You never know where some Web surfing will take you. A few days ago, I stumbled upon an interesting website called 14Bucks.com. The owner explained its purpose this way:
"On April 11th, 2004, I found a total of $14 inside a bunch of little plastic Easter eggs. Rather than spend that $14 at my local bar, I've decided to try to turn it into $1,000 by April 15, 2005. I plan to do this through fairly low-risk investments -- no poker games or lottery tickets -- and a minimal amount of work." He added: "I also realize that I can earn more than $1,000 in a year by working at McDonald's
Sounds great, eh? Well, there's good and bad news. First the good. The website collected a bunch of promising money-making suggestions from well-wishers. Here's a sampling of the promising and some not-so-promising:
- "Go and buy a few bucks' worth of retro-cool ashtrays and sell them through your site for 500% markups."
- "Check out garage sales. Most everything at a garage sale is priced to sell and sell fast. Get there early, and you'll up your odds of finding underpriced items and collectibles."
- Go to book signings. "By buying a book and getting it signed by the author, you've immediately increased its value. The same goes for CDs and LPs. If you have an opportunity to get them signed by band members, go for it. It's money in your pocket."
- Buy in bulk. "If you can find a large box full [of items such as Legos], they can be repackaged into smaller lots and resold for more money. Along the same lines, two months ago I saw a 257-count Avon
(NYSE:AVP)decanter collection for sale in the classifieds for $500 or best offer. Not really knowing what they were, I checked eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY)and found they were going for $3 to $10 apiece."
- "Exploit your local university.... [College] people buy water, beer, soda, hot dogs, bratwurst, T-shirts, and practically anything else they see on their way to [sporting events]. Ask someone who lives near a stadium to let you set up shop and give them a small cut of your profit. Also, if you can figure out what the freshmen need for their dorms, their parents will probably buy it from you -- at a very high price -- on move-in day."
- "Google Ad Sense. I put a small string of ads in the lower right-hand column of this page to test out Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG)Ad Sense since so many suggested it. I've made about $3 so far, but that's because I've hardly had any ads appear due to my lack of content."
The bad news is that this intriguing website has a lot of tumbleweed blowing through it, as it hasn't had any new reports in many months. Perhaps the owner made much more than $1,000 and quickly retired to an island without online access. Or maybe he ran out of good ideas.
Let's help him out, shall we? Here's one idea, buddy: Offer your services. If you know French, you might tutor someone in it. Or give piano lessons. Or be a local handyperson. Or walk dogs. Or design Web pages.
Share your ideas on our discussion board.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of eBay.