I almost forgot to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving (this is what happens when the holiday isn’t celebrated where you live). I hope that you have a wonderful vacation and are able to spend time with your family and friends.
I began working on site number 2 of the fifteen I need to complete by the end of the year. This one didn’t go nearly as smoothly as the first one. I had hoped to have it done before going to bed, but I have it only about 75% written. The basics are there, but all the writing is still in rough draft form (or not written at all). I’ll try and finish it up tomorrow when I get up.
I started working on timesharetrap.com. I’m not nearly as confident that this site will be able to generate the funds that we want as I was with yesterday’s, but it’s a subject with strong advertising competition which could be good for text ads and contextual advertising. The main issue will be finding a way to get people to the site.
Basically I took an article that I had written for the main site with the same title and expanded the different sections of it. It comes in at about 10 pages for the entire site which is about what I want.
I realized after purchasing the website URL that I made a mistake. I like the ring of the name “timeshare trap” but I really should have picked something else. The main reason is that I already have the number one position in google for “timeshare trap” with the article on my main site so I basically doubled up when I could have gone for a high ranking with another timeshare related URL phrase and then had two.
That being said, I can use the main article to funnel readers to the new site for the beginning months when the new site won’t show up well in the search engines (I could have also done this with a different URL, but let’s forget about that).
The site does have potential. It focuses on the negatives of timeshares which is a lot less prevalent than the actual selling and advertising of the timeshare units. There are some opportunities to write articles and press releases that could bring some publicity to the site. There also is a large pool of people that are in a time share trap looking for information on what their options are to get rid of their timeshare units. This could lead to the site becomings a destination site for those looking for such answers.
Right now I think I’m just tired and a bit frustrated that I didn’t get in finished liked I hoped. Maybe after working on it later and finishing it up, I’ll be a bit more positive about it having the potential to earn more than the $3 minimum a day we’re hoping for.
Region Holiday Pack Flavors
Jone’s Soda Co has done it again, this year coming out with a Smoked Salmon Pate Flavored Soda. While these may seem like a joke to a lot of people, if you’re smart, you’ll pick yourself up a few “holiday packs” or maybe even a few cases.
For the last couple of years, these holiday packs have come out and there have never been enough to meet demand. The result? A lot of people make some money on ebay reselling the holiday packs to those who were too lazy to get the packs before they sold out. It’s one of the hidden grocery store discounts that can actually make you money.
This year Jone’s Soda will be offering two different holiday packs: one that will be distributed nation wide through Target stores and will consist of Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey & Gravy, Wild Herb Stuffing, and Pumpkin Pie sodas. The pack will also include a serving spoon, a moistened towelette, and a wine list.
While getting the national pack will probably put you ahead a few bucks, the prize packs to get will be the “regional holiday packs” that will include Broccoli Casserole, Smoked Salmon Paté, Corn on the Cob and Pecan Pie along with the now famous Turkey & Gravy soda. Since these will be sold in certain areas and won’t be available in all parts of the country, they will easily sell for far more than their retail price. You can use this retail store locator to see if the regional holiday packs will be sold near you. They should already be on sale in many places and as the website says, “Packs will be available, in very limited quantities, beginning the week of November 7th. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!”
So what are you waiting for? Get a few regional packs and make a little extra money for yourself. I’d be at the store already if I was in the US…
It seems that according to a Discover Card survey, most (57%) Americans are “horrified” about the idea of re-gifting: taking an gift that you’ve been given and re-wrapping it and giving it as a gift to another person. While I can understand that re-gifting may not seem proper to some, the survey also says that “almost half of Americans never return a gift.” If person receives a gift that they aren’t using and they don’t return or re-gift it, then I assume that it’s sitting in a closet gathering dust which is basically a waste of money. There still are other alternatives: selling it on an online auction, giving it to charity for the tax deduction or simply giving it to someone you know (or through an organization like freecycle to someone you don’t know) that you know will use it.
Personally, I’m not opposed to re-gifting. In Japan where gift giving is an art form, it’s an accepted practice among most of the people I know here (although you never tell the person that it’s a re-gift). I think it’s more accepted her because the return system in Japan is not utilized near as much as in the US. Still, it just doesn’t make much financial sense to do nothing with a gift that you aren’t going to use.
Another part of the survey I found interesting was the following:
To help ensure that a gift will truly go toward the purchase of something special, consider steering clear of giving cash. The survey found that while 85 percent of Americans use gift cards to buy something special for themselves or to go out to dinner, those who receive cash are more apt to pay bills.
My opinion on gift cards is already well known, but I found it interesting that there is an assumption in the article that a gift must be used to purchase something rather than used where it may be needed most. I think that there are a number of ways that you can give money as a gift and if paying off bills is the best place for someone to use that money, I don’t have a problem with that. I guess the way I feel about it is that if you want to to go to something specific, then you should get that specific gift, but if you aren’t sure what they want, then I should let them use the money where it is most beneficial to them.
Possibly I’m too practical when it comes to gift giving (my wife might agree on this point), but it seems that the advertisers have done a good job in making us think that we have to buy gifts in a certain way or it just isn’t “proper.”
I’ll be very interested to see how this equates to new traffic for my website. I mentioned earlier that I gave an interview to the Associated press for an article they were doing on gift cards. That article went live today and the first media to pick it up was msnbc. The links in the article aren’t live (oh, wouldn’t that have been a dream come true), but the site is mentioned 2 times – once in the middle quoting me and once at the very end quoting one of the users from the forums. I’m curious to see if the mentions will create some new traffic to the website.
The other good thing is that it’s an Associated Press article so I assume that many other print and online media will pick it up. I will be following the website numbers over the next few days to see if I can detect any result from it. At the very least, it’s good publicity and hopefully will get our name out to other journalists for more quotes in articles in the future.
As you can probably tell from the article, I’m not a big gift card fan, but I seem to be on the losing end of the battle right now. Gift cards will be the #1 holiday gift this season with shoppers giving an average of just under 5 gift cards away. While they seem like a pretty straight forward gift, redeeming them for exactly what you want can be problematic at times and many do come with hidden fees. Writing a check or giving cash will give the recipient a lot more flexibility to use the money exactly the way they want and possible even invest it for their future instead of being forced to spend it.
It’s getting down to crunch time on finding that perfect Halloween costume. Since Halloween isn’t really celebrated in Japan, the expatiates usually take over a train car on the Osaka loop line and spend the evening celebrating while going around in circles until we all get kicked off. Part of the challenge is coming up with an original costume that doesn’t necessarily cost a fortune.
If I have some time, I usually go to the Costume Page and browse through their extensive costume idea list. Sometimes that will spark a good idea and I’ll be on my way to a perfect costume. Most of the time, however, I opt for Costume Idea Zone’s Quick & Easy Costume Page. They have a good list of quick and easy costumes that can be thrown together in less than a day and cost virtually nothing. Best of all, many of them tend to be a play on words which makes then great conversation starters since most people will end up asking you what you are. You also can be pretty confident that nobody else will be the same thing as you.
For more ideas on keeping your Halloween expenses down: