Some TPM Sellers Who Liquidated GCs Receive GiftCard Mart Demand Letter

Today, we received a copy of a letter that was sent out to certain individuals that sold gift cards to TPM.  In the image, you can see that GiftCard Mart has conducted some inquiries and determined certain persons sold gift cards to TPM, and then liquidated the cards. The problem is GiftCard Mart had purchased these gift cards from TPM.  Talk in private groups of how TPM sellers could recover from losses incurred when TPM checks either bounced or never arrived resulted in the idea that since the monies were never received, or not enough monies were received for cards sold to TPM, the seller could simply liquidate any of the cards that had remaining balances and recover some of their losses.

The gift card industry continuously gets a bad rap when thieves and fraud artists buy gift cards with stolen credit cards, or sell drained gift cards. This practice unintentionally contributes to that bad reputation.  GiftCard Mart is a company; they need to keep their reputation with buyers and in turn the industry in general as a reputable source of gift cards. It would appear they have gone out of their way to identify the cards with deficient balances and avoided selling those to the public. It also seems reasonable they would want their money back, and have setup a process to help facilitate that.

It’s always unfortunate to lose money on an investment or business decision, and those in the gift card for points and miles game are really making an investment. If you lost money in the TPM catastrophe, the last thing you should do is liquidate cards you have already sold. As you can see, this just hurts the industry and potentially your ability to sell gift cards in the future, not to mention possible legal remedies which could be substantial, including a trip to court in Minnesota.

UPDATE – I reached out to GiftCard Mart and was told the giftcards they are concerned with are cards that GiftCard Mart bought from TPM approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the TPM collapse. GiftCard Mart feels those transactions to TPM were complete and ownership had been transferred. After determining those particular card balances were depleted, GiftCard Mart sent the letters.

81 thoughts on “Some TPM Sellers Who Liquidated GCs Receive GiftCard Mart Demand Letter

  1. Charlie

    So GCM is assuming that these people were paid for the cards? If the people were never paid, the cards still belonged to the individual, right? In that case, GCM should be going after TPM for at least the records as to what was paid for or not. It sounds more like GCM feels they can pressure individuals than get money from the penniless TPM.
    I don’t have any skin in this one, it just sounds a bit strange to me, unless those people did receive money and redeem them.

    Reply
      1. Steve

        More than friends, possibly related, or even the same entity. (How would they know who sold the cards to TPM)

        Reply
      2. BJ

        Its not that GCM would not go after TPM because they are friends, its more like GCM CANNOT go after TPM because TPM has no money. There is nothing that GCM can go after TPM for. This would their only option of recourse. They are desperate to recoup their lost funds.

        Reply
    1. InternetLawyer

      No. Whether the original seller actually got paid is completely irrelevant. GiftCardMart were the legal owners of the gift cards and sellers had no legal right to take the cards back. You can’t go steal an IPad from Best Buy because Apple owes you money.

      Reply
      1. ARealLawyer

        Wrong analogy. If Best Buy finds that an iPad it bought from Apple is counterfeit because Apple bought it counterfeit from the original source, Best Buy’s only recourse is against Apple, not the original source. That’s because the original source is in no way a party to the transaction between Best Buy and Apple, and therefore has no duty to Best Buy to perform or make good on the transaction. Your knowledge of the law is about what one would expect from an “internet lawyer.”

        Reply
        1. Kyle

          Wrong analogy. I’m skeptical you’re a real lawyer. If Apple sold Best Buy IPad and never paid original source the original source can’t legally remotely brick the IPads. Best Buy can legally go after original source since they had good title to the Ipads. Go back and read the UCC.

          (A) A purchaser of goods acquires all title which the transferor had or had power to transfer except that a purchaser of a limited interest acquires rights only to the extent of the interest purchased. A person with voidable title has power to transfer a good title to a good faith purchaser for value. When goods have been delivered under a transaction of purchase, the purchaser has such power even though:

          (1) The transferor was deceived as to the identity of the purchaser, or

          (2) The delivery was in exchange for a check which is later dishonored, or

          (3) It was agreed that the transaction was to be a “cash sale”, or

          (4) The delivery was procured through fraud punishable as larcenous under the criminal law.

          (B) Any entrusting of possession of goods to a merchant who deals in goods of that kind gives the merchant power to transfer all rights of the entruster to a buyer in ordinary course of business.

          (C) “Entrusting” includes any delivery and any acquiescence in retention of possession regardless of any condition expressed between the parties to the delivery or acquiescence and regardless of whether the procurement of the entrusting or the possessor’s disposition of the goods have been such as to be larcenous under the criminal law.

          (D) The rights of other purchasers of goods and of lien creditors are governed by the provisions of Chapter 1309. and sections 1307.01 to 1307.40 of the Revised Code.

          Reply
          1. Steve

            I seriously doubt the UCC applies to gift card sales to TPM. You would have to look to the states of the parties, the contract, etc. to determine the proper jurisdiction, controlling law, and venue

      2. CARLOS MARTINHO

        Sorry but you are sadly mistaken.
        The cards were illegally obtained through fraudelent means.
        How long you been on there payroll

        Reply
    2. Seller

      As stated in the letter these are cards that sellers were definitely paid for based on the dates.

      Most likely these people went back and stole cards they were already paid for to try to “make right” cards they weren’t paid for.

      Reply
        1. Kyle

          How do you know that TPM didn’t turn over that info? It’s pure speculation on your part to assume that. GCM obviously got addresses from TPM of sellers that sold those cards, is it really hard to believe that he would know they were paid for them?

          Reply
    3. DT

      Once you transfer ownership of the card whether or not you are paid needs to be taken up with the person/entity you conducted the transaction with. If that needs to be remedied through legal recourse then that is how you have the go about recouping your losses. Using or reselling is indeed theft.

      How many people provide goods and are not paid immediately upon receipt… almost every business. Buying gift cards and reselling them is a business and should be treated as such.

      Reply
    4. Parkerthon

      I’d like to see them try to chase all these people down and get a judgement. They’d need to prove the original seller used the cards. Not hard to do, but it’s a burden to prove with each seller nonetheless. That said, I wouldn’t pass the buck to some other company if you were compensated for the cards which sounds like these were. That’s just screwing other people over. Now if they are going after sellers for cards that were in effect ill gotten by TPM, then I would probably tell them to piss off(whether they have legal recourse or not).

      Reply
  2. Shubhayan Mukherjee

    Charlie is exactly right on this. If the people sold the gift card and were paid in full, they should not be liquidating their sold gift cards. If they did this, then they need to make GCM whole. However, if the TPM cheques bounced and the sellers were not paid for the gift cards, then the transaction is not complete and therefore they technically own the gift cards. In this case, GCM needs to pay out these sellers if they want these gift cards. Otherwise the entire business transaction is void and GCM has no legal recourse. I have a strong legal team that handles this kind of arm twisting by big corporations, contact me if you need help.

    Reply
    1. Burned

      If you sold someone a pallet of widgets, and didn’t receive payment, you cannot sneak in their warehouse and steal the pallets. You remedy the situation through the courts.

      Reply
  3. Steve

    GCM is SOL. It’s not theft, nor is it even breach of contract. Those who were defrauded by TPM had every right to exercise self help and offset. The letter is a bluff. GCM needs to go after TPM and stop harassing fellow victims.

    Reply
    1. Leo

      Go back to online law school.
      Per TPM terms, you transferred ownership to TPM when you submitted the card. If you want to renig on that sale, use legal recourse. You no longer owned that card. If you still used that card’s value, then you stole the value on it. That’s theft. plain and simple.

      Reply
  4. Steve

    I disagree. The victims of TPM had every right to exercise self help and offset and recover whatever monies they could. There is no reason why GCM should have superior rights to the original gift card purchasers. Both are victims, but there is only so much money to go around since TPM has disappeared with everyone’s money. So first in time, first in right.

    Reply
    1. Dave

      No Steve, that makes no sense. Sellers don’t have the right to steal from GCM on previously settled deals because they got screwed by TPM on a different deal. I understand why sellers did this, but they no longer had the rights to those cards and they ought to make it right with GCM.

      Reply
  5. caveman

    Nobody sold anything to GCM. People sold them to TPM. I don’t think anyone owes anything to GCM.
    What if we reverse the situation. I am still keeping $1200 TPM check in my drawer. Should I go after GCM for the payment since TPM did not honour their side?

    Reply
    1. Seller

      The cards in question are cards that tpm did pay out on. These are not cards that people did not receive payment for.

      Many people went back and stole cards they were paid for in a ham handed attempt to offset cards they weren’t paid for.

      Reply
        1. Seller

          Based on the dates they would have been paid. I’ve seen dozens of data points and have not heard of a single missed payment in that time range

          Reply
      1. Steve

        Or they repossessed cards they had a legitimate interest in order to offset a subsequent fraud, which had likely been in the works for months.

        Reply
        1. Justin Kwony

          Perhaps there was something amiss, but making a criminal accusation of fraud is both unsubstantiated at this point and something I would be careful about.

          Accusing someone of a crime is a slippery slope… you don’t want to be the person TPM goes after for punitive damages that he eventually uses to pay everyone else out

          Reply
  6. HikerT

    How did GCM obtain personal information on the sellers to TPM to begin with? BTW JB of GCM, yo momma still owes me money . Where do I send the demand letter?

    Reply
    1. B

      Can someone please reference the laws? I just read here (contradicting) opinions which are worthless in front of a court.

      And how was the relationship between TPM and GCM? It sounds like they where buddies if not even more as some suggested.

      Reply
  7. chris

    “GiftCard Mart FEELS those transactions to TPM were complete and ownership had been transferred.”
    I’m no lawyer, but I think they’d have to come up with a little more tangible evidence than “feels” to show these transactions have been completed. Otherwise, my “feels” are just as good as theirs.

    Reply
  8. HgyGS20

    If you sell a car to a friend and he goes around and sells that car to a 3rd party, you can’t go and steal back that car from the 3rd party that paid for it already. Yea you can take it to court and most likely get your car back. However stealing it is against the law.

    The Best Buy analogy was spot on.

    Unfortunately common sense and legal rights are different in this case.

    Those who liquidated GCs are in for a world of hurt from GCM.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Does a bank have the right to repossess a car that was sold in bad faith to a 3rd party? Where there is evidence that the parties colluded to defraud the bank? Where the 3rd party had reason to doubt the provenance of the ownership?

      Reply
  9. Dan

    For cards that TPM never paid for, this is a complex case involving what innocent party bears the loss. May well depend on state law involving fraud as well as whether TPM ever intended to pay for cards or was always intending to close up shop without paying out the amount owed.
    But…..the people who liquidated their cards are in good shape. Because if CGM wants to collect, even if they have a colorable claim, they would need to sue you. For all except the big sellers, that would cost more than the value CGM is owed. Basically this is the reverse of the people who want to sue TPM. Legal fees make actually filling suit a poor financial proposition.

    Reply
    1. Seller

      The owner of GCM is a lawyer and will handle all this in house at little cost. Based on MN law he can receive the value + $50 or full value whichever is greater, so it could really add up.

      Reply
      1. HikerT

        The owner of GCM is not a lawyer. Just google “GiftCard Mart linkedin”. There are 2 employee. Neither show any legal qualifications.

        Reply
        1. Justin Kwony

          There are 6 of them I believe and I met all of them when I was up consulting for Raytheon this last winter. Actually scratch that, I think Max, or Matt or something like that was working part time as a grad student and wasn’t around for finals time stuff…

          Anyhow, when I first started selling with them there were just two of them and they had just brought on their newest account manager this past winter and funny enough, they hired my old college roommate’s friend as their web development firm to build the website they launched last year i thnk

          Reply
          1. Steve

            And pray tell, how did they get the names and addresses of those who sold the gift cards to TPM? I would have a lot more sympathy if there wasn’t evidence of collusion with TPM to recover from the original sellers.

    2. Kyle

      GCM is a lawyer himself so the costs aren’t as great to him especially if he can basically copy paste the same thing for a couple dozen cases. It’s also very likely you find yourself flying to Minnesota to go to court if he does sue and paying the court costs when he does win. $500 in stolen cards could turn into $1500+ in costs depending on your travel expenses. If I was GCM I would sue one person and let them come back with the horror story of costs after they lose.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        GCM better have ironclad evidence that the gift cards were liquidated by the defendants, or he’ll be paying attorneys fees to the other side.

        Reply
        1. Chewy Roll

          @Steve I’ve read most of your comments and it is very clear that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and spouting things off could potentially imperil yourself or others.

          You’d be surprised how often “paying attorneys fees to the other side” isn’t the case and the US is quite different from other countries in this regard.

          And most importantly, you’re confusing Civil and Criminal issues, where the standard of proof is exceedingly different and the moving party is very different.

          It’s possible they have solid evidence of criminal activity, but criminal charges are an exclusive remedy of the State (or other jurisdiction.) and would require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But if they’re trying to recover in civil court (which seems likely), they only have to meet the standard of a “preponderance of the evidence”. So GCM only needs to convince a judge that they’re 51% right and it’s game over.

          Reply
      2. Parkerthon

        Sounds like a bullying tactic now. You’ll be surprised how fast the community will close ranks on this and find a strategy to stop GC from steamrolling sellers especially if it’s convincing enough that these cards were never paid for by TPM. And simply showing the cards were once owned by “person on record” is not enough to prove they cashed them out. You’ll need to tie it back to records provided by the ecommerce company and verify it is tied to the sellers. That sounds like a lot of work. But if they were indeed all paid for, then hopefully it’s doable.

        Reply
    1. David

      Reading this thread has made me realize that I got pretty lucky. I went on vacation and stopped selling to TPM a couple weeks before everything blew up. However I am now stuck with a bunch of gift cards that I want to get rid of. Does anyone have info on any reputable site where I can sell my cards at a reasonable price? Much appreciated!

      Reply
  10. JSS

    How does GCM know that individual sellers redeemed the gift cards themselves? Who says TPM didn’t sell the same codes twice?

    Reply
    1. Confused & Annoyed

      So this was my thought. I have tons of past gift cards sold to TPM. How do I know he didn’t keep really, really tight controls on those codes? Gift cards can be easily hacked (I’ve had it happen to me twice) so if there are some cards I sold to him last year and someone else got the code bc he no longer cares enough to make sure they’re “locked away”, am I still liable to repay GCM for cards I sold to to TPM and haven’t looked at since???

      Reply
  11. David

    Reading this thread has made me realize that I got pretty lucky. I went on vacation and stopped selling to TPM a couple weeks before everything blew up. However I am now stuck with a bunch of gift cards that I want to get rid of. Does anyone have info on any reputable site where I can sell my cards at a reasonable price? Much appreciated!

    Reply
    1. John

      I have been selling with The Gift Card Broker for a while now with no real issues or complaints. Some rates are lower than TPM but I’ve noticed a slow increase lately.

      Reply
  12. jeanine sorrentino

    If TPM never paid for the cards, they did not legally own them and therefore had no legal authority to sell them. GCM may have an actionable claim against TPM for fraudulent sale, or possibly breach of contract. It does not have recourse against the sellers who liquidated the cards when TPM breached the sale contract by failing to pay. I’ve been a prosecutor for the past 22 years, so I know what I’m talking about. IMO, GCM is trying to recoup their losses by scaring the individual sellers into paying up. It’s much easier to do this than to go after TPM.

    Reply
    1. Justin Kwony

      @ Jeanine You’re a prosecutor for 22 years spouting on about nonsense then.

      TPM paid out the cards they are after.

      And I thought lawyers were supposed to be masters of detail…

      Reply
      1. Steve

        She’s smart enough to know good lawyers don’t bring cases they can’t win. She’s smart enough to know that the transactions are continuous, related, and can’t be neatly separated despite all the GCM and TPM fanboys, nuthuggers, and dickriders saying otherwise.

        Reply
        1. Leo

          Again with all the legal advice you learned while watching TV. Very impressive Steve.
          Now go back to gaming — it seems you’re having withdrawal symptoms.

          Reply
    2. Derpy

      @jeanine I would have hoped you had better reading comprehension after 22 years on the job. The cards in question were all paid in full by tpm to original seller.

      Reply
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          1. "Rick"

            BargainGiftCard.com TOTALLY does not pass the sniff test. My money says they’re selling fraudulent cards, especially with the short guarantee window.

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  16. sj0 @travelinpoints

    I wonder how much of the pro-TPM comment in the comment section is from TPM themselves so they can maintain the idea that people need to pay them. Too many lawyers in this thread and just as many people claiming to know more.

    Reply
  17. charles DOC Fan

    I am curious how they know and can prove that the original seller were the ones who resold the cards?

    Couldn’t the cards have been hacked?

    Reply
    1. Snorklez

      I’m guessing that it couldn’t be one of a few ways.

      1. Checking with the other major exchanges. Maybe they have a partnership to prevent fraud?
      2. Maybe Apple told them
      3. Maybe they only have partial information and would use the discovery process to definitively determine that. I’m not sure how that stuff works, but the discovery process costs $$$ and may be recoverable fees depending on the state I think?

      Reply
  18. ARealLawyer

    Hey Kyle, before you blithely continue to quote the UCC and claim that people should fear being dragged into a Minnesota courtroom because of it, you might want to double check if Minnesota ever actually adopted Article 2 of the UCC. (Hint: it didn’t). Thanks for playing lawyer for the rest of us though.

    Reply
    1. Snorklez

      @ARL, Forgive me as I’m no an attorney, but my limited research ability lead me to the opposite conclusion that you have regarding Minnesota’s UCC adoption, specifically Article 2.

      My research tells me that Minnesota has adopted every article except Article 6 (it appears only 3 states adopted Article 6). (Source: Minnesota Statutes 336.2-101)

      With all due respect, could you please explain this discrepancy?

      Thank you for your time

      Reply
  19. JM

    I notice this says “wrongfully resold.” It does not say redeemed. Has anyone heard of new letters or updates?

    Reply
    1. Snorklez

      I imagine that it wouldn’t be possible to tell if you resold them, but only resold them and then they were redeemed. My guess is that a redemption is what triggers could trigger it.

      What I don’t know is what kind of connection they got to figure all of this out. It’s likely thousands of cards! I know I sold iTunes during that time, but I was paid for my 4 cards, so I didn’t touch them, even though TPM STILL owes me almost 650 dollars >:-(

      Reply

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