When Is the Sales Contract Executable for a Short Sale?

probability is you will not have the ability to close on a short sale by way of June thirtieth - Banks are very sluggish approving short sales - they don;t desire to lose any greater than mandatory you certainly want a signed sales settlement by way of 4/30 first - in no way heard of any extensions for short sales and the two way - you nonetheless ought to close and take possession by way of June thirtieth this is not the owner of a house that has to ratify something - this is the financial corporation that has to comply with the main suitable fee - they carry the ability by way of fact the lender, not the individuals residing there

1. How is it so many businesses turn every holiday into promotional sales event?

Holidays are a ritual for Employer to Employees. This time of Year is when all is going Great! This is a time to be together with Co-Workers and your Employer!You are shown by your Supervisor, how well you've done your work during the Year/s with this Firm.Promotions are given during this time. It makes the Occasional Season even more enjoying!.

2. For the involuntarily unemployed--have any of you declared bankruptcy or considered declaring it?

I filed chapter 7 in June of last year, got it approved in April. Time frame was the lawyers fault, they screwed up and forgot about my case. Anyhow, I quit a well paying job in feb 07 (due to burn out) and went to work for a friend in sales. The recession was beginning at the time, and being new to sales did not help either. Just could not make any money. I stuck with it for about 7 months and even took on a 2nd job. Eventually I gave up, quit both jobs, moved in with mom and dad, and tried to find a real job with real pay. I did not succeed, in fact I ended up working part-time at minimum wage, the only job I could find at that point. Kept looking for new work but gave up after a few months and stayed where I was. Due to credit card debts, a personal loan and my vehicle loan and insurance, I could not make ends meet anymore. I closed my checking and saving accounts. Then I returned the vehicle so that I could write it off as unsecured debt and filed for bankruptcy. Since the vehicle was my only asset and I was behind on it anyhow, it made the most sense to let it go. It was not easy to let go of it, but it was the adult thing to do. Per the lawyers instructions, I stopped making all payments on everything. The calls were draining but it felt good to have some money again in my pockets. I paid the lawyers around $1500 over a course of 4 months, then another $300 for court costs. The lawyers arranged for me to take the two debtors education courses online (real easy, common sense stuff). Both classes are required by federal law by the way, 1 prior to filing with the court, 1 after bankruptcy approval. I went to the court house, answered a few questions and left. Then I waited. A few months later or so, I got my letter of approval (all debts were cleared). The whole process from file to approval is simple. It's a little time consuming though. The hard part is that it is very emotionally draining on you during the time, especially with all the creditors calling you. The aftermath is the worst part of it. 10 years it remains on your account. It will affect the type of job you can get (very bad if you do anything in your career that involves money), it will affect the interest rates on any loans you need. Credit cards (at least for me) became a big no-no, I refuse to own one ever again after learning what I've learned about them. And forget about buying a new car or home anytime soon unless you can pay for it in full in cash. After losing everything, You learn how to live an all cash lifestyle and learn that's the best way to live. Is it worth it? For me, yeah. I reached the end of my financial rope and it was my last, and best, option to get out of debt. It was not easy and the path ahead will be just as tough, but it changed my objectives on what I want out of life and how to attain it. It kicked my feet out from under me and I fell hard, but in that fall, I learned what things I did that were wrong and what things I did that were right. I learned a lot in the debtors education courses about things I was not aware of, although most of it was mainly a reminder of what I already knew. My wants vs needs have changed for the better. I am at square one and waiting for the recession/depression to end. In a couple years, I am moving with my folks to another state where they plan to retire at and I intend to get an associates degree so that I can get myself refocused. Bankruptcy (especially chapter 7) is not easy. It's rough to deal with but if you follow through, you learn a lot about yourself, the people you surround yourself around, your family, your job, your finances, and your life. It changes you, forces you to evaluate the decisions that lead you to where you are and gives you the tools not to follow that same path ever again. No matter what you decide, I wish you luck.

3. Hi, what would be the sales tax on $100.49 in the state of CA?

Depends upon where in CA. The State rate is 6.25% but there is a local option rate of up to 2%. Not all jurisdictions levy the full 2% though many do. Therefore the tax would be between $6.28 and $8.29

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With the Slowdown of Car Sales, Bat's Electric Vehicle Liquidation Is Coming
With the Slowdown of Car Sales, Bat's Electric Vehicle Liquidation Is Coming
Some of China's richest tycoons have invested billions of dollars in electric vehicle companies in the hope of promoting China as a leader in the global electric vehicle market. But now, with car sales slowing and the government cutting subsidies, a liquidation seems to be coming.The Admiral Company of China's rich Ma Yun, Ma Huateng, Robin Li and Xu Jiayin bet that electric vehicles will become "wheeled intelligent machines" and connect passengers to other businesses of the company. But now it is increasingly difficult for them to profit from this bet. Their capital injection, together with dozens of start-ups totaling $18 billion, exacerbated the electric vehicle bubble. Now, the bubble seems to be in danger of breaking up.Sales in China's electric vehicle market are experiencing a continuous decline, forcing electric vehicle manufacturers to reduce their profit outlook. Rachel MIU, an analyst at DBS group in Hong Kong, said that as China further cuts electric vehicle purchase subsidies and allows carmakers to compete with their own strength, the electric vehicle market is about to usher in a decline, which may not be stopped even by the support of corporate tycoons. "For new companies to compete in the electric vehicle industry, they have to climb a very steep slope," she said.The following is the layout and troubles faced by Chinese technology giants in the electric vehicle industry:Alibaba: Xiaopeng car invested was accused of stealing secretsAfter accumulating more than $40 billion in wealth, Ma Yun stepped down as chairman of Alibaba's board of directors in September this year, but he still retained his board seat and influence. Ali participated in several rounds of financing of Guangzhou Xiaopeng automobile, including a round of 2.2 billion yuan (about US $313 million) financing last year. He Xiaopeng, co-founder of Xiaopeng automobile, is a former Alibaba executive.Xiaopeng automobile launched its first electric vehicle last year: 5-seat SUV G3, and 11940 have been sold so far this year. The company, founded in 2014, has also reached cooperation with some more mature automobile manufacturers. A factory jointly built with Haima automobile can produce 150000 electric vehicles a year. Another factory should start assembling P7 cars soon and deliver them next year.However, the development path of Xiaopeng automobile is not lack of controversy. Some new engineers are accused of stealing the trade secrets of their former employers in the United States. In March this year, Tesla sued a former company engineer, accusing him of uploading Tesla files, directories and source code copies to his personal cloud storage account before leaving to join Xiaopeng automobile. Similarly, apple accused a former company engineer of stealing autopilot car secrets before joining Xiaopeng last year. The lawsuit is about to begin.Xiaopeng automobile denied the existence of misconduct. "We unswervingly follow the path of independent research and development," said Gu Hongdi, President of Xiaopeng automobile. "Intellectual property rights are very important to us."As the second largest shareholder of Xiaopeng automobile, Ali has not yet commented. Xiaopeng automobile said on November 13 that Xiaomi group had participated in another round of US $400 million financing of the company.Tencent: the invested Weilai automobile is listed, and then layoffsMa Huateng is the second richest man in China. Tencent, its subsidiary, led the investment of $1 billion in financing of Weilai automobile in 2017. Weilai has sold more than 26000 vehicles. It is one of the few Chinese electric vehicle start-ups producing multiple models, and went public before its rivals last year.However, with the decline of overall car sales of Weilai automobile and the company's investment in marketing and real estate, Weilai automobile has suffered more and more losses. Weilai automobile sponsored the concert of the famous American singer Bruno Mars and opened a luxury club for car owners with exhibition halls, cafes and performance space. As of August this year, Weilai automobile has opened 19 Weilai centers, and the total rental cost is equivalent to 6.3% of the 12-month revenue as of March."Weilai automobile chose the direct selling mode and paid attention to the user experience." Weilai automobile said that the company has no plan to close the existing Weilai center or open a new Weilai center.For the 12 months ended June, Weilai motor had a revenue of $1.2 billion, but a loss of $2.8 billion. Its share price fell sharply this year. When Tencent injected another $100 million into Weilai automobile in September, the company had cut about 20% of its staff."Since the subsidy reduction, our sales have been under pressure," said Li Bin, CEO of Weilai automobile. "Now automobile sales have entered a new era. Only high-quality products and services can win customers."Tencent has expressed its support for the development of electric vehicles, but has not commented on Weilai.Baidu: Weima automobile invested was suedAs Baidu CEO, Robin Li incorporated the car into Baidu's auto driving vehicle. Baidu led the investment of 3 billion yuan financing of Weima automobile this year, holding 13% of Weima automobile shares.Rupert Mitchell, chief strategy officer of Weima automobile, said that the company launched an electric SUV last year and has delivered more than 19000 vehicles. So far this year, Weima has sold 14273 battery powered SUVs, behind BYD and Weilai invested by Buffett, but ahead of Xiaopeng. Weima launched its second SUV on November 22Mitchell said Weimar has an advantage over companies founded by employees of Internet companies. Shen Hui, founder of Weima automobile, was responsible for operating Volvo's China business."We're not trying to be a mass market car from the technology industry," Mitchell said.Geely, Volvo's parent company, has sued Weima automobile for 2.1 billion yuan for infringement of intellectual property rights. Weima denied wrongdoing.Mitchell said that Weima automobile is producing cars in its wholly-owned factory, which helps the company control the quality of cars. Weima will open its second plant next year, producing 150000 cars a year, hoping to raise another $1 billion. Baidu declined to comment.Evergrande group: unexpected entry, high hopes for electric vehiclesIn the electric vehicle industry, a more surprising entrant is the real estate developer Evergrande group, which said it would become the world's largest new energy vehicle manufacturer in three to five years. This means it will surpass Tesla, which has just opened a factory in Shanghai. From August 2018 to June 2019, Evergrande invested more than US $3.8 billion in electric vehicle related companies and will start producing hengchi brand cars next year.Evergrande wants to build 10 production bases and plans to invest 45 billion yuan in new energy vehicles from 2019 to 2021. On November 10 this year, Evergrande Health announced that it would invest nearly US $3 billion to increase its stake in NEVs (Guoneng electric vehicle Sweden Co., Ltd.) from 68% to 82%.Xu Jiayin, founder and billionaire of Evergrande, admitted that there is not much overlap between Evergrande's real estate business and its electric vehicle ambition. "We don't have any talent, technology, experience or production base needed to build cars," Xu Jiayin said. "How can we compete with the world's established carmakers?"His answer is, buy. "As long as we can buy core technologies and companies, we will buy them," he said.In view of the money burning nature of new energy vehicles, Xu Jiayin's strategy at all costs may have an impact on Evergrande's finance. Evergrande's 45 billion yuan budget may underestimate their investment in electric vehicles, which may exacerbate Evergrande's cash crisis."Given that Evergrande urgently needs to maintain the price reduction in order to improve the cash income of housing sales, this may affect the profit margin of Evergrande housing sales," analyst Kristy Hung said in a report on November 22.
Growing Your Sales: Amazon Sales Funnels 101
Growing Your Sales: Amazon Sales Funnels 101
In this article, we will outline how to grow your sales using sales funnels for Amazon sellers.Sales funnels that leverage external traffic (such as Facebook Ads or Google AdWords) are a powerful way to boost your sales velocity, BSR, and rankings. By mastering Amazon sales funnels, you will grow your business faster, have more successful launches and get an edge over your competition. Sounds good? Let's get started…What is an Amazon sales funnel?A sales funnel refers to the buying process that you lead your customers through when they are purchasing your products.First, let's start with the most common Amazon sales funnel mistake.Are you making this crucial sales funnel mistake?There is a common mistake sellers make when it comes to external traffic. This mistake is to drive traffic straight to your product listing.You should never drive traffic straight to your product listing. Why? No matter which traffic source you use, it wo not be nearly as targeted as Amazon's internal traffic. By sending unqualified, untargeted, traffic straight to your listing you will run into two problems:1) Low salesMost of the people you drive to your listing wo not be ready to buy your product at full-price immediately. Unlike people who are browsing Amazon, they might not be interested in buying right now.The result will be that your external traffic campaign wo not be a big success. You will end up spending quite a lot of money on ads, without seeing much of a return.2) Low conversion ratesLow sales translates to low conversion rates. Driving untargeted traffic to your Amazon listing will negatively impact the overall conversion rate of your listing. What is a conversion rate? Conversion rate = number of sales / number of people viewing your product. So for example, if 100 people view your listing and 10 buy, your conversion rate is 10%.Why does your conversion rate matter? Many experienced sellers believe that conversion rate is a ranking factor in Amazon's ranking algorithm. This means that lowering your conversion rate by driving external traffic straight to your listing could negatively impact your rankings. In other words, if Amazon sees that your page is not making a lot sales for the number of people who visit it, Amazon will direct less people to your page!A mindset shift: Why capturing emails is more important than salesThe key to a successful external traffic campaign is to understand that, in the short-term, capturing emails is more important than profits.Why is capturing emails so important?You will be able to:Build your own launch list. This will allow you to distinguish yourself from low-quality giveaway sites. Next time you want to get an Amazon product off the ground, simply email your list with a discount offer.Send weekly or monthly email newsletters. This allows you to build a long-term relationship with your prospects and customers. Drive sales with the push of a button. Running a special offer? Simply send an email and you will be able to drive extra sales.Build a brand. If you capture a customer's email before they buy on Amazon, you can send them to your e-commerce site in the future. (This is fully compliant with Amazon's terms. )Retarget customers on Facebook. By capturing emails, you can create retargeting audiences of customers on Facebook.How to capture emailsThe key to capturing your customer's emails is to collect them before they purchase on Amazon.Here's how it works: You want to drive external traffic to a landing page, instead of straight to Amazon. What is a landing page?A landing page is a web page that has been designed for one single objective. In our case, that objective is to capture an email. It looks something like this:Crafting a compelling offer for your Amazon sales funnel"Why would anyone give away their email on a landing page?"It's simple. Give people a compelling reason, and they will be more than happy to part with their email address. There are two common types of lead magnets that work well for Amazon sellers.1) Give away a discountThe easiest way to get people to give you their email address is to give them a big discount. (The best way to do this is to set up single-use promo codes, which protect your inventory.)This method is highly effective for a number of reasons:You will be able to build an email list.The people who click-through to your Amazon listing will almost certainly buy, increasing your conversion rates. You will get a lot more sales. This results in a higher Best Sellers Rank (BSR) and overall higher Amazon rankings.2) Give away educational content such as an ebookSelling a cocktail shaker? Why not give away a 30-page ebook full of amazing cocktail recipes. Once you get someone to give you their email in exchange for an ebook, you can build a long-term relationship with them, and eventually entice them to buy. Which method should you use?Go for the discount option if:You can afford to give discounts.You want to boost your Amazon rankings and BSR.You want to build a targeted customer list. Go for the ebook option if:You can not afford to give away discounted units.Your product already ranks highly.You mainly just want to build an email list.SummaryIn this article we've explained how Amazon sales funnels work. Yet, many questions remain unanswered. How to build a landing page? How to drive traffic?This article is just an excerpt from our free course "How To Drive Traffic To Your Amazon Listing: A Step-By-Step Guide".Do you want to read the full guide for free? Click here.to my interview?no you do not have to wear a suit, you could go in tights a modest smart skirt and a light coloured blouse and with flat dolly shoes :) smart and friendly good luck!
The Decline in IPhone Sales Puts Pressure on Apple to Reach a Settlement with Qualcomm Or Help Apple
It is reported that Apple has reached a cooperation agreement with Qualcomm. The iphone7 and iphone8 using Qualcomm chips will resume sales in Germany, which means that apple, facing the pressure of declining sales, finally chose to compromise. Bai Ying technology believes that this move may help Apple launch the 5g iPhone in September this year.Apple is under pressure from falling iPhone salesApple and Qualcomm launched a patent litigation war. Before, the two sides were in a stalemate. However, with the judgment in favor of Qualcomm made by the courts in China and Germany and the ban on the sale of some iPhones, apple felt great pressure.According to the data released by IDC, iPhone sales fell by 11.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, of which the Chinese market was the hardest hit area of iPhone sales decline. In this quarter, iPhone sales in the Chinese market fell by 19.9% year-on-year, and the Chinese market is the second largest market for iPhone.The main reason for the decline in iPhone sales is the lack of innovation and high price of the new iPhone released in September last year. The iphonexs and iphonexs Max are highly similar to the previous generation of iphonex. However, the price of iphonexs has increased by 311 yuan, and the price of the most expensive iphonexs Max is as high as 12799 yuan, which is known as the most expensive iPhone in history; The price of iphonexr, which was originally positioned as a cheap version, starts from 6499 yuan.Due to the poor sales of the new iPhone, Apple has carried out preferential promotion activities around the world since the end of last year, with the highest price reduction of iPhone of 2000 yuan, which shows that apple is lowering its high head and its strategy is changing from profit to market share. Under such circumstances, it naturally does not want to start a protracted patent litigation war with Qualcomm, Especially when China and Germany have made the decision to ban the sale of iPhone, this is an important reason for forcing it to finally choose to reconcile with Qualcomm.A settlement with Qualcomm may help Apple launch the 5g iPhoneBefore the launch of the new iPhone last year, Apple had always adopted Qualcomm's communication baseband. However, in order to save patent fees, all three new iPhones launched last year adopted Intel's communication baseband, which led to problems such as bad signal and heat from users, which also had an impact on iPhone sales.At present, there are two enterprises that have launched commercial 5g baseband in the world, namely Qualcomm and Huawei. Huawei's 5g baseband is only used by its own mobile phone enterprises. Although Intel released 5g baseband at the end of last year, it is not sure whether it can provide commercial products when Apple releases a new iPhone this year, which makes the industry worried about whether Apple can launch an iPhone supporting 5g this year.Now Apple has reached a cooperation agreement with Qualcomm to resume the sales of iphone7 and iphone8 using Qualcomm baseband in Germany, which may mean that the new iPhone launched by apple this year may use Qualcomm baseband again. If so, Apple will not have to worry about the supply of 5g baseband when it launches an iPhone supporting 5g this year.Bai Ying technology believes that it is not the right strategy for rich apple to make friends with Qualcomm. After all, Qualcomm's communication baseband is more advanced and stable than Intel's. its net profit in fiscal 2018 is as high as $59.531 billion, which can afford to pay $4-8 billion in patent fees to Qualcomm every year, Continuing to cooperate with Qualcomm to provide an iPhone with advanced communication technology and stable performance is the best choice. Now its cooperation with Qualcomm should be a good sign.5g is currently a hot spot in the global mobile communication market. Smartphone companies want to follow up on this technology. When apple is repeatedly questioned about the decline in innovation, it should not lag behind. It should release the iPhone supporting 5g in September this year to avoid further deterioration of the decline in iPhone sales, And now it has realized that market share is more important than profit.When iPhone sales have declined significantly and apple has begun to focus on market share again, it may soon be possible to see a comprehensive settlement and cooperation with Qualcomm, and even adopt Qualcomm's baseband again. Perhaps Apple will not be absent from this year's 5g mobile phone market.
Ranking of Smartphone Sales in the Chinese Market in the Third Quarter of 2018, Huawei Glory Led Oth
Recently, counterpoint, a research institute, announced the ranking of smartphone sales in the Chinese market in the third quarter of 2018. Among them, Huawei's glory sales growth rate led other brands, Xiaomi's sales fell by 15% year-on-year, and vivo surpassed oppo to dominate China by a weak advantage.Specifically, in the third quarter, if glory and Huawei were calculated separately, the top six mobile phone sales in the domestic market were vivo, oppo, Huawei, glory, Xiaomi and apple. The six brands shared 86% of the market share, and the other brands, including Meizu Samsung, were included in others.The performance of Q3 of these six brands also fluctuated, of which vivo sales increased by 2% year-on-year; Oppo sales decreased by 11% year-on-year; The sales volume of Huawei and glory increased by 14% year-on-year respectively; Millet fell 15% year-on-year; Apple fell 17%; Others plummeted 48% and its share was halved directly.Due to Q3 performance, the statistics should not include the boost of the new iPhone to Apple's sales. In addition, the total sales volume of Q3 domestic mobile phone market was 108 million, a year-on-year decrease of 13%.In general, the domestic mobile phone market has an obvious recession trend, the Matthew effect is further increased, and the sales are further concentrated on the top brands.In addition, if Huawei and glory are merged, Huawei glory is undoubtedly No.1 in the domestic mobile phone market, with a combined sales volume of 28 million, more than nearly 7 million vivo.
Door-to-door Company in Hot Water Over Sales Tactics
An Ottawa company accused of using misleading door-to-door sales tactics is facing numerous charges under consumer protection laws.Ontario Stars Corporation and its director arefacing a total of 112 charges including unfair practice, failure to deliver a direct agreementand failure to refund payment under Ontario'sConsumer Protection Act."It is alleged that the corporation made false, misleading, or deceptive representations to consumers in their home," the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services toldCBCin an email. "It is also alleged that the corporation used a contract that did not comply with the act and failed to provide refunds to consumers as required."Ontario Stars Corporation operates under the nameOntario Safety Standards, which sells and installs HVAC and water filtration systems.CBCOttawahas reported on customercomplaints involving the companybefore.The charges were laid March 15 against the company and its director, Saeed Torbati. The accusations have not been proven in court.Torbati did not reply to CBC's requests for an interview, nor did he provide a statement.Dozens of complaintsThe charges stem from19 complaints from the Ottawa area, but the ministry said a total of 85 complaints were filed between Jan.1, 2017, and March 15, 2019.A further 77 "incidents" were reported during the same period, the ministry said.Barrhaven residents KhushpritSingh and Rupinder Maloka filed one of those complaints after they signed a contract for a water softener in 2016.The couple saiddoor-to-door salesmen from Ontario Safety Standards led them to believe the equipment was free of charge under a provincial program.They were also told it would improve the quality of their water."I even asked him, the city is providing us very nice water, why we need it? He said, 'No no, Ontario government is giving free, so you can have it,'" said KhushpritSingh Maloka, an accessible taxi driver.The Malokas said they never gavethe sales representatives a credit card or banking details, but they did show them a copy of their hydro bill. A month later, a charge of $59.99 appeared on it.'I couldn't sleep'After several months the Malokas stopped payments, and are now being sued for more than $8,000 for the remainder of the contract by a finance company that purchased their rental agreement."I was extremely upset," Rupinder Maloka said. "I couldn't sleep.I used to wake up, like, what are we going to do? How are we going to handle this situation?"We're not in a situation where we can spend money lavishly. We spend our money very carefully. So it was nerve-racking."The couple has hired a paralegal to fight the lawsuit.Stuck with contractsAnother alleged victim, Cornwall, Ont., resident Robert Payette,saiddoor-to-door salesmen from Ontario Safety Standards promised he could save 40 per centon his hydro bill through a government program if he signed an agreement to lease a water softener. 'I should have done my due diligence at the time.' - Robert Payette Payette said he was promised a further 25 per cent discount if he agreed to rent another piece of water treatment equipment from the company.When the promised savings did not appear, he was stuck with the contracts."I should have done my due diligence at the time, but 40 per cent sounds good, and I'm recently separated, so every per cent is sweet," he said.$6K lienPayette discovered another company called Canadian Safety Standards has registered a security interest, more commonly known as a lien, on his homefor nearly$6,000.A corporate profile search revealed Canadian Safety Standards is the registered name for Safety Standards Group, whose director is also Saeed Torbati.Payette is now suing the company.The Better Business Bureau (BBB) lists a warning about the company on its website, alleging a "pattern of complaints" and agents who employ "aggressive [sales] practices and often misrepresent themselves as being inspectors or affiliates of a government program."The BBB notified the company of its concerns and requested remedial action on Sept. 12, 2017.In a response to the BBB 10 days later, Ontario Safety Standards said it had "a zero tolerance policy for any and all misrepresentations," and said it was taking several steps to prevent such complaints in the future, including financial penalties against agents found to be engaging in misleading sales practices.Sales rep 'lied his way in'In his case, the sales rep "lied his way in," Payette said."We're still people, and there's no reason to get walked on. We're not carpets, saying, 'Welcome, wipe your feet on us.'"The Ontario government banned door-to-door sales of HVAC equipment, water and air filters on March 1, 2018.Both Payette and the Malokas were approached at home before thatlaw came into effect.Saeed Torbati has been summoned to appear in provincial offences court in Ottawa on May 2 to face the Consumer Protection Act charges.Conviction for a single offence under the act could result in a maximum fine of $50,000 and a prison sentence of twoyears less a day.A corporation that is convicted under the act is liable for a maximum fine of $250,000.
Venezuela's Massive Blackout Sparks Boom in Generator Sales
MARACAIBO, Venezuela - Wilfido Briñez considers himself lucky to live with the roar of electric generators outside his front door in Maracaibo, Venezuela's second largest city and ground zero for the nation's rolling blackouts.While many of his neighbours sit in the dark waiting for the lights to come back on, the university professor charges his phone and grades students' papers on his laptop. Food in his refrigerator stays cold and the air conditioner hums."The decibel level is quite high," said Briñez, speaking above three gas-fueled motors. "Either we have noise or we don't have electricity."As Venezuela's crisis deepens, the sale of electric generators is one of the few growth industries in the once-wealthy oil nation, whose residents struggle to get through each day as public services crumble.Millions of poor live at the mercy of Venezuela's unstable power grid, but middle- and upper-class residents able to scrape together enough dollars are buying backup generators in an attempt to regain a normal life.Even this solution isn't foolproof. Gasoline shortages are creeping across the country, imperiling access to fuel for newly bought generators."Here, things have gone from bad to worse," said Junior Cansas, who owns an electronics shop in Maracaibo. "That's why people are buying generators."Venezuela holds the world's largest oil reserves as well as vast water resources to fill hydroelectric dams. It long had a state-of-the-art power grid that sold excess electricity to neighbouring countries.However, the country's growing dysfunction crossed a dark milestone on March 7 when a catastrophic power failure left most of its 30 million residents without electricity for days. It even reached the capital of Caracas, knocking out communications, water services and public transportation.That led to a scramble for generators by residents and small businesses fearing another big outage could hit without warning, plunging their lives once again into chaos.Some have opted for small units costing a few hundred dollars that can pump out enough power to run a few appliances at a time, such as using the lights and water heater for a shower.A household living with all the amenities requires a large generator that can cost upward of $1,000 - a small fortune in a country where the typical worker earns $6.50 a month.Critics blame Venezuela's crisis on the socialist "revolution" President Hugo Chávez launched 20 years ago, saying he allowed corrupt officials to loot the national coffers while public infrastructure fell into disrepair. For his part, current President Nicolás Maduro accuses the Trump administration of sabotaging the power grid in a bid to overthrow him and install a puppet government led by opposition politician Juan Guaidó.Elio Burguera runs an engineering firm based in Caracas that installs electrical systems for factories, luxury apartment buildings and five-star hotels. But these days, his phone constantly rings with clients desperate to install fuel-powered generators in homes. He's even bought one for his own family."We are in a difficult economic situation, not for just the poor people," Burguera said. "The middle class is suffering a lot."Ana Lucia Gomez, a personal shopper based in Orlando, Florida, recently launched a business shipping hard-to-find comfort items like M&M's, bed sheets and laundry detergent to customers struggling in her native Venezuela. After the massive blackout, she was surprised to start getting requests for generators. Now it's about a third of her business."They're living in a state of mental chaos," said Gomez, who purchases the items at local retailers like Home Depot. "They say it's unbearable to go so many hours without electricity."The situation is especially dire in Maracaibo, once known as Venezuela's Saudi Arabia for being at the hub of the country's now-decaying oil industry. Power plants put out a fraction of their potential, and the lights have flickered on and off since late-2017, when a major transmission line burned up.The nationwide blackout in March took the lights out for eight days in Maracaibo and sparked massive looting that shuttered many businesses. Lines to fill up a car with gasoline stretch a mile and often require a two-day wait.A street-side kiosk selling candy, cigarettes and bottles of Coke had a single generator displayed on the sidewalk for $680.Briñez, a 52-year-old professor of veterinary sciences, said he realized during the March blackout that the government wasn't going to fully restore his city's power anytime soon, as officials had been promising.So he dipped into his emergency savings, asking relatives in Florida to buy a generator that cost him well over $1,200 to ship and install.He lives in a gated community of eight homes, where the lights dim each night around 8 p.m. and stay out until the next morning. Seven of the homes occupied by his relatives either already have generators or they're en route in shipping crates.While 3.7 million Venezuelans have abandoned their country in recent years, going abroad for a better life, Briñez said that's not an option for him.He worries about his 75-year-old father, who suffers from diabetes, heart complications and high blood pressure. Maracaibo's sweltering heat approaches 100 degrees (37 centigrade) most days, making the air conditioner a must."It's a big expense," Briñez said. "Once you decide to stay in this city, you either buy a generator or you're going to have big problems."___Scott Smith on Twitter:
As Temperature Dips, Sales of Winter Products Surge
A normal winter, backed by early snowfall in the Himalayan belt, is bringing cheer to winter product manufacturers and traders in the country.Companies dealing in water and room heaters and woollen garments are witnessing double-digit growth in sales this season, after two years of lull.The estimate is that the Rs 1,400-crore organised water heaters market will grow at least 15 per cent this season.Growth was flat last year, as the temperature remained above normal and demonetisation of high value currency notes in early November crippled trade channels.The year before, 2015, the market had grown by a low single digit, thanks to a mild winter.According to Harminder Singh, president, appliances at Usha International, the company has so far registered growth in sales in excess of 20 per cent over last year."The season for water heaters begins in August and it is over by the third week of December. The industry is growing at a higher rate than last year."The five million units a year market is equally divided between the organised and unorganised sectors.Saurabh Goel, executive vice-president at Havells India, says it looks like their water heaters would grow by 20-25 per cent in 2017."To stay ahead of the competition, we began in-house production a few years ago and are now offering pre-installation and branded fittings."Saurabh Baishakhia, senior vice-president at Orient Electronics, said appliances were seeing almost 50 per cent growth."The room heater category has been suffering for two years but is expected to witness some growth this season," he said.Room heaters is a comparatively smaller market, Rs 350-400 crore a year.Last year, the market shrank due to absence of peak winter, when sales usually surge.This year's advent of winter in the northern parts by early December has helped. Baishakhia expects Orient's business to grow by 20 per cent in 2017.Traders at Delhi's Sarojini Nagar market, a hub of winter garments in the capital, said business was much better this year han in 2016.Most retailers and wholesalers faced severe duress during the note ban episode."This month, business has grown by at least 50 per cent over last year at the same time. If winter is normal in January, we might finish the season on a high," said Noor Mohammad, owner of a wholesale trading house.Business for water heaters and room heaters could go higher in January as the winter is expected to get severe.In the water heater segment, North India lags South India with 32 per cent volume share as compared to 37 per cent.Value-wise, however, the north dominates due to higher per-unit recovery from the market.For room heaters, the descending mercury level in North India decides the fate of the market, as the region comprises 80 per cent of the business.
Bill Would Ban Doorstep Sales of Furnaces, Air Conditioners, Water Heaters
TORONTO - A Liberal government backbencher introduced a private member's bill Monday to ban door-to-door sales of furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and water treatment devices in Ontario."It is beyond reprehensible that some organizations have a business model based on taking advantage of vulnerable people," said Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker."These four products alone cost consumers who reported their experiences to the Ministry of Consumer services over $3.1 million in 2015, and that's only the people who reported it to the government," said Baker."Many of them talked about misrepresentation, partial or incomplete delivery of goods, billing disputes and difficulties in cancelling contracts."Furnaces, air conditioners and water heaters are frequently sold or leased by unscrupulous operators trying to scam money out of homeowners, added Baker."I heard from seniors who told me they'd been taken advantage of at the door by salespeople who used misleading, aggressive and coercive sales tactics," he said.Lexy Fogel of Toronto said retailers from a home energy company visited her mother last year and insisted she needed a new furnace, which they installed that day, even though her existing furnace was just five years old.Fogel said they took advantage of her mom, who has Alzheimer's."Now my mother is signed up for a new contract where she pays $20 more a month than her old contract," she said."It's been a horrible situation for us, and at least my mother has me as an advocate. I'm sure there's many seniors who don't have family nearby to fight for them in these sorts of situations and get taken advantage of."Baker said too many consumers are "duped into contracts at their doorsteps with no way out," so under his bill, any contract signed at the door for one of the products listed in the bill would automatically be voided.There would be fines of up to $2,000 for individuals violating the door-to-door sales ban - up to $25,000 for companies - and the government would be able to add other products to the list in the future.The non-profit Public Interest Advocacy Centre called Baker's bill a step in the right direction to protect consumers from making what could be damaging financial decisions based on high pressure sales tactics."This provides a substantial set of remedies that not only obtain compensation for individual consumers, but also enable the government to take steps to ensure that the practice does not continue," said PIAC's Michael Janigan."The financial penalties are so substantial that they can no longer just shrug it off as the cost of doing business."NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party has been concerned about some door-to-door sales practices for some time.New Democrat MPP Sarah Campbell introduced a private member's bill last year and again this year to try to ban predatory door-to-door sales by electricity retailers.Private member's bills rarely become law in Ontario, but the ones put forward by government members often have a better chance of getting past second reading. Baker's bill will come up for second reading June 9.The Canadian Press
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