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Get Rich Quick Schemes...

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Trench Bunny Caretaker
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My MC's dad has a history of coming up with schemes to make money--only all the schemes he's ever come up with don't work out.

I've been scouring the Internet looking for ideas and haven't come up with much. (Mostly ideas how to make money using the Internet--but I'd prefer to stay away from Internet money making schemes if I can.)

I did come up with a couple ideas:

He bought a dozen candy vending machines, but he spent more money replacing the candy that was always stolen out of them than he did on sales.

He bought a book called MAKE MONEY FROM YARD SALES & AUCTIONS and then spent a bunch of Saturdays hitting garage sales and auction houses and brought home a bunch of junk that turned out to be just that: junk.

He decided to turn their car into a rolling billboard, so he went to one of those graphic shops and had a giant banner that said YOUR ADVERTIZEMENT COULD BE HERE plastered onto their car and drove around for the next six months that way. But nobody paid to put their advertizement on his car, so after about six months he took it down.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Rue
#1 - December 12, 2010, 09:41 PM
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I know, I know!

Write a CHILDREN'S BOOK. Get on OPRAH. Sell a gazillion copies, just like that lady over there in England named...Rallings, that's it, isn't it? Or is it some American named Meyers? Whatever, anyway, his idea is LOADS better than theirs. The world waits for his book with baited breath! And best of all--kids' books are EASY to write. By Christmas he'll have it all sewn up.
#2 - December 12, 2010, 09:49 PM

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 :hahaha Unfortunately, that IS one of the ideas listed on many of these sites. My favourite: Write and sell an ebook. Yeah, good luck with that!  :dr

Rue
#3 - December 12, 2010, 09:52 PM
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WIP: IWWP 12045/35000 (34.4%)

A family friend of ours growing up was into making and selling specialty soaps. It took lots of time and was super messy and kind of smelly and not very profitable.
#4 - December 12, 2010, 09:57 PM

Any kind of top down sales.  My brother sold Cutco Cutlery in college.  I'm sure the guy who recruited him made $ but you needed to be able to recruit guys under you.  Think knives. appliances.  Fancy cleaning products.
#5 - December 13, 2010, 05:39 AM
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I'm thinking of the books like "think and get rich," all the positive thinking stuff. If it's contemporary, maybe he tries to become a motivational speaker getting rich by encouraging other people to get rich. Or a mobile espresso cart?

Or maybe he tries selling Mary Kaye or Avon??  :laugh
#6 - December 13, 2010, 06:27 AM

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What about flipping houses? He could have gotten into it right when the housing market went bust.
#7 - December 13, 2010, 06:35 AM
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Real estate seems to be popular on the infomercial/speaker circuit, even in today's economy. Rental properties? Nightmare tenants, broken stuff to be fixed. Foreclosed properties for fixing and flipping? No buyers, and problems with the house might be bigger than anticipated, beneath the surface.

Also he could come up with a kooky prototype something-or-other that he tries to interest a manufacturer in producing.
#8 - December 13, 2010, 06:36 AM

MaryWitzl

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I've also got an MC with a mother who's always looking for get rich quick schemes. I love the vending machine idea -- a friend of ours tried that and ended up exhausted, going from machine to machine, refilling candy, losing money on his gas bill alone, and vandalism was always a problem. He tried selling soft drinks in schools (I know, a terrible thing to do); just after he bought this franchise a law was passed that soft drink vending machines could not be in schools, and he had to remove them at great cost.

What about buying antiques to refurbish, refinish, resell, etc?  We know people who do this and it is hard to make money unless you're very good and have many people to help with the sanding, polishing, etc. Also, selling vitamins and cosmetics door to door, collecting logs to sell as firewood, and raising pedigreed dogs or cats.  And last but not least, wheelie bin cleaning. We knew people who got a contract for cleaning the large trash bins on wheels used by certain businesses (greengrocers, fishmongers), convinced that it would make big money fast. Talk about a no-fun job for kids to get involved in...
#9 - December 13, 2010, 06:42 AM

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What about picking and selling wild, edible mushrooms? Some mushrooms go for like $10/pound or more in the store, but by the time you drive to a place where you can pick, but gas costs back and forth from the wilderness would eat up most profits. Plus you could have some...ahem...flu-like symptoms occur in the customers. It would be a pretty easy scheme to fail at.

If your book is set in the right environment, he could hunt the mother of all wild mushrooms, truffles, which sell for like $1,000 per pound. I don't think he could accidentally get any diarrhea-inducing mushrooms in that case, but he would need to buy a trained pig to harvest the mushrooms. I'm sure you can do something truly disastrous with a live pig.

Oooh, and what about trying to get rewards for solving technology challenges? Organizations like NASA occasionally announce they'll reward people for creating technological devices nobody had yet figured out how to make. I remember a while back a guy won a big monetary prize for creating a glove that would work as part of a spacesuit but also allow astronauts to move their fingers. I can imagine the promise of a prize like that might lure your MC's dad. He could buy a bunch of equipment to make stuff, and then realize he has no clue how to make whatever he's supposed to make.
#10 - December 13, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Thanks guys! These are some really great ideas!

I should clarify: I'm looking for ideas he's already tried and failed at. His current scheme is property investment. Which has his daughter VERY concerned because if it fails, they're out of a home!

Rue
#11 - December 13, 2010, 10:37 AM
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Oh darn. I came here looking for a quick scheme to get rich.  :dollar :dollar :dollar :dollar :dollar :dollar :dollar

Back to work I go...

My mom wanted to buy a small ostrich farm years ago,... because she said ostrich meat is the new beef, and the popularity is growing!  Oy. Glad I talked her out of it.
#12 - December 13, 2010, 10:52 AM

Alpacas and Gypsy Vanner horses fell into that category too, Salina.
#13 - December 13, 2010, 11:27 AM
J.Ro
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Sorry, Salina!

But I heard there's millions to be made in children's books . . .  :hahaha

J.Ro, are you serious? Gypsy Vanner's as the new beef! EEEWWWWW!!!!  :faint

Rue
#14 - December 13, 2010, 11:28 AM
WIP: ETBs 10687/35000 (30.5%)
WIP: IWWP 12045/35000 (34.4%)

He invented the next, big _____, patented it, manufactured it etc. But it wasn't a good idea. There's a TV show about inventors that get to present their ideas to a panel to get financial backing. Some of the ideas are great and others --not so much.

#15 - December 13, 2010, 05:23 PM

mike

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My dad had several run-of-the-mill get rich quick schemes, like selling chicken to Russia in bulk at a profit, or selling hand-made Russian scarves to Macy's... but his crowning achievement was the gold scheme.

You see, back in the day, the primary metal used for conduction on circuit boards was gold. (It's quite a good conductor.) So if you get an old computer, the circuits are all done with gold, and if you can just get the gold off somehow, from enough boards, you'd have... well, gold!

Step 1: Quit day job. Have random Russian buddy live in basement to help with scheme.

Step 2: Buy TONS of old, old military computer hardware at auction and stack it wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling in the basement. I'm pretty sure it must have literally been a ton or two there was so much of it.

Step 3: Find a way to melt the plastic the gold is etched on to using dangerous, caustic chemicals, so that what's left is a skim of gold, like the curdle on warm milk. Be sure to do this using old 2 liter bottles of pop and rubber tubing for extra "what were you thinking??"

Step 4: Profit?

In fact, I think the only profit was a seriously strained relationship with my mom (at one point he was no longer living with us, but in a different state with his buddy and a warehouse full of computer junk and plastic bottles and dangerous chemicals), getting kicked out of the house we were renting (apparently the owner didn't like having a mountain of old computer junk piled in his basement -- how about that?), near bankruptcy, and... wait for it... a loss of sensation in the fingertips from handling all the horribly caustic, nasty chemicals in those old pop bottles. Oh yeah, and like, a couple of dollars worth of gold.

Enjoy!  :carrot
#16 - December 13, 2010, 06:07 PM

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Thanks guys! These are some really great ideas!

I should clarify: I'm looking for ideas he's already tried and failed at. His current scheme is property investment. Which has his daughter VERY concerned because if it fails, they're out of a home!

Rue

The only thing I can think of at the moment are internet scams and stuff like Amway. If I come up with anything else I will post it.
#17 - December 13, 2010, 06:42 PM



J.Ro, are you serious? Gypsy Vanner's as the new beef! EEEWWWWW!!!!  :faint

Rue

No Rue  :lol2  Not as beef.  People were just importing them and the first few sold for five figures in the US, people started breeding like crazy and now you can buy one for a couple of thou.
#18 - December 14, 2010, 05:00 AM
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Hunting meteorites. Some of them are worth a lot of money, but they are rare.

Buying one of those penny stretching machines and collecting the profits.

Raising expensive puppies, kittens, minks, etc.

Trying and trying to invent something. I mean, really, is the Roach Motel technologically beyond us.

Scouring used book stores for first editions.

#19 - December 26, 2010, 11:16 PM

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