Guardian article, "Can you reallly make a living selling books for a penny?" It begins,
"Sometime in early 2013, in Dallas, Texas, a generous reader donated his impeccable first-edition copy of Philip Roth’s Our Gang to the local Goodwill store, its royal blue dust jacket gleaming as brilliantly as it did in 1971. There it sat on a shelf, priced at $1, until a semi-trailer from Books Squared whisked it away among 3,000 other leftovers.
At the Books Squared warehouse in south-west Dallas, Our Gang was checked and processed by receivers and a scrupulous quality-control team, who deemed the book “like new” before scanning it into their computer system to be sold online. Dynamic pricing software cross-referenced every active listing of a used, like-new, hardcover copy of Our Gang across online marketplaces like Amazon and Abebooks, then matched the lowest price.
Last March, four months after it was listed, I bought the book for a penny, and Books Squared shipped it to my apartment in Toronto. This handsome volume is sitting proudly on my desk right now."
I recently got laid off and I have been so depressed to look for any jobs. I do not have any slight bit of desire to look for a job. So I have to do this full time in order to raise a family of 5 and pay the mortgage. I already feel the pressure.
How many of you are doing this full time?
A Schadenfreude moment for those of us who always loathed PayPal:
From Bloomberg, May 19, 2015:
by Carter Dougherty
PayPal Inc., a unit of EBay Inc., will forfeit $25 million in restitution and fines to settle Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims that it illegally enrolled customers in an online credit product.
“PayPal illegally signed up consumers for its online credit product without their permission and failed to address disputes when they complained,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement Tuesday. “Online shopping has become a way of life for many Americans and it’s important that they are treated fairly.”
PayPal, which announced plans to split from EBay last year after activist investor Carl Icahn said the parent firm was slowing its growth, often signed up customers for its credit product without their consent, CFPB said. The company also failed to post payments properly, lost payment checks and didn’t resolve billing disputes.
In particular, CFPB said, PayPal used deferred-interest promotions, which push off payments to a later date, to rope in customers. The company then made it difficult to avoid the deferred fees, which customers can typically do by paying off a loan before a specified date, the agency said.
Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for PayPal, said the company “takes consumer protection very seriously.”
“We continually improve our products and enhance our communications to ensure a superior customer experience,” Miller said in an e-mail. “Our focus is on ease of use, clarity and providing high-quality products that are useful to consumers and are in compliance with applicable laws.”
PayPal agreed to refund $15 million to consumers who were unjustly charged and pay $10 million in penalties.
"Hamilton" is coming to Broadway: