Water Selling Experiment

I enjoyed doing my lottery experiment, now it’s time to venture out and do something more practical. I took a look at some of my Make Money with No Money ideas, and I want to back my advice by actually doing them (I’ve done most, but not all).

The one I am leaning towards: Selling bottled water. I will NOT be obtaining a license for this, therefore I am limited to low-regulated areas. There happens to be an intersection right near my apartment which is relatively lowly-regulated (and in turn has lots of bums no matter what time of the day).

I will speak to some officers in the area, asking them about the legality of my experiment. I don’t want to be fined or arrested (although that would provide for some interesting journalism!)

I will try to turn about $5 into $24 by selling individual bottles of water on the side of the road. Some call this being a bum, some call it desperate, I call it learning.

It would actually be easier to make more money by increasing the hours I work, but this experiment is to prove that you can make money without a job or much startup capital.

If anyone has ever done this, drop me some recommendations for effective selling!

**Update: I performed this bottled water experiment already.

Blog posted on: March 30, 2005

14 comments on “Water Selling Experiment

  1. jim

    Know of any marathons or races or athletic events happening soon? Try selling water/sports drinks there.

    The coup d’etat is really to sell gel inserts after a marathon. :)

  2. Neville

    Usually at races:

    1.) Runners get free drinks
    2.) You need a license to sell

    Something even BETTER than gel inserts after a race would be foot massages! Although I’d wear gloves before touching post-marathon feet.

  3. Anonymous

    Really enjoyed your last piece lottery experiment. This new experiment sounds interesting, try making friends with some bums..,and remember to take pictures like your last piece!

  4. Anonymous

    Maybe you can hire some cute kids to help out… for 1/4 the profit or something. :-) I’m much more likely to support a cute kid than a random Joe. Did I just advocate child labor? Oh my.

  5. jim

    Well, I just wanted to write the selling of gel insert idea and had to tie it into your water selling idea. :)

  6. stockdiva

    Hey, Neville. I just found your website a few weeks ago and I must say that I find it extremely informative as well as entertaining. I have a few additional ideas that might work and will require little or no overhead for you to start.

    1) Male Exotic Dancer – Hey, you’re – as Paris Hilton would say “HOT.” I think that you could make tons of money very quickly. If you’re a bit shy about showing too much skin, how about having a side show gimmick like the guy in New York City who walks around in a diaper and sings while he’s playing a guitar. I think his stage name is the Naked Cowboy or something. He makes a lot of dough. LOL

    2) Coupon clipping – I have a friend who will walk into a grocery store and put $150 dollars of food in her shopping cart and walk out paying only $45 of her own money after using coupons. She, then, immediately puts the money that she saved (i.e. her $105) from her shopping excursion and puts it in a savings account. Pretty impressive, huh?

    3) Another idea is selling coupons to people who are looking for coupons in bulk. This same friend of mine who is into coupon clipping will collect tons of Sunday inserts from her neighbors, family and friends, as well as from recycling centers in her area for the sole purpose of cutting them out to sell on Ebay.

    4) Dog Walker – When I lived in California, I knew lots of people who used this service. Also you can burn tons of calories while you’re helping out man’s best friend.

    5) Fortune teller or Tarot Card Reader – Nuff said. There’s a sucker born every minute. Set up a booth somewhere on the street and watch the cash roll in. :-)

    Hope this helps.


  7. stockdiva

    Hey, Neville. To show you that I’m not kidding about the guy called the Naked Cowboy, I found an article on him that I think you will enjoy. According to the article, this guy makes about $1,000 a day!!!! I also found out that he wears underwear and not a diaper. My BAD! LOL Here’s the link.


    P.S. You don’t have to post this on your website. I just thought that you might get a good laugh! Talk about thinking outside of the box. This guy is a genius!

  8. B

    Don’t forget the guy in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Warf known as the “bush man”.

    He has a couple of branches, which he holds up while he slouches behind a trash can, when someone walks by, he shakes the branches and leaps out, usually scaring the oblivious people.

    The tale I heard…haven’t been able to verify was that he makes huge money in “tips” as he’s basically a street performer now. Originally he was a homeless man, and the rumor I heard was that he had made over 100K last year.

  9. RobertS

    I must say this is such a great site you have up Nev I get a kick out of it all the time. I have never actually posted to a blog so I guess i’m getting my cherry popped right now. (this calls for a party……I will go get shitfaced b/c of it now)

    Let me bring in a different prespective to this “idea.” The whole idead of creating true wealth is having your money make money without you having to be there. So if you have to sell water you are only making money b/c you are selling it. Let’s take a step back and try to find some way to scale this model with cheap labor.

    The first thing that comes to mind is look at the peolpe who are alrady sitting on those corners. They are cheap/free workers.

    Pro: they are already there, large number of them, sell more “water”

    Con: people would be uncomfortable buying from a dirty bum, stealing your product,

    What I propose is there is a way to expand this and make it much bigger than you think. It sounds crazy but I have always wondered how to utilize that labor force. I think it could be easily done with a few days work. The other key is we could get a BUNCH of free PR out of it driving sales even further up.

    Serial Entrepreneur-RobertS

  10. Jack Miller

    My Grandmother was a trip. She told some great stories when she was in her 90’s. She had 10 children and loved to joke about my Dad. She said that you could put him on a lilly pad in the middle of a frog pond and he would still make a living. He tried everything. He spent one summer at Myrtle Beach selling large wooden arrows inside coke bottles and another as a 75 year old waiter at Antonios in New Orleans. The one that tickled me the most was when he was in his 80’s and decided to start a goldfish farm. He went to a nearby lake, harvested water lillies and traded them at a pet store for pumps, aquariums, fish and supplies. Whenever he ran out of supplies or needed something else he went back to harvesting lillies. Several years later, he sold the pet store large Koi and Goldfish for $30 to $50 each. The pet store got as much as $150 for some of his most beautiful big fish. Good luck selling water!

  11. Neville

    Stock Diva,
    Glad you think I am so HOT ;)
    I have seen the Naked Cowboy and heard of him, but have never read about him. His story is actually pretty motivational! Perhaps I should slap on some tighty-whitey’s and play my guitar around Austin! I already have a guitar, but no tighty-whitey’s :)

    I’ve also seen the Bushman before! It seems every big city has a famous bum turned celebrity. In Austin there is a transvestite named Leslie whom everyone knows. He even ran for mayor!

    Robert S,
    I will try my best to make friends with some bums during the experiment. I will no doubt have at least SOME contact with some (most likely sharing the same street corner…I never thought I’d be saying THAT!)
    Some of the bums suspiciously don’t look very homeless. I am skeptical when I see a bum with a nicer haircut and shave than mine.
    I like your out-of-the-box thinking, please comment more often.

    I appreciate all your comments. One purpose of this site is to attract the advice from successful and more experienced people such as yourself. Hope you continue to contribute towards my progress!

  12. ec

    Hi Neville,

    I am impressed you had the audacity to pull off your experiment! I agree that you need to find something that is less labor intensive… if you think about it, if nothing, you are selling your time — what else could you be doing that might make more money with less continuous effort?

  13. Pingback: Cheap Dorm Food | PadorecPadorec

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