Make Money The Odd Way
January 4, 2006 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Interesting entrepreneurial ventures - what are some unique and quirky ways that people have used to make money?

The ones I've heard:
Million Dollar Homepage
Selling stories on the street

Any others?
posted by divabat to Work & Money (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Asking for money on the internet?

Pretending to be sick/in need to get money on the internet?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:13 PM on January 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pet rock.
posted by frogan at 7:18 PM on January 4, 2006


There was a guy a few years ago who placed an add in the Sacramento Bee that said, "This is your last chance to send $2 to [His Home Address]". A local news story reported that he made a few hundred bucks.
posted by crapples at 7:27 PM on January 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


When I was in Peace Corps, I used to buy poetry from a homeless man. He wrote it on the back of business cards and on napkins.
posted by brokekid at 7:28 PM on January 4, 2006


Send me $20 and I'll send you an information pack filled with quirky ways to make money...
posted by pompomtom at 7:33 PM on January 4, 2006


Recently on the blue, a guy was attempting to start with a paperclip and gain a house, by continually trading the item for something else, but always trading up to something of slightly greater value, presumably aided by people being more willing to let him trade up because it's an interesting project. At the time of the post, he was up to a jet ski.

Re: asking for money on the internet, a girl asking for money for a boob job, got the necessary thousands. I don't recall if posting before and after pictures was part of it, but I'm guessing there would have been something like that :)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:40 PM on January 4, 2006


A web venture beautiful in it's simplicity are gift register sites (I forget the link). Not just for weddings, it can be used for birthday, xmas, etc. The person puts the stuff they want on their list, usually with a link to the item in an online store so people can see the exact item. The person's friends/relatives buy the stuff on the registry.

But the registry site owner has the site enrolled in every merchant-associate program in the book - when a relative follows the link to, say, a book on amazon, and then buys it, the registry gets a few cents under amazon's program.

The site is cheap to run, simple to make, performs a service free to people, has no need to spam anyone or be evil in any way, no maintenance, can be left to run itself, and just constantly generates revenue.

Colour me impressed :)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:47 PM on January 4, 2006 [3 favorites]


Remember save whatshername? Save karyn or whatever. What a bitch.
posted by delmoi at 7:56 PM on January 4, 2006


using stock in a public company.

gain control of a pink sheet shell, and leverage the stock in it to aquire assets...
posted by Izzmeister at 8:00 PM on January 4, 2006


Billing service: send small(ish) invoices to large companies or the estates of recently deceased wealthy people. Use a line item of something like "Billing service", and the date. Sometimes you get paid ...

This probably constitutes mail fraud, so if you try it and end up in a federal jail cell, don't say I didn't warn you.
posted by scruss at 8:10 PM on January 4, 2006


-harlequin- : where is that blue post? That sounds highly intriguing.

I'm asking out of general curiosity - who knows, maybe some of these ideas can spark something.
posted by divabat at 8:45 PM on January 4, 2006


2 of my favorite moneymaking scheme websites are the Million Dollar Homepage and SaveToby.com
posted by charmston at 8:49 PM on January 4, 2006


My bad, I didn't see that you mentioned the Million Dollar Homepage already.
posted by charmston at 8:52 PM on January 4, 2006


register a PO box. take out an ad in the local free/seedy classifieds paper advertising "the secrets of scamming! 100% legal & guilt free! send $50 to [your po box]"
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 8:52 PM on January 4, 2006


I heard this idea on the radio some years ago: two scammers in France were supposed to have made millions by sending out thousands of letters saying simply "we know your secret" and asking for $50 to keep quiet.

It could just be a joke on the French, mind you.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:50 PM on January 4, 2006


Recently on the blue, a guy was attempting to start with a paperclip and gain a house, by continually trading the item for something else, but always trading up to something of slightly greater value, presumably aided by people being more willing to let him trade up because it's an interesting project. At the time of the post, he was up to a jet ski.

one red paperclip was the site/blog.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:29 PM on January 4, 2006


Those "adopt a road" plackards you see up alongside highways. Most, if not all, are handled by a company that basically sells sponsorships to businesses and then turn around and hire minimum wage workers to do the actual work. When the business model was described to me I think the terms used were "very low overhead", and
"generates free cashflow like a motherf*cker."
posted by Good Brain at 9:23 AM on January 5, 2006


Starting a search engine and then collecting a million dollars in unverifiable advertising revenue seems to be popular with kids from Stanford.
posted by Caviar at 11:44 AM on January 5, 2006


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