Selling Money

I never thought it a viable option to sell money. Everybody wants money, but what sense does it make to sell money? If you sell it at the same value, there’s no point selling it; if you sell it cheaper, you’re losing money; if you sell it higher, who would want to buy from you?

As it turns out, many.

A trend had been going on over Japan’s unicorn P2P e-commerce platform Mercari and Yahoo! Auction where people were selling cash for money above its actual value. For example, there are people selling 200,000 yen cash for 230,000 yen (that’s a whopping 15% return) and people are actually buying them.

Why, you ask. It could be for a variety of reasons but these people buying them are in need of cash. Credit card holders are entitled to shopping credit limit and cashing credit limit. Shopping credit simply means you can buy things on credit, while cashing credit means you can borrow cash on credit. If someone maxed out their cashing credit limit, there is no way they can get more cash as the shopping credit only allows them to purchase stuff instead of receiving cash. So, in order to get more cash, these people use their shopping credit to purchase money over P2P platforms. While it is not explicitly illegal to be selling them, professionals have identified it as operating in the gray area leaning toward black. Also, it appears that purchasing cash on credit cards are violations of usage terms and conditions of the credit cards.

Upon discovery of a sudden increase in such items, Mercari has made it unacceptable to sell money over its app and set out to remove all sale of cash on their platform. What do people do then? Play with the loophole. These people moved to selling contactless cards such as Suica and Pasmo with values in them. 10,000 yen value Suicas were being sold at 13,000 yen (a 30% profit) and these cards can be traded in for cash at the train stations by paying a small handling fee. Such a high return business. But the worry is that people purchasing these cash could get deeper and deeper into debt and ultimately create societal problem. E-commerce platforms have, however, caught on on the new trend and have also started removing postings of contactless cards sales.

Shouldn’t have deleted the Mercari app so that I could make a few quick bucks.

Dang!

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