More Unusual Money Ideas
The following is a selection of unusual businesses that either
have been tried or might be worth trying. In other words, some
of these have actually been profitable, while others are unproven,
speculations and daydreams. Maybe you can copy the success of
the first type or be the first to give those of the second type
of money ideas a try.
Gas Station Target Practice
I recently visited a money-making blog and saw a hilarious
idea. The author wanted to set up a gas station that gave away
free gas. What's the catch? The gas would come out very slowly,
and mounted cameras with paintball guns attached would give people
online the opportunity to shoot at the customers for a fee.
This may not work, of course, and he mentioned that the city
wouldn't allow him to do it (hey, at least he asked). But the
general idea of interactive cameras and devices for use online
is full of potential. People might pay to see people walking
by, for example, if they could also say what they wanted to them
through a speaker, as they passed. And there are certainly some
better ideas than this out there.
You may have read the true story of a woman who had a business
online selling her "fetal greeting" cards. They have
a picture of a fetus announcing his or her coming entry into
the world. She got the idea while looking for a unique way to
tell family and friends that she was pregnant. A friend drew
pictures for her, and she liked the results so much that she
decided to make a business out of it. When I first wrote about
this her website had been online for seven years, so it is probably
safe to assume she had some success.
Having failed to find her site just now, I suppose we can
see this as a lesson about businesses based on a fad. There are
currently a few companies selling "fetal greetings"
online (apparently the name was not trademarked), but they seem
to be selling them as one of many types of cards, not as a primary
product line. So if you happen to hit it big with something that
may be a fad or a passing fashion, make what you can of it, save
some of what you make, and get ready for the next project.
Make Your Auto a Billboard
Using one's vehicle for advertising is certainly not new.
Many small businesses use their vehicles to promote themselves.
But why not try renting space to businesses on your personal
car? You should probably document how many miles you normally
drive it and where, so the advertisers will know their ads are
being seen, and by their target audience.
A couple years ago there was at least one company that actually
arranged this for you. If you qualified (you had to live in a
well-populated area and drive a certain amount of miles each
year), they would pay you for the use of the space on your car
and sell it to advertisers. Since a search for this company online
yields little now, you probably have to try it on your own.
From Garage Sale to Ebay
You have undoubtedly heard about people buying things at garage
sales that they then have sold on Ebay for big profits. I once
met a man who bought some old jeans for $2 and sold them on Ebay
for over $250. I had to look that night and see the bids (some
were actually higher than that) before I would believe him.
The problem, of course, is knowing what will sell and for
how much. If you have a laptop computer with a satellite internet
connection, or internet access from your smart phone, you are
in business. You can take it with you to garage sales, and buy
things only after seeing that they are selling on Ebay -- and
seeing what the current bids are up to. This almost guarantees
you won't guess wrong and lose money too often.
At Home Grocery Store
When I used to rent room in my home years ago, I also sold
groceries to the renters out of a closet. They simply took what
they needed and marked it on a sheet of paper. The cost was added
to rent. This was one of several extra sources of income I made
from my tenants.
Now, to expand on this, what about the general idea of groceries
being available to people for purchase at home? Perhaps a mobile
grocery store in a truck or van would work. Like an ice cream
truck, you run a route with your store, playing music or some
announcement to get attention, and then you stop on each street
to see who wants to go shopping. Or maybe there's a way to put
a grocery store in an apartment building (an oversized vending
machine) and stock it once a week?