Questions From Subscribers

By - October 5, 2013

Here are a half-dozen questions pulled from emails I have received from subscribers to the "Unusual Ways" newsletter, along with my (updated) responses. They range in topic from parting out junk cars for a profit to the time I spend on this website and others.

Scrap Metals in Cars

In my book 101 Weird Ways to Make Money I said, "A single junk car might have aluminum wheels worth $40, copper in the radiator and other parts worth $100, platinum in the catalytic converter worth $150, and other metals." That prompted the following email from a reader:

I see signs everywhere that say "Will pay $200 for junk car." Do you know of a book or website that describes the values of the junk car parts?

My response: There are probably a few books if you check Amazon.com. The parts that have valuable scrap metal (primarily aluminum and copper) can be sold at any scrap metal place. The other parts can be sold online in a few places. Craigslist is one to try. Auto salvage businesses generally will only buy complete cars since they then sell the parts to make their profit. Here is a website that lets you buy and sell used car parts:

http://www.partingout.com/

And here is an article about selling parts on eBay:

http://www.wikihow.com/Sell-Auto-Parts-on-eBay

As for the value, you can determine that in a couple different ways. For the parts with scrap metal just call a few metal recycling businesses (found in the yellow pages or online under "scrap metal dealers") and ask what they pay. For the other parts you can search the part by name (for example; "1992 Ford F-150 rearview mirror") online to see what others are charging. Check parts sellers online and then check eBay sales.

In the book I also provide a few resources, including a website entirely devoted to the buying and selling of old catalytic converters (see chapter 42 if you get the book).

Website Host

Rhonda G. wrote to say; Thanks for all of the great content in your newsletters. Great information that could be of use to anyone looking to earn money. What web hosting company do you use for your websites?

We have used several different web hosting companies over the years, but none have been as reliable as Hostgator. I am telling you this without even providing an affiliate link (they will pay a commission if you send them business through their affiliate links). They have simply been the best so far. We use a reseller plan that allows for unlimited websites for $24.95 per month, so when we create a new site our only cost is about $12 annually for the domain name.

Ways for Kids to Make Money

From Sara T.: "I have really enjoyed getting your emails! I have a daughter that is saving up for something and she's 12 years old. We don't want her to get a job yet, but she would like to make some extra cash. Any ideas?"

In the newsletter I occasionally report on the things I did as a child to make money. Here on the site I have a few relevant pages, including these:

Ways for Kids to Earn Money

Ways for Kids to Make Money

Our Time Invested Online

Chris A. wanted to know, How much time do you spend on your internet information business now?

Sadly, our internet income is down dramatically over the last couple years. In fact, I am never quite sure if the things I do online are generating much additional revenue or if the $1,500 or so that we still make each month is just residual income from traffic that we would get anyhow. There really seems to be no difference in the income between weeks when I work 20 hours at it or weeks when I just spend 6 hours to produce the newsletters and update the sites a bit, so there have been more of the latter this year. I have started to work at it a bit more in recent weeks, because we have had some growth in traffic (and revenue) to inspire me. My wife has mostly moved on to teaching Spanish and other projects.

MLM Businesses

Glen Z. asked, I am looking to start an alternate business and have been looking at all the network marketing businesses. Do you have any experience with them?

I have no direct experience with network marketing or multi-level marketing, but I have had several friends and two family members get involved with various MLM companies. None of them are currently still involved, and they did not make much money. However, I think that some of the network marketing plans are worth a shot, especially if you want to start something while you are still working at a job. As long as you acknowledge that it is essentially a sales position (and more about selling others on joining than about selling the products), and you wait until you have some revenue before you buy into the expensive motivational seminars that all these companies seem to have, you can't lose much. Any business that can be started while you are working and in which you risk only a few hundred dollars is better than doing nothing.

Ads in the Unusual Ways Newsletter

Mason wanted to know if I offer any advertising via your site or newsletter and if so how much and/or do you consider joint ventures where you promote ones product in exchange for a share of the profits?

I do not sell ads in the newsletter, and do not do joint ventures. I enjoy producing the newsletter and I get good feedback from subscribers, but my list (currently around 5,000 subscribers) is not very responsive. That's fine, and I do make money from the website, but since my subscribers are tough to sell to I don't feel good charging for ads and I don't want to spend the time to sell them too cheaply anyhow. I host an occasional banner or link on the site if I like the website it is pointing to. I also have affiliate ads in the newsletter, so I occassionally make a commission for a product sold. I also promote my own books, including 101 Weird Ways to Make Money, which is the only paperback I have on a money topic.



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