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Unemployed? Here is a solution or two for you!

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posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 04:23 AM
Time for another morale boost for those who are down on their times! I look all over my city, I see people holding signs for food, I hear people speak of terrible luck at the unemployment office, downsizing and hours cut from their cash strapped employers, and what do I notice in common with all of them....


That's right, I don't see lazy bums, or assume alcoholics, or accuse of welfare exploitation, I just see opportunity. I see people with more time on their hands, but they have not necessarily experienced enough of the world to see the opportunity in themselves! Therefore, while the many suggestions I will recommend undoubtedly may not apply to everyone down on their times who read this thread, it may very well apply to a few, and they may have the means to get themselves back on their feet and rediscover that entrepreneurial spirit. Others will discover the means simply by remembering the world and our own local communities are so much larger than our electro-gizmos have zombified us from remembering.

I am going to start off with some of my own experience earning a humble income from the will to not sit idly by and waste away. I have had my job with Wal-Mart for ten years, and it is only the second job I have had in my adult life. I love it, I love the people I speak with everyday (hundreds) and earn a respectable income, have great credit, and a host of other benefits. But there are time when I take a break not to go on a family trip, holiday vacation or medical. I just do it to turn trash into cash! I absolutely take gently used consumer goods (furniture, electronics, appliances, decorations, lighting, picture frames, books, utensils, list can go forever) that I literally just find thrown out by the curbside with their municipal waste, or near the dumpsters of apartment complexes. I also scour the free section of craigslist for items that are posted nearby in my community.

Now the trick is to manage the time cleaning or touching up an item with potential revenue generated from it. I want my items to sell for the lowest price, that when divided by the physical minutes into loading, and then cleaning that item and comparing it to the same wage earned with those minutes in a min. wage environment.

At a stop let us say I found a cute 3 compartment ascending wall décor with decorative heart carved into and two decorative perch to hang things from (jewelry maybe?). This is the same "cheap" Chinese thin light particle wood decorative utilitarian item marketed towards a female in a store like Ross, Bealls, Big Lots, Steinmart, $$$$ general store, or other outlet and closeout retailer for upwards of $15.95 - $27 (California probably). It was left in a heap of rubbish near an overflowing compactor in a residential complex. It was relatively scratch free, no stains, and unbroken. I can only assume the previous owner simply became bored and upgraded to a new design, or moved and did not have room or purpose for it. Whatever. It took me 30 seconds to examine and load it, and about 5 minutes to gently go over it with a bleached cloth to kill any bacteria and lightly spritz it with febreeze to mask the bleach. I pay particular attention and use a VERY bright LED flashlight to inspect every crevice and gap that may house MOTHER#ING cockroach eggs or spider sack, and the occasional gecko, damn critters. I would probably start with a sell price of six dollars each, or the two for ten
. five and a half minutes have yielded me ten dollars in a sellable product, because this item really would be a nice gift for a woman, and was in such a good enough condition, I feel ten is a fair price for the pair.

5 minutes and 30 seconds of effort has yielded $10
5 minutes and 30 seconds of minimum wage will yield $0.66

So now you guys are saying, "hey man I see, but now I have all this stuff overflowing in my garage, patio, shed, minivan, truck LIVING ROOM! Ok well you have a couple of options. You can simply do a yard sale type event by yourself or with neighbors with hours of operation listed for a limited or indefinite time, or you can rent a stall at a flea market with decent foot traffic. If you live in an urban environment of at least 100,000 people, chances are there is a large indoor flea market style joint close to the lower income bracket neighborhoods. These usually have an affordable space option you can utilize to experiment with your marketing skills. I did forget to mention though the following disclaimer.

As you are not relying on a nationally recognized brand retailer and their multi-million dollar marketing (i.e. brainwashing propaganda "spend your money on me, my stuff is the best and if I tell you enough times in every form of media you will know it as truth"), it is up to you to have that exact same affect. With a simple prodding of your customers background, some intuition, and a friendly mildly persistent, yet not overbearing dialogue on why a certain item would benefit them, a friend or loved one , their relationship, or the home. You are going to absolutely be a nice people person who is not shy of face to face conversation. grumpy butts and hateful ignoramuses will catastrophically fail in this simple endeavor at capitalism because they will not get over their ego's or prejudices enough to speak with other human beings. It is not that these people feel they will have nothing in common with a random stranger, it is that they have no will and will expend no effort to find the common ground between themselves and a passing stranger.

You are not going to be marrying these people, bringing them to dinner, introducing them to ma and pa or your buddies, or converting to their religion. You only need to be nice enough to convince the person that this item is great for their wants/needs and a hell of a bargain compared to a brand new item. I don't recommend mentioning support for their local economy because it may come off preachy and needy at the same time. That can irritate someone into feeling that you believe they are compelled or obligated to at least spend something, and no encounter should ever have that feeling. You should always feel grateful they are taking time out their day to meet you and see what you have to offer them.

By now you are saying "Hey man, this sounds just like a thrift shop, what gives!" Well that is exactly correct, you are essentially running nothing more than a mini thrift shop at a flea market, but that is kind of the whole point. This is ultimately how basic a thrift shop really is. It is a flea market stall in a larger, isolated environmentally controlled facility. And by establishing one in a high foot traffic low income area like an indoor flea market where rent is substantially more affordable, you can make a humble living that can supplement unemployment or replace it outright.

Many people all over America, myself included have and continue to do this successfully and make a decent living. The only thing required of thyself is some effort, some courtesy, and a humble attitude.

There is also salvaging scrap metal, delivering groceries (to elderly, disabled), hauling junk if you have the means, helping others deliver their large consumer purchases by undercutting the retailer or truck rentals
(oh I used to love doing that when I went shopping and had a truck), and you know lawn care if you have the appliances. More details at later date though.

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 04:32 AM
I also wanted to state, I don't do these things because I need to supplement my income, I do it because I want to. I like to be productive, I like to meet any and all people, and I like extra cash. I also like to feel I am setting an example for my children by showing them entrepreneurial spirit and even bringing them into the creative process so they understand economics, the value of work (effort), and respect for all individuals no matter their background.

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 05:31 AM
I'm with you buddy, though i usually visit thrift shops and pawn shops..Buy low, sell high..I got a 1969 Eko Rangers 12 string guitar for £49.99 in remarkable condition...on a good day i could get £200 for it...but decided to keep it..I have bought and sold anything and everything from Skiing Goggles..£3.98 for two pair..sold for £40, a Resonator guitar..£130...sold for £200, A Leather Jacket for 99p sold for £20 and much more...Where there's Muck there's Brass as we say here.

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 05:52 AM
I agree there's definitely ways to make money. In the richest country on earth people sure do waste a lot of money. There are ways to capitalize off others waste.

I have a guy that lives a few doors down. He's on disability because he is mentally challenged. He has a bicycle with a trailer attached and he tows a lawnmower around with it. He cuts lawns all over town at $15 a pop.

I'm on disability myself for paranoid schizophrenia. They don't give you much too live on and the cost of living keeps skyrocketing. I live with my grandmother and she has cancer. She is my only living relative. I can't work because of issues with my illness and I have no support system to help me if I fail.

I've been looking for ways to make money on the side and I've come up with a few things. There's gonna be a time that I'll have to survive on my own and I've been preparing.

I purchased a bunch of woodworking tools. I don't even know how to use them but I'm gonna figure it out that's what youtube is for. I'm also into fishing and there's a local pier that has 50-100 fisherman on it at any given time. I'm going to custom make fishing gear and sell it. I also plan on breeding aquarium fish and selling them. I'm not going to get rich by any means but at least what I do might give me some pocket money.

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 07:10 AM
I know this one well and still on a learning curve!

I lost my teaching job at a local 6th form college a little over 2 years ago. I am a clinical aromatherapist by 'trade'. However, that is hard to do in the given economic climate.

So, 2 years ago I started going to my local car boot with a neighbor.

Over the 2 years I have gone it alone and selling mine and friends 'unwanted's', sometimes on a 50/50 basis if I'm selling for friends, to last winter adding hand knitted mits, hats, mobile phone covers, bags, cowls and the like which I make. During the summer I grow and sell on herb plants, tomato and lettuce plants etc. This year's addition is upcycling and re-purposing and boho'ing/shabby chic'ing small pieces of furniture. I also sell essential oils and promote my 'real' work.

I also keep an eye on freecycle and freegle and give away as much as I take in....that 50/50 thing again. In other words I have a deal with myself that if I 'win' something, then I have to freecycle something in return.
I am very lucky because my regular Sunday fleamarket is in an old nursery/greenhouse. So We stay dry and relatively warm in the winter, and lovely grounds to be outdoors in the summer. The only downside is that it shuts from the second week of December to the second week in February....just the time I could do with the extra cash! There are other local carboots but of course they get affected by the British weather.


posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 08:57 AM

wantsomeI have a guy that lives a few doors down. He's on disability because he is mentally challenged. He has a bicycle with a trailer attached and he tows a lawnmower around with it. He cuts lawns all over town at $15 a pop.

I purchased a bunch of woodworking tools. I don't even know how to use them but I'm gonna figure it out that's what youtube is for. I'm also into fishing and there's a local pier that has 50-100 fisherman on it at any given time. I'm going to custom make fishing gear and sell it. I also plan on breeding aquarium fish and selling them. I'm not going to get rich by any means but at least what I do might give me some pocket money.

Yea man see that is what I am talking about. So what if you don't have a car, tie that damn mower to your bike and ride it around, that is some serious determination right there and exactly the kind of inspiration to others I like to hear. And as far as breeding aquarium fish, your profits will be much higher if you breed exotic coral instead. I single 90+ gallon tank can yield thousands of dollars worth of frags and polyps annually. It is a regular past time here in Tampa, Florida. Our reef club is constantly donating and selling polyps nationally to help raise the dues for the club.

Also angel, that is some good initiative there. Add some custom designs by request, and watch the orders and profits begin to steadily increase. People love to see the results of their input, happiness regularly brings dollars.

I had my own thoughts on experimenting with a social experiment. I thought about buying like three twenty dollar tracfones and $20 of minutes per fone, and contracting some homeless folks into my supply chain. Let them picture message back any items they stumble upon on their daily grind in the streets, and use the phone to help them make it. I give a small fee for whatever they recommended that I can sell, and than another cut when I finally sell it.

Then whichever ones can make it work and are legitimate and put in some effort into the model let a partnership of them take over. I think I am going cuckoo with no sleep...

Im going to take a nap now.

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 09:13 AM
reply to post by DYepes

This means people actually have to go out and do something though, which I am afraid won't happen....If you were willing to find these items, clean them up, sell them, and take the money to most people, this would make them investigate doing something like this!

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 09:47 AM
reply to post by DYepes

Good job, great thread!

Nice to see the human spirit alive and well!

I would say American spirit since it is a saying of ours but, I don't want to claim ownership of this most human attitude!

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 06:20 PM
Where I live there's so many doing all these things there's just not enough to go round. I used to repair small electrical items computers etc, but people can go buy any of these items (used) for as little as I charge for a repair.

Also, the laws for people on benefits are just to damned strict! If your on benefit and you try to earn some extra money they'll stop your benefit because they say your not actively looking for work. People have had their benefits stopped because they've been caught doing voluntary charity work!

I agree with what your saying but the system has made it very difficult. Suppose you've lost your job and you've had to clam benefits to feed your family. Are you going to risk losing those benefits for a few bucks for cutting someones lawn? Remember, the whole world has been taught to spy on, and report anyone they think is working while claiming benefit!

They need to relax the laws. They should allow those on benefit to earn...lets say half the amount they receive in benefits without penalizing them by reducing or stopping their benefit. If what that person is doing turns out to be profitable then they're not going to stop! they'll continue to work hard and build it into a living wage. Is that a good idea? Can anyone see any problem with it?

posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 10:54 PM
reply to post by VoidHawk

You are replying with a fear based attitude. Acknowledge it, cast it aside, and continue with your efforts. The unemployment office does not have a staff of job police running around your neighborhood making sure your not mowing lawns, delivering groceries, or collecting cans.

These initiatives may not apply to you, but I am thankful that you have added a warning to those who may not realize they can lose benefits for some very mundane efforts. Even I was unaware. But that is simply intimidation and bullying by the state. Do not fear the wrath of the unemployment office, as they do not maintain a ring of spies to keep tabs on you. Just leave out your extra efforts at any appointments.

If people can sell drugs and guns and collect food stamps while wearing layers of gold and $200 shoes, surely an honest citizen can figure out how to keep the knowledge of mowing lawns for a few dollars away from compromising their benefits.

I have a flyer I designed many years ago when I had a truck and used to do some very basic services for cheap for people who are either too lazy or ignorant to do themselves. One of my favorites was setting up home networks and entertainment systems.

A network person with a degree could charge upwards of 50$ or more for simply installing a router, an anti-virus and setting up passwords and share settings. I would charge 20$ since I could get it done within an hour or so. I would mount TV's to the wall for 20$ up to a 42 inch, and $35 for over that, including connecting all devices and sound equipment. I never personally installed anything bigger than 55inch so not sure what I would charge for that.

Basically these are tasks that can be done within an hour give or take, and imagine if I am making at least $20 a job, that's $20 an hour minimum. I also can do brake pads, oil changes, replacing mirrors and windows )not windshields) and other simple work on automobiles. I would basically list all of the easy things I could easily do but routinely see people paying more than double what I charge to get done at a shop or business. These are just such an unlimited number of a multitude of efforts than can be made to make extra money when times are rough. Heck many people even do these as their full time jobs.

The people in the best situation though are anyone who has a truck. if you drive a truck around and worry about how pretty it looks and scratches to the paint but are on government assistance, than the priorities are out of whack. use the hell out of that truck like a real American the way Henry Ford wanted a truck to be used. get that work in.

I will post a replica of the flyer I used to have later as an example of how simple ones common knowledge may be marketed to generate income.
edit on 9/16/2013 by DYepes because: (no reason given)

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