Monday, October 24, 2005

Lazy Boy Credit

People that know me know that I worry out economics and the associated evils of easy credit and consumer debt. I don't worry about it for me 'cause I like to think that I can balance my income and expenditure - this doesn't stop me wanting gadgets and occasionally pushing the boundaries or indeed using interest free credit whenever and wherever I can. In fact, you'd be real dumb not to, so long as you have the cash right now to pay for the goods. I actually worry about people who are misled and almost "tricked" into easy credit because they are the ones who can least afford it and have the most to lose.

If you buy something today that you cannot afford, and you rely on the interest free period to save up for the item, then you cannot really afford it and the chances are you will end up paying interest. You are a finance companies' best friend and you are in the trap. The logic is good but there is no free lunch. If you are happy with this arrangement, then go for it but do the math and check the amount you are gonna pay at the end. If you don't like the numbers, save up your pennies and do what our parents did...wait until you have the dosh.

If you can't afford it now, you can't afford it. Your lucky numbers will not come up. The promotion isn't just around the corner. That wealthy elderly relative who is 97 isn't popping her clogs anytime soon, believe me she is going into the Guinness Book of Records in 20 years time and only then because she fell off a ladder cleaning her windows.

Long term readers of this blog know my story and how much I hate scams and crooks. It is real easy to get done and there are many ways. You think you are smart and it won't happen to you but in reality, sometimes you close your eyes to the truth as you so want to believe in the fairytale ending. If you go into debt for that little thing you just gotta have, don't believe the salesman, he isn't your friend. An example from yesterday:

Me to Mrs R "I really want a Lazy Boy, I just gotta have one, Leather, Mocha Colour, Rocks backwards, footrest - I'm happy to forgo the fridge and vibration thing. I just want MY OWN Chair."

Mrs R "OK. Labour Day sale at Harvey Norman?".

30 minutes or so later

Me to Mrs R "This is the one. Soft enough for me to sink into, yet big enough for me to see the TV with Ms R on one side and Little Ms R on the other". A fact proven by the trial of this arrangement which must have looked interesting to passers by.

Salesman "Nice leather set this. Big 3 seater and 2 Lazy Boys. Reduced from $6,199 to $4,999".

Mrs R "We just want the one Lazy Boy, how much would that be?".

Salesman "Oh. It is on special for the whole package. If you want just the one chair it'd be over $2,500. Its cheaper to buy the whole set."

Me "?"

Mrs R "You can't sell just the one chair?"

Salesman (avoiding the question) "You could buy the whole lot on Interest Free Credit and then sell the sofa and spare chair on Trademe dot com" - never trust anyone in New Zealand who doesn't know that Trademe is a "dot co dot nz" domain - you are either living in a bubble or stupid and do not know to zip up your trousers after you pee. Harsh but fair.

Me "?"

Mrs R "Really?"

Salesman "Oh yeah. I had a friend who bought one like this and he sold it for over $600 on Trademe".

Mrs R "Oh."

Me "?#*$^&% kidding me. NO."

And we left. Now, there is nothing really wrong with this. Actually, it was a nice set but we have 2 lovely two seaters and the point is I just want a cool Lazy Boy. My issue is that there I am with two small children and without knowing anything about me or my finances, this salesman just dangled a carrot with a, when you think about it, ridiculous idea.

I'd pay $4,999 and then try to sell two "second had, as new" items on Trademe with buyer collects. Maybe I'd get $1,000 for the spare seat and sofa, maybe I wouldn't. Either way I'd have a debt of $4,999 and even if I got my $1,000 maybe I could use that cash to buy something else. After all, the debt is interest free, nothing to pay for a few years and by then I'd have the cash, right? Right?

Think I'll follow the Trademe Queen and enter MarthaWorld™. Flog off my genuine second hand hand stuff and just buy what I want with cash......but not from Harvey Norman. Anyone know where I can buy just one Mocha, soft, big leather Lazy Boy at a great price?


  1. Um, pardon me for not knowing, but aren't Lazy Boys for old men who itch their bits? I was under the impression you were a youthful hip urbanite like I wish I was.

    And Harvey Norman charges more than anyone. When we almost bought the Apple iBook, Harvey's price was $2099 - 200 above RRP. Should have known. Still paying for the digital camera that was interest free, but as it transpired very frickin expensive.

  2. Good point. The branded original Lazy Boy is a square with big pillows - useful for haemorrhoids I believe. I think every armchair is called a Lazy Boy these days, or at least that is how it appears. All I want is a nice chair, just one. Suggestions welcome. Hip would be good but I am losing the battle of function over fashion - every nice thing we own has crayon or felt pen over it.....

  3. Ooh, just found my prayers are answered.

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  5. I can heartily recommend our Le Corbusier lounger. I believe you've admired ours in the past? It is dead comfy, leather (so crayon proof), and slides so the kids love it.

  6. Ah Martha, it is the admiration of your lounger that started this whole exercise! I'm guessing that there is a fabulous warehouse of such delights in Petone? Directions please....

  7. Well, I do dream of one day opening a warehouse of such delights, but at the moment sadly it only exists in my head.

    Actually, and you won't be in the slightest bit surprised, I got the lounger from trade me. It is a genuine one, but you can get knockoffs now too. I'll have a look and let you know if I see any goodies. When we were in Christchurch in May we saw a cowhide one, ohmigod, what a fabulous piece of furniture.

  8. There are a couple on trade me at the moment, but better ones appear.

  9. I'll have to enlist the help of alan as he is the only person with Trademe access from this location....such power he commands but he will do anything for coffee.....

  10. Mmm, may have to go and spark up La Marzocco. You've given me an idea...

  11. I shall keep my eyes pealed on Trademe - the two on-line look a bit sad! What's the idea or is it too good to share and going to make millions?

  12. no, it was just to have a coffee. There are no million dollar ideas in this head - hard as i try. The fact I want an easy life hinders any scheming too much.

  13. damn that easy life/hard work equation....

  14. just wanted to stop by and say thank you