address, home address so there are times they can be circumvented.  But it usually does catch up to you.

Tips for Avoiding Bans 

It's difficult to know what the triggers for bans are, but here are some general guidelines that I try to follow to avoid bans.

1) Think long term.  Just because the store allows you to buy 100 TVs, don't do it.  If it sounds shady, the store will probably think so too.

2) Spread your spending among different stores.   Don't hit any one store too hard.

3) If you get called about an order for a fraud check, it's time to stop ramping up at that store.  They are most likely telling you that you are buying more than the average person does.

4) Don't mess with eBay/PayPal.  They have quick triggers.

Remember, slow and and steady wins the race.

Any other tips to avoid bans?  Leave a comment.