Weekly Wrap: Buyers Beware


Updated on Mon Jul 21, 2014

Ahh, the holiday season. What a glorious time of year it is when Americans put aside their usual, everyday obsession with consumption and replace it with ritualized practices of consumption.

Just as Thanksgiving’s gluttony ended, the nation descended into the convulsive frenzy of Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. Everyone, it seemed, just had to buy something right away.

Fortunately, no one was trampled to death in this year’s festivities. (Although one alleged shoplifter was killed at Wal-Mart.)

Some folks, however, were almost certainly ripped off when they bought gift cards. Those things are magnets for crime. And many folks were probably afraid they were getting ripped off when they ran their credit cards through the dongles of perfect strangers. But they were likely worried for nothing.

All that holiday shopping left us wondering what sort of rewards we’d earned on our credit cards by buying crap for everyone we know. If only we’d read this article on how to get more from a rewards program before we maxed out the cards. Fortunately, we did read this first-person account of taking out a peer-to-peer loan. Now that our credit cards are useless, we may try P2P.

And if anyone is crazy enough to lend us money, we’re going to put it on a prepaid debit card and start spending in some of the new wacky ways we learned about this week.

We’re going to read magazines, wave our phones in front of them, and buy stuff.

Then we’re going to turn on the TV, wave the phone at it, and buy more stuff.

And if our credit rating goes kaput from all that spending, and we can’t open a new banking account, we won’t be afraid. We know what our options are.

Maybe we’ll skip the whole banking thing and join a credit union instead. Or we’ll borrow money on another P2P system and put it into the stock market and open a brokerage checking account. Turns out some of those are pretty good deals.

Or we’ll just hope that someone who read this article on holiday tipping will decide that reading this article was worth a buck or two.














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