Posted tagged ‘Making Money’

How Paying By Mobile Can Work

3 August 2010

AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and others are in a deal with Barclays Bank and Discover Financial Services to allow consumers to buy products and services with a “contactless” swipe of their mobile phones.

A pilot program will begin at retailers in Atlanta and three other selected cities.

I’m glad to see that this is not being done by Visa and Mastercard since those idiots do not know how to make paying-by-mobile work. If it was up to them they would be assessing fees of a dollar or more per transaction, basically killing the whole thing at the start.

Stock at the two largest credit card companies plummeted on the news while at Discover, the fourth-largest credit card processor behind Visa, MasterCard and American Express, shares jumped nearly 3 percent.

If you are a retailer you most likely have no love for Visa or MasterCard because of their constant raising of transaction fees. Congress last month passed restrictions on the fees these vultures can charge to retailers on debit transactions.

Hopefully Discover will do the right thing and charge very small fees for transactions that fall below ten dollars. How many times have we seen retailers put up notes on cash registers that tell us that they require transactions of at least ten dollars to qualify for payment by credit card? After all, who can make money selling a roll of mints for a dollar and incurring fees of more than 50 cents?

I’m not talking about percent transaction fees, usually 1 to 5 percent of the billed amount, I’m talking about the per transaction fees, minimum monthly fees, and other exhorbitant fees that merchant account providers assess. While Visa and Mastercard will gladly suck the blood out of credit card users and retailers, some merchant account providers make Vlad the Impaler look like a boy scout.

For example, some providers may charge 25 to 50 cents per transaction in addition to adding a small percentage fee of their own on top of those of the credit card issuers. Some even charge a minimum monthly transaction fee which requires that the merchant process a set amount of billing each month. These fees are around $15 each month although I have seen much higher.

If this new payment alliance wants to see pay-by-cell succeed not just in replacing the use of credit cards but in small one buck transactions as well then they have to insure that merchant account providers treat small transactions differently.

If they can do this, then we can be on our way to paying for everything with our cellphones. I mean everything: parking meters, candy machines, subway tolls.

But the real deal would be in micropayments, such as paying for reading a news article online or downloading a copyrighted work. I certainly would never pay 2 or 3 bucks a week to read an online newspaper in the UK but I would not hesitate to pay 1/20th of a penny to read a single article from the same source. It wouldn’t bother me if at the end of the month I spend ten or twenty bucks getting information I need from hundreds of sources. There are hundreds of millions of me in the world. Do the math.

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Catering to the Elderly

13 April 2010

Since the purpose of this blog is to inspire our readers to start a business, I suggest that supplying clothes to the elderly is the next big thing.

With the increase in longevity, American seniors will soon be one of the largest demographic in our country. Certainly they make up a good share of the fashion market, and in response designers worldwide are now coming up with appropriate wear for the older generation.

Here are some examples:

clothes for seniors

clothes for seniors

clothes for seniors

clothes for seniors

clothes for seniors

clothes for seniors

clothes for seniors

How to Make Money Fast

9 April 2010

So this morning I received an email from Patrick Chan, the Director of Hang Seng Bank. He was contacting me because he had a 42 million dollar business proposal for me.

I know what you are thinking – shouldn’t I put “Patrick Chan Hang Seng Bank” into Google and see if this is a scam? Wouldn’t it be wise to go to Consumer Fraud Reporting and see if they know about this?

Nah, the people who report this as a scam are probably trying to keep me from the fast money I can make just by sending Mr. Chan a few thousand dollars to register me as the next of kin to some Iraqi General who left $42 million in a Hong Kong bank. My cut will be 40%. That’s what I call fast money.

I hope I’m not too late and someone else gets all that loot.

Another way to make fast money is to pay a SEO firm a few thousand dollars to help you get high google page rank or to show you how to game the system so that your website gets to the first page on Google searches.

Now I have been told that these firms are a scam, that they merely put your website into a keyword density analyzer and repackage the results as if they did some research for you. But I find that hard to believe. Why would anyone pay a few thousand dollars when they can get the same info for free? I suppose next you will be telling me that the letter from Nigerian King Abdul Rubmyass is a scam.

The only people making money on SEO Search are the SEO Search scam artists. In my next article, I will outline how you can become an SEO Firm yourself and scam other people out of money. That’s how you can make money fast.

How to Succeed in Business

22 January 2010

The wheel was invented about ten thousand years ago. At each stage, from a simple log to help move heavy objects, to chariots for hunting and war, to two-wheeled farm carts, to covered carriages, and finally to four-wheeled freight wagons and passenger coaches, there was an entrepreneur who helped advance to the next and greater wheel.

There are only two choices in life: be an entrepreneur or work for someone. I ignore for a moment the twentieth century invention of the union where one can not bother working at all and still get paid.

Aside from drug dealers I’m one of a select few Americans who has actually carried a suitcase weighing 110 pounds filled with hundred dollar bills or walked the streets of New York with millions of dollars of gold in my backpack; so it is quite often that young people who know me ask for advice regarding what occupation or profession they should pursue to succeed in life. Actually, they are asking what business should they get into in order to eventually be their own boss and make lots and lots of money so they can retire early.

The answer is deceptively simple. Two things:

  1. Find something you like to do. Steve Jobs liked to quote an old Chinese proverb: “The Journey Is the Reward.” If you do not like your job, you will never succeed.
  2. Be the customer – don’t focus on the product. Another old Chinese proverb: “Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.” Case in point: Verizon is a company that will eventually fail because they are focused only on their products, not on their customers. For example, most of you are likely familiar that Verizon charges 1.99 for data usage, and that hundreds of millions of dollars each year are fraudulently being billed to people who have never made use of the service or who might have accidentally switched on the service.

    The Consumerist, Verizon Configures Phones So You Incur Erroenous Data Charges? (To The Tune Of $300 Million)

    “The phone is designed in such a way that you can almost never avoid getting $1.99 charge on the bill. Around the OK button on a typical flip phone are the up, down, left, right arrows. If you open the flip and accidentally press the up arrow key, you see that the phone starts to connect to the web. So you hit END right away. Well, too late. You will be charged $1.99 for that 0.02 kilobytes of data. NOT COOL. I’ve had phones for years, and I sometimes do that mistake to this day, as I’m sure you have. Legal, yes; ethical, NO.

    Roger Tang, Verizon’s regional head for Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, said the charges were not an attempt to con customers out of their money [Read more: Fierce Wireless].

    Despite that protests of innocence, Verizon is only “crediting customers for unintentional data charges as customers bring the ‘error’ to our attention.” This is of course how Verizon gets away with their scam. They know that it is very easy for a customer to mistakenly activate the Internet on their handsets but rely on the fact that only a small percentage will notice the extra $1.99 charge on their bill. The majority of people pay their bill without even looking at it because they trust Verizon.

    Over-billing, billing for non-existent services, billing for uncompleted calls, these are the standard practices of all the Baby Bells. Hopefully as consumers become more aware of these fraudsters, fewer people will do business with them.

That’s it. Once you find a job you absolutely love and you can “be the customer” then opportunities for going on your own will appear. If you focus on product or simply on making money, you must fail.

At the risk of pimping companies I consult for, I’d like to give you an example of a business you can start by first being the customer and then when you get the hang of it you can become a SIP Reseller; it’s simple, easy to start, doesn’t require huge upfront fees, and is completely refundable if you’re not satisfied.

Making Money From Lazy MTA Riders

3 December 2009

The Daily News reported last week that many riders don’t know what to do – or can’t be bothered – with small-change balances left on their MetroCards.

I know what you’re thinking: “So what?” Well, it seems that straphangers will leave more than $53 million on expired MetroCards this year. Most riders said they simply throw away cards with balances of five, 10 or 20 cents.

I don’t get it. If you use the subways and buses often then you have to buy another card. Why not simply hand in your old card and ask to add the balance? Personally, I use the automatic dispensers. It asks if I want a new card or add money to an existing card. Nothing could be simpler.

But fortunes are made off the stupidity or laziness of others.

Here’s a suggestion to panhandlers: instead of asking for donations on the subways, ask for old MetroCards. I am sure you are more likely to get a few cards with balances on them than trying to get cash. In addition, since you’re hanging around on subways a lot, pick up discarded cards lying about. Bring them to the MTA kiosks and have all the balances put on one card. Contact me when you have a bunch of cards with decent balances of $10 or more. I will buy them from you 60 cents on the dollar – cash. I won’t lie – I have someone who will buy them from me for 80 cents on the dollar. Hey, I gotta make something too.