It's VERY easy to make money in this game. If you are broke at max rank (and not buying tons of stuff) then I am sorry but you are not doing something right.
Just because you know how to use the exchange dosen't mean you are “exploiting " from other people.
Also to the OP... I bought the Collectors Ed of the game back in Feb 2010, month later (maybe 2) there was a huge price drop. Should I get my money back from that? I would have loved to... but alas I didn't!
Requests like these make me wonder. If you buy a car do you call the dealership back in a year and ask to be refunded the depreciation in value? Please let me know how that turns out. Considering the drop in property values I would like to try the same thing for my house. :p