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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Things are picking up again on Betfair



  It has taken a good few months but I'm climbing back towards "breakeven" on Betfair. Here's how business has gone over the last few weeks:

Betting Profit & Loss
Boxing: £1.90
Cycling: £1.90
Darts: £97.52
Golf: £92.71
Horse Racing: £12.12
Motor Sport: £17.12
Soccer: £14.53
Tennis: £0.33
Tote:
Total P&L: £238.13


The Open went really well (I am going to try to repeat my success with the US PGA which starts soon). The World Matchplay has gone well too despite a poor start. Wimbledon, which fell slightly before the time period covered above, was also excellent. I've managed the above without any big liabilities, c. £150 max.

Scotland's Showroom


   I love the idea of taking old Supermarket space (is there such a thing anywhere in Scotland?), and opening up "Scotland's Showroom". I'd take a consignment of goods from all the best Producers and Craft people in Scotland and merchandise them in one place. The best soup, the best shortbread, the best furniture - like a Department store.

What do you think?

What is a Consignment Shop?

Consignment


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Consignment is the act of consigning, which is placing a person or thing in the hand of another, but retaining ownership until the goods are sold or person is transferred. This may be done for shipping, transfer of prisoners to auction, or for sale in a store (i.e. a consignment shop).

Features of consignment are:

The relation between the two parties is that of consignor and consignee and not that of buyer and seller

The consignor is entitled to receive all the expenses in connection with consignment

The consignee is not responsible for damage of goods during transport or any other procedure.

Goods are sold at the risk of consignor. The profit or loss belongs to consignor only.

The word consignment comes from Fr. consigner "to hand over or transmit", originally from Lat. consignare "to affix a seal," as was done with official documents just before being sent.
Second-hand shops

"Consignment shop" is an American English term for second-hand stores that offer used goods at a lower cost than new. Many offer new items as well. In the context of sale, it is usually understood that the consignee (the seller) pays the consignor (the person who owns the item) a portion of the proceeds from the sale. Payment is not made until and unless the item sells. The consignor retains title to the item and can end the arrangement at any time by requesting its return. A specified time is commonly arranged after which, if the item does not sell, the owner can reclaim it (or, if not reclaimed within a period, the seller can dispose of the item at his discretion).

Merchandise often sold through consignment shops includes antiques, athletic equipment, automobiles, books, clothing (especially children's, maternity, and wedding clothing which are often not worn out), furniture, firearms, music, musical instruments, tools, and toys. eBay drop-off stores often use the consignment model of selling. Art galleries, as well, often operate as consignees of the artist.

The consignment process can be further facilitated by the use of VMI (vendor managed inventory) and CMI (customer managed inventory) applications. VMI is a business model that allows the vendor in a vendor/customer relationship to plan and control inventory for the customer, while CMI allows the customer in the relationship to have control of inventory.

Consignment shops differ from charity or thrift shops, in which the original owners surrender physical possession and legal title to the item as a charitable donation, and the seller retains all proceeds from the sale. They also differ from pawn shops, in which the original owner can surrender physical possession and legal title for an immediate payment, or surrender physical possession of the item in exchange for a loan, and can only reclaim the item upon repayment of the loan with interest or else surrender legal title to the item. In the UK, the term "consignment" is not used, and consignment shops selling women's clothing are called "dress agencies". Although the other types of consignment shop exist, there is no general term for them.

Procedure

A consignor brings their second-hand items in to be reviewed. After being reviewed, a "yes" pile will be made. These are the items that are acceptable for selling in the store. These items are generally in perfect condition and lightly used without any stains/damages/defects. The items will be priced at a fraction of their retail price (usually 1/3 to 1/4 of their original cost). When a consignor's item(s) sell, they make a percentage of the sold price so that the store and the consignor make a profit. Policies differ amongst stores, but the concept remains the same.

There are laws against consigning fake designer pieces.

Consignment differs from "selling outright" where a seller brings items in and receives immediate payment on review

Climb Your Own Ladder

  
Just finished reading a really ancient book called "Climb Your Own Ladder" by Allen Lieberoff. It's mostly the same ideas as other books of the genre. Here are some of the chapters which caught my eye:

Comedy Writing - selling jokes to Comedians via publications like Variety.

Inventory control for business on a freelance basis.

Consigment Shop - more about this later.

Bus tours.

Friday, 22 July 2011

From Springwise - Baby Clothese Rental

  I reckon this idea has some legs, especially if you were to tie it in with a Clothes recycling service and/ or a laundry service. Teams within teams!!

Baby clothes for rent by the month


15th July 2011 in Life Hacks.

If the Netflix model works for kids’ video games, toys, adult clothes and cell phones — to name just a few examples — then why not baby clothes as well? That, indeed, is essentially the premise behind Plum, a San Francisco startup that offers baby clothes for rent by the month.

Customers of Plum begin by specifying whether they’d like to receive two, four or seven outfits at a time. Plum will then send out an initial bundle of organically laundered, good-as-new items in seasonally appropriate styles and the correct size, all packed in a returnable envelope with a little organic muslin laundry bag. After that point, clothes can be sent back at any time within three months. So, when baby outgrows an outfit, parents can return it to Plum and receive replacements in the next size. Stains are no problem for Plum customers, either, because the company simply donates such items to children in foster care — there’s no extra charge for parents. Pricing ranges from USD 16 per month for two outfits to USD 49 per month for seven outfits.

Still not convinced today’s transumers are here to stay? Then check out some of the other Netflix-like initiatives we’ve featured. Outright ownership is so yesterday — time to help free consumers from those bonds!

From Springwise.com - Deliver Juice for Money (love it!)

Fresh pressed juices by subscription, delivered to the door


14th July 2011 in Food & Beverage.

There appears to be no end in sight to consumers’ desire to reduce their shopping burden by signing up for monthly subscriptions. Now joining the growing list of products we’ve seen offered this way is fresh pressed juice, which can be ordered for home delivery at the frequency of consumers’ choice from Los Angeles-based Pressed Juicery.

The juices are produced on a hydraulic press, minimizing oxidation and releasing vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are impossible to obtain with a standard juicer, the company says. Because they are raw and unpasteurized, the juices have a shelf life of just three days. They can be consumed as part of a normal diet or as part of a detoxifying digestive cleansing regimen by which consumers consume nothing but juice for several days. Either way, regular delivery is available for those in the Los Angeles area, while nationwide shipping can be used for cleansing packages ordered in other parts of the U.S. Pricing begins at USD 130 for home delivery of 16 juices each month or USD 70 per day for a three or five-day cleanse.

So that’s organic soups, baked goods and healthy snacks that we’ve now seen offered up by subscription for home delivery, not to mention the humble milkman and all the other services outside of food. What frequently used items could you deliver to the door on a recurring basis?

This is a great idea - Groupon for Solar Power.......

The Groupon of solar power



By Steve Hargreaves @CNNMoneyTech July 20, 2011: 5:23 AM ET

California start-up One Block Off the Grid aims to get customers group deals on solar energy. Can they get enough people to sign up?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In an office building in downtown San Francisco, 42 people are trying to sell solar power using a model previously used mostly for things like restaurant deals or haircuts.

One Block Off the Grid, a start-up company run by a 32-year old former online gaming entrepreneur, is hoping the power of online group deals can do for solar what it's done for the service industry. Call it the Groupon of solar power.

"The idea was to put this online and deliver it to thousands of people at a time," said Dave Llorens, who after running a company that made gaming software spent time working as a solar panel salesman before starting One Block. "No one wants to have a salesman in their living room, they just want the numbers," said Llorens.

The question is: will customers sign up online for expensive and sometimes complicated items?

The concept works like this: One Block finds locations nationwide where there are contractors that install solar power systems. These are usually in places were there are generous subsidies for solar power. They then screen the contractors, and see if they'll offer a discount if One Block can deliver a large enough group of customers.

Once the contractor agrees, the deal is posted on One Block's web site. Potential customers then sign up to have the contractor come over and offer an estimate. If enough people agree buy the panels, the deal "tips," meaning it takes place. The discount is usually in the range of 15%, plus a $500 rebate.

One Block has done dozens of these deals in locations across the country. Earlier this week, the company launched its first-ever nationwide deal.

As part of the campaign, One Block put together a map showing all the counties in the United States where they have signed up a contractor willing to offer a deal. They are currently running deals in about a third of the nation's 3,000-plus counties.

War veterans go solar

The map also has a handy online calculator where people can type in their address, plug in their monthly electric bill and a few other pieces of information, and see how long the payback period is for their house.

Llorens said they are typically only offering deals where the payback period is less than 10 years. If the payback period is longer than that, the map provides homeowners with contact information to what lawmakers in the area should be prodded to push for more government support of solar power.

The differences in support for solar between localities is striking.

For my apartment in New York City, which runs through about $50 a month in electricity, solar certainly makes sense.

After all the various federal, state, local and One Block discounts, the whole system would cost me $1,500, according to the calculator. My electric bill would be cut in half, so it would take 5 years to pay back the investment. Over 20 years, I save $9,000.

For my brother and his wife's house in Maine, it's a different story. Largely thanks to a lack of subsidies, One Block says it would cost them nearly $30,000 to put in a solar system.

Even if that dropped his electric bill to $50 from $150, they're still under water after 15 years.

"Contact your state leaders and let them know you want stronger clean energy policy in your state," says the One Block site, before listing the emails and phone numbers for various Maine politicians.

The company: Llorens started One Block in 2008 with $1,000 of his own cash. The firm has been relying on angel investors and venture capital money since then, including cash from New Enterprise Associates. NEA also backed Groupon, the online daily deals site the recently filedto raise $750 million in an IPO.

Llorens hopes to take One Block beyond solar panels and become a deals site for all big home eco items -- everything from energy retrofits to electric cars.
But he's got his work cut out for him.

With solar panels, he's competing with big one-stop-solar shops like SunRun and SolarCity that offer leasing programs that reduce or eliminate the hefty upfront costs for solar. Plus, those firms take care of the complicated paperwork associated with claiming the various tax credits.

With One Block, depending on who the contractor is, that responsibility could rest with the homeowner.

Llorens said he's also moving toward the leasing model. He said that working with a local contractor helps support local businesses, a benefit some of the larger solar companies don't offer.

Another challenge is being able to offer a big enough discount to entice consumers and contractors to his model.

"The model is powerful, it allows for national discounts," said Jessie Pichel, head of clean energy research at the investment bank Jefferies & Co. "But I'm not sure he can aggregate enough demand."

Crowdcube sounds interesting

Entrepreneur raises £75,000 using the power of the crowd


Posted by Dan Martin in Finances on Wed, 20/07/2011 - 13:24

A small business owner turned down for investment by banks has managed to raise £75,000 through a crowdfunding website.

Sue Acton, founder Bubble & Balm, sought growth finance through Crowdcube in return for 15% equity in the business. A total of 82 investors contributed between £10 and £7,500 to meet the funding target.

The Fairtrade bodycare business required investment to expand its award-winning product range, increase marketing activity and to meet increasing demand from retailers such as Waitrose, Oxfam, Planet Organic and a growing number of independents.

Instead of competing for limited business angel or venture capital funding, businesses can use Crowdcube as a platform to connect with small investors or 'armchair dragons', instead of one or two high net worth individuals.

"I am absolutely delighted we have achieved our target. Raising finance is incredibly tough for any small business - Bubble & Balm included - and I was really excited when I first heard about Crowdcube," Acton said. "The idea of pitching our business to a wide range of people, ranging from armchair dragons looking to invest £10 through to more traditional investors with thousands to invest, was really appealing.

"Some of our new shareholders have already offered their skills as well as their cash to support our growth, and this is another huge benefit of crowdfunding - not only do we now have the investment we need to deliver against our plans, we also have a diverse team of supporters (and customers!) too."

Darren Westlake, co-founder of Crowdcube, added: "This is a significant moment in the history of small business finance in Britain. In the current climate with banks being risk averse, we are thrilled that Bubble & Balm has succeeded in getting vital growth investment.

"This is just the start. Many entrepreneurs on Crowdcube are on the verge of achieving their funding targets using our crowdfunding model. I firmly believe that Crowdcube is the future of business finance in Britain."

From Positive Money Ideas - Reject Shop

Money making idea > Wholesale/Retail Category >


Reject Shop

This idea viewed 1519 times this year
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Rising costs are making it increasingly difficult for families to buy quality goods at cheaper prices. These days, with long-term jobs becoming increasingly scarcer, families need a double income PLUS other sources of income! They shop when there's a sale, eat at home or even buy second-hand goods to help save money. One of the more popular shops these days are thrift shops or in certain countries, they're called Reject shops. These stores get their clothing and goods from factories that have out-dated stock that the want to dispose of, over-produced stock that their customers do not want and products with minor defects which have not passed their quality control but are perfectly useable. They get these items in bulk at a very low cost, add a small markup, and re-sell them. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

Search for more information on Wholesale/Retail small business ideas or Reject Shop

Depending on how big you're planning your business, you may need anything from a few hundred dollars to thousands. If you have retail experience, then you've got a head start, because you'll know how to set up shop and how to market yourself. You'll probably also know suppliers who have the goods that you need. If not, then you've got to do a fair bit of leg-work. You'll need to visit clothing factories and ask if they have rejected items that you could buy in bulk. It may take some convincing, but if you can get a factory to provide you with a regular supply of rejected items, then you're in business.

Your target market will obviously be the lower to lower-middle income groups so you won't want to set up shop in a post area. You could even consider taking up a stall at your local marketplace or just open up a space during the weekends when there's a bigger crowd. Good way to help people save money while you're making yours!

From Positive Money Ideas - Cost Reduction Consultant

Money making idea > Financial Category >


Cost Reduction Consultant

This idea viewed 1985 times this year
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t the end of the day, businesses are concerned about one thing - the bottom line. Obviously, without profits, there would'nt be any reason to do business. During good times, when business is booming, many companies find themselves more lenient with their expenses. However, when business gets scarce or competitors have begun to take a business' share of the market, companies start realizing the need to be prudent and find ways to save. Many times, because the companies people are so used to the way things are run in the company, they fail to see better, more cost effective methods of doing the same processes. These become habits that prove to be costly in the long run.





Search for more information on Financial small business ideas or Cost Reduction Consultant





On objective view of the cost saving measures taken by the company is needed from an independent party. This is where you come is as a Cost Reduction Consultant. You will be someone who has extensive knowledge of work processes both in the office as well as factories. Experience as a Quality Assurance Manager or ISO Specialist will help you look at the entire organization to find ways to cut costs.



You will be someone who's alert to his surroundings, with a sharp eye for detail. You will notice things that others missed, for example, why a certain grade of paper is used when a lesser quality one would suffice. A well known company once decided to get rid of 90% of their waste baskets. This had the effect of a drastic reduction in errors, which translated into higher profits. If you have that kind of a critical yet innovative mind, many companies will be turning to your to bring their companies back into profit.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Extreme Moneysaving

   Love this article from moneygap.com:

Money Saving Tips #1 – Camp & Commute!Added Jul 15, 2011, Under: Full Shilling




Peaceful and idyllic or dangerous?

People go to all kinds of lengths to save money. Some cut down, quit smoking or make a point of using vouchers wherever possible.But what about people who practice extreme money saving?



For example, Hugh Sawyer (also known as ‘ditch monkey’) spent 2005 living in a tent in the woods near Oxford, while also keeping a full time job. While it’s a rarity, there are people doing it – and there are decent reasons to do so. You don’t pay mortgage, rent, council tax, water bills, electricity bills… as a way to save money in a short space of time, it’s certainly effective.



We’re not necessarily recommending it – the sofa has, frankly, never looked more comfy right now – but if you do decide to do it, here are some of the most important things you’ll need.



1 – A gym membership is the single most essential thing you can buy. You get to keep in shape, which is obviously going to be important, but it’s more about two simple words. Hot. Shower. And, on top of that, if you get one with lockers that you can rent long term, you have somewhere you can hang up business clothes.



2 – A good laundrettes is a must-have as well. The extra money to get your clothes ironed will be necessary as well, as it’ll be impossible to do in a small tent. It may be more than you’d usually spend, but don’t forget how much you’re saving by not paying rent.



3 – Okay, this one’s obvious, but a tent. You’re going to need one. It’ll keep the rain off, and it’ll discourage badgers and foxes from nibbling at your feet and ears.



4 – A sleeping bag. Make sure it’s nice and warm. If you do this through the winter, you absolutely will have to stay warm while you sleep.



5 – A first aid kit. You won’t be on a main road, so it’ll be difficult for an ambulance to get to you. In fact, take a first aid course before you go. Just to be on the safe side.



6 – A small camping stove. Sometimes, you’re going to want something hot to eat or drink.



7 – Spending money on batteries may be silly. Wind-up torches and radios aren’t too expensive, and they’ll keep you from going insane at night. Having the ability to listen to the radio at night and in the morning will help a lot, and who wouldn’t want to be able to read? Essential.



8 – Don’t buy ear plugs. You’ll get used to the rustling of woodland creatures after a while, and it’s more important that you’re able to be woken by an emergency. Like a bear attacking your tent. Which, admittedly, is a bit less likely in London. But you never know…



9 – A decent flask. Listening to the wind-up radio, or reading a book by torchlight while enjoying a nice, hot soup makes the whole thing sound idyllic. Until, of course, the bears attack.



10 – Take an emergency phone, which you’ll need to keep charged. That way, if you crack, you’ll be able to call a taxi to take you to the nearest hotel where you can sit in luxury, paying for it with all the money you saved. And bears don’t have hotel swipe-cards. Which is important.zv

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Group Buying, Co-Op's and Collaborative Consumption

  

An ancestor of mine was one of the Founder members of Sauchie Co-Operative society. I must have some of that pioneering spirit in myblood for I am always interested to hear of new ventures springing up in this field. Nowadays the trendy term of Collaborative Consumption is the label used, but the idea is broadly the same - people work together to either keep costs down or to share profits across all steps of the production and sale process. Here is an interesting article I was sent concerning Group Buying:

Business Blueprint: group buying club


This week I want to talk to you about a booming business opportunity that doesn't involve much more than sending emails, will be a hit with both your customers AND your suppliers, and could make you an excellent income too.

It's a very new phenomenon that's come from the USA. It's become very popular, very fast. It's thriving as a result of the recession and of the phenomenal growth in social media marketing right now.

It's called group buying.

If you've not heard of it before, group buying is a simple but clever idea. It allows people who only want to buy one of an item to club together with others, and benefit from the kind of wholesale discounts you can usually only get if you buy, say, a hundred.

Here's how group buying services work: They go to suppliers and say something along the lines of .... If we can get you (say) 1,000 orders for your product or service, what's the lowest price you will give us?

Next, the group buying services email their members and make them a reverse offer. They say something like .... If we could get you a gym membership for (say) half the usual price would you be interested in buying it?

If you like, group buying is a kind of organised 'clubbing together' service where everyone benefits from the much larger buying power of a group.

Like I said, this is proving really popular right now as consumers are desperate to save money in a recession. There are already several group buying services and networks. Such as Groupon, Incahoot and even Facebook Deals. And, from what I can see, masses of potential for more to start.

You see, I don't think it would be that difficult to set up a simple group buying service yourself. But the money making potential could be very impressive indeed.

Here are a few thoughts on how it might work ....

* Choose a product or service to offer as a group buy. Current group buys are often for luxuries like beauty treatments and restaurant meals. But I think it would work even better by offering group buys for more mundane products and services.

It could be food shopping. It could be clothes. It could be toys, particularly at Christmas. It could be electronics or home appliances. It could be package holidays. Or even cars.

For example, I found what I think is a really promising group buying scheme which has been set up in the Netherlands. It called Met De Stroom Me. Basically their idea is to sign up 10,000 people who want cheaper gas and electricity. Then go to the main energy suppliers to cut the best deal. With gas and electricity prices set to rocket this winter (yet again) this could be a really great opportunity to try here.

* Next you need to get a group together. Advertise your group buy as widely as possible. And this is another clever thing about group buying schemes. They're tapping into the current boom in social media by using things like blogging, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about their deals almost for FREE.

To make things even easier try and lock into existing groups. For example, you could tailor make deals for people who work for the same company, or parents who have kids at the same school, or students at a particular college, or members of certain clubs and societies. Then invite them to join your list.

All people have to do is sign up to your email list to say that, in principal, they're interested in buying whatever it is at a discount.

* When you've got a decent membership list together go to a selection of suppliers. Of groceries, clothing, cars, travel, utilities, appliances or whatever it is. And say something along the lines of this .... If we buy 100/500/1,000 units of this item what's the very best deal you can give us?

It depends on what's involved of course. But group buying schemes typically get discounts of 10-90% for their members. (Right now, you can see that 20% off a holiday, 10% off food shopping or 30% off a laptop or whatever it is would have members keen to join your list.)

* Once you've agreed a deal simply email your membership list and make the offer. Assuming you get the 100/500/1,000 orders you need simply pass the order to your suppliers. They do the work in delivering the goods and so on which makes this a really 'hands off' opportunity.

NB. This is an important thing about group buying. For the deal to go ahead a minimum number of members have to agree to buy to get the discount offered. Nobody is actually obligated to buy so if not enough members want the product or service the group buy doesn't go ahead.

So how would you turn a profit from running the group buying scheme?

Well, add a small margin to the price the supplier charges each buyer. It wouldn't need to be much. For example, if you added a margin of just 5% your buyers would still get a great deal. But on a £500,000 overall order (not much if a few thousand people take it up) you make £25,000 from each and every group buy!

What I really like about this is that it's a win-win-win situation for everybody. Your customers get money off - that's a perfect service for right now. Your suppliers get more orders - at a time when most companies are desperate for more business. You make a good commission from providing a good service to both of them.

And here's something I like even more about group buying as a business model: You can keep expanding your membership list by pulling in new buyers. And keep negotiating more and better group buys for them regularly, perhaps every week or several times a week. You can keep earning a commission on the deals you set up on and on into the future. And build up a mailing list of eager, responsive buyers that could be worth a small fortune in its own right.

Quiztrippers

   Last night I watched Quiztrippers for the first time. Basically 5 dudes are travelling around Britain in a Campervan, taking part in Pub Quizzes as they go along. Unfortunately the program has the fatal flaw that the team are generally dumb. 3 nights in and they are yet to win any cash.

   Wouldn't it be great if Quiz Gods like Kevin Ashman or Pat Barker went on a trip like this? Could they make a living doing this?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Poker Freerolls

   If you ever set up your computer so that you entered all the Poker Freerolls of an evening, would it be worthwhile? Would you make money?

Great Ideas for Money Making

   I've just finished reading "Great Ideas for Making Money", which was published by the Daily Telegraph way back in 1994. I'm surprised by how many of the ideas put forward would probably be in a similar book released today - almost 20 years later.

   Here are some of the ideas put forward:

Auctions
Baby Sitting
Childrens Parties
Dog Walking
Hampers
Laundry
Leaflet Distribution

All of these are good for The System.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

One of My Personal Favourites - Sending Letters to Magazines.

   From Money Magpie:

Quick cash and prizes for writing letters to magazines


July 4th 2011
Have you ever noticed that you can receive cash or a prize for just sending a letter to a magazine? Most magazines reward the writers of the letters that they print – often with gifts and sometimes with quite a lot of money.

•Why should you consider sending a letter to a magazines?

•How to make money by writing a letter to a magazine.

•How much money could you make?

•Our list of magazines.

Why should you consider sending a letter to a magazine?

Magazines really need letters from readers and you would be surprised at how few people actually write in. Some magazines get so few letters that they have to ask their journalists to make some up. Why not have a go yourself?

Once you have read some of the letters you will see that you really don’t have to come up with anything amazing. Many of the letters are surprisingly bland. In fact, if you write in with something really extraordinary or salacious you might get a call from one of the journalists who will write your story for you and give you even more money for it.

It is not time consuming and it could mean regular money if you write often and for different magazines.

How to make money by writing a letter to a magazine

Step 1: Choose the reward you want

Flick through some magazines in your local newsagent and take a look at the different sections that pay for contributions.

Pick out those that offer money or prizes that you would like. Check if the magazine only rewards one letter per month; you have a better chance if you write to a magazine which rewards all letters printed.

Step 2: Think about what you want to write

Once you have decided which magazines you are going to write to, get a copy of them. Read through the letters sections and try to work out what sort of letters get printed

Funny stories are popular. Has your child done anything that made you laugh? Did your pet get into a bit of a scrape recently?

Serious stories are also in demand. Think of a distressing experience that you have had. Some magazines like to print tips, too. Maybe you have some clever cooking advice or an easy way to save time with household chores.

If you read the magazine regularly, why not comment on an article? You could talk about an experience you have had which was similar to the author’s, or about how the article inspired you. Letters that compliment articles appear regularly.

Step 3: Write your letters and email or post them in

For extra measure, and even for extra money in most cases, your letter will be even better if it’s accompanied by a photo of the event/tip/story. It not only shows the magazines you’re telling the truth, but readers are drawn to stories by the pictures as well.

Make sure you only send copies of photos in the post, not the originals, because they won’t be sent back.

You only get paid if your letter gets printed so there is no guarantee that the letters you send in will earn you money. On the other hand, it’s great to show off to your friends when you get something printed.

Get your pen and paper at the ready and contact the following magazines with your stories.

How much money could you make?

Sums generally range from £10-50 per letter. Most magazines have a star letter each month which receives a greater reward than the other letters. Some examples of the money on offer: Bella pays £50 for star letters. All these rewards are for letters about 50 -100 words in length.

The rewards can be, and more often are, prizes. These include things such as jewellery, flowers, cosmetics and spirits. Recent prizes include: a crate of Tuborg lager, £176 worth of Perricone MD products, a £50 bouquet and a £400 car warranty.

If you fancy writing something a bit shorter, magazines such as Take a Break offer up to £60 for tips to other readers. These are usually only about 20 – 50 words long.

If you’ve got an exceptional story, magazines like Pick Me Up and That’s Life will pay up to £1000 per story. There are usually forms within the magazines to fill in the basic details and then the magazine will contact you if they’re interested.

Magazines:

Following is a selection of magazines carrying some of the better awards but there are many more out there. Please reply with your suggestions.

•Letters for cash

Bella – £50 for star letter, £10 for others. About 40-100 words.

That’s Life! – £100 for very short stories and photos.

•Letters for gifts

Good Housekeeping - £50 bouquet for the star letter. About 50-80 words.

Marie Claire – letter of the month writer recieves gifts worth over £200 for 100-150 words.

Grazia – Perricone MD products worth £176 to the writer of the star letter. (July 2011)

Front – letter of the month wins a crate of beer.

Car Magazine – letter of the month wins a £400 warranty from Warranty Direct.

Bizarre – bottle of Opal Rosso Cherry Sambuca for the most bizarre very short story.

•Tips for cash

Take a Break – £60 for a 20-40 word tip with a photo, £30 for just a tip.



Real People Magazine – £25 for a tip with a photo. £15 for just a tip.



•Photos for cash

Take a Break – A hilarious photo with a caption could earn you £100.



That’s Life! – Up to £100 for photos and very short stories.



Chat – £25 paid for cute or funny pictures.



•Jokes for cash

Loaded – £50 for the joke of the month. Add superfluous profanity to increase your chances.



•Stories for cash

Pick Me Up – Up to £500 if they pick your story.



That’s Life – Up to £500 if they select your story.



Real People – Up to £1000 if they choose your story.



•Letters for Mums

If you’re a new mum or have queries during your pregnancy, writing letters to baby magazine is a great way to get a few extra pounds towards all that expensive baby gear.



Pregnancy and Birth, Prima Baby and Pregnancy and Practical Parenting all shower star letter prize winners with loads of baby goodies.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Top Trumps Scam??

Do you remember playing Top Trumps when you were young?



There is a Top Trumps game on the Betfair Arcade now. It is only a 26 card pack. Surely if you can go 12 rounds you will know exactly the card you are facing in the last game???? The card values don’t change from game to game.

Football Crazy

You should see the prices you can get for old football shirts on the internet. Shirts like the Rangers 92/93 home are selling for £62.50.



Anyone that throws out an old football shirt nowadays must be daft.