Thursday, 27 May 2010

Betfair Refer and Earn

All Betting websites worth their salt pay for referrals. The opportunity provided by this incentive is now lost in the haze, however, my eye was caught by a recent email from Betfair:

Dear Ross,

Do you know a friend who bets high stakes with Ladbrokes or Williams Hill??? If so, get them to join Betfair and you could earn up to £2,000 in their first 3 months!

Our Refer And Earn scheme offers you the chance to earn rewards based on your friends activity. To start we will credit both you and your friend £25 once they wager £25 on the Exchange*. Then, if your friend goes large from the off you could earn from £5 to £2000!

For more information on how the scheme works click here.

So if you fancy earning up to £2,000 to spend throughout the summer start referring those VIP’s today!

The Betfair Team

*Terms and Conditions apply

I checked the terms and conditions and basically you get £50 for every £1000 the person you recommend wagers within the first month of their membership. Now, I've worked out that I normally wager £20,000 every month via a rolling £500 bank. If I could recommend myself (in the guise of my Mrs, or Mr. A.N. Other) then I could tap a much needed £1000 from the man.

I've asked my colleague to look into the small print too, but I have feeling that this could be a go-er.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Free Bingo

Everything I wrote about Betting Introductory offers applies even more so to Bingo Websites which seem to have exploded over the last few years. In order to dip my toe in the water, I've joined up with Cheeky I'm going to have a game in a couple of minutes and then I'll set it up again on Saturday to partake in all the free games throughout the day.

Who said there is no such thing as a free lunch?

Your Big Fat Scottish BFF!

If Paris Hilton can do it then why can't I? I'm offering my services as a BFF4EVER, and unlike Paris Hilton the night won't end up with a poorly filmed porno movie - that's an optional extra. Here is the ad I'm running at the mo:

What is Your Big Fat Scottish BFF?

Your Big Fat Scottish BFF is a company that allows you to rent a Scottish friend anywhere in the UK. You can rent a local Friend to hang out with, go to a movie or restaurant with, someone to go with you to a party or event, someone to teach you a new skill or hobby, or someone to go to the Footie with.

Guaranteed Scottishness!

Your Big Fat Scottish BFF is strictly a platonic Friendship company. Your Big Fat Scottish BFF is NOT a dating website, and NOT an Escort agency. Services on Your Big Fat Scottish BFF are strictly for FRIENDSHIP purposes only.

Email to make further enquiries.

Complaining for Profit

I found this article on the net and I liked it a lot. I had a bad experience at a pub restaurant last week but stupidly chucked my till receipt - I'll not be doing that again.

I recall reading years ago about a French gentleman who lived in Edinburgh that never paid for anything. He ever complained and got his money back or returned the item within the applicable cooling off period. I wish I could find that article!

In the meantime please enjoy this:

Complain For Profit

Advice on how to complain for profit to companies and services to get a refund and cash or voucher compensation payments:

If you have a genuine complaint against a company, service or manufacturer then do not keep it to yourself - contact them by letter, e-mail or telephone and tell them about it. Keep it objective and professional, outline your complaint, what you would like them to do and then ask about compensation. Most companies will happily pay something, even if a token £10 or £20 in shopping vouchers for genuine concerns. Some companies like such complaints because it keeps them in touch with consumers and helps them tweak their products or provides direct consumer feedback.

Do keep and provide the company or manufacturer with a proof or purchase like a till receipt, the packaging from the product or the item itself if it will not perish. If you are able to then send them these items, or at the least write the barcode and any reference numbers in your letter of complaint. It is acceptable to do this if the items will perish in the post or would be dangerous or too heavy to send by mail.

Example Of A Complaint

As an example of a complaint I purchased a frozen cake for a friend and family BBQ. It was the largest cake in the freezer section of a large store. The box was huge and the picture on the packaging suggested to me that it would serve at least 8 people. When I opened the gateau as the barbecue was lit it was anything but a large cake. It fed four people and I had to go the local shop and get replacement cakes for my other guests. The original cake was padded out in the large box and I felt this was deceiving. I wrote direct to the manufacturer, using the address on the box, explaining how I thought the cake would serve at least eight people from their photo and the size of the box. I described the disappointment I experienced and the inconvenience and further expense of having to buy another brand of cake. I suggested to the manufacturer that other people could be confused by the product and asked if they could offer me compensation for my inconvenience and to restore my faith in their product. I received a lovely letter and apology a week later, with a cheque for £20 for my inconvenience and a further £10 in shopping coupons to try more of their products. A genuine complaint and a rewarding compensation. I'm pleased to say that the next time I bought the product the packaging was changed and looked less deceiving. I remain a satisfied customer and my family and I continue to buy and enjoy their cakes.

I've done the same for other problems I have experienced with products and services and have always received shopping vouchers in value from anything from £3 up to £100. I've also received cheques and replacement products. In some cases these have been for a year's supply of the items. So do leave cupboard space!

I do not want to come across as a professional complainer but I really do recommend sending an e-mail, letter or making a phone call to complain about genuine problems. Any customer should not simply accept bad service or an item not fit for purpose. You will usually be rewarded for bringing matters to companies attention and they can learn from the feedback.

Sending Letters Of Praise Or Thanks For Rewards

The opposite works too. If I have been pleased with a service or product I often write to the manager, owner or director, praising the experience or product. I'll outline the positive aspects and finish by saying I look forward to trying the experience or product again and that I shall be recommending it to all my friends and family. I may write that I have already shared the product with a friend who now usually the product and recommends all her friends. Companies love praise and to see their product grow in popularity. Many a time I have been rewarded by a lovely letter back and free samples, free money off coupons and gift vouchers.

Tips For Complaining

Do take the time to write or type out a letter if you can. It's easy to phone call and e-mail but a letter will stand out and look more genuine and professional.

Try and address it to a person or department.

Use a spell checker and format the letter formally.

Include your address and telephone number.

Keep all correspondence professional and subjective.

Be prepared to quantify your complaint and provide proof of purchase.

For more information read Complain and Claim.

Mystery Shopping

During the second half of 2009 I had a regular job with a company called Rockingham Northampton carrying out Mystery Shopping tasks across the UK. I visited Pet Shops, Car garages, Bingo Halls etc. The job was very easy and therefore didn't pay a lot however it was interesting and got me out and about.The very, very big negative of the job was that the company went bust - leaving me about £800 out of pocket - Bastards!

I'm going back to basics though, and have been carrying out tasks for a Mystery Shopping firm called Retail Eyes. There is no chance of this lot going out of the game as they pay you about 2 months after you've completed the job. Plenty of time for them to get the cash in and make a bit of interest before paying out.

This weekend I've got a meal in a local pub and a drink in a town centre nightclub to look forward to.

Introductory Offers - Update

Fair play to the guy who has sending me through the introductory offer deals. His tips are a bit shoddy but nonetheless the bank is in the black. Here are the scores on the doors at present:

Account Balance:
Betfair Not Available.
Corals Free Bet Used.
Betclic Free Bet Used.
Betchronicle* Pending.
188Bet £25Balance.

Profit £16 Plus £20 Free Bet(£20Free Bet on Murray @25/1).

£16 up and an outlandish bet on Andy Murray to win the French Open (which I assume we are going to trade out of in the near future). I've still to put my finger on how exactly he is making any money from all this.

Betfair Challenge

Betfair is my bread and butter. I've sucessfully taken a £10 starting stake to over £1000 on 3 separate occasions, and I'm well on the way to doing it again. The difference this time is that I'm keeping detailed records this time with the view of making the whole arrangement more businesslike. My friend has promised to invest £5000 of his own money should I be able to prove to him that I can consistently return 10% per month. I'm well on the way to doing that.

My biggest hurdle at the moment is going to be keeping my discipline whilst the football season is off.

The graph shows my running total from the 27th March, when I officially started recording my returns, until today.

Corby Property Deal

I've registered my interest in a deal which has landed on my desk from Corby, Northamptonshire. 2 bed semi available for £68,000 (probably all it is worth but pushed as a 20% discount). £2600 required for the deal. Mortgage coming out at around £310 with rent of about £450 coming in.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Promoting Utility Warehouse as an income stream

Utility Warehouse is probably something I'll come back to time and again over the next 950 or so posts. Although the members will call it network marketing it is basically a Pyramid Scheme. For every distributor I get in my downline I make extra cash. That doesn't automatically mean that it is poop though as the cash I receive from them from time to time testifies to.

The smart money at UW backs getting more distributors in your team as opposed to getting actual UW customers therefore I have started running this ad regularly. The web address promoted carries my affiliate code.

"Providing your clients with an excellent extra service
gives them an extra reason for choosing your agency.
And it can generate a significant extra income stream for
In times when business is slow and margins are being
squeezed, the ability to provide an excellent extra service for your clients,
whilst generating an extra, ongoing revenue stream for you, has to be good news
for any estate agent.
All your clients need Utilities in their new homes; you can
relieve them of the hassle of organising them by filling out one simple form.
You will be providing them with:
Great value
All their utilities on one monthly bill
Award winning customer service
They save time and save money (and could win free utilities
for a year!), and you receive two commissions: a one-off sign-up fee, and an
ongoing commission on their monthly bills.
Go to:
and click "Earn With Us"

Money manager/ Household Budget Manager

A service that I really want to get going is what I call Money Manager but some others may refer to as a Household Budget manager. I want to physically go into people's households, trawl through their statements and bills, and set them up on a household budget will eventually get them out of a rut.

I probably wouldn't even charge for this service, rather I'd get my kickbacks through the new Utility providers I set the families up with, referral fees from pre-paid debit card companies etc.

I've got this ad running at the mo:

"Debt problems? Our debt management plan helps 1000s of people get out of debt.

Email now with your Name, Address and Phone number and one of our advisors will be in touch ASAP."

I've already put my plans forward to the FSA and they've reported back that they don't see any issues so long as that I don't hold any deposits. From first inspection, I wouldn't even have to get authorised to be allowed to do this.

Handling of Sensitive Personal and Business Matters

Along similar lines to my discreet buyer service is also my "Handling of Sensitive Personal and Business Matters" biz:

We all encounter sensitive situations such as family problems, social issues, work and financial difficulties that do not warrant involvement of our close friends and relatives. While most of us cope successfully with the demands of our lives, some, for one reason or the other, require involvement of the third party to resolve their situation. We offer the service with an ability to handle effectively any circumstances that would pose a serious threat to a client's overall well being. We express interest and concern in helping you re-establish the emotional equilibrium necessary for success in your life.

Email to contact

Sophie and The Wizard of Oz

I've had too much time on my hands today so I've ended up putting the cart before the horse and finalising the Wizard of Oz book with Sophie as the winner. It is now live on with a £4.95 price tag, and I've paid the £15 to get it listed on Amazon etc.

I set up a Facebook page as Sophie yesterday evening and made about 500 friend requests to anyone who had a remotely Welsh name. There is now 300 friends on the page but the natives are restless as it is pretty obvious that it isn't Sophie "behind the curtain" - to put a Dorothy spin on things.

I'll be surprised if I get any sales of the back of this, but the experience of going straight through a project on Lulu has been worthwhile.

For my next project I may well give "Createspace" a try. From community posts it seems that this site gives an easier access onto Amazon listings, which is where you want to be.

Legal "Cocaine"

You would have had to have been on Mars to miss the furore in the UK in regard to the sale of Mephedrone, the so-called "legal high" a month or so back. It was the last tabloid-friendly issue to come out prior to the election being called.

I recall listening to the Eddie Mair show on Radio 4 whilst driving back from work one day. Eddie was interviewing a young man who ran a website selling such legal highs. The guy mentioned that he just sits back and watches the orders drop in whilst listening to the radio all day at home. I decided there and then that I want a piece of that! Since hearing this I've been listing the ad below on Gumtree. Should anyone order from me, I'm basically buying it at half the price elsewhere and adding my cut as a handling charge.

"Legal Cocaine which is taking the London Club Scene by Storm





Free P&P!

£12.50 per gram.

Shipped within 24 hours!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

I'll be "over the rainbow" if this one works.......

I like Google News Alerts. I get themn for a large number of keywords, all relating in some vague way, to different irons I have in the fire.

Today I received an alert regarding a news article on a film that Drew Barrymore (of all people) is going to direct next year. It is going to be some sort of Wizard of Oz remake.Tucked away in the text was the information that all of Frank L Baum's 14 Wizard of Oz stories are well out of copyright having been written way back in the very early 20th C.

Over the Rainbow is a British television talent series which began on BBC One in March 2010. The show is also broadcast on TV3 in Ireland on Sunday evenings at 6pm with the results at 8pm. At the moment we are down to 3 contestants, with the likely winner to be between Redhead Sophie Evans and Danielle Hope.

I've mashed these two together by downloading "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz" from Project Gutenberg, juggling it around so that it is in A5 with normal paperback margins and then using auto-replace to switch "Dorothy" for Sophie/ Danielle whenever it appears in the text (258 times).

My idea is that once the winner is declared on Saturday night I can get a final pdf sorted out, purchase a suitable photo from Rex Features/ Mr Papparazzi and then get the book released via

I'll report back here if there are any hitches.

Become an Agony Aunt

I'm not one to prey on the needy and desperate, but nonetheless their cash feels as nice in my pocket as anyone elses. Hence my ad I'm running across the classifieds sites seeing if anyone needs advice or help.

Remember - there is no such thing as a free lunch.

"I offer Free Advice and Counselling to try and help you out.

Just Ask!!"

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My fledgling Darts Career

In order to kickstart my darts career I've approached local pro Kevin McDine to see if he needs a practice partner:

Hi Kevin,

let me know if you need a practice partner? I play Darts every night (I'm not that good though!).

I'm available every evening for as long as you need. I live in Northampton.

Let me know if you need me.

Kind regards,


Ebay Easy Money

I've mentioned in the last couple of posts that I'm banned from Ebay at the moment. The circumstances which led to this were profitable albeit slightly dubious.

I listed a number of high-ticket electrical items on Ebay such as Ipods, TV's, X-box's etc. I made all these listings in the Information section and entitles them: "Find out how to get an X-box for a bargain price". As far as I could see I had followed Ebay rules. In my eyes I was selling information rather than the item itself. When anyone sent me an email enquiry I told them as such.

Nonetheless a large number of people paid high prices for this information, undoubtably thinking they were going to receive a widescreen TV for some riduculously small price.

In a 3 week period I sold £1500 worth on Ebay and received about £900 of that in. Ebay took £200 worth of fees leaving me with about £700.

Very quickly the complaints and negative feedback piled up as people began to realise that all they had bought was information. I fought Paypal and Ebay to ensure that refunds were not paid.

Eventually Ebay said they wished to close my account, which I agreed to. The annoying thing is that Ebay are chasing me for unpaid fees even though my account was cleared when they closed it down.

Mortgages, Money and Magic - over 1000 copies sold

"Mortgages, Money and Magic" is an ebook I wrote 2 years ago. It shows a process that any average couple could use to get on the housing ladder and proceed to be mortgage free within 10 years. It is pretty robust, and I feel strongly that these claims could be achieved.

I originally sold the ebook via Ebay at £9.99 achieving a few dozen sales. When the fee structure got changed I dropped the price down to 99p and continued to get a few sales per week.

As I am off Ebay at the minute I've started to sell it via other classified sites. I tried to get it turned into a paperback book using but it won't accept my pdf file for some technical reason. I've no longer got the original word doc so I'm on a bit of a sticky wicket.

If you'd like to buy a copy then please drop me a line on:

I'm a Discreet Buyer

On occasions everyone has a situation where they need to make a purchase but don't really want to do it themselves. Generally this will be because of the potentially embarassing nature of the purchase. For example, a man may not want to buy a present for his lover in case his wife comes across the credit card bill. A lady man not want to buy a large sex toy through the imaginable cringing moment at the checkout. In light of this, I've advertised my services as a "discreet buyer". Here's my ad on Gumtree:

"We all encounter sensitive situations such as family problems, social issues, work and financial difficulties that do not warrant involvement of our close friends and relatives. While most of us cope successfully with the demands of our lives, some, for one reason or the other, require involvement of the third party to resolve their situation. We offer the service with an ability to handle effectively any circumstances that would pose a serious threat to a client's overall well being. We express interest and concern in helping you re-establish the emotional equilibrium necessary for success in your life.

Email to contact"

Sell Toaster Bags

I was amazed when I listed a 2-pack of Toaster Bags that I'd bought from Poundland on Ebay and sold them for £2.50. Their light weight and thinness means that they can't be sent with a normal second class stamp.

I'm banned from Ebay at the moment but in the meantime, until my rightful reinstatement, I've got the Bags listed on Gumtree amongst other places.

When someone orders I simply nip to Poundland during my dinner break to make the purchase. Easy peasy - and I'm a quid up every time.

Need help conceiving?

Further to registering with Fertility 1st, I've lodged my own ad on Gumtree.

"The law does not apply to a 'private' arrangement involving 'fresh' sperm rather than frozen.

Drop me a line."

I'm available for Medical trials

Drop me a line if you need me.

6ft 90kg 31yr old male

I'd do anything for cash!

Man Not Included - Sell Your Sperm

I'm back in the frame for sperm donation - but nobody seems to want me yet! I signed up with Fertility 1st:

Donor Application
Many thanks for your application.

If we have any queries regarding your application or we feel you are not suitable as a donor we will contact you via email.

If you receive no contact you will be automatically entered into our database. We will only contact you then once you have been chosen by a recipient to arrange your tests.


I have the unfortunate distinction of looking a bit like James Corden, the fat bloke from Gavin and Stacey. In order to try and use this natural advantage (?) to it's maximum potential, I've emailed his agent asking if he needs a look-a-likey:


do you know if James Corden needs a lookalike for any reason?

I look just like him according to the guy who runs the fan site.

Kind regards,


Amazon Agent

I now have a classified ad promoting my services as an Amazon sales agent on Craigslist, Freeads, Vivastreet, UK Classifieds and Gumtree.

"Make Money on Amazon - No Effort!

Have you got lots of books you'd like to sell on Amazon - but just can't be bothered with the rigmaroll?

Let me sell them for you! I'll do all the legwork and split the profits with you 50/50.

Drop me a line, I'll pick the books up and send you a monthly account breakdown and any payments by cheque.


Basically I am just going to be a middleman. To stop timewasters I'll take a minimum of 100 books a time.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Write a Quiz Book

I love Quizzes. I Sky Plus Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Fifteen to One, National Lottery In it to Win it - the lot!

I always write down subject notes on any question I don't know the answer to.

I am now going to amalgamate all these notes together and do a "quiz book of very hard questions". My first draft at the moment has 500 questions and comes to about 22 pages. With the minimum page count on being 68 pages you can see I've still got away to go. The good thing is that I reckon I can get this done relatively quickly.

I've facebooked C.J. De Mooi to ask if there has ever been a Quiz Book brught out before which doesn't actually include the answers (with the idea that the reader has to go out and find the information for themselves).

If I can get the book done in the next month I'll sit on it until the 100 golden days before Christmas.

Comping the night away

I've entered well over 200 competitions via the Martin Lewis forum in the last week. Here's hoping I'll have better luck than the rest of this year so far. Despite entering at least 50 comps per week all I've won is tickets to a cinema screening of a film I've never heard of!

Betting Bonuses (ii)

The real way to make money from this system would be to copy the guy who is instructing me, get my own followers and then get them to sign up for bonuses using my affiliate links. Doing this would provide me with referral payments.

I think that Betfair pay £50 for a good referral at the moment so these fees are not to be sniffed at.

Betting Bonuses (i)

If you search "betting introductory offers" on Google the first page brings includes:

Boylesports really should be added to the portfolio of any online punter and with their superb introductory offer of a free £20 bet

Open an account with Betfred for a free £50 bet offer.

Bookmaker PaddyPower £100 Free Bets

Totesport Free Bet Offer: £60

Get a huge £100 bonus when you join sporting bet online.

£10 free bet with Sportingbets

Pinnacle Sports - £250 free bet bonus There is a “boss, look busy” link, so that you can bet from your workplace. There is an introductory offer of a free “matched” bet of up to £20.

Partybet £25 Free Bets | Grand National Offer from Party Bet

Titan Bet Bonus - Newby bookmaker review with an unheard of £250 bonus

William Hill Offers Great Odds And A Free £25 Bet. Join Now To Claim!

I've joined forces with a guy who claims he can guarantee £2000 worth of freebies. I am going to run with him until I get bored.

So far I've received a £20 free bet from Coral so he's got a long way to go!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Doss House

I am obsessed with the idea of running a doss house! Could there ever be a less noble ambition?

A little while back I heard about a guy who ran what I thought was a very unsuccessful and unattractive B&B. Little did I know that he was actually running a hugely successful HMO (House of Multiple Accomadation).

Since the 2004 Housing Act, every local council has been legally bound to take action to minimise homelessness. Basically if they know someone is sleeping rough then they need to get that person booked into a local doss house. The doss house charges £25+ for the priviledge. The one I know has had 6 rooms booked out by the council for years on end.

From a Freedom of Information Act request I found out that the council spent £600,000+ on doing this last year (bear in mind this is in the smallest county in Great Britain).

I want a piece of this action! I've written to the Doss House owner asking to get involved and I've let all the local Estate Agents know that I'm looking for a 5bedroom property to convert into bedsits.


I don't know if things will change now that the Tory's are back in, but here is what I calculate Vicki and I would be due if we had one child and Vicki went (very) part-time at work.

Total Entitlements £5,754.17 £110.35 weekly

Can't argue with that.

The Apprentice 2011

This afternoon I filled in the online form for my name to go in the hat for the Apprentice 2011. Not sure if I really want it. Who'd want to go through the humiliation for a middle of the road job which no-one seems to stick at anyway?

Still - I could write about my experience for a few extra pennies.

Lottery Syndicate Idea

I find this hard to put into words so please bear with me.

In its most basic form, the National Lottery is a tax on the stupid. The odds of picking the winning combination are 13million to one whereas the jackpot rarely reaches £13m these days. It's a bad bet. It's like betting on Portsmouth to beat Chelsea at 2/1 when they should be 10/1.

This is not always the case though. Occasionally rollovers occur that mean that the National Lottery actually offers a value bet. On occasions when a value bet occurs it is theoretically possible to buy every lottery combination to lock in a guaranteed win.(The downside being that others may also have guessed the winning numbers - and you'll have to share the win).

My idea is setting up a consortium that monitors all World National Lotteries to identify value opportunities and piles in when required. Once a pool had been built up then an annual dividend of profits would be paid.

A secondary income stream would be the purchase of a newsagent store (or small chain) so that we would actually profit from selling ourselves the tickets.

If you are interested in getting something like this kicked off, or if you know a Sheikh, then please get in touch.

Dogs in Hats!

I'd never heard of a brand called "Rachael Hale" until I started at my current workplace 6 months ago. The blurb on their website says:

Since launching in 1995, the rachaelhale® brand has become a global success story synonymous with ‘the world’s most lovable animals’. Transcending age, language, and culture, the brand’s unique personalities and enchanting images inspire and delight all they touch.

Featuring on an exciting, ever expanding range of products including: calendars, cards and stationary; apparel, cosmetics and fashion accessories; school bags, back to school items; giftware and keepsakes; ‘rachaelhale®- The world’s most lovable animals’ continues to charm new markets and find new homes.

With its universal and timeless appeal, this evergreen brand offers licensees exciting opportunities. Please contact us to begin your journey in the company of the world’s most lovable animals.

In a nutshell Rachael Hale is a series of pictures of Dogs in Hats! Simple concept, but they seem to have made plenty of money out of it! My idea is to build up a database of royalty free pictures of dogs in hats with the view of knocking out a book in the golden 100 days before Christmas. One quick question for any readers - if a person posts a picture of their dog on facebook and makes it public, is that picture then freely in the public domain?

What is Sports Arbitrage Betting?

Sports Arbitrage Trading is the act of placing bets on all possible outcomes of a sporting event so that you lock in a definite profit at the end of that event. Known by a range of names - Scalping, Betting Arbitrage, Surebets - arbitrage trading also enables people to take complete advantage of other profitable concepts like Matched Betting and Bonus Arbitrage.

Arb betting is a lot harder to carry out in practice than how it sounds.

I'm going to give it a fair crack of the whip though, which is something I really haven't done in the past. I've signed up for alerts and opened a few more accounts.

Possible Property Deal - Gloucester

Got sent through a property deal today that I like the look of. Cashback deal in Gloucester. No money down. GL1.

Have forwarded my interest. Emailed Cameron to see if he wants to come in.

Use me as your Mortgage Whore

In today's post-Credit Crunch world (or should that be mid-Credit Crunch?) it can be very difficult to get a mortgage. Never mind the sub-prime, those with impeccable credit records can struggle to. The banks don't like individuals to have too many Buy To Let mortgages against their name even if their current portfolio is chock full of equity and pumping out a massive rental surplus from month to month. Now that doesn't really make sense to me but then again the banks are the firms that give you an umbrella when its sunny and then ask for it back when it begins to rain.

In order to capitalise on this situation I've offered myself as a Mortgage Whore to some of the big names in the Buy To Let World. Basically I've said that I'd be more than happy for people to put deals in my name in exchange for a either a fee or a percentage of the deal.

This could be dangerous should the dealer default on the mortgage leaving me to hold the baby so I'll have to be very careful in what I say yes to.

On the upside there could be some nice rewards for very little work.

Sell Fake Urine!

Believe it or not there is a market for fake urine. When I was small we started to hear about urine tests at the Olympics. After Ben Johnson's eye bulging exploits the term came into use and the public were aware that men in white coats would be holding samples of pee in some lab in Zurich looking for steroids and such like.

I bet back then no-one thought that you'd need a pee test to get a job in a factory. I shit you not. In September last year I had to pass a urine test before commencing a warehouse job with!

With restrictive practices like this it is no wonder that a market for fake urine has sprung up. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

The American ads are generally for synthetic urine but I've been running a cheeky ad of my own on Gumtree for the last month. I don't know what I'd do if anyone got back to me in regard to it - I'd probably send a flagon's worth in a soda stream bottle!

Solve Crosswords for Cash

I came across a site today that gives you the answers to the prize crosswords in the Saturday and Sunday Express.

I've set up an alert on "remember the milk" to prompt me to buy copies next weekend.

Unauthorised Biographies

I've just finished reading the Alexandra Burke Unauthorised Biography by Chas Newkey-Burden. Allow me to say first and foremost that I have no interest whatsoever in the X-Factor other than as a moneymaking event!

The book interested me in that it must have been brought out relatively quickly after her success and secondly I don't believe there is anything in it whatsoever that couldn't be gleaned from either (i) the shows themselves, (ii) the tabloids whilst the show is running, (iii) wikipedia, and (iv) the blogosphere.

I want to pick up the mantle and see if I can go one better this year. I've already emailed ITV to see when the X Factor is due to start but they replied to say that they've not set an official date yet. My plan of action is to keep all the programs (+ the Xtra Factor) on Sky Plus, keep all the mags and newspapers throughout the series and get google alerts for any mentions of the prog.

I'm hoping I can quickly patch this together when a favourite becomes clear with the view of releasing a paperback before Christmas!

A tall order but let's have a go.

One of my main tasks between now and then (7 months hence) will be to build up a promotional campaign so that people actually know there is going to be a book out.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Become one of the Papparazzi

I've only been to London about 4 times in my life. I get put off by the exorbitant prices. A hotel which will be £59 anywhere else will be £89 in London, and that's before you factor in the unbelievable rail fair (how come its £60 odd pound for a single to London but I can get a return to Kracow with Ryanair for £4??).

Anyway, my miserly view of London day trips has been eroded slightly following my discovery of "crashpadding", a site where people open up their spare rooms for a small fee. I like this idea. It fits in with all the good stuff about the internet. The wiki age, web2, the Youporn era!

Given that I now feel able to stay over night in London I've turned my mind to how I could make money out of this. My first port of call - Celebrity Snapping!

Here are the supposed top places to spot Celebs:

Aura, Half Moon, The Heights, Juju, Mahiki,No. 5, Punchbowl.

My incredibly weak and hole-filled plan would be to book a crashpad near one of these venues. Sit across the road until I see a Celeb, snap like crazy and then sell my pics the next day to Mr. Papparazzi!

Sperm Donation

As far as I am aware, donating sperm for any sum other than reasonable expenses is against the law in the Uk. Given this fact I was very surprised to find tonight a classified ad from a guy in Broadstairs offering to impregnate women for money, and an ad by a Lesbian in Belfast looking to buy some sperm.

It's all going on. Needless to say I replied to the latter.

Jose Mourinho Framed Pictures

This may well be the gayest entry I make in this blog - even if I do make it to my target 1000 posts!

I was so inspired when Jose Mourinho ran onto the Nou Camp pitch to celebrate his Inter side's win over Barca that I've since been saving google alerts containing his name with a view to building up a A3 size framed pictures of him alongside some sort of inspirational poem at the bottom - the kind of thing you might see in a sports memorabilia or autograph shop.

I'd market them as unique and sell on Ebay (giving two fingers to copyright laws).

If you know how to print a picture off the computer but make it look like a glossy print then please let me know.

Poker Propping

A friend of mine has made considerable cash in Poker propping. A Poker Prop is a player who gets paid an hourly rate to start poker games or to help them stay active. Prop players play with their own money, which distinguishes them from shills, who play with the casino's money. I gave it a try myself once but tended to lose more playing poker than I made through my propping duties.

I can see that there is money to be made from it if you have the skill and discipline to stay in the game for a long period of time.

If you are a prop and you'd like someone to invest in you, for a share of your profits, then please get in touch and we can see if we can do a deal.

The Real Hustle

"The Real Hustle" the BBC3 show acting out scams and prop bets is my favourite show on that channel.

An episode which sticks in my mind was the one where the team left charity bags in an upmarket London street. When they collected these bags up they opened a fashion store and marketed it as "boutique" with prices to match!

I often wonder how many of the charity bags that land on my doorstep are part of a similar scheme. I bet there are a few.

A search on Google shows that there are two stores (1 in Edinburgh and 1 in Glasgow) popping up as featured when I search "second hand clothes Scotland".

If you had an eye for fashion you could collect up second hand clothes, sift out anything which could be considered retro and then sell online or via a shop. By looking at the sales data you could then create a new line mirroring the bestsellers.

If I could get enough space I would certainly start uplifting all the clothes items that frequently appear on Freecycle.

Hotpoint Willie (ii)

Following on from the idea of selling the machines, the next logical step would be to hire them out/ sell via hire purchase.

For a very short time I worked for a company called Buy As You View. Whilst they were the most disorganised shower I've ever had the misfortune to be employed by, I did like their business model. White goods and TV's are dished out without credit checks. Payments are made via a coin operated meter attached to the device. Rates are exorbitant, as would generally be expected when no credit check is made.

My twist would be that I wouldn't do a monthly collection. Rather I would set the meter up to give a full reading at a pre-agreed price, say £75. At that point, or 1 year whichever sooner, I'd visit the client and remove the meter. I'd offer free servicing and if the machine were to break down I'd swap it out for another one in stock.

This business is built on bootstrapping techniques so would not cost a lot to set up. A consumer credit license would be required I believe but there are other spin-offs which I will talk about later that could utilise this piece of bureaucracy.

To garner goodwill and build up the image of the business I'd offer to wash local kids football team strips for free. Not only would this be a good thing to do for the community, it would also offer a chance to test that the machines were working.

Hotpoint Willie (i)

I came across Freecycle about 1 year ago or more. If you've never heard of it, it is an online community where items are listed on a Bulletin Board for potential takers before being taken to the skip. As would be expected, most of the stuff is junk but I was amazed to find that on occasion people are listing perfectly fine white goods. It is usually the case that people have been keeping up with Jones' and need to clear some space for an upgraded mod-con.

I thought of the idea of uplifting all the Washing Machines that come up for grans with the idea of cleaning them up and selling them on.

Taking this a step further a placed an ad on Ebay Classified saying that I would uplift an Washing Machines that would otherwise be going to the tip. I got 3 working machines within a week! Shortly after this I lost my access to a van so I never reran the ad but I was heartened by the results to say the least.

To make a business of this I'd combine classifieds with Freecycle to build up stock of machines and then employ a mechanic on a piecework basis to get the machines up to scratch.

The machines could then be sold again via classifieds - or even better, to some of the people you have uplifted from. You see, I found that people were asking me if I also sold machines when I was picking the old ones up.

If you are wondering, I got the name of Hotpoint Willie as it was the nickname of an old customer of mine at a former workplace. I thought it was catchy so I ripped it off. Willie, if you are reading this, I'll buy you a pint to say thanks!

Debt Management Leads

I had never really heard of Debt Management until I worked as a Collector for the Moorcroft Group. Whilst doing that job I'd get the constant refrain on the doorstep of "I don't have to talk to you - I'm on Debt Management".

Self righteous Bastards!

I looked into it and was amazed to find that It is a bit of a get-out-of-jail-free card for the Big Spenders!

Debt Management firms approach lenders etc on behalf of the client and agree weekly terms on the basis that if the lenders say no they will get nowt as the client is likely to go bankrupt. The client thinks they are getting a great deal as their monthly payment will drop from in the hundreds to in the tens. The firm will be taking a nice monthly payment for themselves hidden amongst the figures. The trick of the trade is that in most cases the debt has simply been stretched rather than reduced + there are plenty of do-gooder groups who would do the job of the debt management firm for free.

Where do I come into this? Tonight I've started running an ad looking for debt monkeys with the view of selling these leads onto the debt management firms. They are not that bad after all! (Are they?)

Surveys - The Truth

I am offended by the amount of junk email, pop ups, and safelist adverts I get telling me that Surveys are a valid "Work at Home" plan. There is just no way on Earth that anyone is making a living by doing online surveys, and I be pushed to believe that anyone is making any significant second income this way at all. Here is how I got on from an Evening of survey taking:

Opinion World - 15 mins; entry into a prize draw.
Ciao - 11mins; should have been credited £1 but it's never appeared.
Ciao - 2mins; survey has reached maximum participants.
Ciao - 2mins; survey has reached maximum participants.
New Vista - 2mins; enough people with my profile already.
Opinion World - 2mins; survey now closed.
Pinecone - 20mins; £3! Hooray!
Global Test Market - 2mins; Survey closed.
Global Test Market - 2mins; knocked out because of my occupation.
Ciao - 2mins; survey now closed.
Opinion World - 2mins; knocked out because I didn't want to take out a secured loan in the next 6 months.
Ciao - 2mins; kicked out because I am not a company decision maker.
Toluna - 2mins; survey closed.
Toluna - 2mins; kicked off because I don't rent my property.
Ipsos - 10mins; unclear on whether I have won anything or not!
Toluna - 2mins; survey closed.
Global Test Market - 2mins; kicked off because I haven't taken a flight in the last year.
Toluna - 2mins; not part of target group required.
Opinion World - 2mins; survey now closed

Overall then, I spent one and a half hours to earn £3 in Tesco Vouchers. I've not cherrypicked the above surveys. This is genuine! In over 1 year of doing Ciao surveys I've amassed an amazing £2.79!

I firmly believe that most of the online survey sites are actually just fronts to try and sell you stuff. Never, under any circumstances pay to join them!

Clackmannanshire Achievements

As well as this blog, I am also currently participating in My hope here is that people from the Wee County will contact me with news of their sporting, business and academic successes. To get the ball rolling I'll be looking out for news stories in the local rags and via google news alerts. My aim is that if I can build up a following I could eventually transfer to a paper version which would be delivered free to all doors in the county and include some local paid-for advertising. I would use my own leafletting firm to deliver the product, and would offer free advertising space to a local printer to cover production costs. Eventually I'd use the newsletter to push my own cause for obtaining local office.

Grand plans!

If you know of anyone who has done this in the past then please get in touch. - This Blog

I'm keeping a close eye on my post count. When it gets to 1000 (if ever) I'll copy all of them into word, convert into a pdf and get it published via Lulu.

I've never did this yet but I think it could be a nice sideline.

If you have used before then please give me your feedback - positive or negative.

The only success story connected to that I have came across in the Press is the report of the young lad who wrote a book about getting A* grades in your GCSE's only to then go on and get 10 of them. An impressive performance in anyone's book. I read the article and then ordered the book from Amazon. There was very little in there and anyone wouldn't know anyway - suggestions such as "find somewhere quiet to study". Nonetheless, the success of the book given the feeble content is even more remarkable. A flick of the inside cover shows that this book was created on Lulu.

Budget Cars Deals (ii)

The spin-off from my budget car deal idea would be to use some of the cars in stock to set up a budget car hire business. Every time I have ever had the misfortune to hire a car I've always been shocked at the prices charged. I admit that on occasion you need a half decent car for some business purpose, but there are a number of occasions when you are only hiring a car because your normal ride is at the mechanics. On these occasions you want to keep your costs down. Any old motor will do.

Budget car deals (ii) would provide basic, clean, no-frills car hire for as low a price as economically possible. I would foresee the cost being something like £15 a day.

The cars could be stickered up to promote the other businesses in the portfolio.

Budget Cars Deals (i)

I know nothing about cars - let's be clear about that first and foremost. I do, however, know a good bit about trading and dealing with motivated sellers.

Every day in the UK dozens of people will put their house on the market not because they have a whim to move to a bigger house but rather because they have a dire need to sell due to debt, divorce or death.

By scale you would be led to believe that the amount of people putting cars on the market would be ten-fold.

There is a much larger second hand car market than second hand houses. Every week a good 40,000 cars will come up for sale. We can assume that at least 3000 of these will be in Scotland.

My idea is to go out into the Scottish market and make a low-ball bid on the cheapest 1000 of these cars. We know from the property game that 1 to 2% of these people will get back to us. Of these we'll probably be able to strike a deal on 5 to 10 cars a week.

We would then sell these cars at market price via a yard, Ebay and a separate on-line presence. We should be able to achieve a 30%+ margin on each deal given the discount provided by the motivated seller.

Ideally, if I was to start a business like this I'd like to partner with someone mechanically minded as an emergency backup (however a key caveat of my purchases would be that the cars had had a regularly recent MOT).

If you have tried this before, have any feedback to give me, or would like to get involved in such a business then please get in touch:

Attention Pub Owners!

I wouldn't fancy running a pub nowadays. They seem to be shutting down left, right and centre.

The only pubs that seem to be busy are the Wetherspoons of this world that are managing to sell Lager at <£2 per pint.

In light of this I fancy setting up a Co-Operative of Freetrade accounts which can buy Lager in Bulk. I think we'd only have to concern ourselves with Lager as putting on these deals will draw enough crowds in to reach a critical mass.

If you are in the licensed trade and see the sense in this then please get in touch!

Property Syndicate

Firstly, I have a property portfolio which I would like to extend. If you have ever wanted to get into property but don't know where to start then please get in touch. I want to set up a fractional ownership consortium of 4 to 10 people so that I can upscale the amount of deals I get going.

A deal such as this would allow you to dip your toe in the water and enjoy some returns without the hassle of dealing with tenants and letting agencies etc.

Drop me a line if you want to get involved.


I am constantly working on projects to bring in a little cash. Keep an eye on this blog where I'll try to get as many of them recorded.