Tag: credit cards

“The PERFECT eBay/Paypal SCAM”

Before linking to this tale of woe from an eBay seller, I’d like to point out that I pilfered a quote from their story for the title. However, my favorite from the drama is actually…

This business model puts underpants-stealing gnomes to shame.

It certainly does, so feel free to read on, because the laughs just ended.

Meanwhile, it is the opinion of your’s truly that eBay rules are so extraordinarily biased towards buyers that you have to be slightly nuts to conduct business via the platform. There is no ability to issue negative feedback to bad customers, and eBay actually encourages sellers to provide positive feedback immediately upon receipt of payment. Ridiculously stupid advice, me thinks. The transaction cancellation system allows even the nastiest of buyers to simply reject the request – eBay’s transaction fees are secured (for eBay, of course) even if the seller refuses to send a pallot of MacBook Pros to an exiled Ethiopian prince seeking political asylum in Siberia. Add in that deadbeat buyers can still hit a seller’s feedback rating rating to the negative even if they haven’t paid, and you’ve got a marketplace that is ripe for pushing honest individuals and small businesses into the insolvency bracket. Or at least inducing a self-imposed benching.

The linked story goes even a step further, with an obvious scammer putting their credit card company in between them and Paypal. Sadly, only the seller loses, but only because eBay and Paypal have stacked the deck against them.

MG signing off (because I too have a screw loose, but I don’t mind using it for self defense)

Around the world in nine links flat – 03/05/09

World MapTechnology

  • Surprise – cyber-crooks are targeting Facebook. This is like shooting fish in a barrel, but Facebook participants won’t understand that until it’s too late. They are busy throwing up pages in a vain attempt to garner attention, and have to figure out that the barrel is already too big first.
  • Speaking of social networks, you only have five core friends anyway. The rest are, I guess, ‘fake friends’.
  • But if you still think you have more friends than that, Yahoo! is on their way to helping you stay caught up with them. It’s a collaboration with JS-Kit for access everywhere.


  • Everyone who disagrees with the present administration’s economic policies is now evil, at least in the eyes of Paul Krugman. Greg Mankiw is willing to bet hard money that the GDP forecasts being floated to justify the massive spending are, for the most part, bunk. Will Vegas take side bets?
  • The Fed is not only bailing out ‘unfortunate’ homeowners – now that third mortgages for widescreen TVs are passe, they are going to start funding credit card balances instead.
  • And just in case anyone is still wondering where the financial world is headed, let’s ask the world’s presently most popular prognosticator, Nouriel Roubini: Mr. Roubini, what say ye? The U.S. financial system is effectively insolvent. Ok, got it.

Fly Fishing

  • Science folks speculate that hunting trophies leads to smaller fish. There’s a lot of killing mentioned, which leads me to believe the studies may be funded by PETA. Meanwhile, down in the Keys, it’s long been known that the biggest bonefish reside in Islamorada specifically because so many trophy fish are released there during tournaments.
  • Speaking of Florida, high-income earners aren’t the only one’s who may be seeing tax hikes. Guides have long had an exemption from sales tax, but the state legislature is discussing a change to that. Ron Brooks notes (correctly) that not only will guide/charter fishing rates go up, but the bookkeeping will add additional burden to an already very hard working group of folks.
  • And finally…

  • The Roughfisher is ready for spring – it’s just that spring isn’t ready for him. Spring has been in and out of Colorado for weeks – we’d weep for the rough dude, but we’re too busy fishing. I’m not being spiteful, really I’m not.


The fine print wasn’t worth reading on this credit card offer

This is an advertisement for a new gas rebate card from ConocoPhillips:

At $4.00 a gallon, you’d get a 40 cent rebate on each gallon. So far, so good. Unfortunately, your rebates are capped at $35, so there’s no rebate for you after you’ve pumped roughly 88 gallons into your tank. For the average SUV driving American, that means you’ll fill up your tank three, maybe four, times before your rebate disappeared. And if you decide to ride your bike to work four days a week to conserve gas, you’re out of luck – the rebate period only lasts 90 days.

But yeehaw – you’ll have a new credit card you can jack to the limit before you file bankruptcy!

NOTE: This offer is made especially for you by the fine folks at Citibank, who I hear are getting some sort of bailout.

Is this what you could call a childhood financial responsibility dichotomy?

The Wall Street Journal notes that teenagers are missing out by not getting summer jobs. There is some chatter within about globalization, competition, and class structure that affects what teens get the opportunity to do, but I believe the overall premise is correct. A summer job is part socialization…it’s real-world experience. It’s also part financial responsibility – learning how to work and save before spending. There is something of a loss for the latter in the “real world” these days, and that something is pretty hard to deny.

Case in point: Laura Rowley thinks the path to fiscal education starts with getting your kids a credit card.

This concludes our irregularly scheduled broadcast.

Getting your card swiped but keeping your wallet

Over dinner Friday, a friend noted how she would never carry a “swipe-able” credit card in her purse (I didn’t start that conversation, thanks). “Anyone with a handheld scanner could run around the mall, waving it around near purses and “mens’ backsides” and grab a ton of credit card information, then go shopping themselves.”

It seems researchers have the same idea.

Hell, who needs researchers anyway. This gal just, last week, discovered eBay.

Almost makes you want to hide

Door-to-door salesmen are one thing – door-to-door bankers are quite another. I bet it doesn’t end there.