Tag Archives: giftcards

Selling Gold and and an iPhone Heads Up

For years, jewelry stores have been envious of the “cash in your gold” places. The places that buy your gold will pay you 10 to 15% of the total gold value, according to Consumer Report. That’s a massive profit and jewelry stores weren’t in on it. That’s now changed, and Ben Moss was one of the first. They’ll also buy your unloved and unwanted gold. But they also run a jewelry store, which is some of the highest markup in retail. If you sell your gold at Ben Moss, they’ll give you 10% extra if you get it on a giftcard and not in cash. That way you’ve locked yourself into buying from them. And if you’re prepared to buy from them the day you sell your gold, they’ll give you 20% extra. But that doesn’t make it a better deal! You’re getting around 10% of the value and now buying something with massive markups and no chance to shop around because you have to buy today – and from them!

When was the last time you received a 40% raise? I didn’t think so: Yet, the CEO of the Royal Bank just got that after one year on the job. If you ever wonder what happens to the twice annual increases in your service charges, they go to pay the guy $11 million a year!

If you have an iPhone, an Apple error 53 is something you should remember. Stuff happens with your phone: The most common repair for people…mostly younger people…is to replace a cracked screen. Any repairs on an iPhone that are not done by Apple, at Apple prices, will trigger this error 53 and disable your phone. Sick, wrong, but true: Apple is forcing you to pay their full sticker price for repairs and will hold you hostage if you don’t. That ought to be illegal since you paid for the phone, aren’t asking Apple for warranty, and should be able to choose where to repair it. In most cases, that’ll be at half to a third of the Apple price. But it’s legal and now you’ve been warned. Don’t hold your breath for the government to make that illegal. They should, but they won’t.

More Retailers Go Bankrupt and You Still Want To Own Gift Cards?

Last Saturday, without notice, Future Shop ceased to exist. Best Buy, the parent company, closed 66 or so stores immediately, and about the same number will be closed for a week, then reopen as Best Buy. Two days earlier, the parent company of Ricki’s, Cleo and Bootlegger filed for bankruptcy. The week before, XS Cargo went under, and Mexx, as well as Jacob’s closed operations in Canada, in addition to the bankruptcy of Target Canada.

These companies going under isn’t something they are going to advertise in advance. So, once again, I’ll ask: Why on earth do you want to own or give any gift cards? You’ve given them your cash which never goes bad, in the hope that store will still be around when you or the recipient of that gift wants to use it? How many more scares do you need to realize gift cards are not your friend. You’re turning cash that can be used anywhere and anytime into an IOU for one specific store, and it’ll be wiped out when those businesses go under.

If you have Target gift cards, you may want to try using them online with Target US. With XS Cargo, Jacob’s, Mexx, Ricki’s, Cleo and Bootlegger you’re out of luck. Since Best Buy didn’t go under yet, the Future Shop gift cards can be used in their stores, so you dodged a big bullet for now. Make this a big heads up to gift cash that doesn’t expire, has no fees or restrictions and doesn’t go bad. Don’t stick someone you’re gifting with something that may be worthless when they want to use it! If you absolutely have to gift a piece of plastic, make it a prepaid Visa or Mastercard. It’ll have an upfront fee of $2 or $3 but that’s buying peace of mind it’ll be good next week or next year!

One more quick thing:

Good bye Suze Orman. She won’t have her CNBC television show anymore. I’m not a fan, but that’s a personal opinion. I lost a lot of respect for her being spokesperson for one of the fastest depreciating vehicle lines in North America. Plus, telling callers to diversify their investments, buy mutual funds, etc. when personally she only has Municipal Bonds as investments. There’s a great Slate Magazine expose on Orman from a few years ago.