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:
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 Of course, by that time, it'll be absolutely worthless, but you'll still own this totally outdated door stop.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:
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: