Best Buy Gift Cards Can Not Be Used With Guest Checkout
Well 2020 just keeps rolling in with the hits. I had heard some mumblings last night about the Best Buy gift card reselling game shutting down somewhat over night. All of the buying groups had lowered their availble inventory to 0. If you were not aware, people have been able to buy and sell Best Buy gift cards for very high rates in certain circles. This has been a windfall of points, and other store perks, but it seems to have potentially ended. I was hopeful it was a temporary thing until I saw GC Galore reported that Best Buy gift cards can not be used with guest checkout right now. That is most likely why the Best Buy gift card buying halted to a complete standstill.
Update: Stephen has updated his post to say that some items are still available for guest checkout. It appears they are only targeting certain items with this ban. My guess would be the loss leaders that resellers covet.
What Does This Mean?
My guess is Best Buy is trying to fight against resellers buying their goods. One way around limits, or account bans, is to use guest checkout. If you use a gift card when checking out that makes it even more difficult to track. With that backdoor closed then the need for gift cards dries up instantly.
This can also be annoying for anyone that gets a Best Buy gift card for the holidays and wants to make a simple purchase online. They would now have to set up an account even if they don’t want one.
They should anyway, with Best Buy rewards, but some people will only shop there because they were given a gift card. You only get Best Buy rewards when purchasing a Best Buy gift card and not when you redeem them so signing up for an account adds no value (HT Reader FD). This is simply a nuisance to a small group of people though.
Potential That This Is Temporary
This has happened in the past, like during Amazon Prime day. With the recent PlayStation 5 launch and Black Friday days away, I think Best Buy is trying to block resellers where they can. When this happened in the past they reversed course so it is possible this is temporary.
To be honest, I think resellers have been propping this brand up for years now. I have to think they will notice a big chunk of sales falling off. Hopefully a big dip in sales has them questioning this “solution”.
If you have been stocking up on Best Buy gift cards for merchandise or to resell then you should stop immediately. The market is soft or non existent right now and redeeming them may be tougher than ever. Hopefully this is a temporary freeze for Black Friday and holiday shopping but only time will tell. But it is best not to get in too deep until we know for sure.