Making More Money Than His Job

The Bottled Water Experiment (and part 2) were some very interesting experiments in a micro business, and since then I’ve got tons of feedback about them.

However it’s always cool to see someone else take the idea to the next level. Here’s a guy who saw these water experiment posts and tried it out, and is currently making more money selling water than his job!

Checkout this comment on part 2 of the water experiment:

I started my own water business after reading this post. I put a twist on it however as I replaced the stationary location with a backpack lined with a trash bag full of ice and bottles, and parked my car in a stationary location with the ice chest and other water to come back and refill. I am MOBILE! I made the shirt that says “Bottled Water $1″ and headed to the river on a very hot day. People could not believe that I was doing this, everyone thought the idea was so awesome, and I couldn’t take credit. But I did sell ALL my water. 200 bottles on the first day.

I did this 5 days in the first week, for 4 hours before my shifts as a manager at chick fil a. I found out that I was making more money from selling bottled water than from my real job. So I posted ads on craigslist, offering to pay college students $10 an hour to do my bidding. I got 14 responses, and hired 5 people. Now I have a guy at the river, one at the biggest local park, two on the college campus of VCU and one in the popular downtown business sector. Each person generates about $100 a day for 4 hours of work at ten dollars an hour. thats 20 hours of labor for me to pay so 200 dollars gone, but 300 dollars are mine, minus my costs of getting water from costco, which costs me roughly $100 dollars each day. and I make $200 a day for myself, and all I have to do is go buy water once a day. Thanks nev!

I love how he took the concept, put a small spin on it then scaled it to make $200/day. That’s some serious summertime cash (not to mention good experience)!

Blog posted on: May 29, 2007

27 comments on “Making More Money Than His Job

  1. Dan

    Its all good until one of his “employees” gets hurt, the state wants its share of the revenue, or the city issues a citation for selling without a permit…

  2. Dave

    Glad to see comments back on here.

    That’s awesome he was able to do that…but what are the legalities in doing so? Isn’t he supposed to pay sales tax? And like the above comment, paying employees isn’t just as easy as paying $10/hr in cash.

    If it’s just an experiment, awesome! If it’s a full fledged business, I’d like to see some more work put into it. Definitely cool that he took your experiment to the next level though.

  3. Casey

    Very cool how he took such a simple idea to the next level. However it sucks if it rains or is a cold day.

    Nevertheless, still very cool!

  4. Anonymous

    I call bullsh!t. Hey Nev, much like the rest of your “business” ideas, this one doesn’t fly.

    First, it is awful easy to make money when you play outside of the rules….until it catches up to you, that is.

    Second, did you even think to run this guy’s numbers? His guys are generating $100 a day, so they are selling 100 bottles a day. That is 9 cases of water in 4 hours. That is 1 bottle every 2.5 minutes for 4 hours. That is not even taking into account how often they would have to go back to their “stationary” cooler to refill, or how many bottles you can physically carry in a backpack.

    Finally, his guys are college students, not homeless guys. How long until they figure out that they don’t need the boss, i.e., what exactly does the boss do for them? Nothing. Which is why this little story is BS.

  5. Anonymous

    Misprint above: not 9 cases, 4+ cases.

    4 cases of water per person, 5 “employees”. That’s 20 cases of water a day. That’s a PALLET of water every 3 days. Ever try transporting a pallet of water? (BTW, a case of water weighs about 25 lbs…you do the math).

  6. Peter Cooper

    This is great, because it’s exactly how small business SHOULD work.. with regulations, red tape, and government interference. I guess there’s a possible public safety angle with the water, but if it’s branded stuff from a large business where the sales tax has already been paid, and they’re sealed up, what’s the big deal?

  7. Jamie Wilson

    but if it’s branded stuff from a large business where the sales tax has already been paid

    Except that’s not how sales tax works. (Plus the other problems with this…)

    Having said that, I imagine you could make money cruising around on a bicycle with a cooler full of ice and drinks, even after getting a permit and being legit with taxes and stuff.

  8. Anonymous

    I’ve seen people do this all the time during summer, didn’t realize it could be so profitable. First time I’m seeing these water experiment posts!

  9. Seth Rosenstein

    What impresses me is the initiative and creativity that you represent. Even if the ideas aren’t all successful, at least you have some stones to take the risk.

  10. Drue

    I have to agree that this guy is BS. The math doesn’t work out and t would take a college student 1 “shift” before they realized they were being used. Also, why only 4 hour shifts? What college student is going to take the time to do this for just $40 and 4 hours in the middle of the day? That makes NO sense and sounds like BS.
    Here in Baltimore you see people selling water on the street but by the looks of them they are not making much money and on hot, 90 degree + days they may be drinking more than they are selling!

  11. Jason P

    I have been caught and fined by the city. I received a “hefty” $120 fine. And the reason the college students are willing to do so, is simple. I target freshmen. The ones who can’t have cars, and have to live on campus. They get paid cash, sometimes if they sell well I give them bonuses, and trust me, selling a bottle of water every 2.5 minutes on a hot day in virginia is easy when there are 300+ people where you are selling it. In the time you took to do the math and type up the post to defeat my twist on nev’s idea, you could have already purchased your ice chest, and made your shirt and would be one step closer to basically laying on your ass all day collecting money like I do.

  12. Anonymous

    hmmmmmm while i think it’s an interesting story….does anyone else hear the echo of an infomercial testimonial???

    it definitely rings hollow..

  13. Pete W

    Want to have an SEO expert poke through one of your sites and give you a list of recommendations for free? Pick one and email me. I’m pretty easy to find, or send me a message on facebook.

    Pete :)

  14. Anonymous

    its been like a month, why dont u update your blog u loser or did you get sent to jail for an illegal business???

  15. Anonymous

    Hi Nev,

    I would really like to see an update. I think a lot of people feel this way. I know u are busy w/ HOR, but stop for a sec and tell everyone how you are doing.

  16. Mad Money

    Interesting concept. I suppose if it did work, which it appears it does, it would seem like a viable part time work solution.

  17. Broke Boy

    This could be expanded outside of just water on a hot day. At shows done in the public arena such as festivals people have been selling ice cream, snow cones and other wares for many years.

    My fear with this idea is from the liability angle. What if someone claims they got sick from “your water”? You would have massive liability. Your “employees” may have to file taxes’ on this earned income which then leads into an entirely different problem.
    I like your idea and on a small time scale would not be surprised if one day I give this a try however I would imagine the profits would be much smaller then this guy claims however any profit is a good thing. Best of luck and I hope this works out for you!


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