My Pudding Guy Story on Earning Miles – How I Earned 28,800 Miles for Free

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I’m sure a lot of you have read the recent article (but old story) on the Pudding Guy who collected over a million miles buying pudding.  He was able to obtain American Airline Lifetime Platinum status and earn dozens of free flights with a small investment.  His story inspires other avid points collectors to do the same.  Although I may not be that extreme, I have my own short version of a pudding guy story on earning miles.

It all started one afternoon in February of 2012 while I was reading ThePointsguy. There was an announcement that for a limited time that everything ordered on Nordstrom.com would earn 36X Avios miles!  I was quite skeptical at first, but I started reading a Flyertalk thread to see other people’s experience and inputs.  After reading a few comments, I decided to take the risk and order a few things off Nordstrom.com.

I started scrolling through the things on the website and noticed that I couldn’t find anything useful or everything was overpriced.  I rarely buy anything at its retail price.  I looked into the sale section and finally stumbled upon some North Face jackets.  However, I didn’t really need a North Face jacket and there was only one North Face jacket that I liked, but it was very similar to my North Face Apex Bionic jacket I already had.

Never Stop Exploring... Miles? =D

Never Stop Exploring… Miles? =D

Then an idea popped into my head.  Why not buy and sell these North Face jackets on eBay?  These jackets were maybe 40% off.  Analyzing recent sales on eBay, I saw that they could possibly sell for a little more than what I was going to pay for them.  I decided to pull the trigger and buy eight North Face jackets at about $100 each.  If I could sell these at cost, I would earn 28,800 Avios at 36X per dollar spent.

Buying North Face Jackets for 36X on Nordstroms

Buying North Face Jackets for 36X on Nordstroms

After a few days or so it turned out the the 36X Nordstrom Avios bonus would be honored.  I immediately received 28,800 Avios and started listing these items on eBay.  At first I listed them at about $129.99, which would profit me a few dollars or break even.  They started selling immediately.  I even raised the price on a few and those sold too.  In about a month or two, I sold all 8 jackets and earned 28,800 Avios with a little bit of work.  I was able to use those Avios to book a trip to Hawaii for a family member.

Ebay-Northface-Jackets

36X Avios Posted!

36X Avios Posted!

In retrospect I could have bought more jackets to sell, but it was risky if they didn’t honor the 36X.  It’s also important to have a back up plan if things go wrong. My back up plan would have been to return the items at Nordstrom. Fortunately, the deal was honored and my items sold.  This would probably be something FrequentMiler would have done, but I don’t think he was blogging at the time.

What do you think? Anybody else have a pudding guy story on earning miles?

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8 comments for “My Pudding Guy Story on Earning Miles – How I Earned 28,800 Miles for Free

  1. Diane
    September 26, 2013 at 4:54 am

    I took advantage of that promotion & sold the items on eBay; I purchased Ugg boots on clearance.

    • September 26, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Nice! Just wanted to share my story, hoping there’s another big promotion coming up.

  2. jpgisbd
    September 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Missed out on this one, but with Nordstrom’s return policy this would have been very low risk. Hope this comes around again!

    • September 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Hope so too. Yes, Nordstroms has a pretty good return policy.

  3. Paul
    September 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Nice haul, but not 1MM. But you probably got close to breaking even, while the guy w/1MM spent thousands and dozens of hours.

    Today, you’d have to be a clueless nitwit to do all that work for a lousy 1MM miles. A good series of card churns will get you there with far less effort.

    I can’t be bothered to buy/sell stuff. Too much work/risk for the return. All I can say is thank you to the group who – finally – required gcs to enable pins!

    • September 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Yup, back then credit card bonuses weren’t very good. Now, credit card bonuses are higher than ever and are the number one way to earn points. However, if you’ve been applying for cards for a while, you run out of credit card choices and need to seek alternative methods. Gift cards with PINs are good.. but still the cost and time can add up.

      It wasn’t as much effort as it seems for me because I only sold two items and had USPS come to my home to pick it up. Worth it for me.

  4. jason
    September 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    And you went thru all of this to give away the ticket to a family member? You must be a heck of a guy!

    • September 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      They’ve been good to me for many years :).

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