A Shameless Exploiter of the Underclass Dwindles

From Slope of Hope: Way back in 2014, I suggested shorting Rent-a-Center, partly because the chart was a disaster, and partly because the company was evil. In spite of a completely fake, propped-up-by-trillions bull market, RCII has lost the vast majority of its market cap since that post.

I didn't really know what kinds of stuff RCII was pulling, so just out of the blue, I clicked the very first thing I saw to witness what kind of deal these guys were offering. So let's say you wanted a laptop. Here's what they offer:

payments

All right, so you've got a piece-of-shit little laptop, ostensibly retailing at $785, which they'll "rent to own" at $25 per WEEK, and in seventy-one short weeks, you'll own it. Of course, by that time, it'll be absolutely worthless, but you'll still own this totally outdated door stop. That comes to an annual interest rate of about 90%.

But it gets worse. without even trying, I looked to see the price of this product (ignoring the "retail price" RCII claims) and - - - again, without even making an effort - - here's what I found:

cheap

So if you're such a sorry son of a bitch that $320 is out of the question, you can instead send the scumbags at RCII $25 a week for 71 weeks, spending $1765 on something which costs about one-SIXTH that price. So something like 450% interest.

It's heartening to see these shameless exploiters crumble:

slopechart_RCII

Comments

MadHatt Fri, 03/23/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

An I3 is worth like 200bucks. Goto a pawnshop. They need to get rid of them cause they are already old, and not getting any faster.

Picked up an I7 desktop with a 1070 GPU for less than that laptop

mr bear Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:00 Permalink

Relax, guys.  What normally happens is that the laptop is repossessed after the first missed payment (typically about a month after the contract is signed), and RAC puts it back on the shelf and re-rents it.  In the meantime, they’ve made $75 and spent nothing.

Basically, RAC makes out by having its inventory in people’s dens instead of having to maintain expensive warehouses. Furniture retailer called Heilig-Meyers yoosta have the same business model:  Rent it, repossess it, rent it again.  Friend of mine was an accountant for them, and he had to learn a whole ‘nother level of math.

83_vf_1100_c Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

  I had a friend who was living in a 2 br apt with his Dad with no furniture, poor as fuck basically. He used FOIA to get contact info for soldiers at most of the large bases in the US and started mailing out little 3x5 postcards advertising cheap financing on desktop PCs. This was early 90s when puters were not yet ubiquitous. Same biz model as Rent a Center. Over priced up front cost and a ridiculous interest rate. All done with military allotments so the default rate was near zero. He made millions before state attorney generals started suing him. He setlled out of court by paying some money to TPTB and kept his ill gotten gains. I asked him why these folks don't save for 4 months and go pay cash for a puter, he replied "they want it right the fuck now". Greed. He used it against them.

Downtoolong Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

$319.99 is the true retail price. But, if these scumbags are doing any volume, they’re probably picking them up wholesale for around $200/ea. That makes the effective interest rate about 750%.

So, either their potential customers turned out to be smarter than they thought or,

Someone is doing a lot of skimming off the books (i.e., their investors were even bigger fools than their prospective customers).

 

Conax Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:47 Permalink

They are scum. They prey on newly marrieds and other idiots.

Much like other greasy businesses such as payday loan joints, pawn shops and banks.

I suspect they are all tribally owned and operated.

 

Irish Yoga Fri, 03/23/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

I'll take two if they come with Hillary's server, the Podesta emails, and Anthony Weiner's laptop files. Bonus points if Huma the lesbian adds a personal video.

Alexander De Large Fri, 03/23/2018 - 16:59 Permalink

Rent A Center is for niggers, bro.  They are doing God's work.

I have had niggers smugly tell me they would prefer to get their furniture through RAC rather than save up for a month or so.  Adults with children told me this.

Irish Yoga Fri, 03/23/2018 - 17:14 Permalink

We are using 8 year old laptops right now. I really didn't expect them to last this long. Other than email and some online bill payments, a laptop computer is a waste of money unless you like watching cat videos on a bigger screen. I've been doing this shit since 1986 and long before Al Gore invented the internet in his delusional dream world.

I bought a fully loaded used WIN7 desktop box for a mere $70 from out local computer shop and it came with a one year warranty. I found out that many WIN XP computers are still in demand for CNC machinists even after 20 years. It's cheaper for the machine shop to get a cheap XP computer that runs their programs than to upgrade their machines to newer tech. The cost saving is literally $10's of thousands of $$$.

Computers are like other tools. Don't replace them if they ain't broken, but always have a backup. And fuck Mark Zuckercock. That ass clown has never, nor will he ever, get my info unless he pays me. And then I'll just create a fake account and stuff it full of dog asshole pics. But I digress...

quietdude Fri, 03/23/2018 - 18:10 Permalink

Rentacenter is evil ???????  Are they really evil or are they preying on people who are too stupid to live? Take my ex tenants. They moved in, rented a washer and dryer that looked like the space shuttle along with a TV for every room. in 9 months, we filed for eviction 6 times. In the first 5 cases, the tenant paid the back rent, late fees, and substantial court costs. The last time they trashed the place and left with their small children, THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I was working on the rental repairing the damage and a little boy ran up to me and said "Hey mister, I used to live there"  the only thing I could think to say was " Sorry for your situation buddy" What I really meant was " Too bad your parents valued a rental TV and washer over shelter" but, I could not say that to this little boy.

P T Barnum was right.

 

 

Rhal Fri, 03/23/2018 - 18:12 Permalink

They expect a large percentage, like maybe 70% to default and move with no forward address.

Thus they reward the deadbeats and punish the honest.

Nothing new here, move along...