Kid Buys 103 $.01 Gift Cards From Best Buy

We don’t know why anyone would do this, but apparently someone on Flickr bought “103 $.01 gift cards for Jennifer as a unique going away present.” That sure is unique, we’ll give him that. And it wasn’t easy. From the Flickr page:

    Had some trouble getting them, apparently me doing this 2 other times has sparked the interest of the management and they’ve received an e-mail not to let anyone do this anymore. I’d like to think this is solely because of me because this was an original idea of mine. I’m sure someone may have done this before, but I have not heard of anyone else doing such a thing. In any case, I was informed about not being able to do such a thing last night when I tried, my mom went in a quite a rage and I told her we’ll just try again today and hopefully it will be like when Hillary did it for me the 2nd time with no questions of whether or not you can do it. Nikki (left) was more than happy to, we got to around 38 when another cashier recognized me from last night, she said we couldn’t and she called up the manager. The manager tried telling us that we couldn’t do this without us even giving a say in the matter. Thats when my mom became upset again and she pointed out how often we come here and how much we spend, and that she had talked to the number they gave us last night to give it approved and they said it was okay. The manager was silent after that, I wanted to laugh, but I held it in.

More inside.

    I would like to say I understand their position, but I’m rather clueless why they are freaking out such a little cost. Sure the gift cards are worth more than a cent, but just today I used my 2 year replacement plan on my headset. The replacement plan cost $9, and the headset costs $60, So I’m sure they are losing more money from that. In any case, this is probably the largest receipt you’ll ever see without actually trying to beat it yourself. I didn’t measure it but I’m guessing it’s well over 10 feet. Thank you Nikki. The other guy is Scott, a random cashier (but not the one that recognized me). I’m rather glad I can walk into best buy and be recognized…I wasn’t intending to accomplish that lifetime goal of being recognized somewhere until I was living on my own, but Best Buy works.

The world is a twisted place. —MEGHANN MARCO

The Greatest Receipt [Flickr]


Edit Your Comment

  1. stephen5 says:

    What a great idea! Stores like you to by gift cards because of the residual unused credit, this not only defeats that but ends up costing them.

    My nephew is gonna get 5000 gift cards for his birthday, woohoo!

  2. should’ve bought a hundred and four, and shoved that last one right up the manager’s…

  3. Anonymously says:

    I’d be really disappointed if someone gave that to me.

  4. okay, shove all 104 up there. don’t want to disappoint anyone.

  5. krunk4ever says:

    What I’m curious is, what’s the significance of 103 or $1.03 for that matter? Was that the amount borrowed from this particular friend? Is that the number of days they’ve known each other?

  6. RogueSophist says:

    Wait, up the manager’s…? Really? Am I missing something? I’d tell this kid to get the hell out of my store, and kick him in the back of the head as he walks away with his poor, poor mother. You know. If I had a store.

  7. krunk4ever says:

    What I’m curious is the significance of 103 or $1.03 for that matter. Is it the amount that he borrowed from this particular friend? Is it the number of days they’ve known each other? 10/3 is her birthday or a significant day?

    Just curious.

  8. Michael says:

    Cute, but I’d hate to be in line behind this guy.

  9. Chris says:

    “What a great idea! Stores like you to by gift cards because of the residual unused credit, this not only defeats that but ends up costing them.”

    It not only wastes time, but it needlessly drives up the company’s costs, so they can pass it on to the rest of us. “Great idea,” indeed.

    It’s just a kid screwing around and having a good time, and it’s a mildly funny, so the stunt doesn’t bother me at all. I just don’t understand the vicarious glee in seeing a company’s bottom line dicked with, for no reason.

  10. MeOhMy says:

    I think the most disturbing part is the mother’s enabling of the situation. It’s very frightening to me that not only did his mother not read him the riot act, she WENT ALONG WITH HIM! It’s a mildly amusing prank, especially from the point of view of a teenager when you don’t think of the bigger picture. In fact, I had a chuckle at the picture until I read about the mother’s involvement. These kids need their parents to step in and teach them what’s what, not show them that it’s ok to waste other people’s time, money and resources. I can make a boatload of assumptions about these people and I bet I’d be spot on, but I’ll just leave it at this.

  11. LTS! says:

    This mother will be on Fark next week for buying a lap dance for her son and his friends.

    This is a joke and a waste of bandwidth. Congratulations on being a moron, you’ve succeeded at doing what anyone can do with by applying as little effort and intelligence towards a situation as possible.

    So, what is the Consumerist angle on this again? Are we supposed to be upset with Best Buy because some twit managed to do what common sense said would not happen and now Best Buy will modify its policy to force a minimum amount on a gift card, etc.

    And we wonder why corporations hate us?

  12. RattlingTheKettle says:

    The reason BB doesn’t want you to do this likely has nothing to do with the cost of issuing the plastic gift cards; more likely, they saw weird gift card activity and suspected that the purchaser was working some gift card fraud that they haven’t figured out yet.

  13. rbf2000 says:

    At Circuit City they have a minimum of $5 on a gift card for this exact reason. Also, there can only be 18 items in one transaction, and you can only use 5 payments.

    I had several customers come in with 20+ gift cards that they got through some online rewards program. The worst was when I had somebody with 80 $25 gift cards. I had to combine them down to 1 $2000 gift card.

  14. Anonymously says:

    Lol, you got me, Dave.

  15. As cute as this may be, it sounds like this kid has done this a whole bunch of times (2 other times?)… doesn’t it get old? One time it’s funny but three times? Teach that dog a new trick.

    Plus, it doesn’t bother me that it’s costing Best Buy money but it’s a waste of our world’s precious resources!

  16. fishfucerk says:

    fantastic example of the customer not being right and of corporations reaping what they sow. When our daily consumer interactions are filled with faceless corporate assholes who are pretty much bent on screwing us, we’re compelled to try and screw them back. It’s ugly, but it’s capitalism, i guess.

    The problem is when this attitude spreads to small privately held places, which it often does. I’m sure everyone has a story of the person in front of them being a dick to the clerk for no good reason besides that they believe they can.

    Sure, a customer is a customer, but most of us, realistically, aren’t gonna be missed if we decide to stop shopping somewhere — that’s reserved for the nouveau rich. You can watch rich cunts on TV as much as you want, and even act like them — but that doesn’t mean you have their buying power.

  17. snazz says:

    holy run on sentence, batman!

  18. Kat says:

    BB could be trying to protect themselves… the activated gift cards could potentially be used in some sort of scam.

  19. DAK says:

    LTS, excellent question. Not sure why this would be on here either. I’m beginning to think there’s a quota to fill on posts and it’s been a slow news week.

  20. Morton Fox says:

    Ah, but how long does it take to use all those gift cards?

  21. emax4 says:

    Troy F and LTD hit the nail on the head.

    Okay kid, you got away with doing this once, but now look at the circumstances. This IS one of the reasons why corporations hate us, and kids like this are the prime example. Did they even consider the people behind them wanting to check out? If I were behind this kid I’d leave my stuff at the counter, follow the kid and mom outside to their car, and then let them have it! I can’t wait until you get a job at retail or a food place at the mall just so I can come through your line, hold up your customers, then change my mind after placing all those orders. Think of it from the corporation’s perspective (being that it’s Best Buy, aside). You are one person holding up the line of five people behind you. The corporation would rather have 1 unhappy customer and 5 happy customers, than 6 unhappy customers. Anyone who works in retail will agree with me on this.

    Way to put your efforts to the customers, not the corporations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the manager called the other BB stores and warned them not to serve the kid and his mom. Even if the cards cost 10 cents a piece, you’re not hurting the store that much financially. $10.30 isn’t going to cause Best Buy to lay off people, raise their prices, or reduce their inventory. Now thanks to this immature family Best Buy will have to put minimums on their gift cards. I guess you taught them a lesson, huh kid? The manager was trying to do the right thing by prohibiting them from purchasing that quantity and with such a small amount on each card. Now that Best Buy has their names, I’d like to see the mom and kid complain to corporate. The manager gets fired, keeps their names, and now has more time to hunt down that mom and kid and get revenge.

    This story is more appropriate for and less for The Consumerist. Having the story here just makes us consumers look bad, not the corporation.

  22. Has anyone considered that BBY employees have to scratch off the “code” thing on all of those cards before using them?

    Moreover, what an environmental waste. Those cards go right in the trash. I hate Bestbuy as much as anyone can… but this kid is being an assclown.

  23. Antediluvian says:

    It would have been funnier if he’d bought 200 and used a $2 bill.

  24. emax4 says:

    If you click on the Flick link above, you see his screenname there, and yet only one response which is “that is cool!!!”. Turns out he runs (he’s gonna need to when all the retailers chase him away), hardly smiles, collects pictures of various tennis shoes, and is active in church. Hmm, I guess his church doesn’t preach, “treat others as you would treat yourself.”

  25. levenhopper says:

    AngrySicilian has hit it perfectly. Everytime you use a gift card, you need to scratch off the pin code on the back, and then enter the 4 digit code into the computer…

  26. 5yearwinter says:

    All I know is that I would have hated to be that cashier. Especially with a line piling up. I worked at Target for two years and people were bad enough when they DIDN’T do this sort of crap.

  27. hurmpees says:

    I can not believe BB does not have a minimum purchase for those things. In my company loyalty cards and gift cards run us 0.25 cents a piece. Minimum you can put on a gift card is $10.

  28. slymaple says:

    Reminds me to what that Guy in Vancouver did. He paid his visa bill on line in a series of .10 cents per payment. Generating more than a thousand transactions.He received his credit statement in mail and was so huge similar to the size of a phone directory. Needless to say his bank cancelled his visa card obviously unhappy to pay for so much mailing cost.

  29. Jess A. says:

    I’m wondering if any of those gift cards were the kind that come with some kind of $5 off coupon (like their video game gift cards), free music downloads, or whatever. Those coupons are basically free money.

  30. echy says:

    Best Buy charges $.99 just for the card. So that clown paid $103.00 for $1.03 of goods.

  31. Antediluvian says:

    Apparently you can also take photos in Best Buy — no mention of WalMart-like goons chasing him out because of the snapshot.

  32. mactbone says:

    Are you guys even thinking this through? It’s $1.03 – who the hell is going to spend that? It doesn’t say anywhere that this was a way to screw over BB – he did it as some kind of going away gift. Maybe the novelty of the act is the gift, it has some special significance or he used the cards to make something, it doesn’t really matter.

    If a store lets you do something, why is it so bad to do it?

  33. Emrikol says:

    yeah, I agree with the rest of you. She’s cute…

    erm, what? That’s not what you all meant?

  34. Greeper says:

    It’s good that your mother is focussing her anger on something productive. I bet she calls your teachers everytime you get an A- too.

  35. Falconfire says:

    Apparently you can also take photos in Best Buy — no mention of WalMart-like goons chasing him out because of the snapshot.

    might be just a fluke, I have myself been chased out of a BB for taking photos of a price to send to a coworker looking for the item in question.

  36. Sorenso says:

    The kids an ass, and his mother should be ashamed. I mean she lied, and he did it to grief them. Perfect example why the rest of us get shitty treatment.

    Way to go kid!

  37. JT says:

    Can we be sure he didn’t actually get 103 0.002¢ gift cards?

  38. Tim Matheson says:

    I am not even going to touch this one.

  39. stephen5 says:

    from Omninerd but reported lots of other places:

    An estimated $55 billion in gift cards were sold in 2004, and about 10% of their value goes unused, as consumers either lose, forget or discard them. This can result in large profits for retailers. Home Depot, for example, tallied their gift card “breakage” (or unused value) from 1998, when it began its gift card program, to 2001, and reported a $43 million income. Limited Brands recorded $30 million in 2005 revenue because of unredeemed cards.

    BB and others are expecting to make a profit on “breakage” of a gift card. Why should you help them?

    Since BB uses this and the scam of rebates, why shouldn’t they get a taste of their own medicine?

    As for the ecology stuff, umm, they aren’t making the cards on the spot. Gift cards are produced by the millions (billions?), if the kid hadn’t bought them somebody else would have, they are not released into the wild after a certain time on the shelf.

  40. Hoss says:

    Kid, u could have scored some points by making her a Best Buy “geek suit” out of the cards

    Or perhaps giving her a box of cards, letting her know that one has $25 on it

    Lost opportunity

  41. Johann says:

    Wow. The Consumerist actually made me sympathize with Best Buy. That was unexpected.

  42. faust1200 says:

    Wow. You are really sticking it to the man. I hope your bold action against this major corporation doesn’t precipitate another great depression! I’m sure history will recognize you as one of the world’s great revolutionaries. Maybe next time you should do something really crazy and short-sheet the bed in your guest bedroom. Or call a general store and ask if they have Prince Albert in a can! You are anarchy incarnate. Rock on you madman!

  43. merv243 says:

    I work at Best Buy. The average store does $50-60,000 revenue on a week day, and $100,000 on weekends. Some kid buying 103 $.01 gift cards will have no effect on Best Buy. At any given time, my Best Buy has 100 boxes of 100 gift cards in the back. It costs BB as close to nothing as you can get.

  44. m4nea says:

    Buying gift cards doesn’t effect profits.
    However, it would take about an hour to process such a sale, wasting everyone’s time.
    Furthermore, the checkout system allows for only THREE methods of payment.
    These cards would have to be condensed down until three or fewer remained, wasting at least two more hours, and frustrating the HELL out of everyone around.
    The whole idea is just ludicrous.