Monday, October 29, 2007

Our progress so far is....

Date: 10/02/08
Days since start: 146
No of deals completed: 3
Target No of deals completed: 10
Current Cash: £92.54

Current performance level: Getting better! But buy something from our winter sale items and help us out further!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

**Date order explanation**

As there is no way (from what we can see) of setting the posts to run in chronological order, starting at the beginning, we have 'changed' the dates of each posting so that the story always reads from the beginning. So, basically, ignore the 'date of posting'. We will start putting the actual date of posting within the text. For the 'latest' posting always scroll down to the bottom.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The adventure starts!

We begin our story on 17th September 2007. I had arranged to meet Nezetta at a pub in north London at 7pm (she was late of course!!) and we started to hit the coffees. I'd met Nez about 3 times before and was helping her to manage her finances better. At the first meeting it was like watching 'stress on legs', she was feeling a little down, well a lot down actually, but two hours later I think I'd managed to explain everything in simple terms and she felt a lot more comfortable. Nez's main problem wasn't about her finances but her whole attitude to money. So I recommended a book for her to read, emphasising that I felt that, once read, her life would change for the better and money would be something to embrace and not fear. For those who are curious enough to want to know what the 'recommended' book is, here's a link

I can't recommend this book highly enough! - you WILL find it VERY rewarding

Anyway, after a few meetings it became apparent to me that here was a lady who complimented my skills with her own brand of 'streetwise', energy, youthfulness and
naivety, and that the idea in my head was worth pursuing as a joint venture with Nez. And on top of that she passed the 'test'. Whenever I meet someone I always ask myself the same question; If I was stuck in a lift with this person for 5 hours would we run out of things to talk about? Well, we wouldn't even have scratched the surface of potential discussion topics in 5 hours. Anyway I digress, back to the pub and the coffees.

I had been reading over the past year or so about people who had been trading up from a 'paperclip' to a 'house' or a 'plastic cup' to a '
Ferrari'. Only a few had seemed to have had any success at this, and having read some of the 'swap boards' on the net it seemed that an awful lot of people were stuck with various items of pottery and paintings desperately looking for a 'trade', ANY trade!! The outlook, however, did look good for both potters and artists!!! The main problem with the 'swapping' idea is that your tied to negotiating with whatever item you are holding. There seemed to be no flexibility in trying to trade up whilst in possession of 4 ceramic mugs 'hand made' in Barrow in Furness!! (with apologies to residents of Barrow in Furness). At the end of the day the most flexible of commodities is cash!! So I calculated some 'rules', built a spreadsheet and came up with the plan to make £100,000+ in 52 deals. (the original spreadsheet will be published on here after the 52nd deal)

I explained the plan to
Nez and suggested she takes a few days to consider it. After 3, maybe 4 nanoseconds had passed she looked up from the spreadsheet and announced 'I'm in!' And so the adventure was 'born'. We had some more coffee and talked out all the rules, and the potential deals already on the table. We had jointly invested £6 on the previous Saturday on the National Lottery and won £10 so it was decided that this would be our 'starting capital'.

The rules are simple and we will be disclosing them in subsequent posts. We will deal in
anything, well anything legal that is. There are no limits to the type of deal we will do, as long as we can reasonably expect it to deliver the required profit. We wont always hit the required target, in fact, we may even lose on a few of the deals, but overall we should achieve our goal. We have built in certain 'risk management' strategies and allowed for the occasional indulgent expenses.

The 'blog' idea started out as a 'diary' that we would keep and one day publish. However, it occurred to us that by opening up the ongoing progress of our adventure to others, we may find people along the way to help us, either as customers (we will post links for our latest offers), suppliers (again, we will post for any specific requirements),
advisers (for when our brains switch off), critics (we love critics, they tell us where we go wrong) etc and maybe even sow a few seeds in peoples minds to 'copy' this idea.

Please let us know if you start, or are thinking of starting, to copy the idea, we will do our best to offer any advice we can and maybe even do a few deals
with you along the way.

And so, with the background info done (well some of it anyway, we will add things as we go along), lets start the adventure!!

Current cash position: £10.00

Monday, October 8, 2007

Deal No 1

OK so now we have decided to proceed we needed some deals, something that was quick and simple to start us off, and capable of turning over a 100% profit quickly. We had decided that as a guideline we would only consider deals that could be completed within a 2 week time period. Easy to achieve to start with, but that time constraint will become harder as this grows, so best get some quick ones in at the beginning.

I had seen an article stating that
Woolworths were doing champagne for a fiver a bottle (yep its true, they really are!!) so I suggested buying two bottles and selling them for a tenner each to anyone who a) didn't know Woolies were doing it or b) couldn't be bothered to drive to Woolies.
Nez suggested some cosmetics that a friend of hers was selling. As I hadn't really done my research on the champers deal Nez got the vote on this one and we duly decided that two packs of cosmetics would be our first deal.

Three days later
Nez rang. Deal was completed, two packs bought for a tenner and sold for twenty, Were on our way!!

Total profit on deal 1 : £10.00
Current cash position: £20.00

Sunday, October 7, 2007

**Tip No 1** - Choosing a partner

As this adventure unfolds we shall be putting up some useful tips for anyone wanting to follow our lead. This first tip is probably the most crucial one of all, how to choose the right partner to do this with. Do NOT assume that your partner, your best friend, your workmate will be the best person to choose. They may make good 'sounding boards' and offer good advice but may not have the complimentary skills you will need.

First, you need to assess your own skills. Are you good at selling? Can you 'cold call'? Can you organise? Do you have a head for figures? Are you mobile? Do you understand marketing? Are you creative? Are you computer literate? Can you spot a bargain? The list can go on and on. make a list of all the key skills that you think you will need and give each skill a mark between 1-10.

Next, make a copy and ask any prospective partner to do the same. Also ask any prospective partner to add to the list of skills (maybe identifying 'skills' is not one of your strong points). When you have both sets of marks see how many 'combined' scores for each skill are above 16. You need to get most, if not all, of the skills over a score of 16 to feel comfortable working with the other person. I will create a 'skills assessment' file in excel and make it a download on here some time in the future, so subscribe to the blog for further info.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Deal No 2

OK Once the euphoria had settled down after doing our first deal we had to move on. Now the next deal seems obvious, we buy 4 cosmetic sets and again sell them for a tenner each. But I had noticed that Sainsburys were doing a deal on the same product at £11.25 so we decided to buy 4 and sell them at £8.00 each to give our customers a really good value deal ( *mini-tip* Always give the customers a good value deal, they have a long term value to you!).

However, before we had chance to make the purchase a deal came along for some trainers at £10 a pair so we switched mid-flight and bought two pairs, well Nez did. And true to form, she immediately sold them at £20 a pair! (another *mini-tip* Always stay flexible on the deals).

We are ahead of schedule on both time and profit. Things are progressing nicely.

Total profit on deal 2 : £20.00
Current cash position: £40.00

Friday, October 5, 2007

**Tip No 2- Joint Ventures-1**

One of the hardest things to do whilst on an adventure such as this, is maintaining discipline over the finances. You always tend to 'see' deals that are just out of reach of the current financial position. We have on several occasions!

We have overcome this 'frustration' by lining up some 'strategic financial partners', people who know what we are doing and want to make a bit of extra cash themselves (but not do the work!).

Heres how it works: At this point in time our cash balance is £40. Say we get offered a stock deal at a cost of £1,000 and we are reasonably comfortable in expecting to make, say £500 profit on the deal. Well at this point in time the deal is a no no. We have to let the window of opportunity slip through our fingers until we have built up our cash position. However if we have lined up a benefactor in advance we can propose the deal to them, give them the full rundown of the deal (costs, proposed sales, possible snags etc) and give them the opportunity to 'fund' the deal. We buy the stock, we make sales to repay the benefactor their investment (ALWAYS pay the benefactor first - you need to keep them happy for the next time you may need cash) then we sell off the remaining stock and calculate the profit.

The key to this is keeping the benefactor happy. So you give them 50% of the profit. Thats a big chunk you may say, but they have allowed you to do a deal that you wouldn't have been able to do otherwise, so look on it as a bonus!

We are currently working on a couple of deals using this method and details will be posted soon. This will help us boost our cash balance and should put us well ahead of our target.

Don't worry if you don't have access to friendly benefactors, just keep a tight rein on the finances and don't overstretch yourselves and you will get there as planned.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Deals 3,4 & 5

Sunday 28th Oct

Yep you read it correctly, three deals for the price of one!! Based on what we said in 'Joint ventures-1' we are doing three deals simultaneously as we found a couple of generous folks to finance a couple of the deals.
Deal No 3 is a normal deal and we will report our progress in a subsequent post. Now onto deal No 4. For those of you who have been watching the NBC series 'Heroes' on BBC2 over the past 3 months (and if you haven't been watching you have missed a great series - buy the DVD when it comes out!!) you will know what I'm talking about when I say 'Helix'. Based on the fact that the helix symbol used in the show derived from a 16c piece of Japanese script (known as 'Kanji') we have produced some HEAVYWEIGHT t-shirts with our own adaptation of the original script and are now selling them on ebay (amongst other places) Heres what the shirt looks like:

Pretty cool huh? Oh you want to help us out and buy one! No problem, just click HERE to buy one (or more, remember these will make a great xmas gift for any Heroes fan), and then get back here to read the rest of our story.

OK next deal No 5. This is for poker fans everywhere. We will shortly be offering (on ebay of course) a package deal comprising of a full size 'Las Vegas' style poker table, 500 chips, some cards, dice etc etc, everything anyone would need for a fun evening in gambling the night away. Again, this would make the perfect xmas present for any budding card sharks out there!! I will post up a 'flyer soon showing the complete package so you can all consider buying it as a xmas present for someone (well we can hope cant we!!). Oh one further thing, the price. Well lets just say the whole package is UNDER 50 quid!! Not bad eh! And if you cant wait, and want details now, email me HERE

Further posts and updates on deals 3.4 & 5 will be appearing over the next few days, along with a word from Nez (yes, her side of the story IS coming soon!!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What do we look like?

Some people have asked 'What do we look like?' Well we are always happy to oblige so here's a pic to satisfy your curiosity!!

OK Let's get on with the adventure!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Deal 5 update

Tuesday 30th October

Moving swiftly along we now have details of our deal No 5. Here it is

Now you have to admit thats a pretty special deal just 7 weeks before xmas!! So any ladies out there who haven't decided on a xmas pressie for their loved ones (and who also want his mates round one night a week so you can disappear off clubbing with your girlfriends!!) hit the 'contact us' button below our profiles and let us know....and be quick, theres only 25 of these sets and as it says...'when there gone, they really are gone!!

More updates on our 3 concurrent deals coming soon, don't forget to bookmark us, we have lots of crazy ideas and crazy deals still to come.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Deals 4 & 5 Update

Thursday 8th November

Well what a week since we last reported. We now have stock of T-Shirts & Poker sets (and no room left in the house!!).

Last weekend I decided to do a couple of boot sales to a) see the public reaction and b) SELL SOME. So Friday night I set the alarm for 6am and looked forward to spending a few hours in the freezing cold smiling nicely. I had prepared a load of posters to inspire sales, got all my bits and pieces together and promptly fell asleep by midnight.

Problem No 1: I slept thru the alarm!! I woke up at 6.50am!!! Well, thats the fastest cup of tea I have had in ages. Amazingly I was at the boot sale by 7.15 (its only 400yds away) and waited for the tea lady to make an appearance (Shes always late - I wonder if shes related to Nez!!!). Anyway, after a leisurely cuppa I started to set up the display (which looked pretty cool I might say) and await the masses. Lesson No 1: anyone approaching you before 9am at a boot sale is only prepared to offer you 10% of what your asking - I need to learn to say **** *** in more languages!

You meet some interesting people at boot sales, none more so than the guy who's pitched up opposite me. Well not directly opposite, that was another guy who spent all morning shouting 'Five pounds on the floor, eight pounds on the table' - three women gave him a slap!! Anyway the guy 'almost' opposite me wanders over for a chat and I discover he's one of the top amateur poker players in the country and will be in a televised tournement in a few weeks time. Good opportunity to get an assessment of our goods on offer. The morning passes slowly (thank god for Radio 5 and Eamon Holmes) and at 11.30 I decide to call it a day. No sales but lots of positive compliments and I've handed out my mobile number to a few people who expressed more than a keen interest.

Lesson No 2: Never kick a pasting table when dismantling it - They break!! Yep, I broke it. My comment at the time will not be published on here, suffice to say I apologised to the two nuns who happened to be passing at that exact moment.

I got home and unloaded the table. If tomorrows sale was gonna be on, I had to fix it. Now it's quite amazing what you can do with an industrial staple gun an after putting the two bits of the broken leg together and depositing enough staples in it to hold up the Forth Road bridge, it was as good as new!!

Sundays sale doesn't start until 11am so i get a lie-in, until 7.30!!! This one is a 20 mile drive away and I set off far too early and arrive at 9.30 (they don't even let the sellers in for another hour!!). Anyway, eventually I get in, find me spot and go and get the obligatory pre-setup cup of tea. Today I have an elderly couple next to me who think nothing of spreading their wares half way across my pitch (they may have beaten 'Jerry' in the war but they ain't gonna win this one!). I politely inform them that anything thats strayed over onto my pitch I will gladly help them sell (they seemed pleased with that) and that I would keep any monies received (they weren't pleased with that bit and promptly shuffled their stuff sideways). I set up and after seeing off the annoying 'early birds' (see Saturdays comments) I get some interested punters.

Problem No 2: The table collapses! Poker chips go everywhere! I feel guilty now as the first (and only) person that rushes to help me is the woman from the next pitch. I thank her politely and set about fixing the table. Lesson No 2: Never trust industrial staples!

Ten minutes later and with the help of more staples and a few well positioned boxes I have got my act together again. I get a lot more interest than Saturday on the poker tables and give out my mobile to a lot more people. I even sell some of the T-shirts.

Home time comes and no sales on the tables. I should be feeling despondent but I have had a lot of positive feedback over the weekend on both the product and the deal we are offering so I'm feeling quite upbeat. Maybe people haven't quite got into the Christmas spirit just yet.

As well as the boot sales we are selling on ebay so for all of our readers (especially any who feel tempted to make a purchase from us and help the cause) we will list links direct to our listings:

First, the T Shirts (Deal No 4):

And next, the Poker sets (Deal No 5):

I have managed to negotiate a good rate for postage on the poker sets now so we can offer them to a much wider audience. So check out the deal, it will make a great xmas present and help make our 'progress to date' posting look a lot healthier!! Thanks

More updates coming soon (as well as the long awaited input from Nez! - What do'ya mean 'Does she exist'....of course she does, could I make up someone like that??)

Deals 3,4 & 5 Update

19th November

Monday morning and its raining!! I feel like the weather today, 36 days to go until Christmas and we need to step up a gear on the deals running at the moment. The T-shirts are moving out on ebay and were getting closer to turning over a profit on that deal, which will make our front page summary look much healthier!! Nez now has a working computer (I think!) so communications between us will be a lot easier (and cheaper!!). I think I need to work on a plan to get this blog out to the masses. Its one thing trying to promote sales but the blog (and its associated benefits) will prove valuable in the long run. So if theres anyone out there with insomnia and who has some good suggestions (actually ANY suggestions) on more effective ways we can self-promote then drop us a line (use the 'contact us' link on the left hand menu). Right I'm not really in a typing mode so I'm off to sell a t-shirt. More soon

New website + Update

OK a quick update. First, we will have our own website soon. the address is so bookmark it now, we have lots of things planned for the site. I should add that the site isn't up yet, I'm frantically learning HTML, please be patient, Im dividing my time between learning and selling!!.

Next, I'm doing another boot sale tomorrow (don't worry, I went to B&Q and bought a new pasting table!! - see earlier posting) so I have the thermals ready and hundreds of flyers to hand out. We have some orders for the poker sets for delivery in the next couple of weeks and the t-shirts are going steadily on ebay so, despite the 'summary' looking a bit grim at the moment, keep checking back, its going to shoot up soon. After we clear all this stock we should be about 40% ahead of our target (let's see how close that prediction becomes!!)
Another posting tomorrow, after I've thawed out!!

Yet another deal 4 & 5 update

Monday 3rd December

Well over a week since the last update which indicates one of two things: either were sooooo busy or we're soooooo lazy. Well its the former. Things are moving along nicely with the stock. the t-shirts are selling well, the poker sets are slower but we should have them all done by xmas (hopefully!!). We have added something called 'blogsnapper' to our site. Were testing it at the moment and if it seems to catch on we will start a gallery section. The idea is you click on the button and it takes a pic from your webcam and uploads it to our site(blog). Ideally what we would like is for you to buy a t-shirt or poker set and then upload a pic of you either wearing the shirt or playing poker with your mates. Anyway, give it a go. If people respond well, we will get the full blown version with all the 'extras'.

Next update, very soon. We wont go 8 days again without speaking to our public!!

Deal 6 + Update

Sunday 9th December 2007

Now I admit your probably feeling confused. How can we be up to deal No 6 when we haven't even finished deal No 3 yet. Well I will give you the updates first and then explain deal 6. The 'Heroes' t-shirts are going really well, over 50% of the stock has been sold and were getting close to break even (which means we can start adding profit figures to our 'cash in hand' sum soon- yay!). The poker tables are picking up and I have quite a few deliveries to do over the next 7 days.

Our aim is to clear all the shirts and poker sets by Xmas day so we can take a few days off, update the records and start to plan for 2008.

Talking of which, lets move onto Deal No 6. We have been assisted over the last few weeks by Sam, who has been also selling our t-shirts on ebay. She also does a major Sunday market in north London and has been experimenting, with quite a degree of success, with some t-shirt designs of her own. So we have decided to do a 'joint-venture' with Sam and set up a t-shirt business and establish a range of 'fashionable' t-shirts, hoodies caps etc. Its all very exciting!! (lol).

To give you some idea of the type of products that will be offered for sale here's a preview:

Pretty cooh huh? OK If anyone wants to buy one of these just hit the 'contact us' link on the left hand side and we will organise it for you. The price is a mere £12.99. And remember, our ethos on this blog is to offer 'quality' products at exceptional value for money prices, these are NOT cheap t-shirts.

Over the next week or so I will post further details on how deal 6 will work out (basically because we have no idea ourselves at the moment!!) and how it will integrate into our 'goal'.

And for anyone who wants a 'Heroes' shirt or poker set just contact us, we will email you a link to make your purchase.

More soon

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year to our reader!

Well, once again we have all enjoyed Ken's spending of our loverly taxes on lighting up the river Thames for 12 minutes while thousands stand outside freezing their butts off shouting 'oooooo' and 'ahhhhhhhh'. (Note to Nez: when we get to deal 36 may I suggest we buy a fireworks factory, its money for old rope!!!).

Anyway, I digress from the purpose of this posting. We have completed Deal No 3!!!!!!! A relative of Nez's wanted to sell a laptop computer on ebay but didn't have an account. So we obliged and made ourselves just over 50 quid 'commission'. So having seen the current cash position seemingly stuck on the figure 40 for what seems an eternity, we now have given ourselves a psychological boost by actually changing it!!

Now Nez (yes she DOES exist!) has found a little gem during the festivities. She recommended a film to me to watch and I in turn am recommending you do the same. The film is called 'The Secret' and is along the same lines as the Stuart Wilde book i recommended earlier. Heres some links to the book and the film if you want to know what all the fuss is about.

Next, a slight change around. As the previously mentioned Deal No 6 is an 'ongoing' deal we will keep that one as a 'sideshow' for now so we can keep to our original spreadsheet calculations. So deal No 6 is some 'hands free' kits for mobile phones. Keep checking back over the next few days for further details.
As for deals 4 & 5 we are now selling off our remaining stocks in our 'winter sale' (40% off our previous prices - god were sooo generous!!) so if you want a complete poker set for 30 quid or a stylish t-shirt for 3 quid then contact us fast, there moving out steadily.

Now for 2008 we need more readers. So in the next few weeks we will be announcing a few promotions to entice you all to 'spread the word'. However I would add you should already be spreading the word. But if you need to be bribed to stir you into action so be it, watch this space.

Thats it for now, enjoy The Secret (You haven't ordered it already? Why not, its brilliant), and further, more regular posts coming right up.