November 17, 2011
An enterprising reader volunteers a working PPM
Wow, I was late writing today’s post when an enterprising reader helped me out by writing the post for me! First, if you are unfamiliar with the idea of a Perpetual Point Machine, checkout the posts here.
In the comment section of a separate post, reader Steelsnow described a working perpetual point machine (PPM). The following are Steelsnow’s words quoted exactly with the exception that I’ve expanded a few acronyms and abbreviations:
So here’s a slow but working Perpetual Point Machine…. All the Staples items in this have been well tested and documented on SlickDeals (posted bvph is terrific at the details), I am just adding the hypothetical points twist with Ultimate Rewards (UR) Mall and the gift cards.
Join Staples Rewards (Office Max & Office Depot have similar points programs and could be used for this at their points rates).
First, going through UR Mall, purchase Staples gift cards, earn 5 total points/$1.
Check Staples ads for items with 100% rewards – they are usually posted weekly on SlickDeals as well – these items (Sharpies, post-its, reams of paper, occasionally other better items too) earn 100% of their cost in rewards points.
Going through UR Mall, purchase 100% rewards items, making sure to enter your member #. Earn 4 more UR points from mall, and 100% of purchase cost will be earned in Staples rewards.
Staples rewards are paid out quarterly, the time lapses are the weak point of this PPM. So a purchase now would not result in a Staples rewards check until January, etc…
When rewards check is received, check Staples ads for software that is free after rebate(s). You have 90 days to use the rewards $’s, but it has been reported that there has not been a problem finding the software deals in the past. Big news as of yesterday was that rewards checks are currently allowed to buy gift cards while they are available.
Purchase Free After Rebate (FAR) software with Staples rewards $’s. Submit rebates and keep a copy of rebate documentation.
When the rebate check is received, your $’s will be back to the beginning. In the process (if the gift card portion works), you earn 9 UR points per $1, a whole bunch of free office supplies, and free computer software. Downside is that with rewards cycles and rebate turnarounds, this is likely a 6 month cycle. Otherwise it would be (and is) a working PPM model….
What do you think readers? Have you done anything like this? Will you? It’s a great idea, but personally I hate filling out rebate forms, so I think I’ll pass. That being said, the ability to purchase non-Staples gift cards online opens up a world of possibilities. I can’t wait to seeing what else Steelsnow and others come up with!