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.
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.
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.
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?