Thursday, November 23, 2006

6 Ways to Make Money on Black Friday

Yes, you too can profit on Black Friday, just like the millions of stores that will be packed with hungry shoppers, trying to knock off their extensive gift lists. It's times like these when people get a little (okay, a lot) nutty and will do just about anything to make their day go a little smoother. So why not make a few bucks while you're at it?!? Here are six ways to pick up some extra cash just by "being there"...

1. Get 4, 5, or 6 friends to drive separately to a mall late Thanksgiving night when the lots are empty. Leave all of the cars but one in the prime spots there, and have the last person drive everybody back home. Come back to the mall in mid-morning and sell your spot to desperate people who don't feel like walking and pick up 15, 25, or 50 bucks (maybe even more, depending on your location and clientele). You can laugh all your way to the bank, and drive home at your own leisure. Estimated going rate: $20 per spot.

2. Offer to stand in line for someone while they shop. Inevitably, check-out lines will be zig-zagging through countless red ropes. Why not save somebody the trouble of actually waiting and take a spot for them in line while they do their actual shopping. No fuss, no muss! Estimated going rate: $5 per person.

3. Bring your own cart to the mall and offer to lug shoppers' goods to their car for them on their way out. Hmm, I could see this being a little skeevy to most people, but hey, it could work! Estimated going rate: $2 per trip.

4. Print up a checklist of all the big sales that are going on inside of the mall that day and sell it to people entering the mall. This takes some legwork beforehand, but most stores will list their sales on their websites or in the paper. This saves people time from having to do their own research and also trying to go through every store to find the best deals. Estimated going rate: $1 per sheet.

5. Where available, set up a cart on a busy street or outside of a mall with a chock full of snacks, drinks, coffee, etc. People will be hungry and cranky, and you might just catch them at the right time! Estimated going rate: $1-2 per item.

6. Go into various stores and write down all of the good things and bad things you see going on. Make sure you point out names of employees when available when they do great things. Then, at night, send an email or letter to the store's boss/manager/PR person and let them know of what a great/terrible job you saw today. The company may likely thank you for your candor and send you coupons or free stuff for your help! (Or they may ignore you completely if they're a lame corporation.) Estimated going rate: Varies, but potentially a bunch of free samples.

So as you can see, it's pretty easy to bring home the bacon on this shopping holiday with just a little ingenuity and elbow grease.

Have fun, be safe, and happy Thanksgiving!

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