• U.S.

Your Money: Jun. 14, 1999

2 minute read
Maryanne Murray Buechner

GOING, GOING…RENTED! When priceline.com put airfares and hotel rooms on the cyberblock, online auctions became the deal-seeking traveler’s best friend. Now Budget Rent a Car wants a piece of the action: at www.bid.drivebudget.com customers can name their price for, say, four days in a Dodge in Denver–and then hope Budget accepts the offer. Blackout dates apply, so don’t expect deals in peak travel periods.

NOWHERE TO HIDE Putting your assets in a trust in banking-friendly nations such as the Cayman Islands is becoming popular. And it can protect assets if you get sued. But foreign trusts do not excuse you from paying taxes. Yet that’s exactly the kind of tip you’ll get from thousands of websites offering “expert” advice on moving your money offshore. If the site recommends a “pure” or “constitutional” trust, steer clear. Read about this and other traps and scams at www.assetprotectioncorp.com

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Buying in bulk used to mean hauling a case of toilet paper home from a warehouse club. Now consumers can pool their orders online for “power buys” at www.mercata.com This Web retailer sells consumer electronics, sporting goods, housewares and appliances around the clock. But each day select items are put up for group sale at an initial price–say, $40 for a radio. The more buyers who join the sale by day’s end, the lower the price will go. All buyers get the lowest price offered.

–By M.M. Buechner

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