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Topic: Selling Credits to Make A Profit?

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Subject: Selling Credits to Make A Profit?
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2009
Posts: 834
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Last week I posted a thread on selling credits.  I had about 95 and sold them to buy more PBS money for shipping cost.  I sold them at a very reasonable cost.  A fellow member requested a "better deal" since he/she was buying quite a few credits.  I offered this member a great deal in good faith.  Later that day this member was selling same credits for a profit!

I know I chose to sell credits and whatever a person chooses to do with them is their business; but to blatantly sell them the same day at a higher cost?  I don't know, it just doesn't seem right to me?

What do you think?

Allison :)



Last Edited on: 9/2/09 12:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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No good deed goes unpunished, does it Allison?  I'm sorry you're having a negative experience.

While the PBS Team likely won't intervene, you should probably let them know what is going on, in case this is an ongoing problem or they want to look into it.

Kind regards,

Elizabeth

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,137
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I don't really get what the buyer (then turned seller) did wrong. I also don't think Allison was "punished." I mean, she made money from her credits. Basically, at whatever price Allison sold them at, she was comfortable. Otherwise, she wouldn't have sold them. It was her choice to (a) list them at ABC price and then (b) lower that price to XYZ because someone asked. At that point, transaction over. Who cares what this buyer did with the credits? How can that be "reportable" or against PBS rules? It reminds me a little of flipping, which I know is a practice looked upon with a frown. I know credit prices are tanking (see my other post) but I just honestly don't see that this person did ANYTHING wrong. If they stole the credits (like what happened to another member here, who sent the credits before - never - receiving payment) and then listed them for sale, yes. But this was a "business" transaction. Allison, are you a bit sour-grapey that they got more money than you did? If so, list some more of those credits you have (if you still have some) for the same price (or maybe undercut them by a penny, ha ha) and you'll get the same people buying from YOU!

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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They may not have broken any PBS rules, but it was still a lowly thing to pull. I would do as Catt suggested and just let TPTB know about it just in case the person in only here flipping credits for a profit and not actually trading books; a person should not be on the site to just buy and resell credits.

Sorry you got taken. Karma will take care of them.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I keep wondering why with the cost of postage going up people are selling credits so cheaply. I used to sell credits and will probably again. But I get discouraged when I see people offering them at $2.50 and $2.60.  Not that I want to make a huge profit but still.  I used to sell them for $3.00 when the cost to mail a books was only $2.14.  Now it's $2.38 and the credit prices have dropped. I pretty much sell them to cover postage costs but I still have the cost of the book I sent and the packing material  as well.  I've stopped trying to find cheap WL books to post because of the plumit in credit prices.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Catt wasn't saying Allison was getting punished, it's an old saying that in this world of dirty deeds and people just being unjustly wrong, etc. The saying is "No good deed goes unpunished" and it's just that a saying, and it's something that is thought of when someone like Allison does something nice, and the other person basically slaps her in the face by making a profit off of Allison's kindness and generosity. It may not be against any PBS rules, but it certainly isn't a nice thing to do and if I knew who it was an wanted to buy credits, I'd be hanged before I'd buy from that person!

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I am in Cat, Melanie and Sherry's camp.  I don't think it sour grapes because she was selling at one price and was approached if she could go lower- I would think this way also - maybe they were going through a hard time and couldn't afford the going price... you sell them at the lower price thinking you are HELPING someone and then see them turn around for a profit - sorry that was a slap in the face to Allison for being generous.  It may not be against PBS rules but it is wrong.  Sorry Allison.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 4,650
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Perhaps what this person did is not against PBS rules as such, but it definitely was a dirty-dog low manuever.   I do not blame Allison at all for being upset that a fellow PBSer would take advantage of her like that.

Karma will take care of them.

Oh, we can certainly hope so!

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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If someone asked me to give them a bargain price and it appeared they were using the credits for books, I'd say sure.  If someone asked me to sell my credits cheap so they could "flip" them for a profit, guess what I'd say:P  I think it was sneaky, to say the least.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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A fellow member requested a "better deal" since he/she was buying quite a few credits.  I offered this member a great deal in good faith.  Later that day this member was selling same credits for a profit

 

Did the buyer give a sob story to go with that request for a "better deal"? If so, then you've been had.

Otherwise it looks like you did business with someone with well developed haggling skills and business skills in general.

Moral of the story: Fine tune your own business skills and always assume that they're going to turn around and sell them for a profit. In other words, don't trust nobody.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Unfortunately that's true:P  You almost have to assume that everyone you don't *know* is out to further their own interests.  We live in a "me first" society and this wouldn't be the first time that someone has tried to work profits out of this site.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I guess I am unsophisticated. 

It never occurred to me to try to make money from PBS.  (No, I am not flaming you for selling your credits.  If you have them, do what you want with them.  Sell if you wish!)

When I joined, it never occurred to me that people would use this site to make money.  In fact, it never really occurred to me that a "credit" was a monetary value of sorts.  I just wanted to get rid of a pile of books that were driving me nuts.

 

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I think I would probably be very inclined to make the truth known in the topic where the person is selling these credits, letting other people know that I'd made them a good deal out of the goodness of my heart and now they are selling them for a profit. I don't know if PBS would consider that discourteous behavior or not, but I'd post it and only remove it if PBS told me it was a wrong thing to do.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,137
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Yeah, even though I'm the one that posted above that I don't think the person technically did anything wrong (and I don't believe Allison was, at all, punished), I'd like to see this person "flagged" in terms of knowing who it is. I do sometimes sell credits and would make sure not to sell to them (though with the way credit prices are tanking, I probably will just use them for books). I think that I'd be in this person's corner if they had simply paid for the credits at the price Allison was asking. Even if they then turned around and flipped them. Why? Because it's supply and demand and the way things work. It just does seem a little skeevy that they asked for a discount and then resold at a higher price. Then again, Allison agreed to it. Sob story or not. I had someone once try to get me to drop my price, and I just said, "Sorry, no" and she bought elsewhere.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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just does seem a little skeevy that they asked for a discount and then resold at a higher price.

That's just doing business.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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just does seem a little skeevy that they asked for a discount and then resold at a higher price.

That's just doing business.

 

But that's not the business that PBS is established for.  Its more like telling Grandma that you'd really love to have her pearls...but neglect to tell her that you really just want them so you can sell them. 

Its people like this that get more and more rules added in to PBS. TPTB are nice enough to let us sell excess credits to members who need them. Someone being greedy amd trying to flip a profit out of a system set up to swap books is going to get more chains put on that process or get that ability taken completely away. The ability to buddy credits seems be the biggest hole that allows abuse of the system, maybe they should lock that system up a little tighter, or better yet, charge a fee to have a membership with that ability. Yes, I do believe buying credits to resell is an abuse of the system, it is for swapping books not dealing credits.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm thinking it may be a violation of forum rules.  We are unable to link to or promote outside commercial sites/interests, right?  And if one turns a profit selling credits, that income should be declared on the person's income tax form.  Therefore that person is conducting a for profit business on the boards.

I mean, the same could be said for any and all selling of credits, but I think there should be limits  I'm also worried that if enough people abuse the system, the whole class will be punished for the transgressions of a few bad apples, and TPTB will outlaw the selling of credits at all.  And it's also super tacky, to boot.

Melanie - I like your "grandma's pearls" analogy.  I think that sums up very well why this didn't sit well with me.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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But that's not the business that PBS is established for

True. But until the powers that be take action and fine-tune their credit selling/buying rules then capitalism will happen and therefore it's up to us to remain on our toes and not be gullible. Dont trust nobody and don't be so flattered when someone admires yer pearls.

And it's also super tacky, to boot

This sums it up best. It is indeed distastefully opportunistic. I personally wouldn't do that to any member here on PBS or elsewhere. Iz gotz scruples.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Allison,

I know it's a no-no to name names on these boards, but maybe you can make a "public service annoucement" on the Book Bazaar. You know, post some friendly how-to tips and advice on selling or buying credits. That might slow this member down w/out pointing fingers or naming names.

 



Last Edited on: 9/2/09 4:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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That's not a bad idea.  It could possibly start a stink, but I'm all for anything (within reason:P) that we could do to "self-police".  As Melanie said, it's people like this that get more and more rules added in to PBS, and we shouldn't end up losing something useful because of a few opportunists who are always looking to exploit the system in some way.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2009
Posts: 834
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Wow, thanks for all your insight!   I certainly understand that people can do with the credits what they want; but I agree when people said PBS is for the swapping of books.   I sold the credits to buy more shipping money.  I'm a teacher and don't get paid for another three weeks, Yikes. :) 

I think what gets me the most is this person bought the credits from me on "SwapADVD" and then sold them on PBS at a profit.  I then saw a post from same person, "Looking to buy credits" and then sold them again.  I feel  like this person is only "flipping" and not using the sight as intended. 

I'm not sure how I feel about posting something on the Bazaar, because as a couple of people said, this person is entitled to do this if he/she chooses.  I guess I've just been overwhelmed with how AMAZING everyone is on this site and I was surprised and a little disappointed that someone was less than that.

No sour grapes, but definitely a lesson learned!

Thanks again for all your comments!

Allison :)

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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At the very least it was tacky.  I've never sold credits but I have quite a few accumulated and I was thinking just the other day that I might want to sell some of them to cover postage and I know I'd feel scammed if somebody did that to me.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,789
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OKAY--- i've just  got to know.  how much of a profit are we talking?  instead of 2.50, they are selling for 2.60?  lol! thats a whole dollar for 10 credits.  Or 10.00 for 100 credits.  Wow!  unbelieveable!!  what a way to find to try to make money! 

super duper tacky IMO

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2009
Posts: 9
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Respectfully, I don't think it was wrong or unethical to do what they did.

They didn't do anything to you except fufill a mutually ageed apon deal.

This is the nature of barter and trade. If a person finds a way to profit from this site, wether it be thru book swapping, using the money saving forum subsection, or swapping credits, who's to complain as long as each deal is done respectfully, agreeably, and mutually benefits both parties and the owners of this site don't care enough to say otherwise?

Perhaps the solution is for you to raise the price of your credits, since the market will obviously bear it out.

Just my .02.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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If its who I think it was, he was asking for DVD credits at 3.40 (a steep discount from the 4.95 Kiosk price over there) and selling PBS credits here for $2.60. That calculates to .23 profit per PBS credit.  Get a day job is my answer to that kind of profit, but it bugs me more that they are dumping all those cheap credits into PBS system for such a tiny amount.  It appears that DVD credits sell between 3.50 and 3.75 normally. That's a much bigger "discount" than PBS Bazaar used to carry.

One of the guys selling cheap is legitimately earning the credits on the DVD site and I'm guessing the other ones just got the idea that they could turn a quick profit.  It did appear, at first, that PBS members were leary of the too-good rates from brand new members, but it must have became too tempting for some to be able to get the credits so cheap.

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