Turning £500 into £5000
May 6, 2011 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I've been challenged to turn £500 GBP into £5000 (or more) within the next six months. I know NOTHING about investing, stock markets or investment markets. Any good resources to start this challenge with? Ideas on best strategies for this sort of speedy growth? Any good books / online communities / articles to read? Do you think it's even possible?

My parents have set my sister and I the challenge to turn £500 into £5000 (or more) within six months (by 4th November 2011), on which they'll match the money. For one of us, but not both. They've never been keen on just giving us money, we've had to earn it, which has always provided some "interesting" challenges. Having this would mean I can pay off my student loans, so I'm quite keen to take it seriously.

How would you advise is the best method to do this? I know next to NOTHING about the stockmarket, (other than a first-year-university class on economics and the mechanics of the stock exchange which I've mostly forgotten) and don't have time to spend hours every day watching tickers and making decisions. I've briefly considered some investment funds, but the market is massive, and where to start is a bit of a challenge. Also, with the fees structure that many of them use (charges to pay money in, annual fees, charges to withdraw money) I'm a bit concerned that they may end up taking more in "fees" than I make in interest / growth.

Other alternatives (such as investing in a business, property etc) I've initially thought would be too risky for such a short term return - and with only £500 to start, it'd be tricky.

I'm based in the UK, have a very limited income to risk (no more than £25- £50 a month spare). Any and all suggestions welcome - even if it's just to tell me that it can't be done without years of training / sheer luck and to stop wasting my time!

Thanks :)
posted by philsi to Work & Money (50 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
10x return in 6 months has nothing to do with investing or learning about the stock market. Better to go to a casino.
posted by JPD at 7:27 AM on May 6, 2011 [15 favorites]

The simplest way to try to do this would be to head to a casino, put it all on black at the roulette table, and hope to win 4 times in a row.

You could also try to pick some stocks, but that would be equally unlikely to work and would take much more of your time and be less fun.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:29 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Buy lottery tickets? You're talking about a 900% return in half a year. That is far beyond what a reasonable investor would expect. You basically need to get lucky, and if you don't know anything about the stock market now, you are basically throwing money away.
posted by mkb at 7:30 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

To be more precise, you'd only need to double your money ~3.3 times, but as long as you're at the table you might as well round up and go for 4.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:32 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would think that you can't do this by passively investing the money, you need to use it as seed capital to make the money yourself, so the bulk of the $5k is actually payment for your labour, or the labour of someone you've hired with that $500. Getting 5k value out of $500 wages is tricky by doable. Getting $5k value out of unlimited amount of your own labour, is easy, with the $500 covering materials costs.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:33 AM on May 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

Use the money to fund some kind of small business. [seconding harlequin]
posted by beniamino at 7:34 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Buy X, use it to make Y, sell Y? - For instance, buy a camera, and then sell photo services and prints?

You won't get anywhere by investing it.
posted by carter at 7:36 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Use the £500 to buy yourself a nice suit and get a job? If we knew how to make a 900% return in 6 months, don't you think we'd all be out doing it?
posted by cgg at 7:37 AM on May 6, 2011 [16 favorites]

Learn the lesson early, put it all into a retirement account for yourself, and just say "Thanks ma and pa!"
posted by Grither at 7:37 AM on May 6, 2011 [10 favorites]

Yeah, -harlequin- has it - its not about investing. Its not possible to passively invest this sum and get the desired return.

You have to do something: buy items for resale, use the capital to develop a service, use it as seed money for a project. That's the only way to get the return you want.
posted by anastasiav at 7:37 AM on May 6, 2011

Or teach your parents a lesson, put it in savings, get a job, earn 4500 in the next six months, and come back with 5000 to them, and ask for the extra 5k!
posted by Grither at 7:38 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Set up a gambling pool as follows:

1. 50 investors at £100 each. The prize is £5000 with odds of 50 to 1. Basically even odds.
2. Collect the £5000 and present it to your parents. They should now match the £5000 with another £5000 right?
3. Use £5000 to pay off the winner. Pocket the other £5000 for yourself.
posted by vacapinta at 7:39 AM on May 6, 2011 [30 favorites]

(And sorry, I was assuming the lesson was: You can't get rich quick by investing. Not: you have to work to earn money.)
posted by Grither at 7:41 AM on May 6, 2011

If you're going to the casino, play blackjack and stay well away from the roulette table, where the odds are fairly disastrous. You still need to be lucky to win at blackjack, but you exert more control and the odds are better.

If you are investing, you are either going to have to get some insider info (illegal) or be very lucky.

If you want to be lucky, I suggest you look at mining and/or oil exploration, where the lucky pick is going to be a company just on the cusp of a major find, where it shoots the share price up. Most normal stocks just will not increase that quickly over a short time frame.

The other option is to find a stock where the hedgies have shorted it a lot and hope for a short squeeze and that you are paying attention as to when to sell at the right time.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:41 AM on May 6, 2011

I guess what I am trying to point out here is that there is an investment to be made here - your parents matching amount.

Here's another option:

1. Raise £5000 with a guarantee of 150% return among people you know/trust
2. Collect parents matching amount
3. Pay off £7500 and keep £2500
posted by vacapinta at 7:43 AM on May 6, 2011 [23 favorites]

If you could get a 10x pure passive investment return in 6 months, I would be on the next plane to the UK to learn your secret. Otherwise, you're going to have to work (as others said, start a business) to turn that 500 into 5000, which shouldn't be too hard. Good luck
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:43 AM on May 6, 2011

I remember seeing all these mobile cafes on the backs of tricycles when I was over in England - can you buy one of those for around 500? Sort of a grown-up lemonade stand, and the summer weather should be good for it.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:49 AM on May 6, 2011

The only way to get those kind of returns is either incredible risk or outright fraud (Bernie Madoff style). Assuming that fraud is off the table, you're not going to be able to simply invest in some mutual fund. That kind of return requires active participation, to the point of it becoming, basically, your job. But unlike a regular job, there's no guarantee you'll end up with anything at all.

I'd get a regular job.
posted by tommasz at 7:51 AM on May 6, 2011

There's no way to do this with legitimate investments like the stock market (or, if there is a way, it's not so different from the roullette wheel suggestion made above--akin to winning the lottery). I'd be surprised if you could do it by captializing a small business, either. And I'm having trouble imagining a business you could start for that little bit of capital and be making that kind of money on in six months. I'd like to hear a buisness plan from people who think it's do-able, especially if you have other obligations like school, or a full-time job. You might be able to earn that much money from that investment if it is your job, but what would you live on, if you have to preserve the 5000 to show your parents at the end of the six months?

Basically, I think your parents have set you an impossible task. I'm not sure what their motivation is for doing that, or whether they realize how impossible it is. Can you ask them? Would they be willing to change the terms? Like whichever of you comes back with the most money on November 4 wins the 5k? Or the first one to 5k wins the matching funds?
posted by not that girl at 7:52 AM on May 6, 2011

Get a 5k loan, using the 500 to pay the interest for 6 months. Keep the 5k in a savings account. In 6 months, withdraw the 5k, show the stack of bills to your patents, then use the matching 5k to pay off the loan.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:52 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think I could do this selling on e-Bay, if I wanted to invest the extra time and energy. Basically, find some product that you know and/or passionate about. For me, it's certain brands of clothing and bags. Then start watching e-Bay and looking at closed auctions to see what particular pieces/items have the strongest market, and highest sell rate, and preferably the highest price point. Once you figure out what the best selling items are, start trying to find them on the cheap. This can mean thrifting, second hand stores, Craigslist, or at other types of discount stores.

Examples of what I do. I found two shirts by a certain niche brand on ShopGoodwill.com. One was slightly damaged, but very desirable. The other one was in good condition. Cost with shipping $30. I took the damaged shirt to the tailor and had the repair made. Cost $15. Listed them on ebay. The previously damaged, but highly desirable shirt (which I honestly listed as repaired) sold for $100. The other shirt sold for $70. So even after repairs, eBay and PayPal fees I made about $110 on an initial $30 investment.

When I was really broke I would do this: Go to Marshalls or Filene's or TJ Maxx. Scour clearance, especially looking for high end brands in particular styles and sizes. Buy them- keep the receipt, and note the return date. Then I would list those on eBay for at least double what I paid. If they sold, awesome. If they didn't, I could return them and would only be out the listing fee (usually less than a buck).

I guess the key is that you really have to know your product, and particularly how it sells on e-Bay. But if you find the right market, I think you could absolutely grow that money tenfold in six months. It would take time and hustle, but it's possible.
posted by kimdog at 7:53 AM on May 6, 2011 [6 favorites]

they'll match the money. For one of us, but not both.

So if they're being serious about this, they're being kind of nasty. It's up to you and your sister, but the odds of getting some return are better if you cooperate.
posted by Lebannen at 7:57 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Given that the amounts seem to preclude sharemarkets, I wonder if the parent's hope for this challenge is that both kids will try the self-employ route, and six months from now, both their kids have created a burgeoning business that they've invested enough blood, sweat, and tears into that... they'll probably keep working at their businesses and growing them. And even if they abandon them, they'll have learned the ropes and have the confidence later down the road to seize any good business opportunity. If it works, it'll be one hell of a lesson. I'm taking notes in case I have kids!

My point is - seven months from now, you need to write up the story, so someone can put it in the blue.

Unfortunately, while this could be a great story, agreeing in advance to sell the story to some business rag for $5k in advance isn't a good plan because it precludes an uplifiting inspiring ending to the story, which means the story isn't worth $5k :)

Back to the question, start thinking about how you can add value. Do you have hobbies that give you skills that can be applied elsewhere? (Ie. you probably won't make much money through a hobby, because everyone wants to make money through their hobby, but if Interesting Hobby X gives you a skill that can be adapted and applied to Less Interesting Task Y to add value, then you may be on to something).
posted by -harlequin- at 8:00 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

The "get a loan" people here are right. You don't even really need the seed money. You just need to get someone to loan you $5k on the promise of a portion of your parents' payout. How much you can keep for yourself is up to you to negotiate.

philsi: "My parents have set my sister and I the challenge to turn £500 into £5000 (or more) within six months (by 4th November 2011), on which they'll match the money. For one of us, but not both. They've never been keen on just giving us money, we've had to earn it, which has always provided some "interesting" challenges. Having this would mean I can pay off my student loans, so I'm quite keen to take it seriously."

Please understand that the only lesson to be learned here is how to foster a bad relationship between money and family.
posted by mkultra at 8:11 AM on May 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

on which they'll match the money. For one of us, but not both.

I presume they'll match the money of the sibling with the greatest returns?

If so, your least risky strategy is to form a pact with your sister to split the money evenly. Then you can increase the amount to be matched by one of you giving the other your 500 (on paper, a losing investment), and investing the combined £1000.

The "loser's" total return is zero, which ius not matched. The "winner" is matched at whatever the return on £1000 pounds is, then secretly shares out half with the "loser".

Since your parents may respect the "winner" more, or additionally reward the winner in the future ("that ones more mature, investing the money well proves it"), the split shouldn't be 50%/50%, but more like 60% to the sibling willi g tro play the "loser", 40% to the "winner".
posted by orthogonality at 8:12 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think the idea here is that you can't do it passively you need some form of labor on your part for this to work.

I'd try to find something topical (like Charlie Sheen's outbursts a few weeks ago) make a witty T-shirt, print them up and see if you can sell them. Maybe you can see enough profit by the end of 6 months to pull this off.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:13 AM on May 6, 2011

How will the accounting work? With vacapinta's and robocop's suggestions, you'll have grossed $5K but you'll have liabilities (amounts you owe to your investors or the bank) that mean your net assets are less than $5K. With the theory of using $500 to capitalize an enterprise and add your own labor to get to $5K, would you need to show that the $500 capital investment allowed to you earn $5K more than you could have earned without the $500?
posted by yarrow at 8:13 AM on May 6, 2011

Taking out what is effectively a variant on a 5K loan that is obfuscated various ways mentioned above, Wall Street style, is simple enough that it doesn't mean you'll win, because it's trivial for the sister to do it too. Which means it comes down to a judgement call from the parents as to who wins, and they're presumably going to reward the generation of wealth over the generation of debt.

So a (poor) strategic approach might be to get the 5k loan just as a backstop so that you can claim to qualify for the prize regardless of how successful you are at generating wealth, and on top of that loan, try to generate 5k ideally, or less than ideally, more than your sister.

A financial version of the idea that you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your running mate.

A better strategic approach might be to bring up the 5k loan with your parents and sister so they can make it official that money owing comes out of your total, and thus loans don't help unless the money is put to work. This is a good thing because the $5k loan scheme is something your sister can do, which means you have to do it to keep up, and in the real world it's getting you both nowhere, and is thus a waste of your efforts necessitated by the rules. Get the rules changes so that they don't waste your effort.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:14 AM on May 6, 2011

If you succeed, thank luck and nothing else. Large returns are POSSIBLE, but at that scale, it falls into the realm of excess profits, which tend to attract lots of participants to normalize the returns to an appropriate risk/reward ratio. Just doesn't happen, at least not reliably enough to be meaningful.

Almost a cruel joke on the part of your parents.

Do you really think MeFi is going to have anyone who can reliably tell you how to get that level of return?

What is possible? As you bring down the return from the 2000% annualized return they demand to the risk free level of a percent or two, annualized that treasury bills promise, your probability of accomplishment goes up from almost zero to almost 100%. As you move from passive to active (i.e., from investments to enterprise), your probability goes up. As you redefine the problem of 'turning 500 into 5000' from 'using 500 to obtain 5000', your probability of success increases.

"Lawyering' up the parent's demands may mean that you can stand before them in 6 months, with 5K in hand, and say, "OK, where's my other 5k?". That simply involves borrowing 5K the day before, and paying it back the next day. It involves not telling them how you did it. It involves nitpicking the assignment to the letter, not the intent. It involves winning. (Sadly, it also involves your sister and the detriment of her interests.)

How about teaming with Sis, then you only have to raise 4K. When the parents pay off, you have 5K to split, a happy sister, frustrated parents, teamwork, community, ya da ya da. Win, win?

Good luck. If you see your parent's tell them I said they were assholes. Assholes.
posted by FauxScot at 8:16 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

vacapinta's idea is very good, a couple of thoughts.

First, if I were the parents I would see through this. Technically at the end you have the £5,500 (the £5,000 raised plus the initial £500), but you also have a £5,000 liability.

Second, pitting you against your sister is not great. Whatever you do, I suggest making a deal with your sister and pool your resources. Then you ((only need)) a 5x return on your money.
posted by cosmac at 8:19 AM on May 6, 2011

I agree with the posters above that this is pretty impossible but you might be interested to read this on matched betting - I used it to make a couple of hundred £ in my student days. Done correctly there is no risk involed. Getting to 5k would be a big challange though.
posted by laukf at 8:22 AM on May 6, 2011

It's possible to invest and get that kind of return in six months. It's just ridiculously improbable. Good luck finding the right stock at the right time.

Example of the exception to the "you aren't getting a 900% return in six months" rule: Sirius XM Satellite radio. Was about to go into bankruptcy in January 2009, share price down to $0.05 at its lowest. By mid-April 2009 it was up to $0.50, the mythical 900% return. FWIW it's currently up to $2.20 as of today, a 4300% return in 2.25 years.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:22 AM on May 6, 2011

Just a note, you don't need to make £5000, you only need to make £4500 (+ £500 = £5000).
posted by blue_beetle at 8:24 AM on May 6, 2011

Whatever you do, I suggest making a deal with your sister and pool your resources. Then you ((only need)) a 5x return on your money.

Yup, that's what I would do.
posted by amarynth at 8:28 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'd start a business on eBay if I were you - have a look at prices of niche items (i wouldn't go electronics, maybe look at something crazy like glass tiles or table lamps) and see if you can use your up-front capital to order them in bulk from a supplier like Alibaba.com, then resell them on eBay.

Back in the day, my husband made a good amount of money buying up broken keyboards for Dell laptops and selling each key individually for 99p each - it turns out there were a lot of people looking for an individual key. Even without any marketing or advertising, he was making a good profit. A wee AdSense campaign to go alongside a nice eBay storefront, and you've got a decent chance.
posted by ukdanae at 8:34 AM on May 6, 2011

Do you think it's even possible?
It's possible to gamble the money on the stock market in such a way that you actually can make that kind of money, but it's very unlikely.

What you have to do is invest in options. Keep in mind you'll most likely just lose the money, but if you do options trading you could theoretically make that kind of money.

An option is basically the right to sell or buy a stock at a certain price. So for example if a stock was worth $100 no one would sell it for $80, right? So the option for the right to sell it for $80 would be pretty cheap. Right now Amazon stock is $199 and the put option to sell it for $160 on July 16th costs just $1.08; (you can look at option prices for AMZN here). Now, suppose Amazon's stock price dropped to $138.40, those options would be worth $21.60 each. So you'd have multiplied your original investment by 20x in just two months.

Also, the price of the options will go up and down based on the probability of Amazon's stock hitting that price over time. So you can sell it before the expiration date and potentially make a profit, or loss.

However, that's pretty unlikely to happen, right? And the more volatile the stock is, the more expensive the options are. And, if Amazon's stock price is above $160 when the option expires, you get absolutely nothing, and all your money is gone.

On the other hand, starting a business would be the best way to do this. In that case, you are actually converting your labor into money, so even with an initial investment you're not really making 10x return, but on paper that's what it looks like.
posted by delmoi at 8:52 AM on May 6, 2011

Even the long-shot stock possibilities are made waaay harder by the amount of money you're starting with, investing is pretty heavily weighted against small-time folks and fees would eat up a large percentage of your money starting off. I also don't think the loan is a good bet just because it seems unlikely that you would be able to get a £5000 loan with what is apparently a "very limited income".

I think your best bet is to find some cheap product that you can buy in bulk and sell at high markup. Some ideas:

Colorful plastic sunglasses or slap bracelets or something to sell to hip kids at a 4x markup.
Buy sodas and bottled water at a discount store, throw them in a cooler and sell them on the side of the road.
Get a bunch of clever t-shirts printed and sell them.
posted by ghharr at 9:01 AM on May 6, 2011

At first i thought the loan comments above were so awesome and was going to suggest the same. But I don't think winning would be that easy... it's not like you have a legal contract with your parents that would force them to double your earnings. They could easily say you cheated and not pay you, leaving you with a huge liability. At the end of the day your parents are only going to pay out if they are happy with how you earned the money.

You also have to think about your future relationship with your sister... imagine she legitimately earned £4000 somehow and then you got your parent's cash double by "cheating" and taking out a £5000 loan? She'd resent you for a long time.

Your parent's goal for this is for you to either gain some entrepeneurship skills, and for you two to work your creativity. I agree with the posters above that say you should participate with your sister.

If you think you could actually pull off the loan trick though, then use the shared £1,000 to get a £10,000 loan in one person's name, and that way you can both share the wealth and make your parents on the hook for twice as much.
posted by ajackson at 9:18 AM on May 6, 2011

Take up poker. Skillful poker is NOT the same as throwing your money on the roulette wheel. If you practice, learn the odds and the discipline, this is something you can definitely achieve with 500gbp of starter money. I don't know if you can force yourself to learn how to be good at poker within six months, but if you could this would be the easiest way to achieve this in my mind. Do NOT immediately join a 500 pound buy-in game hoping to win.

As far as the loan goes, there's no guarantee your parents will see that as a legitimate strategy, but either way I would say not to try it until close to the end of the six months, to minimize interest.

As for simply investing in a stock for six months, any stock you're likely to know about will be known about by enough people that its value will be correct to within a certain margin, and what you want to get this kind of return on investment is a stock that's EXTREMELY undervalued, which generally means a stock no one knows about in a relatively small company that's about to blow up. Obviously this is really hard to find without extensive research and time that you said you don't have.

Investing in a starting business is the same way. You would need to know about an amazingly great business venture that no one else knows about.
posted by drethelin at 9:36 AM on May 6, 2011

Buy an iPad (first generation, used) or an iPod touch, enroll in Apple's Developer Program and program an app, or apps. Use the remaining money to advertise.
posted by trueluk at 9:40 AM on May 6, 2011

Nthing the 'start a business' angle - being in the small business world myself, it's simply a matter of combining what you know with an opportunity you're in a position to take advantage of.

Start with what you know - Photography? Computers? Shoeing horses? Consider the investment as a way to purchase the assets you might need (a new DSLR camera, a netbook, tools, etc.)
posted by chrisinseoul at 10:46 AM on May 6, 2011

Wow, thank you for so many replies...

My parents have liked to provide "challenges" for my sister and I, to show that you have to "succeed" and won't just "receive" things. Whether this will work in the long term / cause damage by causing competition between my sister and I is anyone's guess (I'm 23, my sister 19, not very close, both quite competitive). I have a full time job (in insurance, which pays the bills but little else at the moment).

Some of the ideas (small businesses etc) are interesting (and honestly I'd written them off without much thought), and definitely worth another think.

I need to have a proper read through (just got home from work). So many good ideas, and possibly a few questions I need to answer. Thank you everyone who's answered so far....
posted by philsi at 11:04 AM on May 6, 2011

The two best answers in the thread are:

1) Buy a suit and get a job which pays at least 5000GBP in 6 months.
2) Start an investment group promising a 150% return in 6 months, collect the money, pay out 7500GBP and pocket 2500GBP.

The second is actually quite clever and your best bet. Because there is no legitimate investing opportunity which will pay out 1000% in six months. This isn't investing, it is gambling. And not very well.
posted by Justinian at 11:10 AM on May 6, 2011

nthing the investment group idea.

Only thing I'd add is, you would make less, but you could *guarantee* a return by cooperating with your sister. Otherwise, it could just be a race to see who can do this first.
posted by perspicio at 11:39 AM on May 6, 2011

...invest in options

You can indeed make 10X+ return in options if you are either very smart and/or very lucky. I wouldn't call it "investing" though, it's almost the definition of "speculation".

You'll need to accurately predict the direction, magnitude *AND* timing of a major move of a individual equities or broad indices. Timing is probably the most difficult, although you can buy longer term options (and pay more for the extra time) in order to give your strategy time to play out.

You can also deploy strategies such as "straddles" or "strangles" where you can profit if there is a *BIG* move either up or down within a certain period of time. Many people use these strategies for individual equities around when they release financial results. However, if there is only a small, or no, move, then you can lose all of the money spent buying the options to execute the strategy.

I forget the exact statistic, but something like 80% of options expire worthless. They are primarily used as market insurance to protect more traditional positions.
posted by de void at 11:45 AM on May 6, 2011

Obviously, the correct answer here is dealing drugs.
posted by goethean at 12:23 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

bake sales. Sell to coworkers. Buy supplies from Cosco (or whatever bulk store teh UK has)
posted by WeekendJen at 1:17 PM on May 6, 2011

Hot dogs are also good high margin items if you can get a spot at a street fair or something and have a grill
posted by WeekendJen at 1:18 PM on May 6, 2011

Antique dealing:
Buy some little antique trinket
Sell it to your sister for £5,000 (take an IOU or a bank cheque as payment)

When your parents give you the £5,000 prize, you gift the money to your sister
She then gives the £5,000 straight back to pay off the IOU
You then split the £5,000 50:50 to compensate your sister for going along with this.

Finally your sister gives the trinket to the parents as a thank you (she paid £5,000 for it, so they kinda get their money back).

(As for tax liabilities, the UK Annual Exempt Amount for individuals for 2010-11 is £10,100 so you won't pay anything as long as you have < £100 in other capital gains.)
posted by Lanark at 2:37 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

£500 isn't enough to invest in a business and 6 months isn't enough time to see a return on it. A 900% return in 6 months is obviously ridiculous to anyone who has graduated high school. Your parents are either a) screwing with you, b) have no real idea how investment and money work or c) trying to teach you a very different lesson than what it is on the face.

I'm hoping for option C.

But if that's not the case, two options:
One: Raffle.

1) Find a friend who you can convince to sell you something desirable at wholesale (Or just buy an iPad 2).

2) Sell raffle tickets for the item at a rate of ([How Many People You Think You Can Get To Buy Tix] ÷ £5,000)

Two: Car bash. (This works best if you're near a university.)
1) Buy the cheapest pile of crap car you can find. OR more than one if your budget lets you. Also buy 1 sledge hammer.

2) Park the car somewhere accessible but off the street. Drain all the fluids, remove the battery.

3) Around the time the University is near the end of a session and stress is high you auction off 2 minutes of time bashing the car with a sledge hammer. The highest bid gets first whack, second highest gets the next 2 minutes, etc. (Be sure to have everyone sign a waiver.)

4) Find someone to haul away the car for scrap. They may do this for free in exchange for the metal in the car.

(I knew an individual in college regularly pulled several thousand pounds per car doing this.)
posted by Ookseer at 5:15 PM on May 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

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