Schemes active/complete: 35
Money made: £48.77
As mentioned in the last post Rowena and I are currently embroiled in the task of moving our possessions from a mouldy one-bed flat to a hopefully less mouldy two-bed flat, along with all the joyous landlord referencing and disputes over deposit payments that come with this, which is why kooky money-making schemes have taken a back seat lately. However I have another stag do this weekend and the last time I embarked on one of those in early March I drank myself amnesiacal and this blog saw a following month of silence, so I thought I’d jot the latest minor developments down before that potentially happens again.
All the down payments and deposits and impossibly extortionate admin fees that switching from one rental property to another entails has been softened minutely by cashing in a couple of my schemes, most noticeably the £10 Amazon gift card that ShopandScan rewarded me with which actually sold on eBay for its full value:
I can offer no explanation as to why the chap who purchased this did not simply buy a £10 voucher directly from Amazon. Perhaps he’s slyly gambling that I misread the card’s value and he’s actually getting a £50 voucher, perhaps he’s a clod who gets confused easily, we’ll never know. What I can posit with conviction though is that Scheme #71: Scan your shopping has proved to be the most effective scheme so far, bringing £15 to the pile via the combination of ReceiptHog and ShopandScan and very little actual work from myself. Granted ShopandScan still pester me on a daily basis querying why I haven’t scanned any barcodes recently, even phoning me at work to ask with genuine disappointment in their voice, and granted I now have a deep-seated impulse to pick up every receipt I espy on the street which I have to fight and I don’t know how long that’s going to hang around for, but I’ll take these trifling irritations over answering a thousand questions on Weegy for the same sort of dollar (Scheme #31).
Surprisingly my commemorative Samuel Johnson 50p also sold on eBay for almost double its value:
Now these particular 50ps aren’t even that rare, I’ve definitely handled many before when making 50 pence purchases – a pack of Softmints, for instance, or 9 carrier bags with an extra bag to carry them all in. A quick glance on the Check Your Change website and we see Sam’s 50p has a scarcity level of 1 which translates as “A coin that is usually readily available at or very near to face value.” Not to detract from Sam’s Herculean task of writing the first dictionary from aardvark to zygote but over 17 and a half million of these coins were circulated, making it really as common as muck. I’ve basically just sold a normal 50p coin, for a quid.
Scheme #144: Sell some funny money is certainly worth consideration then. I personally find it a ballache to place items on eBay but if you’re one of these strange characters who actually enjoys listing tat and watching the bids notch up then I advise going for it – with some adequate photos and the odd flourish in the description you could sell the contents of your coin purse at twice the price!
The only other contribution to my riches, besides a 20p I found on the floor (Scheme #61), was a result of finally cashing in my Qmee account (Scheme #16: Get paid to Google). This toolbar extension has been perched on my Google bar sporadically flipping me loose change for seemingly arbitrary searches; for a while it rewarded me for searching for “Tesco”, then that abruptly stopped and instead it liked it when I typed in “Deliveroo”, and the odd search for Batman or bananas would occasionally elicit a payment too. 5p was the average handout each time, and after 4 months of being monitored and over 50 installments received I decided to call this scheme done:
I can’t not recommend Scheme #16, it’s entirely unobtrusive and a fully legitimate scheme, a genuine source of free money. However that amount of money is very, very small, and I am criminally impatient, so Qmee is being cast aside in favour of quicker solutions. Hopefully by the end of this month I will be settled in a new flat and motivated to reap some get-rich-quick scheme rewards, motivated namely by daunting deposit payments and an abyssal overdraft! What fun!
Schemes active/complete: 35
Money made: £35.55
Not a substantial amount of activity over the past fortnight to be honest, but I’ve got some time on my hands this evening plus this marks the first moment whereabouts each scheme either active or complete has bagged me over £1 on average, so a celebratory blog post is in order. Also I have some eBay listings I want to promote to anyone who might find themselves reading this in the next 5 days, making this an actual worthwhile post. Do you like Amazon products and/or coins commemorating the 18th Century dictionary writer and Tourette’s sufferer Samuel Johnson? Then you might be able to snag an eBay bargain today, my friend – read on!
Before that I must report my other eBay news which has come as a welcome surprise, namely that my £5 note with serial number AA01 647380 actually sold for £10.50!
I posted the note to the buyer, a girl from Essex, the next day, and added £5.50 to my total project accumulations with astounded glee (the additional 2p since last posting, for any militant blog followers or HMRC staff who may be interested, was a result of the consistently gainful Scheme #61: Look down when you walk). I had sold a note of money for double its face value! Simply because of a sprinkling of alliteration on the serial number! Quite incredible.
Consequently I can state that Scheme #144: Sell some funny money – WORKS. It is possible to still make a profit on one of the new plastic £5 notes if the serial code is a rare one, even if so-called experts dismiss the idea; Pam West, Surrey-based British note dealer and an expert on the worth of printed currency who has authored tomes on the subject, told me in an email it would only be worth face value, but here’s Matt Rose now, woeful investor and hopeless spendthrift, with hard evidence to pooh-pooh Pam’s ideologies. Granted I’ve abandoned hopes of selling my AK37 & AK22 £5 notes, but I’ve still stung an Essex lass over £10 for £5 so I’m marking that scheme down as a success. Take a hike, Pam!
Optimistic that maybe I’ve actually stumbled across some entrepreneurial ambrosia here and can just start selling money for more money than that money, I have also listed a quasi-rare 50p that the vending machine shat out to me the other day:
Rather than the normal ‘tails’ on the 50p’s reverse side there’s a brief commemorative spiel for Sam Johnson, the impressive chap who wrote the first dictionary, single-handed, in the 1700s. It’s a far cry from today’s comprehensive Oxford English (he defined ‘oats’ as “a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people”) but credit for getting his head down and churning out the basics for future dictionaries to improve upon. As a reward for his 9 years of unenviable toil, Samuel now has his name etched impossibly small upon the odd 50 pence piece here and there, and I want to cash in on this oat-definers legacy.
My 50p is listed here, currently on 99p and 0 bids but still with 5 days to run. It was Geoff at work, the kindly soul who provided me with so many receipts for Scheme #71: Scan your shopping, who advised me to list this 50p, so if nothing comes from it I will be blaming him loudly and publicly. Geoff did tell me of a chap he read about who collected and eBayed thousands of rare 50ps over a period of years at a few pence profit each, reassurance it’s not just me obsessing over online, labour-intensive schemes for minimal cash-flow.
The other item I have on eBay currently is a sort of currency in itself:
This £10’s worth of sweet Amazon consumerism was kindly sent by ShopandScan for submitting my first batch of barcodes using its little scanner gizmo. Whilst obviously I would have liked to have actually used this gift card as it was intended for and bought myself Battlefield 1 on the PS4 which I still haven’t played, I can only accept money-making-scheme revenue as cold, hard cash which is why I’m having to sell the £10 voucher for what will clearly be less than £10. That said after only a couple hours I already have a £7 bid so perhaps it’ll bizarrely shift for £25 and I’ll have another spite stick to waggle in Pam West’s frugal face.
Probably the first thing I can genuinely encourage you to partake in thus far in the blog is the ShopandScan campaign. It’s a staggeringly simple way to get your hands on £10 of Amazon jargon without fear of hospital trips or tabloid scandals – you sign up here, await your scanner in the post, rub it alongside literally any barcode on anything once, and just like that there’s a tenner in the post to you. Knowing my luck there’s some heinous unwritten complication which will make itself known in the next few weeks like I’m contractually obliged to submit 10 barcodes a day for life or the scanner gives you cancer or something, so feel free to hold off until then, but for now I can’t see any faults with this one. It’s surely a better method of achieving Scheme #71 than ReceiptHog seeing as it generated twice as much money with about 1/200th of the effort.
Not much else to report: the trigger word for confusing Qmee into rewarding me money (Scheme #16: Get paid to Google) has shifted from “Tesco” to “Deliveroo” so I’m no longer submitting daily searches for Tesco fancy dress costumes but rather local Wagamama branches, and my application to become an Amazon Mechanical Turk (Scheme #60), which I didn’t even know could get rejected, got rejected. “We regret to inform you that you will not be permitted to work on Mechanical Turk… and we cannot disclose the reason why an invitation to complete registration has been denied” was the totally helpful and unambiguous email Amazon treated me to. Thankfully there appears to be a good number of clone services also paying out which will hopefully either accept me or at least provide me a decent reason as to why not.
I know April’s blog posts are turning out to be practically as action-packed as March’s during which I didn’t post a thing, mainly as Rowena and I are trying to find a new place to live at the moment and it’s transpiring to be all sorts of shades of difficult, but do not see this as a lack of commitment to the cause! I’m nowhere near done with this 234-strong list of schemes yet. Don’t you worry – I’ll be linking you to tat I’m trying to shift on eBay for many months to come!
Schemes active/complete: 35
Money made: £30.03
It is with no small sense of relief I can report I have finally butchered and eaten my ReceiptHog. For the first quarter of 2017 I have been scavenging receipts from every available source to upload to this app as part of Scheme #71: Scan your shopping (my coworker Geoff deserves a special shout out here as every morning when I arrived at work I’d find a little care package of receipts on my desk that he had saved for me), and now, finally, that hard work has paid off, for the dizzying sum of £5.
Now comes the part of the blog where I have to determine whether I could earnestly recommend this scheme, and I’m unsure where my opinion lies. Be in no doubt that Scheme #71: Scan your shopping – WORKS; the £5 was in my PayPal within 24 hours and the scheme didn’t cost me a penny, but the whole operation is something of a pain. Whilst not necessarily time consuming to spend 10 seconds here and there taking a snapshot of your shopping bill, it’s a daily niggle which you may not want to add to your life if, like me, your days are comprised almost solidly of niggles anyway. Add to that further inconveniences like the fact the app logs you out every time you enter a WiFi zone and only some receipts actually generate coins while others will reward you solely with useless sweepstake entries, and the entire exercise seems fruitless.
That said, receipts are things which you’re naturally going to accumulate anyway so it almost seems silly not to be making money from them if you can. Answering pleb’s online questions about the Triassic Period (Scheme #31) or reviewing plush dog beds (Scheme #23) aren’t activities which will crop up in your daily routine regardless, but if you’re going to be making a transaction you may as well sell that data for 0.005p. There’s even a slot machine minigame that certain receipts will earn you pulls on which has the potential to win you a cool £66 if three of the eponymous Hog faces are spun, not that I ever had any luck on it.
If you’re a person who finds themselves garnering an unnaturally high number of receipts or you work in a supermarket and have access to the droves of receipts discarded by shoppers I’d say there are certainly worse apps you could have on your phone, the Double Dog dare app for instance (Scheme #125). Don’t expect to make anything fast though – it took me three months of pledging at least a dozen receipts a day to get my paws on that fiver.
Sticking with the concept of divulging your shopping habits for cash my ShopandScan clicker arrived through the post the other day:
This was a lot less bulky than I’d assumed, certainly smaller than the cordless telephone-sized contraptions cashiers use to scan barcodes. I’d also incorrectly presumed you were supposed to take your clicker with you wherever you went to scan your shopping on the go, but I learned from the incredibly dull manifesto the scanner arrived with that your Opticon device is meant to remain as a household appliance.
I spent a while using the bright red scanner light to blind Rowena with whilst she was on the phone before testing it on all the barcodes in the house which it registered with a satisfying ‘boop’ noise each time. Next it was a simple case of downloading the ShopandScan app to my laptop and plugging the clicker in, which promptly went mental and started beeping fifty times a second until all the barcodes had been uploaded. For that painless little task I was awarded a £10 Amazon gift card – not every scan is going to be so generous but this is the sweetener you’re presented with for your first successful upload. One of my self-imposed rules is that only bonafide cash money can be added to the total so as soon as that voucher arrives it’s going straight on eBay to maybe get me £7 if I’m lucky.
Speaking of eBay that’s where my AA01 £5 note is currently sat, with an £8 starting price, 31 hours left at time of typing, and absolutely 0 bids. I genuinely thought these first batch fivers would sell like Glastonbury tickets but I’m starting to realize this might not be the case. Some are struggling to be sold on eBay for less than £5!!
To be honest I don’t hold out much hope for my other eBayable commodity as part of Scheme #126: Collect and sell empty toilet roll tubes. These are sold either for their use as craft materials or just to strange fetishists but rarely for more than a couple quid. Recently my pile of tubes has really grown as I’ve discovered an empty kitchen roll can be cut into three facsimile toilet roll ones, and I’ve just taken stock of my disgusting collection for the first time to find I’ve amassed precisely fifty tubes so I think it’s high time to get these on the electronic Bay too.
In other news I was strolling past an arcade the other sunny day and thought such a place would be precisely where cack-handed holidaymakers might fumble some change so I could cash in on Scheme #61: Look down when you walk. My instincts paid off to the value of 5 pence, and a penny was also to be mine in the local Wetherspoons which is why my total project earnings are the neatly palindromic £30.03.
Two new schemes to add to the rota – I signed up for Scheme #60: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an Amazon-associated programme based on the automated Turkish chess player of the 1700s. It comprises of myriad brainless human tasks such as copying lines of code and filling out CAPTCHA tests but the corners of Reddit dedicated to money making methods seem to extol becoming a Turk, so my application to become one has been sent.
The other new scheme I commenced on the back of Apple declaring they were unceremoniously dumping Imagination Technologies to spend some time discovering themselves, sending the shares of the graphics chip creators plummeting into the abyss. Despite having never heard of the company until last week I have confidence they’ll pick themselves up and get through this messy breakup so what better time to invest in some of their stocks?
That’s right, Scheme #4 is Play the stock market – unfortunately when you have a project which revolves around a topic as dry as earning money sometimes we have to tackle dreary subjects such as company shares and moving averages and dividend yields, it’s not all going to be skateboard stunts and tattooed arses. Anyway as it transpires buying stocks in a company is massively more complex than I gave it credit for so for the time being I’ve just created a practice account with The Share Centre to see how I get on with pretend money before I commit any real collateral.
Finally, to try to pick this post up and make it at least semi-interesting I returned to the good folks at Demonical intending to sell my soul again (Scheme #49). It’s been over 2 months since I signed a handwritten contract proffering my well-weathered soul for auction and I’ve heard nothing back, so I settled on the quick-sell option available on the site which promises “$5.00 CASH NOW” for just a couple clicks and a piddly little eternity of torture.
I landed on ‘Drunkenness’ as my favourite sin from the long list the site provides which vary from ‘Criticism’ and ‘Lack of compassion’ to ‘Murder’ and ‘Sex with animals’, and within seconds my application was off to the devil’s admin team. No sign of any satanic fivers my way yet, but if this works I don’t see why I couldn’t create a load of email addresses and milk these demons for $5 a time. There is small-print which politely requests you only sell your own soul but it’s odd a site of this ilk relies on a conscientious honour system. I’d quite enjoy being able to gloat I was corrupt enough to swindle an exchange site based on pure corruption.