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Everything You Need To Know About Buying Groups

Disclosure: Easy Travel Points, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Easy Travel Points, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Buying groups are a great way to earn extra credit card points. While they do take some effort and you need to be organized, they can be very beneficial. I’m going to show you everything you need to know about them and how to use them successfully.

A large buying group warehouse filled with pallets and boxes

This post is sponsored by MaxOutDeals. All opinions are 100% my own.

I have been using buying groups for several years as part of my points earning strategy. They can especially come in handy when I’m trying to meet the minimum spend requirement for a new card. Recently I came across a new buying group, MaxOutDeals, and they have quickly become my favorite group to use.

Buying groups have some nuance to them, but this simple guide will teach you everything you need to know about buying groups and how to successfully use them.

What Are Buying Groups

Buying groups are companies that purchase various goods from people like you and me and pay them a predetermined rate for those items. These types of transactions require a fair amount of trust because you are basically purchasing these goods with the understanding that you will be paid once the item is delivered to the buying group’s warehouse.

One reason I like MaxOutDeals is that they are part of the WSEB family of companies. One of their other companies is Wireless World, which is a large electronics wholesaler and distributor. Knowing they are part of a large company gives me extra confidence that I’ll be paid for the items that I send them.

How Do Buying Groups Work

All of the buying groups I’ve worked with have a very similar process. As an example, I will outline the process specifically for MaxOutDeals.

Sign Up – First, you need to sign up for an account with the respective group. You can sign up for MaxOutDeals here. At the end of the signup process you’ll be given an ID number, which you’ll need later.

Deals – Once you have an account, you can purchase items the buying group is requesting. On the left side of the dashboard there’s a tab that says “Deals”. Here is a list of all the deals they are currently buying along with the price they’re paying for each item.

Please note that some buying groups will frequently offer prices that are BELOW COST, so you might actually lose money on the purchase. (They do this for various reasons that we won’t go into.) But one big reason that I love MaxOutDeals is that they only offer deals at the full retail price and sometimes they even pay you a small commission, too. Please ensure you read each deal carefully before making a purchase.

Commitment – If you see an item you’d like to buy, you will need to enter a “commitment”. Simply click on the “Commit” button and enter the number of items you purchased. You can update this number at any time. This allows the buying groups to limit and track how many items are purchased.

Sometimes they’ll cap the number of items they’ll buy, so if the deal is “full”, don’t purchase that item. In all cases, if you send them an item that you don’t have a commitment for, they can refuse to accept the item.

Delivery – Each buying group will have specific addresses you need to have the items sent to. They will always have at least one address in a state that is sales tax exempt. Almost all deals will not pay you for sales tax or shipping costs, so be careful where you ship the item to and what shipping method you use.

Tracking – Once the items ship, the retailer will send you a tracking number. You will need to enter this tracking number into the buying group’s portal so they know which shipment is yours. You will enter this on the “Order Management” tab within the dashboard.

In addition, you will need to add your buying group ID number to your shipping address when making your purchase. This is an additional way for them to know which items belong to you. For example, if my buying group ID is 1234, I will enter my name as John Doe 1234 when filling out the shipping address for my purchase.

Receiving – Once the item arrives at the buying group’s warehouse, they will “check in” the item. Once this is done, you will be emailed a receipt showing what they received and how much you were paid. The amount paid for that item will then be added to your account.

Timing – Once an item is delivered to the warehouse, it can take a few days for it to show in your dashboard as “received”. The timing will vary by group and the time of the year. Peak times like Black Friday can take longer. Another reason I like MaxOutDeals is that they are generally very quick to check things in. My first few orders were checked in the day it arrived. On average though, it typically takes 3-4 days.

Payment – Once you have a balance in your account, you can request an e-check for your balance. MaxOutDeals typically generates the check within 1-2 business days, which is much faster than other buying groups I’ve tried. (One more reason why MaxOutDeals is at the top of my list!) Once the check is generated, you can print the check from your account and then deposit it into your bank account.

inside of a large buying group warehouse filled with boxes

Stay Organized

If you want to give buying groups a try, my biggest piece of advice is to STAY ORGANIZED. It is critical to keep track of everything you buy and the details of each purchase. The last thing you want to do is send an item to a buying group, forget to track it and then not get paid for the item.

I keep all of this information in a spreadsheet. It’s an easy way to keep track of everything and make sure you get paid appropriately. And if something goes wrong, you’ll have everything at your fingertips to get it resolved.

Along the lines of staying organized, I would recommend starting slow. Pick a small, inexpensive item to start with. Then go through and learn the entire process. That way, if you make a mistake with a $19 Fire Stick, you won’t lose any sleep while you’re resolving the issue.

What If Something Goes Wrong

I know this all sounds nice and easy. But what if something goes wrong? To date, I have purchased hundreds of items and spent over $100k with buying groups. While infrequent, problems do arise and it can take some time and effort to get things resolved.

If something doesn’t go perfectly, don’t freak out. Keep in mind, all buying groups have a support ticket system where you’ll handle most of these issues.

Here are some of the main issues I’ve run into and how to solve them –

Paid The Wrong Amount – Prices for deals can change from one day to the next. Sometimes when an item is checked in, the wrong amount is paid out. When this happens, I create a ticket with information about the order and it has always been corrected.

Item Not Received – Each group is usually very good about keeping you informed as to their progress of checking in items. But what happens if they say they’ve checked in everything received by a certain day and yours was delivered in that time frame?

I’ve had this happen a couple of times. In all cases, I’ve opened a ticket and sent them the order details, including the item’s serial number if applicable. They will investigate the items and in all cases but one, they have found it and then credited my account.

The one time it wasn’t found, I was able to contact the retailer and they issued me a refund. YMMV with the retailer if this happens to you, but this was my experience.

Damaged Item – Only once has an item I ordered been delivered damaged. When this happened, the buying group contacted me and I processed a return with the retailer. I then emailed them the return shipping label and documents and they sent the item back on my behalf.

Other Buying Groups

I’ve tried out most of the buying groups that are out there and they all follow a very similar process to the one I’ve outlined above. Each buying group has their own pros and cons. Based on my experience, I would recommend the following groups.

Once you get the hang of one buying group and want access to more deals, I would definitely give these others a look.

Maximizing Your Buying Group Spend

In addition to the credit card spend and small commissions, there are other ways to maximize your benefit from buying group purchases. My favorite way is to use shopping portals and cash back portals when making any purchases.

New Card Bonus – Buying groups are a great way to hit the minimum spend requirement on a new card. While I wouldn’t depend on them to meet the requirement, they can definitely make it easier.

TopCashBack TopCashBack is a fantastic portal to use when buying Amazon devices. These are items buying groups need frequently. When you go thru TopCashBack, they give you 8% cash back on all Amazon devices purchases.

Rakuten – I also like using the Rakuten shopping portal when making purchases from stores other than Amazon. I prefer Rakuten because you can earn AMEX Membership Rewards points instead of cash back.

Final Thoughts

I think buying groups can be a great way to earn extra credit card points. If you are willing to put in the effort and stay organized, they can be a great piece of your points earning strategy. If you decide to give them a shot, I would definitely recommend starting with MaxOutDeals.

As with everything, if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

Disclosure: Easy Travel Points, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Easy Travel Points, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Hey Rob! Any tips or advice on avoiding orders getting canceled from bestbuy or other retailers? I seem to only be able to get Amazon orders to go through


    1. Yea, that’s a tough one. I haven’t been able to get a Best Buy order to go through in a long time. Some retailers flag the addresses as resellers and cancel all of the orders. I have seen that some are able to modify the shipping address a little to get them to go through but I haven’t been able to with BB. Walmart is another notoriously tough one to get anything to go through.

      1. How is Costco as far as cancelling orders shipped to maxOutDeals? Are they like Amazon where they generally go through, or are they like BestBuy where they usually cancel?

        1. I’ve found that Costco will generally cancel orders to most buying groups. I’ve been able to get a couple through, so it’s not as bad as Best Buy but it’s not as easy as Amazon.

  2. I committed to an item but it didn’t show up in my Order Management. How long do you wait after you commit before you order it?

    1. You can order the item right away! Once you commit to an item, that commitment will only show up on the “commitments” tab. But once you have submitted your commitment, you can go ahead and purchase the quantity you committed to. When the item ships, you will then enter that tracking number into the “order management” tab. That tells the buying group who the package belongs to once they receive it so they can credit your account with the amount owed to you. Hope that helps!

      1. The problem is that it never showed up in the “order management” tab either. So where do you enter the tracking number?

        1. You enter the tracking number on the Order Management tab. On the right of the screen there’s a box that says “bulk import wizard”. Just copy and past the tracking number into the box and hit submit. If you don’t see that, I would suggest creating a support ticket with them.

    1. This is not tax advice but this shouldn’t generally count as income in my opinion when they reimburse you for the cost of the item that you purchased. But, if you earn a commission on the item, then that dollar or two would be considered income.

  3. Do you use your personal Amazon account for buying group purchases? I’ve heard that it’s better to create a new Amazon account for this so that your personal account doesn’t get flagged. Also, if you create a new Amazon account, do you need to make regular (personal) purchases first, and then gradually start buying small items for the buying groups? I want to get started with buying groups, but I want to make sure I do it correctly. Thanks for any advice!

    1. I’ve used my personal Amazon account and have also opened a new one that I just use for buying group purchases. If you open a new account, I would definitely recommend starting slow and then build up volume. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for the great advice and providing a list of recommended groups to engage with. I used to buy a bunch of items almost exclusively for EMB Deals but found that they have gone downhill significantly in the last 9 months. Red flags to watch out: the group don’t have a support ticket system and the group take zero responsibility for items that were shown as delivered by Amazon/retailer. I “lost” several packages with EMB in 2023 as Amazon show the items were delivered while EMB claimed they never got them. Stay away from a group that take no effort to resolve missing shipments, take days to respond to a ticket, and the support ticket system is a whatsapp contact to one of their employees.

    1. Yea, that really stinks! I’ve never used EMB before but that sounds like a nightmare. Reputation is everything with these groups and that type of customer service isn’t going to keep them in business for long.

  5. Hi Rob!

    You mentioned one occasion when your item was not delivered. I just had that happen for the first time with an Amazon order not delivered to BFMR though the two packages both said they arrived on the same day, BFMR has confirmed otherwise. Amazon won’t refund because they are saying BFMR is a freight forwarder. Have you heard anything like this? Would you recommend disputing through the credit card company?

    1. I’ve actually started hearing about this a couple months ago and it almost always involved BFMR. From what I can tell, Amazon has flagged BFMR’s address as a “freight forwarder” and if something gets lost, their terms say they aren’t responsible for giving you a refund. Typically the buying group will still reimburse you if an item is lost and you demonstrate that you’ve tried reaching out to the retailer. I personally had this issue with the Buying Group and they still paid me but haven’t had this issue with BFMR.

  6. I am new to all of this. I noticed there are two addresses listed where it tells me where to ship. Do i just pick one?

    1. Yes, you can pick from the different addresses listed but something they have an address listed in a state that charges sales tax. Don’t ship to those or you’ll be charges sales tax on the item which will come out of your pocket. Look for address in NH, OR, and DE.

  7. Hi, two questions:

    Can you explain the breakdown on maxout deals of price, commission, and total? What does that mean?

    What do you mean when you write “In addition, you will need to add your buying group ID number to your shipping address when making your purchase. This is an additional way for them to know which items belong to you.” Do I add my buying group ID next to my name on amazon.com when purchasing the item, or on the maxoutdeals website?


    1. The “price” is what they’ll pay for the item you’re buying on their behalf. This can be “full retail” but they also offer below cost deals. Meaning, If the item costs $100, sometimes they’ll only reimburse you $98. Other times, they’ll pay you more than the cost of the item. So if it costs $100, they’ll pay you $102 but the $2 will be listed as a “commission”.

      When you sign up with a buying group, they’ll assign you an ID number. This is another way for them to identify which package belongs to which person. So when I ship an item to a buying group, I’ll put the “ship to” as John Doe 12345, so when they receive it, they’ll match the ID number to my account and credit my account for the shipment.

  8. Hi, any tips to not get your bank account shut down for too many purchases or money movement ? Any recommandation of banks that won’t mind ?

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