Say No to "Bill Me Later"
Just a decade ago, the internet was in its infancy. There were a few sites here and there which provided a lot of great information, but for the most part the content was static and there wasn’t much the internet could do but allow you to play Quake with your friends and look up information for homework. A few years later that all changed when the notion of electronic commerce became mainstream and business began being conducted over the internet at exponentially growing rates. Now there are tens of thousands of online retailers all wanting money from your pocket. Because there’s so much competition out there, it makes sense that these companies will do whatever they can to get more of your hard earned income. They often use advertising techniques, product placement, and give great discounts to attract buyers. Now many online retailers are using a new type of payment method called “bill me later” in order to attract more consumers.
Here’s how it works. “Bill Me Later” is a service which is offered on many electronic retailers’ websites which allow their customers to have the product shipped to them now, and then pay payments for your purchase after a few months have passed.
Essentially the “Bill Me Later” service is making use of the mentality that most Americans have of “I want it now.” No is seemingly not an answer anymore, if people want to make a purchase whether it be for a home, a car or a new computer, they’ll find a way to do it with creative financing. Saving up and paying cash for purchases is seemingly a thing of the past.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with borrowing money for some things, such as a house, however “Bill Me Later” is a dangerous game to play. If you are considering accepting their unfavorable terms, chances are you already have all sorts of consumer debt and cannot afford the purchase in the first place. You should definitely not use this service.
The terms on the service are really not very good, you’re better off using a credit card in most places. The interest rate you pay is about 18%, and they will frequently check your credit which could ding your credit score. These services should be avoided in almost all cases, they are not good for the consumer.
The only benefit of this service is to the merchants themselves. The service only charges a 1.5% fee as opposed to credit cards which charge a 3% fee for each purchase. In addition, the new payment method increases sales for the merchant because the people who use it would otherwise not be able to pay for it.