“The squeaky wheel gets the grease” plays a big part in the soft-skills needed to unlock huge velocity in manufactured spend, but it can also blind us. Today, I’d like to offer a corollary:

You tend to forget about the quiet wheels.

– Some lunatic who goes by MEAB. How do you even pronounce that?

The Squeaky Ones

Monday, Tuesday, and yesterday brought waves of PayPal shutdowns in the community, and just about every forum loosely related to manufactured spend is talking about it. We’re seeing shutdowns of:

  • Main accounts with big volume
  • Secondary accounts that share targets with shutdown main accounts
  • Secondary accounts that share names with shutdown main accounts
  • Newly created secondary accounts with even moderate volume

If you were affected, that sucks and I’m sorry. But on the flip side, what use is PayPal in 2024 for things other than manufactured spend anyway? I mean really, literally what use is it? Yes they own Venmo, but a PayPal shutdown doesn’t equal a Venmo shutdown.

The Not Squeaky Ones

There are plenty of users that aren’t shut down with PayPal yet, but that’s hard to see because they’re not jumping up and down in chat rooms and forums saying “I’m not shutdown, what do I do next?” because there’s no urgency. So, we end up hearing from a much larger proportion of squeaky wheels than silent ones.

We could leave it there, but a logical question then becomes:

What are the non-squeaky wheels doing, and what lessons can we learn from them about not being shutdown? There are a lot of answers to that question, and they probably hover around volume, dodging the ban hammer, the types of targets they choose, how often they use those targets, and the volume sent to those targets.

Bonus: Repercussions

One of my P2’s favorite manufactured spend jokes is to call the app that shouldn’t be named the floosie app (she calls all of its users floosies too, naturally). I know nothing about the current financial state of our collective floosie overlords, but I do know that mass PayPal shutdowns kill a popular liquidation channel for its users, and that means that they’re going to see a big drop-off in daily volume and probably daily profit in their ledger. Will it matter? I have no idea, but I’d suggest that now’s a good time to evaluate your risk profile for your floosie shenanigans.

Double Bonus: Brian M Brings us Back to Reality

Brian M, possibly the most cited contributor here, let me know that Southwest is opening its schedule for travel between October 3 and November 2 this morning. Booking early is a statistically better than average way to get the lowest fare possible on popular travel days with Southwest, though of course ymmv.

Next up: What about donut wheels?

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