Is Plastic Jungle safe and legit? For a buyer of gift cards, it’s virtually risk-free, but it is important to understand the potential harm from buying off Plastic Jungle especially for stores such as Lowes and The Home Depot. I have written in the past about saving money at Lowes and The Home Depot and many of my suggested methods use Plastic Jungle as a tool for maximizing your savings, but I’m here to break some sad news, Plastic Jungle is most likely helping criminals cash in on theft.
Let’s backup and start at the beginning, you are doing a home rehab in an urban neighborhood. You purchase tools, materials, etc. and get to work, your day ends and you lock up the house. You arrive the next morning to find everything gone. Your Dewalt cordless screw driver, your ladder, and even your basic building material such as flooring and copper tubing. What would these criminals do with my flooring material you might ask. They might return it to the store.
That’s right, they pull up to Lowes or Home Depot and return the items without a receipt. They are asked for a driver’s license and are given a store credit on a “merchandise card.” Let’s say they get $1456.55 for your flooring material. Now what do with this merchandise card… Oh wait, let’s convert it into cash using plastic jungle.
Now it isn’t to say that all the gift cards on Plastic Jungle are obtained this way, but I think it is a very safe assumption to think that many are obtained this way. You ever wonder why there are so many odd amounts of gift cards/merchandise cards on plastic jungle? Odds are, most of them are returns.
That being said it isn’t really your responsibility as a plastic jungle buyer to confirm how the store credits were obtained, and it’s arguably not the responsibility of Plastic Jungle either, but I am confident this has become a channel for laundering.
My suggestion to correct this? Plastic Jungle should have harsh limits on how much a person can sell. If you sell $52,424.41 a year of Lowes or Home Depot cards – questions should be asked.
A side note: I wonder if Plastic Jungle serves people with large payouts Form 1099’s.