Schemes active/complete: 32
Money made: £23.84
Good news and bad news since my last injurious blog post, plus the usual smattering of anodyne admin news.
The bad news is unshockingly related to what has definitely become my least favourite of the money making schemes so far, the Double Dog dare app for Scheme #125. For one, I’m still slithering up and down stairs at a pensioner’s pace thanks to the torn left knee my skateboard dare resulted in – admittedly the aftercare I’m administering is a little lax, as I stopped bandaging it up after the first day because the dressings were too itchy, and it’s doubtful I’ll go to my scan on Tuesday because the hospital’s miles away and the coffee machine there is terrible. Usually when I sustain damage I exhibit the healing speed of Deadpool so I’m sure if I ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist my tattered meniscus will put itself back together shortly, it’s just an irritating thing to accidentally bang on the desk at work or have your mates buckle for a laugh.
However what has really pushed me over the edge with said app is that I left things last time with a plan which seemed to be working well. I would cast out the custom dare to throw a cactus into the air and catch it, secure in the knowledge that a cactus isn’t necessarily a common household object yet is something I have in my flat. The common reaction for most upon receiving that would be to double dare it back to myself, and as proven last time I can perform this task quickly and safely, bagging a few dollars each time. With my first patsy Frederik this worked like a charm, and I assumed that after a month of falling over and eating emetic amounts of salt I had finally discovered the way to easily milk this app for moolah.
After Frederik the cactus dare next landed upon a girl with the user name ‘scapone’. Within a minute Scapone declared the challenge done; I was concerned that of all the people in the Double Dog database it had just happened to be picked up by a botanist at a cactus nursery, but was immediately reassured when I saw her proof:
It was obvious Scapone did not own a cactus or indeed any succulent, and must be terribly ignorant to think I would accept that blurred snapshot of her sweaty palm as adequate proof of a monetary bet. I rejected her submission and it was taken to trial, where she lost, and rightly so. My belief was that once the Double Dog jury found you unfit to carry out a task it would be double dared back to the creator and so I was getting ready to pull my spine-resistant gloves on and win me some money, but instead Scapone was given another chance. This time her proof was even more pathetic, an equally nebulous video of her catching not a cactus, but a banana.
I thought this was all getting a bit embarrassing now. Chow down on that banana peel and you might be Double Dog material love, but this is a cactus-orientated dare and if you don’t own a cactus and aren’t prepared to obtain a cactus then it’s time to give up! Obviously I took Scapone’s proof to trial once again and look, what, fucking, happened, next:
You may be unsure what’s occurring in that image. I had to read it a few times over too, for I could not believe my very own eyes. I’d sent Scapone’s video to trial and the jury had sided with the tricksy banana juggler! There’d been no doubt in my mind I was about to take home another easy $2 windfall, and yet utterly unjustly I’d lost a dollar!!
This latest mockery of justice was the final straw. I instantly withdrew what money I had in my Double Dog account and deleted the app. For all the dares I’d successfully gained from (scouting out a pair of guitars, chewing on a garlic clove, etc) there were others I’d lost on (shoving a cotton bud up your nose, shaving off an eyebrow, etc) so the amount I came away from Scheme #125 with was exactly the same as that I initially deposited. I’d made a grand total of nothing, but at least I hadn’t lost anything either, besides dignity, time, leg muscle and taste buds.
If you’re intelligent enough to read words you should also be sufficiently astute to correctly predict whether or not I’m going to recommend this scheme as a money making method. For the everyday pleb like you or me you’d be better off catching pigeons, plucking them and stuffing pillowcases to sell than relying on this, or indeed any dare app/website, for financial gain. That said and as mentioned in my Pie-rate treasure post, if you’re a spunky and free-spirited young girl you can cash in on the plethora of guys who use the app as a way of getting that terrifying and elusive opposite sex to interact with them. Out of the stock dares Double Dog allows you to choose from there’s a whole category dedicated to flirting with examples such as ‘Belly dance’ and ‘Use a pickup line on me’, and I’ve seen ladies receiving $5 a time for a 2-second video of them blowing a kiss or waggling their toes. I do believe the only reason Scapone got away with the ol’ cactus-banana-switcheroo is that the nervously excited men in the jury thought “m-maybe if I vote that she did the dare she’ll maybe like me and k-kiss me..”
So that’s the bad news. Bad for me as it’s another scheme crossed off the list which has proven to be absolutely fruitless, bad for you as that scheme was one which caused me great pain and discomfort which obviously makes for pleasurable reading and has now been halted.
Before we reach the good news a few tiny insignificant updates. I’m 6p up thanks to Scheme #61, finding a penny at work and on the same day a 5p dropped by my friend Simon in the pub. He watched it fall to the ground from the lofty heights of his barstool and nestle among the detritus of fag ends and broken glass, and said if I was prepared to army crawl under the table across the soaking beer-garden ground to reach it then it was mine. So yes, 6p up there.
People for Research (Scheme #13) are being more loquacious than I expected which is a nice surprise, and nicer still the trials don’t seem egregious in the slightest. Most recently I’ve been told I could stand to earn £120 for just a 90 minute chat about “my aim”; it’s unlikely I’ll even be chosen as I participate in no such sports as archery or clay pigeon shooting and the only occasion on which I even think about aiming is when lazily trying to minimize the amount of piss which ends up on the toilet seat, but it’s still promising that these opportunities are presenting themselves at such regular intervals.
I’ve had no enquirers biting my hand off for the AK37 serial number £5 note (Scheme #144), but it’s here we sneak into the good news. Firstly, thanks to a different bus driver this time, I now have a £5 with a code commencing AK22, and this is an actual gun type!
Like its AK37 brother this went straight on sale via Gumtree and swiftly garnered interest, namely from a Liam who asked if I would trade it for an AK47 note. The AK47s seem to be the most valuable of the artillery-themed £5 note clan so I eagerly took him up on his offer and await to hear back.
Liam’s email was gratefully received if anything to reassure myself I wasn’t completely mad and alone in still believing that some fivers are collectible due to their serial numbers. I guarantee you when the batch number reaches BJ69 we’ll see some more plastic fives going for more than face value, that’s a bonafide Matt Rose financial forecast. Until then, with our new dodecagon £1 coins entering circulation next month for the purpose of winding up counterfeiters, it’s worth keeping an eye on your old-school circular nuggets as some will be much more valuable than others when they’re antiques. Here’s a handy reference chart:
Actual monetary advice supported by charts! I bet you weren’t expecting that from a project blog of mine. It’s certainly surprised me.
But the main piece of good fortune to float my way was on Friday night. I’d already procured 6p as mentioned previously plus my Receipthog had gorged well all day (Scheme #71) so I was in a fairly chipper mood. I was at the bar drunkenly ordering a round of San Miguels and saw the bar staff approaching with my change, genuinely thinking to myself ‘I hope I don’t get an uncommon £5 note, I’ll probably get pissed and spend it on tequila!’, when what gets slapped down in front of me:
Boom!! An AA01! The holy grail! One of the first million to be circulated! Some clumsy eBaying whilst pissed had me believe for a while that I could sell this baby for several thousands before some more precise eBaying while hungover the next day informed me it might fetch £20 if I was lucky.
I popped it onto Gumtree instantly; I know eBay is going to be a simpler method of shifting these but I’m sticking with Gumtree for the time being as I’m keen to meet the buyer in person and find out exactly why they’re willing to spend over £5 on £5. As well as offering it to the public I also let a trade professional know in the shape of Pam West, British banknote buyer & seller. It was Pam whose dispiriting quote I used in a previous post “AK47 notes… do not actually sell,” and she continued to resolutely crush my spirit as when I fervently emailed her with news of my AA01 acquisition she told me “unfortunately a folded note may only be worth face value”. Of course my fiver was folded, it had been passed between Wetherspoon till, punter and fruit machine for Lord knows how long, so I decided to ignore Pam’s professional advice. As the Devil as my witness I will get that AA01 note sold!
Schemes active/complete: 32
Money made: £23.78
So it transpires my plot to hustle the Double Dog app (Scheme #125) isn’t as infallible as I’d hoped. If you’ll recall the way to make money from this game is to dare users to perform challenges, be they dangerous, embarrassing or nauseating, staking cash on the odds that they’ll chicken out. They can ‘double dare’ the task back to you, but complete it yourself and you earn double the funds in the pot, usually the head-spinning fortune of $2. I’ve had an unpleasant time with this app thus far between eating banana peel and being embezzled by a one-eyebrowed man, but in my last post reported that I’ve reached the stage whereabouts I can concoct my own dares rather than relying on the pre-written challenges in the Double Dog arsenal. I instantly pitched a dare incredibly specific to myself, namely to skateboard while wearing a sombrero and playing a ukulele, assuming this was a guaranteed win.
Unfortunately what I didn’t realize is that all these custom dares are screened by the app beforehand, and if they seem too impossible they can be flagged. This is precisely what happened to my Mexican-Hawaiian skater submission, and the exact same happened when I replaced ‘sombrero’ with ‘fez’ thinking I could simply switch the ethnicity to Moroccan-Hawaiian.
Frustrated, I settled on more of an inclusive dare which I thought still wouldn’t cause me too much harm, namely to skateboard down a playground slide. I own a skateboard and live a stone’s throw from a children’s playground, not that I ever have thrown stones even when those kids are squealing at a cochlea-shattering pitch just because there’s a set of fucking swings, so it would be an easy enough exercise if it landed back in my lap but not so easy for anyone who doesn’t have a board or who’s blessed with living a decent distance away from a deafening infant meeting point.
The dare was accepted by Double Dog, I sent it out with a $1 wager to test the water, and it promptly befell another player who suddenly found themselves in the sort of quandary I was in when I had an afternoon to make two guitars materialize back in January. Rather than showing my level of resourcefulness and commitment however, they literally sent back a photo of their anus and decried the task done. I can’t believe I worried that my ukulele would be discerned as not guitar-like enough when I completed Robert’s task, while there are players like this just content to moon at the rulebook!
I took this to the Double Dog ‘trial’ which lets public vote determine the outcome of dare disagreements, not that any lawyer in the world could successfully argue that a still image of their client’s backside was actually a video of them skateboarding, and rightly it was settled in my favour. It was my thinking that once a trial went your way the money was yours, but actually it just counts as a ‘double dare’ and so I still had to skateboard down a slide. No matter, I used to skateboard with some success as a teenager, falling down often enough in the process to build up a resistance to smashing my hips and coccyx into tarmac and wood, so the local children’s slide onto astroturf posed no big concern. I told Rowe to follow me to the playground at 9 in the evening and was soon poised at the slide’s summit ready to drop in. Rowe began filming, told me to “go!”, and down I went.
It’s with genuine surprise I report that, two days later, I’m still struggling to walk. I went predictably hurtling down the slide, the board stuck at the bottom and I was bodily flung several feet forward. Years ago this wouldn’t have been an issue; I’d have landed on my hip, rolled a couple times, made a few pantomime moans for the awe-struck audience, brushed myself off, and headed back for a second attempt. But times have changed, parts of my body which used to resemble Playdough have now calcified to be more like K’NEX, and as soon as I landed I knew something was wrong. I instinctively tried to halt my sudden progress with my left foot which couldn’t withstand the momentum of the portly moron behind it, causing my whole left leg to twist unnaturally. Whilst I was expecting a soft thump and a dull ache what I felt was an insanely painful jolt which penetrated right down to the bone.
Rowena’s seen my crude imitations of Jackass before, I lose count of how many shopping trolleys I’ve flown out of in her company, but not for many years and she, like me, thought I was still a lot more malleable. It was only when I couldn’t stop swearing and hopping about that the penny dropped for her too that I’m now 27 not 17 and can’t take a fall like I used to. I hobbled home, clamped a bag of frozen parsnips to my rapidly swelling knee and cursed getting older.
I used this period of immobility to check my emails and see how other schemes were faring. Among the messages came the belated news that I hadn’t won Quora’s $250 Knowledge Prize for answering what ad trends we were likely to see in 2017, an early shot at Scheme #31 which eventually begat Weegy and was performed on the very first day of the project back when I had two working knees and a soul. Despite utterly not expecting to win or indeed hear anything back I still felt a slight flutter of rage at the winner Archie D’Cruz, now quarter of a grand better off just for answering one question when I solved many hundreds for £15.30.
Another surprising contact to hear from – Envisage Promotions whom I signed up with alongside Rent A Mourner for the chance to generate a turnover on low turnout interments (Scheme #27). They didn’t have any funeral seats I’d be paid to fill but instead the opportunity to dress as a jockey and hand out scratchcards and rosettes to strangers in Cheltenham for £10 an hour midweek in March. Whilst obviously that opportunity was massively untempting it was still nice to know they were keeping me in the loop and did actually exist. In a similar vein only much more encouraging was a mail from People for Research with a suspiciously easy proposition – I was anticipating Scheme #13: Endure clinical trials to involve studies on eating nothing but copper for a week or how long I could live without a pancreas, so it was with pleasant intrigue I found they wanted nothing more than a phone call in regards to my credit card use which they were willing to reimburse me £40 for, perfect for paying off the little I owe on that credit card I never use!
Obviously while online I undertook a cheeky Google search for Tesco to nab my daily five pence from Qmee; I have no idea whether I’m exploiting a loophole of this toolbar extension or if this is genuinely the way it’s supposed to work but I’m going to keep expressing a quick interest in Tesco every day until this charity halts.
Bored and trying to distract myself from the pain in my leg I got cracking on a new enterprise as well, Scheme #73: Turn into a quality control agent, or as it’s known on this site, a “looker”. As the wording of the scheme suggests this is specific to one website alone, WeGoLook, which is used to “verify the existence and validate online claims… of classified items on eBay/Craigslist or similar websites”. Essentially you sign up to be a “looker”, and then if someone’s considering buying a car on Gumtree and decides to check out the motor first via WeGoLook you’d be summoned to get to that car and report back with any scratches or imperfections, the state of the tyres, the distance in mm from the road to the bumper, etc. You’re effectively composing a small report to placate the naturally wary before a sale. What I find in equal measures hilarious and fascinating is that as well as automobiles, property and heavy equipment that WeGoLook might send you to photograph and assess, you may also have to scout ahead to check the quality of singletons met on online dating sites; I guess much like noting scuffs on car bodyworks you’d be tasked with counting moles, measuring nose width and so forth, grimly reporting your findings to the client by phone as you evaluated.
There’s a surprisingly stringent sign-up process involving a test, a background check, and just like TaskRabbit (Scheme #77), an ordinance video to sit through followed by questions to ensure you don’t try to skip through like everyone obviously tries to do first time round. Unlike TaskRabbit’s exasperatingly spirited narrator James who thought everything was cool and awesome, WeGoLook utilize this nameless smug pleb to talk at you for three quarters of an hour:
Much like the condescending dickhead pictured above I am now a #looker, and await my first #looking assignment. Whilst better than TaskRabbit in that WeGoLook seems to spread itself over more of the UK than just London, I have the nasty feeling that both apps are going to sit impotently on my already overcrowded phone shrugging their shoulders and announcing “no jobs near you!” until the day I decry this project over. That said I didn’t think an extras agency I signed up for to pretend to cry at a stranger’s casket would be asking me to visit the Cotswolds dressed as a jockey, and I also thought I could skateboard down a slide, so what do I know?
By now the parsnips on my knee had reached room temperature so I retired to bed with an aim to sleep, couldn’t due to the pain, devoured some ibuprofen and co-codamol and eventually fell into fever dreams tortured by visions of finding £20 notes on the street and growing over 6 inches of hair to sell. I was late to work because I didn’t account for my limping to the bus stop being one tenth the speed of my regular no-nonsense march, and at the insistence of my coworkers who were pained at the sight of me lamely tottering to and from the pub at lunch I actually checked into A&E come afternoon.
Although this doesn’t yet feel like the most mental project I’ve ever done I believe this is the first ever hospitalization by a project, so that’s quite exciting. After an eternal wait I was diagnosed with a torn meniscus, bandaged up over my work trousers for bizarre reasons, and then discharged to wait for the bus home, the ticket of which came to more than the $2 I earned from the dare.
Scheme #125 is administering a thoroughly proper hiding at the moment, but I have found a profitable dare I can do which doesn’t involve a hospital trip. I created the custom dare ‘Throw a cactus into the air and catch it’, it was rapidly double dared back to me by a clearly cactus-less Frederik, and with the help of some gloves I performed this challenge swiftly and safely for a 2 buck reward.
This, then, may be the dare I use to rinse Double Dog and finally generate some well-earned revenue from this scheme, although knowing my luck I’ll probably be back to Bournemouth hospital in a week with a cactus spine skewering my bollocks.
Schemes active/complete: 29
Money made: £15.78
Quite a bit to catch up on since scavenging for hair last week like an insecurely bald Stig of the Dump. Popped to Cherbourg for the day last Friday to stock up on booze and confuse waitresses with my GCSE French, putting down 18,000 steps whilst there which would have been greatly lucrative (Scheme #117) if the Bounts app hadn’t recently dissolved into sheer uselessness (this in direct contrast to the sum total of 49 hungover plods I managed on the day after my Birthday). I also learned there that Receipthog (Scheme #71) is a Francophobe, and that all my “je voudrais un receipt gracias” requests were in vain:
To be fair it’s not much easier uploading receipts on home soil, look at the dismal state of this proof of purchase from my latest Wetherspoon’s transaction. My Receipthog can’t eat that!
My trip across the Channel was only slightly marred by an overpowering taste of garlic omnipresent for much of the day thanks to Scheme #125. I’d been dared by Patrick on Double Dog to eat a garlic clove for $1, which I stomached late Thursday night:
Have you ever done this? I imagined a clove to taste super-garlicky, like the entire Pizza Express menu condensed into a pill; I didn’t realize it would feel like eating actual fire, and leave a garlic presence pervasive enough to withstand mouthfuls of toothpaste and an entire pack of chewing gum. Rowena was still recoiling from me hours later, with yells of “the smell’s getting worse, it’s festering!”
I can already anticipate that I won’t be recommending Double Dog, and by dint of this any dare-for-dollars platform as a money-making method UNLESS you are a young and liberated female human, as there are no shortage of desperate guys out there who will tender a buck or two for a girl to wink at the camera or blow a kiss or other such examples of beta prostitution. Some ladies are astute enough to cheat on the dare as well, being asked to show their breasts and instead filming a pack of refrigerated chicken fillets or simply holding up a piece of paper with “breasts!” written on and high-tailing it with the blue-balled bloke’s money, and then what’s he going to do about it, take them to the small claims court?? Somebody paid sassy9864 to “take it all off” and she just showed her bellybutton:
It seems that when the app’s not objectifying women it’s making me eat banana peel and I’m still in the process of recovering my losses on the thing so I’ll be grateful when I can edge into the profit zone, cash out and be done with this scheme, I dread to think what else I’ll have to masticate between now and then though.
My total income has increased by a whole penny since last posting, via a scheme which avid readers of this blog can probably already guess – trusty Scheme #61: Look down when you walk. Wasn’t even walking when this spare penny caught my eye, rather it was snatched from a puddle of warm beer on a Wetherspoon’s table. I did actually espy another penny on the floor near my desk at work but earlier in the day my wallet had burst in my hands cascading coinage all around me so I couldn’t be confident I wasn’t just smugly pocketing my own cack-handed change.
I shouldn’t complain about Scheme #61 as although it’s pathetic to constantly snivel around for the dropped earnings of others it’s one of the precious few methods which has actually got me some capital, there are plenty of schemes I’m pumping effort into for absolutely zero return. I’m still, for example, routinely proffering names for burgeoning brands and companies with Squadhelp for Scheme #120, and it’s getting pretty dispiriting as the business owner rates each submission they receive either ‘Love it :D’, ‘Like it :)’, ‘On right track :/’ or ‘No thank you :(‘, and every single one of my ideas has been ranked ‘No thank you :(‘, the lowest possible score, even “Saddle Dazzle” as the potential name for a bicycle shop which I was so confident about I didn’t dare mention on this blog before now because I didn’t want any copyright or privacy issues when it was definitely chosen.
My £20’s worth of yen is yet to spike and make me a rich man either (Scheme #164), although it did peak on Valentine’s Day for some reason, which obviously I missed as I was busy stuffing my fat face with Domino’s pizza.
An amusing little money-maker I’ve discovered which I won’t be pursuing as I’ve tepidly self-limited myself to only legal schemes, but would be a perfect option for those skint of both money and ethics, is Twitter page @NeedADebitCard. This tweeter is dedicated to reposting the photos of anyone dense enough to post a photo of their debit or credit card to social media, along with inane comments like “new design of ma creddy on point <3” or “only i be dope enuf to have security code 420 #blazeit”. I’m not going to bring Scheme #235: Rob Twitter morons into life but I did think it would be remiss of me not to give this newfound piece of information a mention.
Back to schemes I actually am occupied with, last time I mentioned Scheme #77: Become a taskrabbit I was being informed that I was fortunate enough to have reached the orientation stage but unfortunate enough that there were no orientation courses anywhere near me. I’ve been cold on the TaskRabbit premise ever since I realized that practically every task is required in Central London, and I thought a lack of nearby orientations would be the final nail in the coffin, so I was surprised to receive an email from Melanie keen to induct me on a virtual orientation as opposed to trekking to the capital and enduring it in a stuffy meeting room. Despite living closer to Camber Sands than Camden TaskRabbit seemed bizarrely eager to have me on board.
The virtual orientation took the form of 18 videos followed by some multiple choice questions. I still cannot believe it’s possible to stretch such a simple idea over 18 videos: people post tasks they don’t want to do, others choose to do them for money – there that’s the gist of it in 18 fucking syllables. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention as the test admitted from the offset that any questions answered wrong you’d simply have to redo at the end of the assignment, so the only info I can recall is that it was all narrated by a chipper American cunt named James who said things were “cool” and “awesome” when they were not, in fact, cool or awesome. Here’s a screenshot for flavour:
I am so, so glad I could endure this initiation in my pajamas at home and didn’t have to have this patronizingly explained to me by some moronic, grinning instructor with a PowerPoint presentation in a London office. One of the questions was ‘If you break an item during a Task, should you first tell a) the client, b) the TaskRabbit helpline or c) your Mom?’ and I could already envision some unfunny pleb on the training course aggravatingly barking with laughter at the weak attempt at humour that (c) provided and the instructor smiling with pride. What a bullet to dodge.
My TaskRabbit orientation is now complete and my profile should be live from tomorrow – I now have the app on my phone ready to be summoned a hundred-something miles North to help someone change their duvet cover at the drop of a hat. This app was forced upon me as a mandate of the orientation course; “your phone will probably tell you not to trust this app,” James blithely chuckled, “but you can go ahead, it’s cool.”
There’s another active scheme which it turns out isn’t as trustworthy as previously thought, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this is a common factor of money making schemes sourced from unreferenced lists on the Internet. I signed up last week with CPM which pays £10 for each photo you send them of a vehicle somewhere it shouldn’t be (Scheme #233: Snitch on cars parked illegally), a brand new app only very recently publicized. Originally I thought they would accept photos of cars parked in any old illegal space, but it transpires they must be in a car-park owned by yourself, which is why I came home from work the other day to find I’d been sent these massive warning signs to put up in the car-park I apparently own:
The closest I have to my own car-park is the splash of tarmac outside my flat where residents will occasionally ditch their cars for an hour or two, and even then I can’t say I possess it outright as I’m only renting this little one-bed alcove anyway, so I was uneasy about this whole business. What really turned me off this car-park narc scheme though was an email I received today, quite unexpectedly, from a journalist at The Sun!
“It has been alleged that your email address was included on a list sent out by UK Parking today,” it began. “If my source is accurate, the slip up exposes people who have signed up to use its parking app and get £10 every time they shop another motorist.” Those ditzy UK Car Park Management muggins had leaked my email address to the tabloids!! In true Sun scaremongering fashion the email went on to ask “How do you feel about having your details leaked in this way? People really don’t like traffic wardens. Does this make you feel unsafe in any way?” Naturally this has made me even less keen to erect the signs I probably have no authority setting up anyway so I will be using blabbermouth CPM’s signs as laptrays to eat my dinner off for the foreseeable.
Lastly to something I’ve actually fulfilled and the titular scheme for this post, Scheme #23: Become a music reviewer. I finally reached the $10 minimum payout on review site Slicethepie, predominantly thanks to stumbling across a rich vein of dog beds I could review at 9 cents a time.
I still have to wait until next Friday before the money should land into my PayPal so I’m loathe to review this scheme fully right now just in case those wages never arrive, but I’ve seen enough to state that I probably wouldn’t recommend Slicethepie. It’s certainly the best way to earn revenue from writing quick music reviews online, its rival sites don’t even get a look in, and I have to say it’s less soul-destroying than generating cash from Weegy (Scheme #31), but regardless it feels like a chore especially if you’re not a big fan of bad music, artisan dog beds or tacky Xmas jumpers.
At 125 reviews I was paid on average 8 cents per submission, so 6 pence a pop. The music reviews insist you sit through 90 seconds of each song but the fashion ones can be churned out at a rate of one a minute if you excel at regurgitating a hundred unique words about homogeneous tat, hence it’s possible to earn £3.60 per hour Slicing the Pie, UK minimum wage when it was first introduced in 1999. Despite this I won’t be continuing with the scheme, it was pure discipline that had me sat up until late last night glugging rum and whacking out review after review after review – one low point saw me critiquing 20 Justin Bieber decalled T-shirts in a row. It’s the best scheme I can confirm to work thus far but also the second worst, better than being milked for mini-essays on environmental change but still pretty shit.
Schemes active/complete: 22
Money made: £15.77
An entirely perfunctory post simply as a Windows update led me to believe for several livid minutes that I had lost my document of notes on this project, teaching me it’s good to preserve them in blog form at regular intervals.
Things are ticking along, albeit very slowly. I somehow spotted 20p in the dark a few nights ago (Scheme #61) which is the only extra funding I’ve made since last time. My Qmee (Scheme #16) has reached the dizzying heights of £0.51 now I’ve learned that most days it’ll flip me 5p for Googling ‘Tesco’, and my slice of Slicethepie’s pie (Scheme #23) is on $2.32 after my generous reviews of such up-and-coming chart-toppers as ‘Deaf Rhino’ and ‘Slickeraci’.
My porcine receipt app is also feeding well (Scheme #71). Am I buying more things than necessary because subconsciously I want those receipts? Happy to spend £9 on tat to claim a receipt worth 0.3p to me? I can’t know for sure, all I know is I’m still pestering my friends for all their receipts too, then slyly pocketing their bare toilet roll tubes when at their houses (Scheme #126).
A couple of grumbles. I keep having incredibly bland and thus frustratingly realistic dreams about finding a treasure trail of loose change whilst walking on the street or a single Google search returning £2.46 on Qmee. Also whilst rereading old blog posts to see if I was missing anything I realized I’d forgotten to check We Dare You To (Scheme #125), hence missing an opportunity to give myself a papercut for $5. I’ve intentionally given myself papercuts for free before just to upset and nauseate my more lily-livered friends, so it was annoying to overlook a chance to finally get paid for the pain, particularly as the monetary dares of Double Dog I now appreciate are a lot rarer than originally thought.
Two new schemes are now in play. I was notified by a work colleague of the most recent money making scheme around – an app named CPM which is making headlines at the moment, the gist being that if you take a photo of a car parked illegally the CPM (UK Car Park Management) will grant you £10. This became the latest addition to my list (Scheme #233: Snitch on cars parked illegally) as sources such as Moneysavingexpert.com are now including this as part of their database of get-rich-slowly methods.
My fears were first piqued when I saw the quantity of bad reviews clinging to the CPM app, complaints not only about its tattletale ethics (the phrase “snitches get stitches” appeared more than just a couple times) but also that the whole premise was misleading. Sure enough when I downloaded it I was informed I couldn’t just run around snitching on whatever bad parkers I wanted to, but I had to provide details of a car park I own, receive some signs to stick up, and only then could I grass on an unauthorized car parked specifically in that space. Still, there’s a scrap of gravel outside my flat which is technically for residents only so I’ve decided I’ll start vigilantly monitoring that.
I’ve also started putting my innate talent at generating terrible puns into good use with Scheme #120: Name a business. There’s two sites I’ve found which fledgling businesses will use to crowdsource ideas for their brand’s name – they pay for a mass of suggestions all gushing from the same thinktank, largely terrible, and whoever has created the most passable option wins a cash sum, normally around $100.
Naming Force I couldn’t use as you have to be a U.S citizen, but Squadhelp wasn’t so xenophobic and welcomed me with open arms. My account has been active for the past day or so and I’ve been helping name businesses willy-nilly. Not literally naming them ‘Willy Nilly’ you understand, however that genuinely is a better option than some of the truly appalling ideas I’ve cooked up for the many e-commerce businesses, healthy snack companies, electric car manufacturers and more that I’ve helped brand.
That’s about everything I think. Obviously I’d like to be on a greater sum at this stage of proceedings, and this probably qualifies as the tamest and most agoraphobic first month of any of my projects to date, but I do have some interesting plans over the next few weeks, some of which I’ll even be leaving the house for!! Stay tuned.
Schemes active/complete: 15
Money made: £0.16
Two updates since I last posted. One of them is very boring and the other is slightly less so. Let’s get the dullest out of the way first.
Receipts! I bloody love a receipt. I’m always requesting them even after the most tiny and trivial of transactions. At least I am now, what with Scheme #71: Scan your shopping underway.
Originally the plan for this one was to register with a couple of market research companies whose voyeuristic interest in your weekly grocery shop is so high that they’ll post you out a handheld barcode scanner for you to track everything you purchase, and pay for the privilege of snooping. There are two organisations who will do this – ShopandScan & The Nielsen Panel – and between them I thought getting my hands on one of these portable scanners would be simple, meaning I could soon be happily feeding these companies the mounds of data on how many beers and creamy desserts I get through a week.
Unfortunately this seemingly straightforward task was nigh on impossible. Firstly ShopandScan doesn’t let any old sloppy shopper into its esteemed club, you have to be provided an invitation number by an existing member, like you’re trying to join the Magic Circle or the Freemasons. Without a foot in the door the only way of receiving an invitation is to join their waiting list so that’s exactly what I’ve done, but some forum posts suggest this is fruitless so perhaps I’ll just have to keep an eye out for a ShopandScan member whose life I can save before I get invited into the inner sanctum.
As for Nielsen there’s no invitation process but you’re forced to trudge through an exhaustive survey before you’re allowed any further. Right at the start of this questionnaire I was asked if I worked in advertising, and I truthfully responded that yes, my 9-5 consists of selling adverts in the local newspaper, only to be told I was unable to continue with my application. With a slight frown I simply clicked back a page, amended my answer to say that no no, I did not work in advertising, not I, and was permitted to continue.
The questions rolled on for an eternity. I was asked about every facet of my being, including whether I was a vegan and if I owned a bread-maker or not. Finally once I’d completed the lot I hit ‘Submit’ to find out whether I was an eligible candidate and after some minutes was taken to a page which was confusing and wrong and inexplicably French.
Perplexed, I brought up Google translate. “Vous avez été selectionné pour la suite” means “You have been selected for the following” so I thought all was good, if a bit too francophilic for my taste, until I saw what it said at the bottom.
My suddenly-not-an-advertiser ruse had been rumbled! Disastrous, I thought I’d been so wily!
Thankfully I found a close substitute to these two in ReceiptHog, a free to download app which pays you every time you send them a photo of a receipt. A £5 receipt earns you 5 points, £10 receipts bag you 10, etc, and once you’ve reached 1,000 points ReceiptHog will grunt out $5 into your PayPal. This may seem a ludicrous wherewithal just for $5, but as receipts are something we all amass anyway and either throw away or forget and leave in a pocket to get converted into a claggy blanket of pulp by the washing machine, it’s worth the three seconds it takes each time to send a photo across. I’ve discovered they don’t even necessarily have to be your receipts, so it’s not just coins I’m constantly scouring the ground for now (#61), it’s other people’s discarded ReceiptHog fodder.
Moving into more interesting territory than the Tesco receipts of strangers, the other money maker I’ve been looking into is Scheme #125: Do some dares. There are three sites I have found which revolve around the premise of setting dares for random fools to complete with a cash incentive behind each one, namely We Dare You To, Pickle, and Double Dog. Humiliating, self-destructive behaviour is very much my home turf so I plunged into these three with confidence.
We Dare You To looks to be a fair potential, reporting that it’s recently declared the cut off point for dares such as brushing your teeth with mustard, high-fiving as many people as possible, and peeling a banana without using your hands, all of which would have rewarded $5 upon completion. There’s no other live dares currently offering a cash prize – it gives me the opportunity to lick a cactus if I’d like, but that would only net me 40 arbitrary ‘points’ so that’s not something I’m going to do. Still, worthwhile checking back on this site every now and again to see if there’s any profitable dares going.
I can’t understand Pickle. Downloaded the app and all it showed me was my location on Google maps; it may be that you have to come across other people with Pickle in order to initiate a dare transaction, but if that’s the case there’s no one else with that app within a 500 mile radius of me so I’m not going to waste my time on it any further.
The Double Dog app however works well, and it is this which has been inflicting torture upon me for the past 2 days. I’ll try to explain it as concisely as possible – upon first downloading the social game you are given the greenhorn status of “Puppy” and a cache of ‘bones’ which work as substitute currency. Once you’ve worked up the ranks you can play in “Elite” mode which is where you can start playing with real money.
To give a dare you can either write your own challenge or select from a stock list of Double Dog’s own dares which extends into the thousands. You then have to attribute a value to that dare – if you’re a puppy you can bet, say, 10 bones on it, or if you’re an elite darer you can wager $5 on it, for instance. That dare is then sent out into the ether for someone to accept. If you want to take on a dare you select ‘Dare Roulette’ and are shown the amount at stake but not the dare itself, so you’re always going in blind. A 24-hour timer then appears denoting how much longer you have to carry out the task and send across photo or video proof; complete it and you win the money pledged, fail and it comes out of your account.
To complicate matters further you can eponymously ‘Double Dog dare’ whoever set you the challenge, which doubles up the money in the pot and means the darer now becomes the daree, and must perform his or her own stunt before the countdown runs out.
Naturally I began as a puppy and, not really understanding the rules, spaffed almost half my entire stash of starting bones on daring a user named Mark to serve a raw egg with a tennis racket. He swiftly riposted by double daring me, I declined as I don’t own a tennis racket, and within 5 minutes of downloading the app I’d lost basically all my bones. It was then I read that progression to Elite mode and the winnable money therein is only possible once you’ve set 10 dares, and I no longer had enough bones to set my 2nd. In order to climb the ladder out of my boneless gutter I’d have to start taking on and completing some dares, that was the only way I could win back enough to wager on the 9 remaining challenges I needed to become Elite.
My first task was from Redbeard – whose profile picture did, indeed, boast a hearty crimson beard – who dared me to eat a banana with the skin on it. Without a moment’s hesitation I was off to Tesco to buy some bananas, making sure to take a photo of the receipt of course (this is a bit meta but I just Googled “Tesco” to double-check it wasn’t “Tesco’s” and I wasn’t, sin of all sins, committing a typo, and Qmee informed me that doing so had just earned me 7p, so that’s nice of them.)
In case you’re wondering, banana skin tastes fibrous and unpleasantly bitter. Regardless I was willing to eat the whole thing, but Double Dog sets a 7-second limit on its videos and thus I only had to take the one bite. With the bones this had earned me I could afford to challenge some other poor sucker to eat an unskinned banana, but the target Danny merely doubled this dare back onto yours truly. This was obviously convenient as I had a whole bunch of bananas next to me, but still there’s probably a medical upper limit as to how much banana peel it’s OK to ingest in one sitting.
I endured several other tasks to get me out of bone poverty. I had to dance, build and wear “an awesome mask”, tell a short horror story (rather ironic after squeezing out the toilet-based misadventures of Calvin for Scheme #173 only earlier in the week), eat a handful of salt which literally made me vomit, and take a pie to the face. The last of these was assisted by Rowena who, and she claims “accidentally”, made a beeline straight for my left eye.
I knew it hurt to get shampoo in your eye but I’d previously thought this was to do with the chemicals in it, so I was interested to note that whipped cream stings just as much.
Finally I saved enough bones to throw out the 10 dares required to activate Elite mode and play with actual money. I deposited $10 in my account and fired up dare roulette. Time for things to get serious. As serious as a canine-themed app which encourages pies to the face can be.
The first dare I received, with a $1 prize pot, was from Jack L who challenged me to “Put the whole length of a cotton bud inside your nose without bending it (video proof)”. I’m normally proficient with taking on dares and pulling unusual stunts but still I blanched at this suggestion. Even with a big nose like mine that cotton bud would still be somewhere in the vicinity of my optic nerve so I decided to double dare Jack with that, we’ll see tomorrow if he’s capable of performing his own task.
With Jack sorted I hit the dare roulette button again to have a Robert challenging me to simply “Hold two real guitars,” again with $1 at stake. Now if I had two real guitars this would be a cinch, almost embarrassingly easy. Even if I had one it would help. But I’m a completely unmusical person and so had no guitars in my possession, let alone two.
My instinct was to stick it on a double dare like Jack and his soon-to-be-surgically-removed Q-Tip, but I held back. For Robert to propose a dare such as this it was very likely he owned a couple of guitars, and churned out this guitar dare for a dollar a pop to guitarless plebs like me hoping to be double dared to accrue $2 at a time. This is exactly why Double Dog describes itself as a strategy game, it’s like chess only with more bananas involved.
I took the dare, the countdown began and I started thinking of where I could get my paws on a pair of guitars. My first thought was the local guitar shop Strike Don, somewhere I have never, ever been inside. I set off at a brisk pace, planning to blag to the proprietor that I was looking to buy a guitar for a fictitious brother’s Birthday, subtly grabbing hold of a couple of fingerboards as I browsed. However as this was a Sunday I was concerned the place might be closed. It was only midday but you couldn’t be sure, especially not in the sleepy town of Westbourne. ‘Please be open,’ I repeated over and over in my head, ‘please be open, please be open, please be open.’
This sent me into a bit of a panic, exacerbated by the inexorable timer constantly ticking down on my phone. I even started searching the Argos website for how much it would cost to buy two guitars, but quickly dismissed this as a ridiculous idea even considering the diatribe in my last post about how I didn’t mind if my outgoings exceeded my income.
Short on ideas I returned to my flat to reassess. It was there I noticed Rowena’s ukulele, not strictly a guitar I know but it was something. An optimistic Whatsapp to my friend Chris asking if he owned a guitar paid dividends; he had a guitar to hand and before he could even ask why I needed to know I was slinging Rowe’s bright pink ukulele case over one shoulder and heading out the door, telling Chris I was on my way now and would explain when I got there. Half an hour later, success:
I was anxious Robert wouldn’t credit the ukulele as a guitar and could reject my dare submission – when this happens dares are taken to “trial” and elite members can vote yea or nay – but thankfully he overlooked this and paid me my dollar. My first dollar! The first money I’ve made rather than found! It’s not sitting on my total earnings yet however, not until it’s safely in my PayPal, currently it’s stuck in the Double Dog app’s piggybank. They cheekily charge a 10% processing fee too, so really the total needs to be at least $20 before it’s worth withdrawing. I guess as well as Weegying and writing this blog and hunting down coins and all the other schemes I’m presently overloaded with, I’ll be doing a dare a day for the next fortnight or so as well.