This is just about the easiest way I know to make money, and the only reason I am sharing it with you is because I don’t mind working a little harder to make even more money, so I am focused on my core business of Search Engine Marketing. There are lots of ways to make money in this world, I think focus is key, as I wrote about before. I also think it is an interesting experiment to see if people actually implement these no brainer tactics to cash in.
I recently decided to give away free money at a conference. If you were one of the people lucky enough to meet me at Affiliate Summit West this year, you would have a crisp new $2 bill in your possession. I figured, if I could spend well over $2 on clicks in Google to find clients, I can certainly give them away during a face to face meeting. The hope was that they would keep my card and the bill handy and think of me when they need to do marketing.
Here’s what it looked like.
The experiment for the most part flopped, but it surfaced two other great opportunities. The goal was to find one large PPC or SEO client at the conference, and I even used a unique URL to track visits to my website from the experiment, and guess what…It didn’t drive a single visit. However, it did drive introductions and referrals at the conference. I got introduced to so many people at the show, “Dude, you’ve got to meet David, he’s giving out free money, get yours while you can!” I basically went viral at the show. This turned into relationships with prominent marketers and bloggers, and a handful of new friendships. To be fair, many of these were a product of hanging out in the blogger lounge as I attended on a press pass.
Now…the secret sauce you’ve been waiting for…
When I decided to give out the $2 bills, I had to find a way to get them. So, I turned to Google and after a few searches found that I could walk into any bank and they will usually have around $50 in $2 bills on hand, or I can order it in advance and get my hands on as much as I wanted. I called my local bank and as luck would have it, they had around $1000 of $2 bills left over from the holiday season. (It turns out, banks stock up on new bills around the holiday season, and that’s the best time to get your hands on them.) I took $400 worth of them to give out at the conference.
When I got home, I went on Amazon to look for plastic cases to hold the $2 bills. I found them for around 16 cents a piece. What I discovered though blew my mind!
People were selling $2 bills on amazon for about a 30%+ markup.
People were listing 5 crisp, sequential $2 bills ($10 worth) for $12.99 plus $4.98 shipping. I couldn’t believe my eyes, especially because I just got them for $2 a piece, and the cases only cost 16 cents a piece. Postage can’t be more than a dollar (its actually about 60 cents).
My first instinct was to post it on Reddit to see if other people also thought it was crazy.
One Reddit user wrote, “Two Dollar Bills (5) Five Consecutive Choice Crisp Uncirculated Brand New $2 Bill in Collectible Currency Holder. It is not that illogical for that to add $2 to the price.”
Weird, I thought it was crazy, but clearly people saw added value in these cheap collector cases, and the fact that they were choice, crisp, and uncirculated.
So, I took a look at the $2 bills from the bank that I got for the conference and guess what…
They Were All Choice, Crisp, Uncirculated, Sequential Bills! 200 of them, all in a row!
So, I took the next logical step and listed my own on Amazon alongside the sellers to see if people actually bought them. Sure enough, every single day at least one and sometimes as many as 4 orders came in. After Amazon’s fees, I got $14.01 and it cost me.. $10 for the bills. $0.16×5= $0.80 for the cases, and $0.60 for the shipping. So, my cost was $11.40, of which only .80 cents was actual risk since I only paid shipping after it sold and the goods were worth $10 of legal tender. What about my time? It took me less than 120 seconds to put 5 bills into cases, put them in an envelope, stamp and address the envelope and drop it in the mailbox. Not bad, $2.61 cents profit for two minutes of work and less than a dollar of risk.
Truth be told, I only sold about a dozen before stopping. There is certainly a way to scale this, and there is plenty of search volume for buying $2 bills. Google’s keyword tool shows well over several thousand searches a month for $2 bills. Most go straight to Ebay listings… One search on Ebay surfaces dozens of bills being sold for a profit.
Just get 5 consecutive $100 bills and sell them for $750, especially the new bills.
In fact, there is whole industry around this!!!
WOW, 15 people viewed this listing in the last day. Crazy!
It happens to be that my time is worth many times more than this made me. However, It’s clear others have built a business around this. They choose a seller name that sounds like they might be the U.S. Mint, or official sounding currency collectors to seem very credible.
I don’t know who these buyers are, but it’s clear the perceived value is there even though anyone can call the bank and order them. One fellow who got a $2 bill from me at the conference emailed me that he gave his 5 year old the bill, and he was ecstatic because his kid thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
There is an entire industry around selling cash for a profit on Ebay, it is amazing what people would buy. If I was smart, I would probably have invested about 10 hours into creating multiple denomination listings on Amazon and ebay, and hired a minimum wage employee or my nephew to stuff bills into cases and envelopes and I bet I could move a few hundred a day across the entire internet. Especially if I do international currencies. You can certainly do this yourself if you want. The playing field is wide open. Just underbid the competitors by a few pennies.
The idea of selling cash for a profit to me is just crazy. Crazy Awesome.
More importantly, if you are strapped for cash, here’s a simple way you can make money with only laying out about $7 bucks for a case of currency holders.
I Accidentally Found a Way To Sell Cash For a Profit…Here’s How