College student tried to sell his future for $10,000 on eBay

Grad student Terrance Wyatt is selling stock in his future.

I have seen many novel ways to fund a college education. But Terrance Wyatt, 23, a Clark Atlanta grad student, is offering a slice of his future on eBay for $10,000. He is selling stock in himself. (Ebay pulled the listing as of Thursday afternoon.)

I called the 23-year-old after reading his eBay item on Wednesday. Eighteen credits short of graduating, Wyatt says he has a 3.0 average. The eBay ad reflected his desperation, he says. Grad students don’t get much financial aid, and Clark Atlanta is not exactly flush with extra cash. (Here is a sobering WSJ article on the evaporation of college aid this year.)

“It’s one of those last option things. I have tapped all my resources. I have been through financial aid through the last six years of college. This is pretty much it…this is my last chance to do something.”

As for the disappearance of the ad Thursday, Wyatt said, “Yes, someone from eBay gave me a call today and told me that unfortunately my listing violated their listing policy. They wished me success in the future and expressed sympathy but told me it was out their hands as far their listing policy.”

There has been a lot of skepticism, but I had called Clark Atlanta to verify that Wyatt is a student in good standing. Wyatt  has addressed many of the critics directly by coming onto this blog so please read his comments below. He also provided his phone number and e-mail.

Again, the ad is now gone, but here is a condensed version: “I am in the last year of my master’s of business administration program here at Clark Atlanta University. As many of you, I have become a of victim of the recession (a depression to some of us) in our wonderful country and I am in danger of losing everything I have worked for in the brief 23 years of my life. The root of my problem stems from not being able to cover all of the tuition in the final year of my pursuit of higher education. I am short about $10,000 of realizing a life long dream.

I am a first generation college student in my family. My mother did not finish high school but she did the best she could in raising me under the circumstances. I haven’t seen my father since I was 7 years old. Although being raised in poverty, and around drugs and violence; by the grace of God, I overcame my surroundings and graduated in the top 10% of my high school class (2004).

So I am willing to offer you a piece of my future. I am an aspiring hedge fund manager, social activist, and entrepreneur. I am offering to give the person that is willing to help me now, a percentage of everything that is soon to come in my life. This investment in my future right now, could potentially pay off to be millions for you if I have my way.

I can verify everything I have said. I am not trying to scam or lie to anyone. I just want to graduate this year and break the cycle of self-destruction and poverty in my family once and for all.

As far as being a benefactor of my future earnings, we can have the documents customized to your liking by the firm of your choosing (or mine if you would like) to insure you will be entitled to future compensation from any of my future earnings and business ventures. You will also receive a thank you card and a personal note of gratitude as an immediate item.”

Okay, folks, I know you are a tough audience, but don’t you have to give Wyatt credit for ingenuity? Now that eBay has pulled his ad, he will have to come up with a new approach. Several of you have suggested he get a job and go to school at night. That might be his only option now, although that would probably mean a much longer road to his degree.

103 comments Add your comment

Manager

August 20th, 2009
5:55 am

I think he needs to be careful not to sell himself too cheaply, but he is definitely ingenious.

However, I was actually struck by the fact he is a “23 year old MBA student.” Unless he was very precocious and graduated from college very young, that suggests he has a minimal experiences in the business world. Most reputable graduate schools will require several years of full-time working experiences before admitting anyone to their MBA program. I’m not sure if I would hire anyone with MBA earned without much experiences prior to their graduate study. I would also hesitate to hire MBA from this school if this is a common practice by them.

Ernest

August 20th, 2009
7:11 am

I’ll give him credit for originality. There may be an ‘angel’ out there that gives him the ‘break’ that he is seeking.

momtoAlex&Max

August 20th, 2009
7:13 am

I certainly do. And I give you one more: if I had the 10K I would absolutely do it.

Sure you can call me naive. But this young man is at least trying to break the cycle and get something done with his life. I wish him the best.

Bob Perrow

August 20th, 2009
8:07 am

mdowney, will you send me contact information on Terrence Wyatt?

bp

LeeH1

August 20th, 2009
9:03 am

An MBA student should be able to finance his education with grants, scholarships, loans and other resources. If he can’t, how is he going to survive in the outside world of bank loans and other financing? An ingenious idea, but there is no way the investor would be able to collect on the loan. I suspect a scam.

Ben

August 20th, 2009
9:15 am

I would also like some information on this young man…

FYI… I have an MBA and you do not have to be in the “business world” before being accepted into a program… A lot of companies will not even consider you if you do not, so it works hand in hand.

THanks

mdowney

August 20th, 2009
10:05 am

To those of you who want to contact Terrance Wyatt, you can do so through his eBay ad, or shoot me an e-mail at mdowney@ajc.com and I will forward to him. I will also ask him check out the blog and post any responses.
Maureen

Turd Ferguson

August 20th, 2009
10:13 am

LOL…A sucker is born every minute. This fellow, while ingenious in his motive, is probably so far in debt from student loans etc., that the $10K will not be re-paid. Add to that the fact that he could file bankruptcy and the $10K loaner could windup holding an empty sack.

PS…student loans cant be “written off”, however, personal loans can.
Just know if you loan this young man the cash it could very well blow up in ya face. Good luck!

Seen it all

August 20th, 2009
10:23 am

Oh for the love of God!!! This used to be the kind of story you would read in the National Examiner. You know– the stories like “WWII bomber found on moon” or “Woman gives birth to ratbaby.” Now so called “mainstream” publications publish drivel like this.

What idiot would “invest” in something like this? Besides MILLIONS of people, some college educated, with graduate degrees to boot, are walking the streets of America like zombies. This guy will probably end up selling TV’s at Best Buy — MBA notwithstanding.

Black Girl

August 20th, 2009
10:51 am

Sure wish I could help. I think it’s definitely an ingenious idea. Maybe he can take some small gifts from those of us that just want to see him graduate and realize his dreams.

For the Turds and likes of the world…you name says it all!

Turd Ferguson

August 20th, 2009
11:11 am

Well then typical-black-girl-with-bad-attitude. You seem to be quite gulliable, naive’ and nasty. You should be first inline to assist this poor soul in his endeavors. Getout that checkbook, max out that credit card, take out that second mortgage, trade-in that Pontiac Grand Am and help a brutha out!

Captain Underpants

August 20th, 2009
12:18 pm

Internet panhandling…what a novel idea!

Black Girl

August 20th, 2009
1:02 pm

Actually Turd I can assure you that you have more debt than I do. The only nastiness spouted today came from your keys. Are you speaking of your own life?!

And for the record…I drive a used Lexus which I own. How’s your financial portfolio?

Football Expert

August 20th, 2009
1:14 pm

I paid my own way thru to an MBA with a JOB. He could also consider joining the military. That would give all the GI Bill money needed or could end an excellent career choice.

What is right for kids?

August 20th, 2009
1:24 pm

Come on, guys. Give the man props for coming up with the idea. He is truly an entrepreneur. Even if he gets a hundred bucks, he’s got a hundred bucks, and when he lands a job, the person who “invests” can say they knew him when.
Bully for Terrance!

Turd Ferguson

August 20th, 2009
1:45 pm

“Actually Turd I can assure you that you have more debt than I do”

Wow…just what kindve of a palm reader/soothsayer are you!! What does your crystal ball have in store for OboboCare. Who will win the pennant this year? Based on your omniscience what does life have in store for us all. Will we save ourselves from ourselves or vice versa?

Nonetheless if ya have to spout about it ya probably have none of it. At any rate, since you are obviously so well off then perhaps a helping hand is due this fellow. So tell us…how much will you be donating to this fine young man.

PS…Lexus is overrated.

mdowney

August 20th, 2009
1:52 pm

Turd, As someone who drives a 92 Toyota Previa, I’ll take an overrated Lexus, if you have a spare.

Turd Ferguson

August 20th, 2009
1:54 pm

Perhaps black girl will sell ya hers.

Why?

August 20th, 2009
2:13 pm

Why would this idea be considered ingenious? Because no one’s ever seen it done before? There are two reasons new things pop up: 1) because they ARE ingenious, which this is not. 2) because anybody with a brain knows they are too ridiculous to work, which this is.

Turd Ferguson

August 20th, 2009
2:13 pm

PS…a paid for Lexus + the typical bad attitude exhibited by black girl = approx a 1997 Lexus…give or take a few years.

Just a guess…tee hee.

Turd Ferguson

August 20th, 2009
2:24 pm

Ya…I digress and agree with Why? and Captain Underpants.
Internet panhandling.

Chaz

August 20th, 2009
4:09 pm

From Ebay->

This listing (200374820080) has been removed, or this item is not available.
Please check that you’ve entered the correct item number
Listings that have ended 90 or more days ago will not be available for viewing.

Scam???

mdowney

August 20th, 2009
4:11 pm

Chaz. It was there this morning, but I did think eBay would eventually pull it as I am not sure that you can sell something as intangible as a stake in future earnings. I’ll check with Terrance and let you know.

Black Girl

August 20th, 2009
4:11 pm

Actually TURD it’s a 2001, but dang, you were really close. Good job lol!

atlanta_ice

August 20th, 2009
5:22 pm

“charity or fundraising listings” are prohibited on eBay UNLESS the charity is through the eBay Giving Works program, or the solicitation is on behalf of a recognized, tax-deductible charitable organizations (for example, (501(c)(3) or equivalent status with the IRS). And the seller must receive advance written consent from eBay
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/items-ov.html
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/fundraising.html

Lee

August 20th, 2009
5:23 pm

As someone who worked full time while obtaining my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I don’t have much sympathy for young Mr Wyatt’s plight.

There are also internships and co-opting which will allow a college student to gain valuable experience and earn money.

Bob Perrow

August 20th, 2009
11:59 pm

Am I the only guy who wants to help……………….?

Come on people! I can’t do it all but I can do a little. Leave sorry attitudes behind and help someone who is trying to help themselves. Is work under-rated here? Maybe. We can talk about that. Are other options left on the table? Yes. I have four kids, two of whom made their own way thanks to the Marine Corps and the USAF………..god bless all our troops.

But to ridicule and downgrade a man’s struggle and dream is to cut life off at conception. Oh yes, that’s another item, isn’t it?

bp

Tee Fox

August 21st, 2009
7:01 am

Who are these agents like “Turd”? They come into the picture to divide us. You can tell that “Turd” is not of color. So now that the world have lost respect for you and your people. Mainly because you have stolen and coned the world. Now you need some attention. Now your goal is to try to cause a division among black folks. Well I have news for you the world already has your number. My People learn how not to fall into the trap of the enemy!

Now this young man who is asking for help is a genius. Let face it. His idea is very creative and original. I know what it is to go threw hard times. And at present I am going threw them now but, If I could help I would. I would be the one investing in this young mans future. For those out there looking to take this young mans SOUL forget about it. We need now to help our own now. No one else cares about us.

Terrance keep up the fight for success! You will get what you need. Its really a shame how bad the racism has gotten since our new president.

Now o

Bill

August 21st, 2009
7:09 am

The part of the ad that gave me pause is this: “I am an aspiring hedge fund manager, social activist, and entrepreneur.” This guy does not have a clue what he wants to do. A previous poster mentioned work experience between undergrad and B-school. Most do require this and with good reason. Two years in the business world, and he will have a much clearer idea of what he wants to do (or at least what he doesn’t). Then finishing that MBA will be a good idea.

IamME

August 21st, 2009
7:23 am

I almost felt sorry for the guy….. until I checked out his Facebook page. Blah! Next article please!

NORRIS

August 21st, 2009
7:31 am

interesting. He is going to sell himself into slavery for the rest of his life. The african american community should be very angry at him.

Rod

August 21st, 2009
7:39 am

I have an MBA.

Manager – Most “respectable” universities do not require business experience in order to let you into their MBA program. Do you have an MBA?

Also: I worked while going to school and paid for my education. Sounds like Terrance has never actually worked before. Seriously, looking for the easy way out instead of getting a job and paying his own way through school?

If he is legitimate (hopefully he is), he’d be better off getting a job than paying back someone (hopefully) thousands of dollars every year.

jared

August 21st, 2009
7:51 am

I like Terrence’s attitude, way to think outside the box! I don’t think he is asking for sympathy, and am sure he has thought about internships, but internships won’t do a lot of good if he doesn’t have the money for next semester. Of course he could drop out for a semester and work, but there aren’t that many good jobs, and saving $10,000 at an entry level job might take a few years, so why not try something with some ingenuity? In the very least, If I were an employer, I would give this bright young man an interview!

I have access to investment property at 50% discounts that bring 50% Return on Investment or could be sold for $20,000 profit. I would be willing to provide these properties at cost to someone who would be willing to use $10,000 of the profit to help! How about a 3/2.5 2 car garage for $36,000 that last sold for $119,000 and only needs $4,000 in rehab – could easily sell for $80,000 even in today’s market.

Okay... NO

August 21st, 2009
8:01 am

Checked out his facebook and twitter… Not getting my money. Maybe he should change his militant profile picture. Why doesn’t he sell his “grill” and “bling” for money. And stop taking pictures of money, alcohol, and jewelry.

Georgia 1st

August 21st, 2009
8:12 am

Well, most reputable schools allow you to get an graduate degree after you finish undergrad. Mr. Manager was actually referring to executive MBA programs which I’m sure he’s not in. Those have different requirements because their applicants didn’t have the same course work as recent graduates.

Any young man who’s about to finish his MBA at 23 is amazing. It was 30 when I got mine.

With an unemployment rate of over 10%, someone who has a job referral should give it to him as I’m sure this was something he tried since he’s exhausted his resources.

2009 Camry Mommy

August 21st, 2009
8:14 am

I’m with Bob Perrow on this one. Help the young man out. Give with a happy heart or shut up already.

Of course there are other avenues. I worked two or three jobs to get an undergraduate and graduate degree. It would have been great if I had a sponsor but I never asked.

He could be out in the world giving in to his surroundings but he took the bridge to success. $10K is a good bit of money but isn’t an education worth it? Isn’t breaking the cycle in a family worth it? I was the first in my family to get a 4-year degree and a master’s degree. My parents and grandparents cried at both ceremonies and I held my head high.

Bill: Who says he can’t be all three things?

Black Girl, I like how you handled Turd. :)

Terrance, if you read this, I wish you all the luck. If you believe in the Lord, I hope you’ve taken this to him in prayer. Prayer is more powerful than many believe. There are kind and godly people like Mr. Perrow. Just remember to dismiss the Turds of the world. They do their job well but that’s what they are suppose to do.

Thanks mdowney for running this story. Kudos to you.

Turd Ferguson

August 21st, 2009
8:15 am

AHH HAHAHA…this is hilarious. This guy and his scam have been outed. BlackGirl you need to sell that 2001 Lexus and help a brutha out!

MBA Grad

August 21st, 2009
8:25 am

There are too many MBAs in this world, and not enough engineers, nurses, quality teachers, and plumbers. The problem I see is with people looking to the MBA as a ticket to success, while without relevant business experience, it is nearly worthless.

I received an MBA in Marketing from GSU in 2001. Outside of owning a small business, I had never had a marketing-specific job in my life. Obviously I wasn’t going to be hired as a product manager or strategic marketing consultant right out of school with my lack of experience (graduating months after Sept 11th didn’t help either). Without question anyone seeking an MBA needs to seriously consider gaining experience in their field before graduation, even if it is an unpaid internship.

I was fortunate enough to return to my previous business, and I was able to put my MBA to good use in helping me make my business grow. But I still have never worked a day in a marketing job with another company.

MBA Grad

August 21st, 2009
8:32 am

Holy cow!!!

I just looked at young Terrance’s Facebook page.

Terrance “Kal-El” Wyatt? And what’s with the militant pic on his profile?

No way would I give a penny to this guy.

Kids, don’t put anything on a Facebook page you wouldn’t want your employer to see. What an idiot.

Me

August 21st, 2009
8:39 am

FYI everyone. The first Terrance Wyatt that comes up in your facebook search is not this Terrance Wyatt. Compare the pictures….its not the same guy.

Madoff wannabe

August 21st, 2009
8:41 am

Ironically, at the very least, he’d make a great hedge fund manager… attempting sell sucker investors something as intangible as a stake in future earnings!

CJJScout

August 21st, 2009
8:41 am

MBA Grad just sealed what Turd started.

Mark

August 21st, 2009
8:42 am

Yeah, please go checkout his facebook page!!

Turd Ferguson

August 21st, 2009
8:45 am

“I was the first in my family to get a 4-year degree and a master’s degree. My parents and grandparents cried at both ceremonies and I held my head high.”

OH…thats nice…did they also wipe your fanny. Between you, 2009 Camry Mammy and black girl, there should be plenty of $$$ to help a brutha out.

Lettuce know how it goes.

M. Humphreys

August 21st, 2009
8:48 am

If 10,000 people give $1 each, he will have the money he needs to finish his studies and achieve his degree….duh!!!

MBA Grad

August 21st, 2009
8:56 am

To “Me”:

Yes, it IS him. That IS his Facebook page. Look at his “photos” section and compare to the above photo and you’ll see.

The Truth Hurts

August 21st, 2009
9:00 am

I really like the quote he lives by…”Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can givy your equality or justice or anything. If you are a man take.” Malcom X. Black girl sounds like you are out of the picture unless you are a man. If he is truely living by Mal X’s quote it looks like he isn’t doing a very good job. He is asking everyone to GIVE to him while he TAKES nothing…..typical slug.

MBA Grad

August 21st, 2009
9:01 am

Oh yeah, one more thing.

Kal-El, I love the photos of you giving the finger to the camera (multiple times), showing off your “grill”, posing with alcohol (numberous times), giving the gang signs, and the swear words you use to describe your photos.

Yeah, you’re someone I’d want to invest $10,000 in.

mscutie78

August 21st, 2009
9:22 am

I’m not sure where some of you went to school, but most schools do accept individuals into graduate programs right after receiving their bachelor’s. It’s not a far-fetched idea – many individuals want to get all of their schooling out of the way early instead of having to do the working/going to school thing.

The Truth Hurts

August 21st, 2009
9:23 am

Hey Kal-El (whoever that is) why didn’t you use the picture of you with a shotgun and the quote of the “revolution not being televised.” Why did you use the photo of you in a suit and smiling. Thats not the true you….what happened to the “angry black man” that worships Malcome X?????? Hey Kal-El go choke on it.