Saturday, January 5, 2008

Two ways to make money for old rope

If you want to make lots of money and you are retailer, there is one easy way to do it. Sell Gift vouchers. It is estimated by the BBC that £225 million worth of gift vouchers are not redeemed every year. There are just left lying in drawers. So the retailers make £225 million just for creating some card and giving it to an eager present-giver. In addition they make about £13 million in interest on the money paid for the vouchers which they bank during the hiatus between purchase and redemption.

Another way to make money for nothing is to set up a gym and wait for January. Gripped by guilt, about 4 million people sign up for a gym after the festive season, paying a down payment or setting up a standing order to the gym. The average gym membership cost is £33 a month and most gyms ask for a month or so's fee as a down payment when you join up.

Research has shown that only a quarter of those 4 million, who sign up and pay, will go to the gym more than once a month. A trainer I spoke to recently said that a large number of people come to the gym to sign up and handover a cheque in January, but never darken the doors of the gym again.

So gyms get money from people who never use their facilities, plus from lots of people who hardly ever use their equipment and building.

Both of those sound like good capers, don't they?

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