Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lisa Saunders Story

Lisa Saunders had been a fan of Shade Clothing for about a year when she moved from Southern California to Calgary, Alberta. But in her new home, she had a difficult time finding Shade's line of shirts, which is designed to be both modest and stylish. In her search, however, she discovered a way to fill her own clothing needs and those of other women in Canada--by becoming a Shade Clothing personal shopper. "You need to feel strongly and passionately about what you're selling," she says. "I knew I loved Shade."

Shade Clothing began its personal shopper program in March 2006, but the program wasn't available in Canada. Saunders knew it could be successful there, so she contacted the corporate office and worked with them to get the program up and running, eventually becoming the first Canadian personal shopper in June 2006. She's also a hiring manager, in charge of recruiting and training new personal shoppers in her area.

For Saunders, 32, Shade Clothing provides the double benefit of giving her access to clothes she likes and letting her earn money while raising her two children at home. But her biggest challenge, she says, has been getting the word out about Shade. To target her main audience--women and girls--she posts fliers at preschools, elementary schools and women's gyms.

She also relies, of course, on word-of-mouth generated by her in-home parties, where women try on samples and ask her advice. These parties, called home showcases, are Saunders' main source of sales. Saunders can even host parties over the phone, allowing her to have customers in other locations and run her business while she travels. "You can sell to anyone, anywhere," she says. Though the parties are her main focus, Saunders can also make sales through open houses, internet sales and personal shopping appointments.

Saunders recognizes that her business is about more than just making a sale; getting repeat business and good word-of-mouth are vital to direct-selling success. "I want all customers to feel appreciated, whether they're placing a $30 order or a $300 order," she says. With that goal always in mind, Saunders projects 2007 sales will reach at least $60,000.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

Errant Computer Keystroke Leads To A Wrong Person Getting A $2.5 Million Dollar Check.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dr Ken Evoy, A Physician Who's Dream Was To Become An Internet Marketer

Ken Evoy is a doctor and inventor who also became an Internet marketer in the late 90s. Both he and a number of his partners have written free ebooks on topics that range from affiliate marketing to web copywriting. I have found that his ebooks are very informative, and some of them are actually much better than information products I routinely pay money for.

Ken Evoy's company also provides a number of marketing and web development tools, the most notable one being Site Build It (SBI). SBI is a robust web management tool that assists the developer in all aspects of creating and marketing a site.

If you are just getting started out in a web business, and are not very familiar with how to put up a site, how to submit to search engines, and how to market your site, then a tool like SBI will get you off the ground quickly and efficiently. I only wish there was a tool like this available when I first started out. Unfortunately, there wasn't, so I ended up learning web design, programming, and web marketing all on my own. Over the years, I have used numerous Webmastering tools, and I must say that for the price, SBI offers an incredible number of features and functionalities.

SBI has helped many entrepreneurs develop their own profitable businesses. Amazingly, over half of the people who use SBI end up having sites that are in the top 6% in terms of popularity on the Internet.

Making A Profit With Supersized Sports Books

Karl Fowler isn't a traditional publisher. His books, which chronicle major sporting events and teams, can weigh more than 90 pounds and go for as much as $4,000. His latest bestseller - a Manchester United book.

Mr Fowler is a bright and determined man who has done his homework. Manchester United is an international brand, currently under American ownership, but with truly worldwide appeal. The audience of potential purchasers is not thus restricted to British fat cats but to high net worth individuals the world over.

A sister volume on the Super Bowl will have limited appeal outside the United States, but there are surely enough American millionaire gridiron fans for that to show a profit.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

How Not To Be One-Man Charity System For Webmasters, Designers And Programmers, When You Launch Your Startup On The Web.

Monday, May 28, 2007

How To Make 80K With Patriotic T-Shirts

Patrick Gray and John Betz, both 32, have designed a line of shirts that give a voice to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sold online at, the shirts feature words and images that tell service members' stories without making political statements. They're also fashioned by up-and-coming designers, so they're nothing like typical military garb.

"Everything in the military tends not to be stylish, so this is different," says Gray, who started New York City-based TakePride in June 2006 with Betz, a third-generation Marine.

By February, they'd earned roughly $88,000, and they expect that number to grow as they expand into department stores this summer. They also donate 20 percent of their profits to military-related charities.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

Funeral Home Invests $100,000 In A Three-Wheeled Harley And Carriage-Style Hearse

Sunday, May 27, 2007

10 Books You Should Read If You Want To Make A Crapload Of Money, Part II

6. Bootstrap: Lessons Learned Building a Successful Company from Scratch

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, for a multitude of reasons. Ken details the entrepreneur's issues when bootstrapping a company quite well (we bootstrapped our company also, and ran into many of the same problems). I enjoyed reading more about how Ken FELT while the company was growing. As an employee, you don't often know how the CEO feels about anything (Ken is good at controlling his emotions). Turns out he had similar feelings most entrepreneur's do when starting a company.

7. Little Red Book of Selling

If you’ve been a regular fan like I have of frenetic sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer’s columns in the Business Journal, you’ll want to grab his infamous power book on selling, The Little Red Book of Selling. Like all of his stuff, it’s a straight ahead, well traveled, often brilliant collection of practices on getting the advantage in selling, both over yourself and your competition. Like most of what Jeffrey writes, it holds application for both the individual sales pro and the entrepreneur. Let me briefly show you how this little book is big on take away value.

8. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

I've read a lot of great books, but this one is the one is truly unique. The ideas found in this book are immeasurably valuable. In this book you will find the secrets you need to live the life you dream of living. Tim is a gift to this world because he has been so generous in writing a book that candidly explains in great detail how to work less and make more. I've never seen any other book with more practical wisdom on the art of success. I've dog-eared most of this books since it's so full of great ideas. If you're an entrepreneur or want your life back, you must buy this book.

9. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Eker's claim to fame is that he took a $2,000 credit card loan, opened "one of the first fitness stores in North America," turned it into a chain of 10 within two and a half years and sold it in 1987 for a cool (but now somewhat modest-seeming) $1.6 million.As you read through Eker's book, you realize that intuitively you might have "felt" some of these things all along but DIDn't follow through. I very much enjoyed this book. It's certainly one of the better books about building wealth and I think that everyone can benefit from it regardless of their current level of income.

10. Street Smart Internet Marketing

Justin Michie is a successful business entrepreneur who made the life-changing decision to become a full time internet marketer, after he found himself frustrated with the long hours, excessive stress and constant employee management of his offline businesses. So he sold his businesses, left the employees, long hours and stress behind, for the freedom afforded by online marketing. He now makes more money in fewer hours and enjoys much more free time with his family. But the book is really valuable because of street smart internet marketing techniques thata Justin shares in his book.


World's 10 Best Paid Bloggers

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How To Become A Full-Time Salsa Enterpreneur

Ferret hair may not sound like it's meant for dipping. But it sure makes for some good salsa.

Ten years ago, Dan and Sally Homner created Hair of the Ferret Gourmet Salsa in their Crown Point basement, after 10 year of making batches of the condiment for friends and family.

No ferrets are harmed in the making of the salsa, and thankfully ferret hair isn't really one of the ingredients. It's just a catchy name for a product that's catching on with those who love a little heat. "I didn't even know what a ferret looked like," Dan Homner admits.

Now Homner's a full-time salsa entrepreneur, doing business with about 100 stores in Indiana and Illinois, and with online customers from as far away as California and New Jersey.

His first paying customers were at the Crown Point Farmers Market. A few small stores started carrying it. After the season ended, Homner received 200 calls from people wanting to buy his salsa.

"That's when my wife and I both looked at each other and said, 'Hey, maybe we've got something here,'" he said.

Over the next few years, Hair of the Ferret expanded into other stores and other farmers markets. Homner spent several 16 hour days a week making the stuff, struggling to keep up with the demand.

In 2000, Homner quit his job at a Griffith mill-supply company, and started making salsa full-time. In 2001, he outsourced production to a facility near Rockford, Ill.T he four main varieties, which range from Mild to Flaming Hot, feature roma tomatoes, white onions, and up to 12 types of peppers, which include the exotic japones and scotch bonnet peppers in the spiciest batches. Homner also started making a fruit salsa this year, Pineapple Mango Peach.

While Homner's not personally making the salsa anymore, his job keeps him busy. He is still the company's only full-time employee, and makes almost all of the deliveries.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

The Great Salsa Book

Using Classic Salsas To Enliven Our Favorite Dishes

10 Books You Should Read, If You Want To Make A Crapload Of Money, Part I

1. Buffettology: The Proven Techniques for Investing Successfully in Changing Markets That Have Made Warren Buffett the World's Most Famous Investor

I NEVER buy books on stock market. And neither should you. It's a waste of time. The only person you should listen to is Warren Buffett. After all, he is the riches investor in the world and the second richest man after Bill Gates. Warren Buffett once said that he doesn't care about the price. He cares about value. If you never read Buffetology before, it'll be a real eye opener for you.

2. Words that Sell

Words That Sell lists the words and phrases that stimulate sales, grouping them in a logical, easy-to-find manner. The three basic sections of a sales presentation are the grabber, the description, and the clincher, and these sections comprise the core of Words That Sell. Once you find out that you can REALLY make a ton of money merely from an ability to put words down on paper, you'll want to know WHAT to say and HOW to do it. This book does an awesome job teaching that.

3. The Art of the Start

Guy Kawasaki wrote the best book on startups. This book is about starting a business, or a new branch of business within an existing one. And about what it takes to get the funding and momentum you need to be successful. It's about putting aside the ridiculous corporate culture of "mission statements", vision statements, binders and all the rest. Guy Kawasaki helps you to think about the most important aspects of your business and your personal motivation for starting it. In short it's about why the world needs your product or service, why you need to sell it, and how to get there. Much of the content is focused on the mechanics (and pitfalls to avoid) of making formal pitches to venture capitalists, banks and the like. There is also some content dedicated to advertising, marketing and PR, and how *not* to do those things as well. If you're not smart about it, advertising and marketing your new business will financially sink you, with no real profit to show for it, so pay attention to the advice given here!

4. On Bullshit

This book is a fascinating journey into the meaning of truth, lies and BS. It was surprisingly thoughtful and like anything thoughtful it fertilized more thought. At least for me it did. I think it was worth the investment in money and time.

5. The Millionaire Next Door

The title might sound cheesy, but the book really does share insights on what affluent, and successful really mean. It gives a great lesson on status symbols, and the proper attitudes towards work, and money to build wealth. What appealed to me the most, is that this is by no means a "get rich quick" book, or even a "get rich" book. It does however outline character traits of those among us that have become successful, and shows the many traps that most people, including high earners commonly fall into.

Germany Hopes To Raise 1.4 Billion Euros Through More Efficient Tax On Prostitution

The Million Dollar Coin

Scientists Discover That Scientists Shouldn't Marry

Friday, May 25, 2007

PetLane.Com - How To Make Money With Pet Parties

Linda Franzblau began the party as she always did: by introducing herself to the guests; telling them about Petlane and its products for dogs, cats and birds; and talking about her own dog, Rocket, and her cats, Dot and Dash. Then she came to the point where every party differs--meeting the guests and learning about their needs. She asked each of them to introduce themselves and talk about their pets. A woman named Katy mentioned she had an older dog that she used to walk at night, but she couldn't anymore because the dog's eyesight was failing. Franzblau instantly knew how to help. As she handed out catalogs and order forms to customers, Franzblau took a moment to point Katy toward one of Petlane's newer products, the Pet Lamp, which attaches around a dog's neck and acts as a headlight. Katy's reaction? "She said, ‘It sounds wonderful; it looks wonderful. Sign me up,'" says Franzblau.

Her passion for helping pets like Katy's dog is the reason Franzblau, 53, decided to become a Petlane pet advisor in February 2006. She tries to help customers by not only finding products to fill each pet's needs, but also educating their owners on better pet care through the discussions and games at her parties. And Franzblau may be making money as the expert at her parties, but she's also receiving a valuable education. "Every day, I'm learning different things to make my pets' lives healthier," she says.

Meanwhile, Franzblau has discovered that Petlane allows her to help more than just pets. "I can give back to my community in so many ways," she says. The business makes it easy for her to help people in and around her Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, home by setting up fundraisers for local charities. She creates a website for each charity, and the charity earns a percentage of the sales made on the Petlane products sold through that website.

The Petlane business also allows Franzblau to mentor other entrepreneurs as she adds new pet advisors across the country to her sales team. She encourages and educates her team by having a group phone call each week and holding monthly training sessions online. Franzblau and her team also educate themselves through Petlane's annual conventions and its book clubs, in which they read a new book each month that's pertinent to their business.

While her Petlane business fulfills many of her passions, Franzblau also had practical motivations for getting started. She had just been laid off from her job in marketing and product development and needed a way to support herself and her daughter. Luckily, she has found that her passion and her pocketbook can go hand in hand, especially when that passion is part of a $38 billion pet industry in the U.S. She expects to easily make six figures in the next two years, all while doing what she loves.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

Man Tries To Smuggle 700 Snakes On Plane

How To Make Money With Girlie Tools

Getting Rich in Your Underwear: How to Start and Run a Profitable Home-Based Business

Thursday, May 24, 2007

UglyDolls.Com - How To Make Millions Selling Unattractive Toys.

2006 sales $2.5 million

Uglydolls may not be the most attractive plush toys in the world--one has three eyes, another sports buckteeth--but they were born from two people's passion. David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim had both dreamed of making toys since childhood, and when they met at school in New York City 10 years ago, they found a kinship as unique as the dolls they imagined. "We both loved illustrating our own characters and coming up with stories," says Horvath. "Things sort of formed. There was this master plan--we just didn't know how or when."

In September 2001, Kim's student visa expired and she had to return to Korea. Horvath kept their vision alive through letters, always signing his with a drawing of Wage, a character they had created together. The following December, Kim brought Wage to life for the very first time with needle and thread and mailed it to Horvath as a surprise. When e-tailer and fellow entrepreneur Eric Nakamura saw the doll, he immediately ordered 20 to sell in his store, Giant Robot. They sold out in a day, and over the next 18 months, Kim hand-sewed 1,500 more.

Targeted to people of all ages, Uglydolls are sold globally in 2,500 retail stores such as FAO Schwarz and Newbury Comics, and distribution continues to grow--sales are expected to at least double in 2007. A line of journals, stationery and postcards launched in March, and guidebooks to the Uglydolls Universe will be released in spring 2008. Meanwhile, Uglydolls have attracted a cult following of fans drawn to the one-of-a-kind characters. Some think they do their name justice, but Horvath believes there's no such thing as ugly. "Those funny little bumps and twists and turns that kind of make us who we are--I think those are good," he says. "Who wants to look the same?"

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

The Length Of Your Fingers Can Predict SAT Performance, Scientists Say

Man Gets 5,000 Calls After Posting YouTube Video

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Copeac.Com – How To Make Money With CPA Networks

This month, I’m going to break $3000 benchmark with (which I really started playing around with only two months ago), so I figured I’d share a few tips on making money on the internet with CPA networks, like As you see, I’m linking to Copeac with my reflink. I’m going this for two reasons – first, any person who registers using this link will be able to get help from me (all you need to do is mention your Copeac ID) and I’ll tell you which campaigns make most money for me. Second (more important reason), you’ll get a 14% higher payouts right away, rather then having to make $1000 in commissions first.

OK, what’s a CPA network? CPA stands for “cost per action”. While most affiliate networks pay only for purchases and AdSense pays per clicks, CPA networks pay per “action”. An action may be a filled out form, an e-mail registration, a request for a brochure, a phone number, etc. My average pay out is anywhere between $1.45-$8.00 per such an action.

Here is a real example how Copeac works. Click this link
and you'll be taken to Shawn's Casey website. You probably remember me profiling him recently. Shawn is giving away free internet marketing software. All he wants in exchange is your name and e-mail. Every time a person fills out an e-mail from, I get $1.30. As simple as that.

It's important to not that you can not (under any conditions) artificially inflate the number of opt-ins, but it's not necessary. Every time I run an article about Shawn I get about 50 dollars. People are all too happy to exchange their e-mail addresses for free software. Especially since my blog caters to the right crowd.

Some offers pay as high as $20 per lead. For exmaple this one. The high-paying offers are usually very specific (this one deals with military personnel only) and geotargeted to US only (some offers are exclusive to UK or Canada). All international traffic in this instance is re-routed.

But the best thing about CPA networks is that you can make MUCH MORE money not from your webiste, but from AdWords ads. My current ROI on Copeac ads that I run on Google is anywhere between 300% and 800% (it means for every dollar I spend on AdWords I get 3-8 bucks from Copeac). If you are interested in knowing more about that side of the business, make sure you drop me a line after your register with Copeac - there are a lot of little tips and tricks I'd like to share.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Swarovski On A T-Shirt

If it's free, there's sure to be hype--but even the promotional products industry could use some pizzazz lately. Enter Andrew and Lee Sequeira, 41 and 44, respectively. Owners of an online spa and beauty boutique, this husband-and-wife team couldn't resist acquiring Sparkle Plenty Designs Inc., which specializes in Swarovski crystal-embellished T-shirts, in January 2006. Adding just enough "bling" helped them give an upscale look to the promotional tee industry.

By showing off their customized crystal designs at trade shows nationwide and launching a website, the Sequeiras' Philadelphia business has attracted a wide variety of clients, including the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, NASA and The Ritz-Carlton. "An image in crystal is stunning," says Andrew, who sizes up 2007 sales at about $525,000. "It's allowing us to go to a higher plane with the things we're doing." Whatever the design, this company is sure to make any business sparkle.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

'Buy Locally' Business Idea With A Web Twist

Racers Take Wrong Turn, Run 3 Extra Miles

Monday, May 21, 2007

How To Get Rich Selling ... Aprons

Aprons are generally considered more of a fashion faux pas than fashion-forward. They're hidden in the backs of drawers and thrown aside in the presence of company. Helena Steele knew it wasn't always this way. She could remember when her grandmother, Jessie, would bake treats while clad in finely constructed aprons with beautiful patterns on them.

So in 2002, Helena and her daughter, Claire, formed Jessie Steele, a line of aprons meant to go far beyond the kitchen drawer.

When the mother-daughter team created their line of vintage-inspired aprons, their unique backgrounds proved to be invaluable. Claire, a former model and marketing executive, used her knowledge of fashion and marketing to promote the business, while Helena, an accomplished seamstress and the founder of Golden Gate Kitchens, a successful kitchen design company, helped with the design. Their mission was to create an apron that bridged the culinary/fashion divide, an accessory that could be worn whether buyers were making meatloaf or strolling down Fifth Avenue.

"We definitely feel that they're functional fashion," says Claire, 29, who helped Helena, 54, update the vintage apron styles and textiles for modern wearers.

Claire and Helena unveiled the aprons to immediate success. The vintage styles are a hit among home chefs, as well as hip retailers and boutiques, which have seen a growing demand for retro styles, from '20s flapper gowns to bell-bottoms.

Today, the aprons are sold at stores such as Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, which appeal to gourmet cooks, and at small boutiques, which cater to more stylistically adventurous clients who love to wear the aprons as a fashion statement.

The company plans to start offering hospitality design and to expand the boutique line to contemporary, traditional and urban themes. Projected sales for 2007 are $3 million.

Even in the midst of their growing success, Claire and Helena take time to appreciate the foundations of their homegrown business. "One of the ideas of Jessie Steele is to celebrate your family, your friends and your home," says Claire, "and that's an important part of what we're doing."

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.
10 Most Outragreous Frivolous Lawsuits
Florida Nudists To Use $2 Bills Exclusively

Sunday, May 20, 2007

How To Make Millions, Designing Theme Parks

We design attractions for theme parks, resorts, museums and retail developments. Since our founding six years ago, we've created everything from an indoor ski resort to an Ice Age-themed ride for a German amusement park to a Pussycat Dolls gaming area at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Everything we do is based on a story. For instance, we created a 50,000-square-foot traveling educational attraction based on "Jurassic Park" that sends visitors on a fictional investor-relations tour, where the company behind "Jurassic Park" is trying to convince investors that it's ready to introduce newer, safer dinosaurs to the public.

In the end, of course, everything goes horribly wrong. In the last scene everybody's locked in a box and the power goes out and a T. Rex and spinosaurus come in and have a fight literally over the audience's head. It scares the hell out of everyone.

Before founding Thinkwell, we worked together at Universal Studios' Creative Recreation Group. In 2001, Universal decided to relocate the division from Los Angeles to Orlando, and we felt it was time to look at our options. We said, "We've got a great team together. This is an opportunity for us to diversify."

Last year we were profitable and our revenues rose 60 percent, to $8 million. Now we want to do more projects for ourselves that can become annuities. We developed, with Sesame Workshop, a Sesame Street exhibit that teaches kids how the body works and how to stay healthy.

Thousands of kids have experienced the exhibit in science museums across the country. We're looking for angel investors to help us fund more of these unique projects. We want to take control of our destiny.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

BP Station Clerk Finds $10 Bill, Buys $1M Winner Lotto Ticket

How To Make Money Running Errands For Others

Saturday, May 19, 2007

KossDVD.Com - College Sophomore On Track To Become A Millionaire Selling DVDs On eBay

Corey Kossack, 23
Tempe, Arizona
eBay User ID: kossdvd
2006 Sales: $1 million
Projected 2007 Sales: $3 million
eBay Business: New DVDs, iPod accessories and video games

In 2004, Corey Kossack was a college sophomore doing some online shopping from his dorm room for a digital camera memory card. One of his stops was eBay to see if he could find a deal. Although he says he "always thought of eBay as a place for people to get rid of junk," he found someone selling hundreds of memory cards that day. This was clearly a businessperson, not an individual selling castoffs from their personal collection, and it changed Kossack's thinking about eBay. He saw a business opportunity and wanted in.

Recognizing the need to carve out his own niche, Kossack decided on DVDs. He reasoned that there are always new titles coming out, creating an ongoing demand for the product, and most DVDs are the same size and weight, which makes the process of packing and shipping them much simpler.

However, "finding suppliers was difficult," he says. By calling major distributors from the study room in his dorm, Kossack eventually got his foot in the door. But he says the sales terms at the outset "weren't very good," mainly because his sales volume was low.

That soon changed as Koss DVD's sales volume increased. In its first year in operation, the company sold $500,000 worth of DVDs. But what has kept the business on course has been Kossack's focus on profitability, not sales. "Sales volume isn't all that's important," he says. "What's really important is profit."

While most businesses focus on the top line--sales--Kossack has paid equal attention to keeping costs down. One change to the company's shipping process, replacing the bubble envelopes it had been using with a lightweight alternative, shaved 0.3 ounces off each package's total weight and saved the company $10,000 in its first year.

From the start, Kossack has tracked each order's profit margin carefully, taking note of all the factors affecting profitability to make constant improvements. But in 2006, recognizing how important such calculations could be for any eBay business, he paid another student to create software and used the new formulas to replace his manual calculations.

In addition to automating his profit tracking, Kossack has renegotiated deals with his suppliers based on his company's track record of growth and success. He's also expanded his product line, from 1,000 DVD titles to 10,000, and added video games and iPod accessories to his store. He says, "We're becoming more of a superstore."

Be sure to research your intended industry thoroughly to understand what margins are typical. You will be better armed to negotiate with suppliers, and you can confirm upfront that your business can be profitable. And this magic free software that eBay millionaires use can help you get started.

More on eBay

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Friday, May 18, 2007

How To Make Money Buying And Selling Ideas Online

George M. Davison had an idea about ideas. A lot of people have ideas. Some ideas are very good. So why not buy ideas from people and then resell them for a profit. Sounds impossible? Well, it's not.

George Davison started his first business in 6th grade. He would buy candy in bulk from a local merchant each morning and then sell it to the children at Shadyside Academy that day. Buying Charms lollipops for five cents and then selling them for 25 cents, he learned first hand how to buy and sell, as well as to create his first inventory system. As time passed, he found himself leading his fellow Kiskimenetas Spring School (prep) students as one of only a few students selected to run the dorms. He attended school six days a week in a coat and tie and held down his first major job managing his classmates.

When it came time for college, George Davison had two letters of nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy, one from Congressman Lyle Williams, and the other from Congressman Don Bailey. He decided to attend Allegheny College in 1982. On the first day of school, he met his wife, started a vending machine business, ran the commissary, and became house manager for The Phi Delta Allegheny Chapter. Davison graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Computer Science.

Wanting to follow in his ancestors' footsteps, Davison realized that he too wanted to run his own business. He spent two years after graduation making a new product that killed toothbrush germs. Like most inventors, Davison felt the pain of someone beating him to market with an idea. Davison decided there must be an easier way to design, develop and present ideas to corporations. These obstacles are what prompted him to come up with a way for inventors to get their ideas designed and presented to corporations for possible licensing. Through this process, Davison came up with his greatest invention - Inventegration, which is the unique process that drives his company. Today, Davison's company employs over 285 people in Pittsburgh. This is how it works

Once a new idea is presentation ready, Davison focuses on presenting the product to corporations with the intent of securing a license agreement. But Simply having an invention does not guarantee that a product will make its way onto a store shelf. For a product to have a fighting chance, it requires skills and knowledge that come from experienced professionals. Davison's licensing efforts have placed products in Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target, just to name a few.

So if you have a worthwhile idea and want money for it, you may want to run it by George. He'll give a free estimate about how worthwhile your idea may be. And if you are lucky, you'll get a lot of money for it.

P.S. At this point Inventegration works only with US residents.

Fla. Lottery Says Man's $500,000 Scratch-Off Ticket Appears To Be Misprint Rather Than Winner

Thursday, May 17, 2007

WonderPizza - Pizza Vending Machine

One of the world’s favorite fast-food options just got even more convenient with Wonderpizza—the world's first vending machine to serve up piping hot pizzas in less than two minutes. The Wonderpizza machine stands at about six feet high, six feet wide and three feet deep, and holds up to 102 pre-sliced 9-inch pizzas in separate and sealed trays. The pizzas are frozen using a special process. Once they’ve been thawed and placed in the machine, they have a shelf-life of 12 days. Standard varieties are Cheese, Vegetables and Ham, but other varieties can be produced on request (minimum order is 39,000 pizzas). Using a high-intensity toaster oven cooking process, Wonderpizzas are heated upon order and delivered fast and hot at a suggested retail price of USD 5–6.

Based on more than five years and six million dollars worth of research and development, Wonderpizza originated in Italy and is now beginning worldwide distribution, seeking regional and local distributors, dealers and agents. Entrepreneurs who are quick to jump in on the game and target the right locations can feast on a yummy slice of profit.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

Start Your Own Business for $1,000 or Less

The 100 Best Businesses to Start When You Don't Want to Work Hard Anymore

How Vonage Is Able To Make So Much Money With Their Free Service Offer

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

AdultFriendFinder.Com - How To Make Millions With 'Adult Dating' (As In Dating For Sex) Websites

Warning! NOT SAFE FOR WORK! is for those who wish to find some pals with whom to “play” and for those who choose to share tales of their adult exploits with appreciative new amigos. It’s kind of like joining an x-rated country club.

Founded in 1996 by Andrew Conru and privately owned, the FriendFinder Network operates with a staff of more than 200 from its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The FriendFinder Network is the leading global online relationship network, allowing over 20 million registered members to confidentially and anonymously meet people with similar interests and mindsets in a safe, exciting environment. Last year revenue is estimated to be around 87 million US Dollars, with most profit coming from AdultFriendFinder.Com

So what's behind the success of this adult dating website? What strikes you right away is how much access is available to everyone regardless of membership level. Without paying, services like accessing member personals are limited, but still available to you. All those thumbnails of tits, ass, or cock scrolling by in the search results will peak your interest and start your juices flowing for sure. Just a titillating taste and you’ll probably sign-up for full service anyway. In the meantime, anybody can send a wink to show interest. Adding a profile to your Hotlist sends an e-mail displaying your crush on the other member. As a bonus, the popularity of a profile can lead to privileged access even for a standard member. Paid subscribers for an extra fee can allow free access to anyone, increasing the number of responses they get.

If you'd like to know more about adult business from the business prospective (rather than sexual), check out The Down & Dirty Guide to Building Adult Web Sites

The Bra Strap Niche

Entrepreneur Dao Tran-Boyd is hoping never to be strapped for cash again after finding the holy grail of business: a niche product.

Bra straps sound like the kind of idea that could get laughed out of the Dragon's Den but as Mrs Tran-Boyd, founder of Glamorous Bra Straps said: "The simple things in life are the best".

That maxim holds true in business and 18 months after its launch the company has been shortlisted by the Gift Association for its Best Gift of the Year Award.

Mrs Tran-Boyd, from New Malden, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted, especially as we have been trading for just less than a year, but have already achieved a retail and wholesale customer base across the UK, Ireland, Channel Island, Europe and even as far as Egypt and Nigeria.

"Until now bra straps have been a fashion nightmare, but not any more."

She started making the items at home selling them at school fairs. When interest grew, she took the plunge and invested money to approach a wholesaler in China.

The company is now taking enquires from agents in the USA and Canada and has over 150 hand-made straps in its collection.

Having a keen interest in community and charities, Mrs Tran-Boyd is happy the straps have been a hit with breast cancer sufferers and she now hopes to use the product to further good causes.

"Its simple, but it makes women feel sexy and glamorous," she said.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

Lost Wallet Returned After 55 years

Stay-at-home mom's work worth $138,095 a year

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How To Make Money With Text Link Ads

Chances are, you've already heard of Text Links Ads (TLA). Several bloggers reported that TLA makes them more money than AdSense. For instance, last month John Chow has made $1352 from Text Link Ads from his blog, while AdSense income for the same website is 'only' a thousand dollars. I've tried TLA ten days ago and has made $200 so far. I've also recently added TLA to my discounted software shop DePrice.Com

TLA has one major advantage over all other traffic monetizing tools. It does not require clicks or purchases. You get paid simply for placing links on your website. Here is a very cool tool you should check out, it shows how much money you can make with TLA - TLA Link Calculator. Try plugging in (I've actually added this blog to TLA database, but still haven't added the code yet because it requires some tech expertise I don't have).

A single link from this blog gets me $41 a month. You can put up to 12 links. Do the math. However, selling links from sites or blogs you currenly own, isn't the best tactics.

The best tactics is buying PR4-5-6 domains, websites and blogs and monetizing them from TLA. It's a perpetual money making machine. You can buy a PR5 domain for $150. You'll need to put up a pretty page to attract advertisers and to make sure that Page Rank is real and not pumped up artificially.

Because TLA pays via PayPal once a month, you can easily reinvest money in new websites or buy links for your projects to increase PR. The higher page rank, the better TLA will pay you. As simple as that.

Also, take note of the fact that TLA is running a promotion - $100 in FREE Links

Monday, May 14, 2007

How To Make One Million Dollars With A Site That Maps Cellphone Dead Spots Across US.

As a startup business, it's sometimes tough to know where you're going. But Allen Tsai and other online entrepreneurs who use new mapping technology make it their business.

Tsai, 27, is the founder of, a mapping website that locates cell reception, towers and dead spots across the country. "Cell phone reception was and still is widely variable," says Tsai, who launched the site in 2003.

Other websites mapped only bits and pieces of tower locations, and the FCC's tower registration database was just a "chart of coordinates," says Tsai. "It wasn't very useful unless mapped. So that's what I did." links to Tsai's other website,, an educational resource on the cell phone marketplace. Tsai said he did this to increase traffic and boost visitor comments about cell reception, which add value to the coordinates Tsai maps. Today, gets more than 90,000 visitors a month, and the sites earned combined sales of more than $1 million in 2006.

If you have an interesting business or a website, we'd love to profile it. And here is how you get a link from this blog.

Nudist Club Lowers Fees By Two Thirds For Younger Members

Bar And Grill Offers $5 All-You-Can-Eat Deep Fried Testicles Special

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Reunion.Com - the un-glamorous social network that makes money

Reunion is a social networking company that looks decidedly old-fashioned, compared to glitzy (or garish, some would say) sites like MySpace.

And yet its simplicity, like that of Facebook, is apparently part of its success. It now has 28 million registered users, and is adding one million users a month — and by that measure, it ranks among the top five social networks (Facebook, by contrast has slightly more than 19 million registered users). That’s why Reunion has just scored $25 million in venture capital from Oak Investment Partners, in what is the largest first round of venture capital any social network has received to date.

So why have you never heard of it?

Launched in 2002, Los Angeles-based Reunion is far more retro than Facebook. It shrugs aside the sexy “widget” doodads popularized by companies in Silicon Valley — and has slogged away through the years quietly, without marketing hype or verve. Reunion targets the 25 and older crowd. When you register, it provides you a straight-forward profile page, and then lets you add a range of information about yourself (bio info, favorite movies, character descriptions, etc). At its simplest, you can add your friends, and then stay in touch with them — as the name “reunion” would suggest. No video sharing or anything. Plain-vanilla stuff. See screenshot below. Many of its 28 million users registered years ago, and aren’t that active. However, it has about eight million unique users a month, which comfortably places it among the top ten networks.

Yet its new users — because they are older — are far more profitable than users at younger sites, such as MySpace, says chief executive Jeff Tinsley. Reunion brings in revenue of more than $30 million a year, though he wouldn’t be more specific. Cyworld, the raging popular Korean site, has said it makes $2.10 revenue per users, and Reunion makes much more than that on its recent users, Tinsley said. “It’s interesting, we don’t get covered nearly as much as these other guys,” Tinsley said.

One source of Reunion’s traffic is the “people search” technology it offers to other sites. It powers people search for AOL, Infospace, and Lycos, and will announce another big deal in two weeks, he said. People search is becoming more popular, and it will soon “bubble up” to become a staple feature at the top of most major sites, Tinsley said. Reunion powers 60 million people searches a month.

Reunion’s second largest outside investor is Richard Rosenblatt, former chief executive of Intermix, the parent company of Myspace. He joined the seed round, though invested less than Tinsley himself.

Reunion makes money from advertising. But it is more aggressive in pushing its premium services, charging between $3 and $5 a month to do things like contact people once you’ve located their profile pages, or to be able to see who is searching for you. You have to pay to see people’s full profiles, too.

We wonder how long it will be able to charge people for this sort of thing, given that sites like Spock (yet to launch, albeit), MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn are increasingly giving you ways to reach people, and stay in touch with them, for free.

Nudist Club Lowers Fees By Two Thirds For Younger Members

The 100 Best Businesses to Start When You Don't Want to Work Hard Anymore

How To Make Money Creating Custom Travel Guide Books

two years ago, Colleen Cavanaugh Anthony and Alexis Owens, who met in Los Angeles while working on film and fashion projects, came up with the idea of creating their own series of custom guides, tailored to the special interests and needs of travelers headed to a particular destination at a specific time. They envisioned a personalized guidebook that would travel well, containing information unavailable to most other tourists. "Aside from setting up shoots, we were always figuring out where to have a client dinner," says Owens.

The pair, already avid globe-trotters who had often put together listings of activities for clients arriving in town for a photo shoot, poured their experience into launching in 2005 a custom travel-publishing outfit, Miss Information. The company reaped $5,000 in sales that year and tripled sales its second year. It doesn't yet have a sales goal or a projection for 2007.

After plunking down a $300 investment at a do-it-yourself publishing operation, Cavanaugh Anthony and Owens were in business. To create a truly customized product, their process begins with an interview of the client to mine the essential details the guide should contain. Using a Macintosh publishing program called Pages for layout, the pair then print pocket-size guides with photos and text that run 50 to 60 pages and are hand-bound with an old Japanese binding technique.

For an added touch, an old-fashioned library pocket bearing the client's name is placed on the inside jacket. The covers—a map of the destination—are made from archival paper (a particularly durable acid-free paper) and coated for wear and tear. "They're meant to get banged around," says Owens. "You can toss them when done or keep them; they hold up well. You can even use them as a coaster."

Without employing any marketing or advertising, Miss Information has relied solely on word of mouth. Not surprisingly, the outfit's first clients were people the pair knew from the film and fashion industries. Corporate clients so far have included The Gap and Campbell Soup. Yet the company has expanded its range of customers and will even produce guidebooks for, say, out-of-town guests attending a wedding that include personal details, such as where the bride and groom had their first date and where they got engaged.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and on other blogs, do let us know. If you need a link from this blog, here is how you get one.

Cat Spent Over 35 days In Container On A Ship From China Without Food Or Water And Survived

What My Engineering Professor Taught Me Of Life, Business And Marketing

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How To Make $100,000 A Year, Setting Up Murder Mystery Parties

David Wachtendonk makes over $100,000 a year with murder mystery parties. His company, Murder Mystery Maniacs (don't you love this name) sets up "murder parties" for families, corporations, teens and adults. Dave also sells scenarios for parties as well as creates custom murder mystery plots. A typical scenario is about 8 dollar per person involved in a party.

Here is a plot for "American Idol" murder mystery (one of the most popular choices)

We kill Simon Cowell. Do we need to say more! You’re at a prestigious Theatre in Hollywood shooting the hit television show "American Icon". The program pits participants against each other to see who can be the last singer voted off the show. Some of you are here as contestants, and some of you are here as the cast and crew. Simon Fowell is the mean judge, creator, and owner of the production company “Simon Works”. Approximately two weeks into shooting Simon demanded everyone involved in the project show up to a mandatory meeting. You heard from the other contestants, cast, and crew that Simon was going to reveal important news about the show.

A scream rang out. Simon Fowell was found dead in the middle of his ransacked dressing room and pronounced dead from a gun shot wound. One of you is the killer and the rest of you need to find out who it is. When you have found someone with a motive, a gun, and who was near his dressing room, then you may have discovered the true killer.

If you have a "weird business" or "weird website" you want profiled here and other blogs, do let us know.

Want to read more weird business stories? How about a lady who makes millions selling emu oil anti-wrinkle cosmetics (make sure you read the sales letter, it was written by Gary Halbert himself)?

Oh, and this is pretty funny as well:

Man Who Faked Retardation To Get Disability Checks Gets Prison, Has To Repay $59,226

Have a great weekend, folks.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Who Is Shawn Casey?

It's just been brought to my attention that Shawn Casey is now giving away hia five hundred dollar e-mail marketing software for free. I grabbed my copy and while I don't feel that it's worth $500, you'd be stupid not to get it for free. This "business in a box" concept if freaking genious. So, who's Shawn Casey?

Shawn—a successful self-made millionaire and Group Leader at SFI—takes readers step-by-step through the process of succeeding on the Internet with an online home-business.

Shawn Casey is real big on teaching about the power of Joint Ventures. I know Joint Ventures are a valuable part of any business persons life, but I also know, just about every marketing guru in the world is teaching them. So I think the topic of Joint Venture is getting over-done to some degree.

When I read what Shawn Casey had to say on the subject of Joint Ventues, the following appeared to be his stance on the topic.

The way I understood him, he says if you do have a product, joint ventures almost eliminate the risk of advertising. You pay your partner nothing until AFTER he's made sales for you. And you only pay in direct proportion to the number of sales he generates!

And then of course, he plugs his own company, name and website by saying "You can even joint venture with ME! (Get all the details when you order "Mining Gold"). Now you see why I guarantee you $1,000 within your first 5-15 days."

He claims to have this one special technique that is only available to a priveledged groups he calls his circle of "power players."

From what I read, he appears to be directly claiming you could be making thousands of dollars for an hour's work, as often as you want. And he loves to tell you how this special "Insiders Only" technique is fully detailed on page 77 of his system, "Mining Gold On The Internet".

But after reading page 77 of Mining Gold on the Internet, I don't see anything very special or new. I wasn't impressed.

Shawn Casey is so focused on joint ventures that I just saw an offer where he says you get his proven super-responsive Joint Venture Proposal form letter.

Then he goes on to say it's so responsive, that when he emails it to potential joint venture partners, 2 out of 3 reply with a strong interest. And he claims that the "average" deal generates about $1,000 profit for both him and the guy he's doing the venture with. But I tested his form letter and I didn't get these amazing results he's talking about. My numbers weren't even half as good as what he's talking about.

Although, I myself wasn't overly impressed with Shawn Casey or his teachings, I'm not going to say this is a bad offer. I think Shawn has a lot of potential as a marketing guru and I plan to keep on eye on what he's doing from time to time.

Customers Accused Of Trying To Put $1 Over On Blind Operator Of Deli In Courthouse

Online Hotel Booking Russia

Russian Hotels Saint-Petersburg

Thursday, May 10, 2007

World's Ten Coolest Startups

New Yorkers who have a hard time keeping track of personal items now have one less thing to worry about. For a modest annual fee, NewYourKey keeps copies of keys in a secure storage facility and can deliver them right away if customers find themselves locked out. Keys lost in a nightclub at four in the morning? No problem! NewYourKey will deliver spare keys within an hour any time of day or night, wherever a customer happens to be.

Can't think of that totally awesome domain name for a new website? PickyDomains is a risk-free domain naming service that got a lot of publicity and ‘blogtalk’ in Europe lately despite being only two months old. This is how it works. A customer deposits $50 dollars and describes what kind of domain he or she wants. Domain pickers then send in their suggestions of available domain names. If the customer likes one of the domain names and registers it, the service gets $50. Otherwise the money is refunded at the end of the month.

Dave Schrader of Circle Pines and Tim Dennis of Burnsville are leading groups on trips to haunted hotels and spooky cruise ships. The two started an online radio show called "Darkness Radio" in January 2006. Within a year, their weekly broadcasts had made them celebrities among fanciers of otherworldly mystery.
They then began asking the stars of T-V shows about the supernatural to cohost weekends at haunted destinations. Among the locations are the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado -- made famous by the movie "The Shining." Travelers pay between 180 dollars to 250 dollars for the trips -- not including transportation or lodging. is an online marketplace for parking spaces, enabling drivers to search for and book spaces before they leave home, and letting British homeowners monetize unused parking spaces by adding them to the Peasy network. To rent out a parking space, the owner needs to register and enter all relevant details, including price, when the space is available, and whether it will be rented out daily, weekly, or both. Those who require parking can then search for suitable parking spaces and securely book them online, or first negotiate a better price.

Frustrated with the whole process of recruitment agencies Jamie Mistlin and Anna Taylor decided to design a new system where employers and candidates could communicate directly with each other. The site allows companies to book temporary workers directly via our bespoke fully-automated online system. Both parties can even negotiate the hourly rates directly online, as the service does not filter or distribute CVs. Instead candidates market themselves directly to companies via the website.

Tom Taylor never expected to be a player in the business world; he just wanted to play video games. But as he got better and better, his passion for competitive gaming--and his desire to share his expertise with others--grew. Last year, Taylor, a top-five rated player in the pro-gaming circuit, started a video game coaching business to help others who wanted to improve their games. "I wanted to offer them a shortcut so they didn't have to go through what I did to learn," says Taylor, who started playing video games at age 7. Running his business, Gaming-Lessons, out of his Jupiter, Fla., home, Taylor draws dozens of clients from middle-school kids to middle-aged parents and from college students to celebrities. His fees? A whopping $65 an hour.

Two years ago, Eli Reich was a mechanical engineer consultant for a Seattle wind energy company when his messenger bag was stolen. The environmentally conscious Reich, who rode his bike to work every day, decided that instead of buying a new one, he would simply fashion another bag out of used bicycle-tire inner tubes that were lying around his house. Soon compliments on his sturdy black handmade messenger bag turned into requests. "That was the catalyst," says Reich, who obtained a business license, gave up his day job, and quickly launched Alchemy Goods in the basement of his apartment building. The company's motto: "Turning useless into useful."

Got rich friends and need to look the part? Those that can't afford to buy the latest Fendi purse can still sport it thanks to Bag Borrow or Steal, a designer handbag rental startup that allows customers to pay a monthly fee, pick and order handbags online, and borrow them for as long as they like. The service allows style-conscious customers access to the ultra-luxe and high-end products that they otherwise couldn't get their hands on. Monthly memberships range from $20 to $175 a month

When Jason Engen was an undergraduate student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, he and his friends knew the challenges students faced in finding worthwhile internships. So for one of his business classes, Engen wrote a business plan detailing a concept for an internship placement service--one that would interview and screen students and match them with local companies that needed interns. "We hit a nerve in terms of the marketplace and focused 100 percent of our efforts on students," says Engen. "We started a week after we graduated, and it took off."

Started in 2005, Startup costs: $6,000

When July hit Miami in 1998, everyone seemed to be enjoying the dog days of summer--except the dogs. As owners took giant swigs from their 32-ounce water bottles, their dogs ran to and fro, wearily retrieving makeshift toys in the afternoon heat. It was on one sunny afternoon in July that Carlotta Lennox rolled by a park on a pair of rollerblades, noticed that the dogs looked tired and hungry, and realized how she could give the day back to the dogs. Seven years later, the first Hey Buddy pet vending machine was established in Bark Park Central, an off-leash dog park in Dallas. Lennox, 36, stocked the machine with dog treats, tennis balls, dog shirts, dog glasses--basically everything a dog might need for a walk in the park. And with its shingled roof and slated facade, the doghouse-inspired vending machine was hard to miss--which meant pets and their owners weren't the only ones begging Lennox for more.

P.S. By the way, I've got $100 worth of free unused lext links that expire this Sunday, if you have any use for them, simply use my free coupon. First come first served.

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More Weirdonomic News:
World's 10 Best Paid Bloggers

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How To Make Money Selling Tumbleweed Online

The lowly tumbleweed is a nuisance to most inhabitants of Western Kansas. The Russian thistle bushes are everywhere. They clog drainage ditches, pile up against fencerows, and have even been known to cause traffic accidents.

But the weed is blowing only good fortune to Linda Katz of Garden City, Kan., who is proving that you really can sell almost anything on the Internet. You see, this former real estate agent, who’s married to a roofer, sells tumbleweeds over the Web.

“It all started as a joke,”says Katz, 49. She asked her son to build her a family Web page so she could communicate with friends and give it the tongue-in-cheek name Prairie Tumbleweed Farm. Never mind that she didn’t even live on a farm, but in a subdivision. Nevermind that you can’t cultivate tumbleweed, which spreads its seed as it tumbles in the wind. For authenticity’s sake, Katz added a price list ($35 for a big weed, $25 for a midsize one, $20 for the small economy model)

Remember, Katz wasn’t looking for business, but it found her all the same, thanks to the power of Web search engines.

Orders started to pour in from all the places where people love Hollywood Westerns: Alaska, Austria, Britain, Hong Kong, India.

Japanese customers proved so eager that she has added a section to her Web site in Japanese. Movie and TV production companies in Britain, Finland, and the U.S. have ordered tumbleweed for props, too, including a $1,000 order for the children’s show Barney & Friends. A scientist from New Mexico wanted tumbleweed for research purposes.

Many of Katz’s newfound customers use tumbleweed to decorate their homes, even in lieu of the traditional Christmas tree.

During Katz’s first two months on the Web, the site logged 2,000 visitors. By mid-January, the number had grown to more than 56,000. Katz says she’s making about 30 tumbleweed sales a week, which suggests revenues of about $40,000 a year.

That may not sound like much, but neither are her costs. She fills orders by grazing Kansas fence lines for tumbleweed and buys her mailing boxes in bulk lots. For labor, Katz uses her five nieces and nephews to help collect the stuff, and she gives them a share of the profits.

“Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?” asks Katz.

Here is even stranger domain picking business idea

Lost Wallet Returned After 55 years

The Funniest Personal Ad You'll Ever Read

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Boring Is Profitable Or How To Make Money With Local Radio

Radio isn't exactly rocking nowadays. It's a 100-year-old technology, and many operators cling to tired ways of doing business. Financial results have been about as flat as an old 45: Total revenues for U.S. radio stations, at around $20 billion, have increased less than 1 percent over the past six years.

Enter Joe Schwartz, 54, the founder of Cherry Creek Radio, ( a three-year-old firm in Denver. Schwartz buys underperforming stations in small communities, mostly in the American West. He encourages each newly acquired station to focus on community news and interests, which Schwartz considers radio's competitive advantage, while pursuing more aggressive sales techniques - namely going after the local newspaper's share of the advertising pie. "Cherry Creek tends to buy stations in places that you need an atlas and a flashlight to find," says Bishop Cheen, a radio analyst with Wachovia. "Then it runs them really well."

oday Cherry Creek owns 60 radio stations that it bought with around $50 million in private-equity backing from Arlington Capital Partners ( and a bank line of credit worth another $70 million. Schwartz says the closely held company earned about $10 million last year, on total sales of $30 million.

A self-described "radio gypsy," Schwartz founded Cherry Creek after spending 29 years running radio stations in dozens of markets across the country. He often surfs Chamber of Commerce Web sites in search of struggling stations in towns where the population is growing or where new businesses are taking root. If a market looks like a strong candidate, Schwartz pays a visit. "When you've done this as long as I have," he says, "you get a feel just driving around and looking for new construction, seeing how much dirt they're moving."

As soon as Cherry Creek buys a station, it puts its staff through an ad-sales boot camp run by Dan Gittings, 60, who is Schwartz's deputy and a former petty officer in the U.S. Navy. Gittings gathers the managers in a hotel for an intensive two-day workshop. His main message: Go to war with local newspapers.

The advertising pie in a typical small market breaks down as follows: 25 percent radio, 25 percent TV, 50 percent newspaper. In markets without a local TV station (there are plenty), the breakdown is more like 33 percent radio, 66 percent newspaper. Radio ad salespeople tend to believe that those percentages are set in stone, Gittings says, and that the easiest way to increase their revenue is to steal from other radio stations - even though many newspapers are vulnerable, with declining circulation and aging readership.

Local radio stations aren't known for aggressive ad-sales operations. Gittings helps his charges develop a standard sales pitch, highlighting the strengths of their stations and the weaknesses of local papers. Then he gets them fired up. "Go out and get your accounts to up their ad spending," he urges them. "Go knock on the door of businesses that have never done a radio spot." Targets of opportunity include car dealerships, furniture stores and local outlets of retail chains such as Sears and Wal-Mart.

Cherry Creek in 2004 bought four stations in and around Lamar, Colo., an agricultural area with about 35,000 inhabitants in the southeastern corner of the state. The stations were in trouble, having posted a revenue decline of around 20 percent over the previous four years. They have since turned around - largely by stealing ad market share from two local papers, says Schwartz - and their revenues rose by about 25 percent last year.

Charlie Anderson, a sales manager for the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, conceded that her paper's ad revenues were down in 2006. But she maintained that the drop-off stemmed more from a weak local economy than competition from Cherry Creek. Still, she's well aware of her new rival. "I'd be silly to sit here and tell you I'm not concerned," she said.

Cherry Creek rarely gets rid of personnel at the stations it acquires; the company has laid off only two managers so far. The reason: Existing managers are considered an invaluable asset for their ties to the local community. Ron Korb, 40, was general manager of four stations in and around Great Falls, Mont., when Cherry Creek bought them in 2004, and he retains that title. "They provide - I guess you'd call it 'coaching' - in some key areas," he says, referring to Gittings's boot camps. "In other areas, they don't really breathe down our necks."

Notably, Cherry Creek rarely tinkers with a radio station's programming. Most Cherry Creek stations provide plenty of community fare to address the concerns of their small-town audiences. For example, KMON-AM in Great Falls offers country-music standards and agricultural news and talk shows, much as it did under the previous ownership. Other Cherry Creek stations broadcast local staples such as school lunch menus. "Our markets tend to be very down-home and very community-oriented," says Schwartz. "They're not racy, and they're not controversial. Howard Stern would never fly here." But Cherry Hill's go-for-the-jugular sales tactics obviously do.

P.S. By the way, I've got $100 worth of free unused lext links that expire this Sunday, if you have any use for them, simply use my free coupon. First come first served.

Want your business or website profiled on Uncommon Business Blogg? Send me a tip.

The Million Dollar Coin
101 Internet Businesses You Can Start from Home

Monday, May 07, 2007

How To Set Up And Run A Successful Underground Restaurant

One of the hottest trends in restaurants these days isn't a type of cuisine; it's a mode of operation. At underground restaurants, a mouth-watering dinner is served at someone's house . . . or a cool loft . . . or a converted 1950s creamery. The restaurant's location is always changing because, like prohibition-era speak-easies, underground restaurants are fly-by-night operations, skirting the law to provide divine cuisine. For entrepreneurs hoping to launch full-scale restaurants, the underground can be an excellent training ground. Dissident Chef, the 43-year-old proprietor of San Francisco-based SubCulture Dining, found that the underground was a way to indulge his passion for cooking while he got the plans for his traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant off the ground.

Dissident Chef, as he's known in the underground scene, has found many benefits to SCD, which he launched in March 2006. Not only is he cooking, but he's also using his enterprise to build his staff. "I'm able to take raw, talented kids and teach them and train them--to nurture their skills and build that infrastructure for myself," he says. SCD has even become a place for him to meet investors for his full-blown restaurant, planned for late 2007.

Though it may be useful for building a menu, says Bill Guilfoyle of the Culinary Institute of America, a part-time underground restaurant can't fully prepare you for the demands of an everyday operation.

In addition, an underground restaurant has its risks: Operating sans health permits, skirting taxes and such, these roving enterprises are vulnerable to law enforcement shutdowns. So consider getting a temporary permit or having events at a catering facility that already has a license or health permit. "The costs to do that aren't expensive," says Dennis Gemberling, principal of The Perry Group International, a restaurant and hospitality industry consulting firm in San Francisco. "An underground restaurant is a good idea for testing the concept and getting investors interested, but the way you go about it could easily destroy you as well as promote you." By staying on the right side of the law, you can still have your intimate, creative dining experience--without putting your future at risk.

P.S. By the way, I've got $100 worth of free unused lext links that expire this Sunday, if you have any use for them, simply use my free coupon. First come first served.

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Teacher Steals Little Girl's Coat, Sells In On EBay. This Teacher Isn't Underpaid Either, She Makes $69,000 A Year

101 Internet Businesses You Can Start from Home

Sunday, May 06, 2007

You Market Like A Girl

Heidi Dangelmaier launched her New York City branding think tank, 3iYing, in 2005 to "bridge the growing gap" between young females and the companies targeting them. "Who can lift the brand up to the 21st century girl?" asks Dangelmaier, 41. "It's got to be a group that totally understands that girl."

Her staff is made up of 18 young women ages 16 to 22 from area art and design schools. "They had to be girls with not only deep analytic skills, but also creative skills," she explains. The group analyzes, researches, evaluates and designs marketing concepts, helping companies that target females in their teens and early twenties develop campaigns. Clients include Jones Apparel Group Inc., Playtex and Unilever. "When [the girls] come together, they are extremely fast and collaborate really well," says Dangelmaier, who projects $1.5 million to $2 million in sales for 2007. "For this particular game, I couldn't think of a better team."

Why It's Cheaper To Buy Tomatoes In A Supermarket Than Grow Your Own.

How ReviewMe.Com Can Make You Rich With Almost No Effort On Your Part

If you have not heard of, you are living under a rock. ReviewMe is currently the smartest way to advertise on the net, as well as to make money as a blogger. For instance, last month, John Chow has made $4500 from

Now, if you take a close look at John's blog and browse through ReviewMe reviews, you'll find out that a good deal of these reviews were written by Michael Kwan and not John Chow (this does not violate ReviewMe TOS in any way, it's perfectly OK).

Apparently, I was not the only person who noticed that. Several bloggers took this further. These individuals buy blogs that have OK Page Rank and Alexa ranking but have not been updated for a while (after all, a majority of all blogs end up being abandoned), bring them back to life, add to ReviewMe database and then hire cheap Indian writers on to write a paid review for them for a fraction of what they get from ReviewMe when the order comes in.

Here is the math. You can buy an unwanted blog for 100 bucks EASILY, especially if it's a free blog hosted on Wordtracker, Blogspot, Typepad, etc. How much does ReviewMe charge for a review posted on a "free" blog with Alexa rating around one million (meaning very little traffic)? See for yourself - sixty bucks. ReviewMe pays half to publishers, while you can hire an indian freelancer to write a review for your for 5-10 dollars (and they will by quite happy too). It's even more fun when you have decent Page Rank and Alexa ranking and get $100-$250 per review through ReviewMe.

So if you have any abandoned blogs, bring 'em back to life, register at ReviewMe and outsource all the writing. When you are successful at doing this with one blog, start acquiring other blogs. Good luck.

Why It's Cheaper To Buy Tomatoes In A Supermarket Than Grow Your Own.

How To Make Money Setting Up Marathons

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How To Sell Art ... In Hospitals.

In the late 1990s, Kathy Hathorn saw a new place for custom artwork. Hospitals and medical centers were starting to recognize the therapeutic value of art for their patients, as well as the ability of unique art to spiff up a brand in an increasingly competitive industry. Hathorn started American Art Resources in 1998 to commission and install artwork, from huge sculptures to photographs of historic buildings, for health-care facilities. "It's not about decorating the space," says Hathorn. "It's about the impact of the art on the patient and caregiver experience. The art becomes part of the message a hospital sends out."

Hathorn commissions pieces from her network of about 1,900 artists working in practically every possible medium, including painting, photography, fiber, ceramics, and drawing. Many of those artists owe 15% to 20% of their annual sales to American Art Resources, so they are motivated to complete projects on time and on budget.

American Art Resources, now a profitable 31-employee company, sells about 1,000 pieces each year, with revenues of about $5 million. Hathorn's staff handles every aspect of the job, including framing and installation, which she says keeps costs low and avoids third-party liability.

Hathorn sends some direct-mail pieces to potential clients, but most of her marketing is word-of-mouth. Many of her company's works generate plenty of buzz, such as a recent commission for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which wanted something never done before. Hathorn commissioned a sculptor in upstate New York to design and build a "tree of life," and a year later, a 30-foot, 6 1/2-ton painted steel tree was installed in the hospital's atrium.

How To Sell Your Ideas Online And Get Cash For It.

How to Make Money as an Artist

How To Sell Your Ideas Online For Real Money

Have a brilliant idea. Sell it to one of many idea brokers. This is how the process works. You submit your idea. Idea brokers evaluate it and see if it can be monetized easily.

If no, your idea is declined. If your idea has a good potential, you sign a contract, the idea is sold, idea brokers get commission, you get money. Not bad, aint' it?

The only requirement is that your idea has to be unique and you have to be the author.

Stay-at-home mom's work worth $138,095 a year

Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords

Insider SEO & PPC: Get Your Website to the Top of the Search Engines

Friday, May 04, 2007

VoiceQuilt.Com - Another Brilliant Startup Idea

While email seems to make the world go round, humans still connect to the sound of the human voice. Voice Quilt combines high-tech and high touch to make it easy for people to create highly personal audio gifts for friends and family.

The process is simple. Customers set up an account at They purchase phone time and issue an invitation to friends and family, providing them with the toll-free phone number they need to call to record their message. Phone time costs from USD 9.95 for a MiniQuilt (3-5 Messages, ½ hr), to USD 34.95 for a Community Quilt (40-50 Messages, 3 hrs). The customer then listens to the recordings and creates a playlist. Once the playlist has been finalized, the Voice Quilt is shipped to the recipient on a CD (USD 11.95), inside a wooden keepsake box (USD 79.95 – 139.95), or downloaded from the internet (no extra cost).

Founder Hope Flammer came up with the idea after her best friend’s husband became ill and lapsed into a coma. She accompanied her friend to the hospital every day to visit with him, speaking, laughing and playing his favourite music as if he were awake and participating in the conversation with them. Fortunately he recovered. “I came away from that experienced convinced that loving voices can make a difference,” Hope says. “Preserved for years to come, the greetings and memories of close friends can remind us of special times. A family story, a child's laughter, a best friend's quirky expressions... these are sounds that nurture the spirit.”

We Buy Ideas!

Keys to maximum-security prison in Iowa are sold on EBay

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How To Be A Party Animal

Two stay-at-home Coast moms were having trouble finding new birthday-party ideas for their children after Hurricane Katrina, so they came up with the concept for a stuffed-animal party.

A little more than a year later, Shannon Lutkins and Sharmin Culwell have turned their party skills into a business with 15 consultants nationwide and are taking online orders from as far away as Norway.

Lutkins and Culwell started Party Animals on a shoestring, often bartering parties for services such as the design for their Web site. Lutkins’ father, who is an accountant, and her business-manager brother helped them set up an affiliate program.Now, she said, the business has moved out of the red and is starting to turn a profit.

They began by hosting parties at which kids packed animals or dolls full of stuffing; they are now trying to broaden their market.

“We are trying to get more into events for tweens and teens with more custom parties,” said Lutkins.

Some of Party Animals’ popular new parties have kids decorating flip-flops or adding color and fragrance to create their own lines of shampoo, bubble bath and other products. Lutkins said she can come up with party ideas for any age and the options for special keepsakes are almost unlimited.

Man Ran Secret Bank From His Washington Home

I'll Pay You $25 If You Help Me Come Up With A Great Domain Name.