Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still Alive

Just wanted to write a quick post to let anyone who cares that I am still alive and kicking.  We are still working the game.  Hitting copper and silver really hard.  I will write a new post when I have the time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Time Honored Traditions

So it has been a little bit since I have posted a quality article here, actually I have never posted one. Rest assured, people who don't care, that I am still thoroughly engaged in the hustle.

Our next area of focus is a time honored method of money making... Scalp... I mean reselling tickets. Ever since I saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High I thought. “Wow I wanna be that sleezy guy scalping tickets to 12 year olds.”

My Hero

On new years eve we wanted to go see of montreal. The tickets at the event were going for 15$. We kept talking about it and not doing anything, until finally they were sold out. They went on stubhub and craigslist for 150$ ish. Soon after we wanted to see girl talk. Again we were lazy and waited until the show was sold out. The Avett Brothers, Widespread Panic, Ween... The list is full of logistical failures. This lead to an epiphany. We are fucking lazy, and so is everyone else. This in theory leads to opportunity, which in turn leads to many theoretical dollars.


Our first venture was Jimmy Eat World. They come to a small club in our town every year, and every year they sell out. More to do with the size of the club than with the talent of the band if you know what I mean. I would like to note now that this band was my choice and not Silviu's.

The ticket buying system for this venue is archaic to say the least. The website is almost impossible to navigate. Most people don't even know if it is possible to buy online. There is only one place to buy the hard tickets. A shitty little shop that is full of hipsters and their shitty music that seems to be open at inconvenient times. Anyways we bought 4 tickets for 120$.

Next move was to make craigslist, ebay, and stubhub posts. We were asking 62.50$ per ticket OBO. We made the listings less than a month out. Weeks pass and we hear nothing. Silviu is being a negative nancy at this point and has already declared a failure with this venture. I knew that if it was going to happen then it was going to happen the weekend before the show (show was on a monday).

The friday before the show rolls around and we finally get our first call. Due to the venues terrible information system we didn't even know if the show was sold out at this point. We talk for a bit and agree to sell two tickets for 75$. He says he will call back... never does much to our delight. Saturday rolls around and someone buys two tickets for the full asking price 62.50$ a piece. We are stoked to say the least. Local pickup is free, so Silviu meets them in a parking lot, failing to remember that the guy he sold the tickets to went to high school with him, and completes the transaction. Sunday rolls around someone makes an offer on ebay. The two remaining tickets for 90$... Accepted. Now again local pickup is free, but apparently people think local is like 30 miles away and two city’s over. This is a mistake we are sure not to make again. Stipulate in the listing what is considered local. At any rate we get them the tickets and go on our way.

All in all it was a very successful dabble into a new realm for us. We want to make this one of our primary focuses in the coming year. All it takes is knowledge of good bands, when tickets are released, being organized and haggling skills. Also a little bit of money. So in the end we paid 120$ and got 215$ for our troubles, which were few. I'm going to chalk this one up as a success.   

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Update On The Verizon Iphone 4

 Update 2/21: Just got the email from Verizon that said that they got the phone and they were processing our return of 802.49!  That means that if we actually get that amount back then we will have lost no money by returning it.  SCORE!

Update 2/23:  Money has been put back on the credit card we purchased the phone with.

Conclusion:  We can now count the Verizon iPhone 4 affair as closed and as a minimal loss.  All we really lost out on was our .20 ebay listing.  We also took the time to list the phone.  The most we lost was my sleep because I had to wake up at 3 AM to order the thing.  I'm glad that we've finally got this one behind us and have our money back.  Also being able to chock it down as a really no win no loss situation makes me pretty stoked.

Have a few more things to say about iPhones and pennies, so stay tuned for next time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crossfit Level One

A friend of mine who is not Silviu and I just signed up for our level one crossfit certifications in the first weekend of April.  It will be in Charlotte NC, a little drive for us but not too bad.  I normally talk about more clear cut money making methods.  However I was thinking just now that this too will be a potential revenue generator depending on how I use it.  I will have a little ways to go to make some money seeing as how I just droped 1000$ on it.  Yet, I could feasibly get a job after/if I complete the course in a gym.   That after all is our goal.  We plan on having a crossfit gym around this time next year up and running.  Just felt like I needed to post something new and that was on my mind.  I will write it up more after I actually attend it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


What do we do after easing ourselves in slowly to anything? We say fuck it and dive in. Let me introduce you to our newest acquisition... The Ryedale apprentice. After the realization that hand sorting just wasn't going to cut it me and Silviu looked at a few different options for sorting pennies. After some searching on we found the solution to our troubles. It is a machine that sorts the zincs from the copper pennies. The website for the machine is The website itself leaves something to be desired, but the transaction could not of gone smoother. We ordered the Ryedale apprentice (500$), two extension hoppers (20$), and a spare wheel (10$). Add on 20$ for shipping and we spent 550$ total on it. Paid for it through Paypal on a sunday and had it on something like Wednesday. Much faster than we both expected honestly.

Now lets review why we actually care about copper pennies.  According to the price of copper as of today is 4.5140/ lb.  That would mean the 400$ of copper pennies that I have right now is worth 1,191.31$ if I could legally melt it for the copper.  The pennies will always be worth the .01 that I paid for them at the bank.  There is a ban right now, but for many reasons I believe that it will soon be lifted.  There was a similar ban of the melting of silver coins in the 70's when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the market.  The mint wants to ensure that there are enough copper pennies around in circulation and not have to worry about people taking a good number of pennies out.  So basically I am buying a precious metal at a 66% discount.  Pretty sweet huh?

I waited till we were both in my garage to pull the machine out of the box. When we opened it Silviu was a bit underwhelmed by it. Thought that it should have been bigger or something like that. However that quickly changed. We had around 300$ ish worth of pennies that we had bought from a private party earlier in the week. That is another story that deserves a write up and one that will go down as a potential failure. We thought that those pennies should last us most of the week. When we had first researched buying a machine we misread that it would sort 18.00$ of pennies an hour. Ok we thought that is still way better than we can do by hand. Imagine our surprise when the machine sorted through all 300$ worth of pennies in something like 2 1/2 hours. We thought that we had gotten seriously taken for fools by the people we got the pennies from. Then we pulled our heads out of our asses and realized that it actually sorts 180.00$ worth of pennies an hour. Which is substantially more to say the least. This amazing little machine is much faster than we realized. It really ploughs through stacks of pennies. We thought our problem would be that we had more pennies than we had time to actually run the Ryedale, but we soon found that the problem was that we didn't have enough pennies to keep this little machine running. We have so much time that we run all of our pennies through twice. Although the machine is so accurate that it barely misses anything.

The man who created the Ryedale asks everyone who purchases the unit to be discrete about how the machine functions, but basically the machine checks the pennies with an example coin and either rejects or accepts the coin. Whatever the method it is extremely accurate.

There is only one real downside to this machine at all. It jams... quite frequently. The main way is that coins double feed going down the slide, which can sometimes be quite tricky to get out. Coincidentally at about the same time as we bought this, I had taken to fixing ipods for people so had bought a electrical tweezers set. This is the exact set that I bought Aven Technik Electronics Precision Tweezers Set 6 Pcs
I am extremely happy with them. They work amazing for any job that I have put them to and they making clearing jams from our Ryedale much simpler. Also I bought the recommended lube that came with the instructions and have applied it accordingly.  If you use this lube for anything you definitely want to get it with the needle nozzle applicator.  It will get over everything and you honestly only need one drop.  This stuff should be used sparingly for sure or it will just accumulate more crud.

It does greatly help to reduce jams, but this machine is still fairly jam prone. The only real other problem that I have had with the machine is that it does not specifically sort for wheaties. You can get it to somewhat select for some years, but it is somewhat touch and go.

I have some more pictures and maybe a video to add to this post that I plan on putting up later this week so check back in if you want to see this bad boy in action or my beautiful face.

Overall this machine is an amazing thing and quite necessary if you value your time or want to get serious about pulling coppers out of circulation. If you are interested acquiring some coppers we do sell various sized lots of pre 1982 pennies depending on the spot price of copper. You can buy them several ways. We have auctions of copper and other interesting things at our ebay store:


You can contact me through this website or shoot me an email at :

I can take paypal or credit card.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Fiasco With Verizon

Recently Silviu and I did a little speculating on a certain product that was coming out with a lot of hype and very little anticipation apparently.  Our contention was that when the iPhone 4 was released on the Verizon network it would one… Sell out on pre-orders, two… it would sell out in stores, and three… that it would create demand that far exceeded the supply of the device.   This would create an opportunity that would allow us to sell the phone for vastly more than it was worth.  Our confidence in this measure was bolstered by the fact that we knew that when all of the iPhone models had been released on AT&T’s network there had been people doing this very same thing.  We were a tad bit strapped for cash at the time.  This was due to the fact that we had the majority of our money tied up in other investments and my job was being a tad bit unreliable.  However we felt that if we did not do it and it turned out to be a solid investment we would really regret it later.  Here are indicators of possible success or failure that we had accumulated going in to this proposition.

We had been doing research on our favorite selling website, ebay, and had come back with a lot of mixed results.  The phone had been selling for anywhere from 500$ and less to well over 1000$ dollars.  The majority of the ones that sold for a lot had a high shipping price and the ones that sold for less than what the actual phone was worth had mostly low shipping.  There are a lot of things that I don’t understand on ebay sometimes and this was one of them.  Still the results showed that the phone was selling for some pretty good amounts.  This was before pre-orders, so we felt that this would only lead to increased sales as the time for the actual phone to be released neared.

We also had the rationale that if the phone did not sell we had 14 days to return the phone for a loss of 35$.  Which would not be the worst loss we had ever had on an investment.  Now it seemed a little tricky on the part of Verizon, because the 14 days started when you actually bought the phone, not when you actually received it.  So we ordered it on the 3rd at 3 AM.  The clock was ticking.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 4 were available at 12:00 AM PST and 3:00 AM EST.  Being as how Silviu was gainfully employed at the time, it was me who was to wake up at 3 in the morning.  No problem I didn’t have much else to do at any rate.  So up I am at 3.  Buying the phone went without a hitch.   The next day we checked the Verizon website and found out that the pre-orders had all sold out.  So far so good.

We got the phone on Feb 6th.  We decided not to immediately list the phone on ebay; because one of our assumptions going in was that it was going to sell out opening day.  Since we wanted to sell the phone in a buy it now or make an offer listing we wanted to wait until the day before it came to stores for the increased attention and hopefully higher prices.

We listed the phone on Feb 8th one day before you could order it off of the internet and two days before you could get it in stores.  What follows are some of the messaged we received.  Keep in mind that this is just a small sampling of the many messages we received. 

Lead to this:
And was finished by this:

Now this seems like a reasonable message, excluding the fact that she actually offered to buy it and somehow didn't read the shipping, however the price she offered us... 25$...  I can only imagine her shock when, upon offering 25$ for an 800$ dollar phone, she comes to realize that these people do not want to subsidize her iPhone 4 purchase... Shame on us!

This was when we guessed that ehhhh it probably wasn't going to sell.

Now this was our favorite message of all...

How dare us people offer a product at a price that she didn't like!?  You would think that we killed someone with the amount of outrage in that message.

After reading the news with much hope that soon came crashing down. We learned that the iPhone was not going to sell out anytime soon, so we removed the auction and returned the phone.  We lost 35$, but that hasn’t’ been the stupidest investment we’ve ever made.  We did gain enormous amounts of entertainment from the trolls.  Hey it's worth something isn't it?

UPDATE:  Apparently Silviu still has the phone so if anybody wants to pay 1399.99 for a brand new Verizon iPhone 4 before 2/17/11 feel free to send me a shout and I will hook you up.

UPDATE 2/24 Apparently my image was unacceptable so that is why you are seeing that big red circle with a slash through it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Honest To God Copper

About a year ago my bud Silviu got a job with the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). This really turned him on (haha) to the importance of copper to the electrical field and industry in general. He has always been interested in numismatics. So when we combine his newfound understanding for the importance of copper with his love for coins and combine this with his natural dragon hoarding instincts what do we get? Genius. Doing some research on his silver collection one day he comes across A very useful website to determine the amount of value of the metal in our coins. Now being the bright man that he is. He takes a gander at their page and spots something interesting. The price of copper in a penny from 1982 and prior is 3 around 3 cents. Thats a 300% return on your investment. Not too many investments can match that return. Now we are guaranteed to always get at least .01 for our penny's, or at least we will have slightly bigger problems on our hands than valueless penny's if the SHTF. So combining the instant 300% return with the inherent stability with money issued by our government what do we have here? Opportunity. What does Silviu do when his dragon senses are tingling? He tells his best friend Jake about it thats what. What was my response? Skepticism. At first this sounded like another somewhat farfetched plan. After days of nagging conversations and phone calls, carefully substantiated by some independent research, I agreed that he was a genius. What follows is our adventures in penny hoarding. We first did some web searching and came up with some good sites like It seems that there are quite a few people doing this already. Real cent is a great resource for this topic. What we found in our internet wanderings is that there are a few ways to go about this. So as to ease ourselves into it we decided to hand sort. Off to the bank we go! We went to two different banks locally. Community Bank and Trust and Wells Fargo. We both had agreed beforehand to buy 25$ worth of pennies a piece. I also decided to buy some Kennedy halves, but thats different story for a different day. Silviu went to CBT and I went to Wells Fargo. We eagerly rushed home with our boxes in hand and our dragon senses tingling! We quickly donned our gloves and got to sorting. My method was to open the rolls one at a time and sort that roll individually by sliding it into the corners of a plastic container. When I was done with the roll I put the coppers, zincs, and Wheaties into their own ziplock bags. I had read that the usual percentage of coppers to zinc pennies is somewhere between 20-30% depending on the quality of the batch you get and then This quickly became apparent in my box. What quickly became apparent in Silviu's box was... that he got lucky. Out of the entire box of 25$ he got something like .49 in zincs and the rest coppers and wheaties. This resulted in much gloating over the next few hours. My results were much less impressive. I came in with 8.66 lb of post 82's, .44 lb of wheaties, and 3.20 lb of 82's and priors. These results really got the dragon inside of us rumbling. We soon found ourselves addicted to sorting pennies. What do guys like us do when we get addicted to something? Spend 550$ on a piece of machinery, thats what! Thats worthy of a write up all by itself though. All in all we concluded that hand sorting is way too much work for too little return. Stay tuned for our solution next time.