Rags to riches - how?
June 23, 2006 7:40 PM   Subscribe

How to make the most money from 0$

Basically me and my friend have a bet on who can make the most money from nothing. We were talking about brewsters millions and then flipped it and came up with this bet. The rules which are a little loose say that you cant simply sell something you already own to make money. You have to start from 0. It also has to be legal.

I came up with

Selling used underwear on ebay - (techincally illegal by the rules)
Entering competitions untll i win something and selling it
Standing on a street with a sign saying "I can read your mind for 20pence" and do one of those cheasy "pick a number betweeen 1 and 10" games (its busking so maybe illegal)
Finding a loose brick on the road and selling it as a door stop (c0uld be illegal but who knows) - and who the hell is going to buy it
Setting up a speed dating night by approaching people and asking for money down before sorting it out with the venue (risky but very cheeky - and a lot of work.
Stand outside a celebrity venue and ask for someones autography and then sell it.

hmm ive ran out... can you lot think of some clever quirky ways to make some money??? if it does involve some cash then post it as when i move up i can use your idea. muh ha ha ha.
posted by thegeezer3 to Work & Money (41 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Gainful employment?
posted by cillit bang at 7:45 PM on June 23, 2006

Traditionally, the way most people do this is by getting a job.
posted by blue mustard at 7:47 PM on June 23, 2006

Yeah, I don't get it. Why not just do some work for someone?
posted by delmoi at 7:52 PM on June 23, 2006

ok guys thanks for your lateral thinking...edward de bono you can go home.

this is just a playful sportsman bet type of thing. We are trying to be inventive and its outside of normal work.

your onto something though... i could offer my photography skills but thats boring. Im looking for fun quirky ways of making moolah like the million dollar webpage (ok i know you wouldnt tell me of such a scheme if it existed as youd do it yourself).

as an example my mate once sold some old socks of his on ebay and somebody bought it. he put it under :Gay interests. Somebody emailed him and asked him how long he had been walking in them.

Somebody else even put up a used teabag on ebay with a picture of his girlfriend saying she had brewed up with it.

Now those are funny and make great storys. Get a job is boring. Besides i already have one.

(ps i cant use ebay from the start as it costs money)
posted by thegeezer3 at 7:55 PM on June 23, 2006

Sell plasma
Sell your computer
Get the hell away from metafilter
posted by cellphone at 7:58 PM on June 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

Put on your oldest clothes, make a sign, and literally stand at an underpass and beg for money. You'd be surprised how much money you could get if you pick the right corner. Then again you wouldn't want to muscle in on any other bum's turf.
posted by shanevsevil at 8:00 PM on June 23, 2006

It's a stupid bet, people.

Sell your hair, if it's long enough (or is that "something you already own"?)

Find cans and bottles along roadsides, recycle for nickels and dimes

Panhandle (it's legal in some cities, but not all)

Go around your neighborhood the night before garbage day; refrigerators get a mint (respectively) at the dump, as will just about any metal

Charicatures (passable drawing skills necessary)

Dog walking
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:02 PM on June 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

This is only a bet. It is not a life ambition. We are doing this for fun. This bet is meant to encourage originality, intelligence and get up and go that is found in most rich people. We do not believe we are going to be rich. It is merely a pub bet. A more interesting bet than "i bet rooney gets more goals than beckham".

If you have a cool idea of how to make something from nothing then please...share. No matter how degrading, ill do it. hahaha. Remember it cant cost anything and it has to be legal so that idea involving the donkey can be ditched right now.
posted by thegeezer3 at 8:07 PM on June 23, 2006

Damit by the time i posted the above you had already posted your consructive ideas. Thanks. For a minute i thought i was being too stupid. like the hair one. the necklace one is good too. but how do i convince someone to buy such a thing. Still the first 50p can lead to an ebay sale of an old sock.
posted by thegeezer3 at 8:09 PM on June 23, 2006

Look at this. This guy started with a single red paper clip and was going to trade up for better items with the end goal being a house. He's doing fairly well at the moment - his current trade involves a role in a Hollywood movie. It seems like this paperclip project is similar to what you are trying to do and might provide you with some good ideas. Similar to your situation, money was never a factor.
posted by galimatias at 8:17 PM on June 23, 2006

There are a few internet casinos that will give you free money without requiring you to make a deposit, but you have to gamble with it A LOT before you can withdraw. Also, you aren't talking about much money here--maybe $10 or so at the most, but if you get lucky with the gambling maybe you could make some cash.
posted by jtfowl0 at 8:27 PM on June 23, 2006

Start a blog, put google ads on it. Make people go to it.
posted by nyxxxx at 8:27 PM on June 23, 2006

I was just going to recommend galimatias's link. You're not the first to try this, though I think you will find it very difficult to match his success (part of which was due to the meme-ish nature of the challenge).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:31 PM on June 23, 2006

This might help you.
posted by divabat at 8:45 PM on June 23, 2006

There was another AskMe about some kind of contest to start off with $5 (or something small like that) and turn it into as much money as possible in a short time. I think the conclusion in that thread was that begging was the fastest and most effective route.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:58 PM on June 23, 2006

Haven't you kinda already used money by asking us - about $1.6 ($5/3 AskMe questions). Sorry.
posted by RufusW at 8:58 PM on June 23, 2006

There was a guy who started a similar project (named [something]bucks, some quantity under 30), which never got off the ground, which started as a question on here. Related to your idea, pretty close to the paperclip one. It got an article in the mainstream media, if I recall. A cursory search doesn't turn it up, though.
posted by abcde at 9:25 PM on June 23, 2006

(This is presumably the same thing Rhomboid has in mind.)
posted by abcde at 9:26 PM on June 23, 2006

-Go to a college, offer to write people's papers as they come and go from the library.
-Help the elderly go grocery shopping.
-Collect bottles/cans to return for change.
-Open a kissing booth.

posted by Radio7 at 9:55 PM on June 23, 2006

The ponzi scheme model seems to be ever-reliable, selling something based on the value of the attention it garners by being sold. the Million Dollar Homepage for example. Heck, those shitheads who did the same thing as the Million Dollar Homepage but with Lego didn't even manage to cook up an idea of their own, and they made money getting people to pay them fill a room with bricks. Failing that, start a religion. If you want cash, the only thing you have to spend is dignity.
posted by dong_resin at 10:01 PM on June 23, 2006

I second the selling garbage on ebay idea. I once found a dead squirrel in the rafters and got $6 for it. If selling your own garbage is out of bounds, go through other peoples'. (cf dong_resin)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:17 PM on June 23, 2006

Also it's pretty easy money to go to a sold out event and buy tickets, then flip them for profit.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:19 PM on June 23, 2006

Sell space on websites by the pixel
posted by dvjtj at 11:56 PM on June 23, 2006

They interviewed a guy on the CBC who does trades. He started with a paper clip, I think, and found somebody online who wanted to trade something (of more value) for the paperclip. Then he traded the new item, and so on, and so on. His ultimate goal is a house. Last I heard he had been offered a week of free recording time in a decent studio in Vancouver.
posted by synecdoche at 1:16 AM on June 24, 2006

synecdoche, you really should read what other people have written before responding.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:28 AM on June 24, 2006

I like the kissing booth idea (assuming you're a girl, if not, kind a girl who'll do the kissing while you do the promoting)!

Also, the idea of offering your services seems sensible. Stand outside the shopping centre and offer to do things like shop for people, carry groceries, stuff like that... Doesn't cost you a dime but makes you cash!
posted by ranglin at 7:38 AM on June 24, 2006

Rob a drug dealer
posted by fatbobsmith at 7:57 AM on June 24, 2006

5$ for 3 posts on meta filter? is that true... I thought it was 5$ for one years worth......noooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by thegeezer3 at 8:06 AM on June 24, 2006

Two key points I reckon could help you

- People and contacts can increase your chances of going further
- Price is determined by how much people are willing to pay or want that item/service.

These are only from my own experience.
posted by Sevenupcan at 9:34 AM on June 24, 2006

a lot of the posts talk about panhandling stuff. Im in the uk. Is that the same term we use over here and what are legal implications. We're trying to keep the thing as legal as possibly to disprove the idea that you can only get ahead in business by being a dodgy geezer inthe beginning or simply being minted in the first place.
posted by thegeezer3 at 9:39 AM on June 24, 2006

Prostitution (both male and female) is extremely lucrative. The legality of it varies from place to place.
posted by randomstriker at 11:41 AM on June 24, 2006

If begging is out, I think the best bet (in the spirit of the bet) is selling stuff other people have thrown out. Unless you are some sort of stellar writer and genius at online marketeering, don't go down the adwords on a blog route, the money in it is miniscule. People throw out tons of cools stuff (at least in the USA...) Drive around back alleys and such and collect the best garbage, and then have a big yard sale (do you do that in the UK?) before the end of the bet period.
posted by nanojath at 1:12 PM on June 24, 2006

Oh, and the person who divided your Metafilter membership fee by 3 was referring to the number of questions you actually have asked so far. You get one question a week for the rest of your life or until Mathowie bans you for some grievous offense or changes the rules, so don't worry about that.
posted by nanojath at 1:14 PM on June 24, 2006

Go to Nevada and sell yourself. Make gobs of money legally, though most likely disgustingly.
posted by Bort at 8:37 PM on June 24, 2006

Think body parts. Do you really need two kidneys?
posted by zackdog at 9:22 PM on June 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you are female, or have a female friend, white babies go for a bundle.
posted by zackdog at 9:25 PM on June 24, 2006

haha i like some of these answers. much more imaginative than get a job. As for my kidneys i think there shot from all teh booze im consuming. Looking for old stuff to sell sounds good. I also liked the other thread involving a similiar task that involved standing with a sign that read "i bet you 1$ you read this sign".
Ive thought of some variances on that. I might also do some mind reading tricks on locals in my pub...might get a couple of quid from it.
I reckon once i get past the 5 pounds mark I can move up to the lucrative business of selling bottles of water on busy roads. After that the sky is the limit.
Anyone got any ideas once ive accumulated 10$???
posted by thegeezer3 at 11:48 AM on June 25, 2006

Buy some ice and an icechest and sell the bottled water for even more.
posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on June 25, 2006

Well if you ever decide that you have an idea that involves the web, and you would like an extra "contact" if you don't already have one. I will off my web services for free, providing I feel it doesn't take up to much of my time and I get to go at my own pace. No commission required, unless you make some money and feel like donating some to me :)
posted by Sevenupcan at 6:25 AM on June 26, 2006

hey sevenupcan thanks for the offer....right now i dont have any grand ideas concerning the web but hey theres always the future. Actually everyone ive been really busy with some other stuff (trust me this has been a hectic month) but am looking to go ahead and do these ideas. Keep em rolling other wise this thread will only one day die and someone else will just post another similiar request.
posted by thegeezer3 at 4:00 PM on June 29, 2006

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