Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Overstock.com wants to bail you out

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Online retailer Overstock.com is pitching a rescue package for shoppers who are neck-deep in debt.

The company’s “Family Bailout” contest will pay off up to $50,000 in debt belonging to the winner or a member of his or her immediate family. The money gets paid directly to “qualified” creditors like mortgage or credit card companies.

The retailer, which sells excess inventory of clothes, furniture and other items, automatically enters people in the contest when they make an order. People who are too broke to shop or those who want to have the company bail out a friend, can fill out an online form on the site.

“We’re sinking into the most challenging economic environment since the
Great Depression,” said Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com’s chairman and CEO. “This
is our way of lending a helping hand to those that need it.”

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