Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Five Dollar Store

I don't quite recall when I first noticed the infiltration of Dollar Stores into our town but they did serve at least a few purposes. First, for it looked like a way for unsold, poor quality merchandise to be shuffled off into our consumer society. Second, stores like this probably help liquidate inventories that didn't sell somewhere else. It's also a way for consumers to get goods cheap.

After visiting a few Dollar Stores, or stores of their ilk since that's a brand and not just a nickname, my guess is that they're really a channel for foreign manufacturers to bring goods to the U.S. which fall below the Wal-Mart standard, which we already know is not exactly Abercrombie & Fitch.

The online equivalent of all this mass movement of merchandise is Ebay, with right alongside in terms of volume and low prices. But what about services? Where do you find cheap services?


Like the Dollar Store you'll find some interesting things just down the aisle from strange or unusual ones. Unlike the Dollar Store, these are entrepreneurs showcasing services, many of them ordinary folk willing to do almost anything for a buck, or rather five bucks.

okay4me says "I will proofread any document up to 5 pages double-spaced for $5."

The turnaround time is 3 days, which seems reasonable. "As a former freelance proofreader, I will proofread your document for grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and general format. Content will not be changed, but suggestions to improve readability may be offered if requested. Most gigs will be completed within 24 business hours. G- or PG-rated only, please."

zparedes offers this service: "I will have my puppet sing Happy Birthday to you on Youtube for $5."

haleylujah offers to fulfill this caper: "I will dance to an entire song of your choice in a hot dog costume for $5."

mgatlin, a former employee of Live Wires Singing Telegrams, states, "I will give your person a Happy Birthday Singing Telegram set to the William Tell Overture over the phone for $5."

And if you're in a troubled relationship, they have relationship counsellors like roatanbruce standing ready as well. "I will answer a relationship question for $5." He's been a relationship coach since 1993, and maybe you don't know where to turn where your privacy can be assured.

Going on a trip to the Big Apple? midipitti will plan an "entire day of Awesome for you in New York City for $5." Pretty reasonable.

gracegoo almost got me to fork over a fiver with this one: "I will turn your photo into a great unique Lego Character! for $5"

If you fail to find what you are looking for, you can also request gigs as well. Socomedia is looking for someone who will convert VOB files into MOV or MVB. For five dollars, naturally. Becky100 is looking for people who will Like her page in Facebook, for five dollars.

Maybe all this is just old news to you. At the bottom of the page they indicate that they've already been seen on TechCrunch, Smart Money, Yahoo Finance, FOX News and more. I got the inside skinny by reading a short piece in Wired.

Even if you don't play, it's worth visiting the site for sheer entertainment value. And some of there folks are actually doing business. Here's the link.

I will paint your face inside a broken cell phone for $5. (See example at top of page.)
For details as to where to send the broken cell and how to pay, leave a comment or send email to ennyman at
In the meantime, have a great day.
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