Category Archives: Money

10 simple ways to save money in tough times, #2 Use Coupons More

#2 Use Coupons More

For many things in life a coupon can be a great way to save a lot of money.  Grocery store coupons are usually small and not really worth it but there are plenty of big ticket coupons that save huge amounts of money, and these coupons can often be used with price matching to make for stellar results.  In this economy many businesses offer coupons and many of these coupons are just begging for you to come in the door.

20off100My favorite coupons are the ones where you spend a set amount at a store and then receive a dollar amount off.  Even better is when you can simply print these as you like.  For example the other day Cabela’s sent me a coupon for $20 off of a $100 purchase.  It was a coupon that could basically be printed as many times as you like.  The key to these coupons is to first price match, to get the best deal, or buy the things that are really on sale to start out with.  I bought Ammo, they had a great deal on it and they had it in stock which is rare, add that with $20 off makes the best ammo deal.  Staples, and OfficeMax also send them out via email, sometimes even $20 off a $50 purchase.  I also get them in the mail from time to time.  And when you don’t have one you can often use Google to find a valid one online.  I often thought about how easy it would be to print out 100 of these and sell them to people who are ready to check out for half of the face value, what an easy way to make money.  The key to the best deals is to always sign up for their free email newsletters.  GoDaddy has so many good coupons that I never buy from them unless I use one.

The next coupons that I love are the restaurant ones.  Many restaurants want you to visit them, at least once, so they give away coupons.  Many are buy-one-get-one-free.  You simply go there, order two entries and only pay for one.  My favorite of these is a small burrito restaurant near my house called Moe’s.  It is nice and upscale, and they send me at least 4 coupons each month in various publications, on top of that the food and environment is awesome.  It gets even better, I can go online to the Az Clipper website, find their coupon and print as many out as I like, and they NEVER expire.  So awesome!

I receive a ton of great coupons in the mail, this is where I get most of the good restaurant deals.   But there is much more than just restaurants that do this, there are dentists, auto repair shops, car washes and much much more that will let you bring a coupon and get a huge discount.

Almost every publication that sends out print coupons also has a website where you can download and print unlimited coupons for free.  Az Clipper is one of the best, but it is only in Arizona.  SavvyShopper is another good publication with national reach, their coupons are located at couponclipper.com.   Money Mailer and ValPak are national companies that send out lots of coupons in one envelope, and you can search and print all the coupons.  You can even do this for areas you don’t live in, great for traveling!

Another interesting site that I like is called 8coupons.  Basically they gather up all the deals they can find, including online circulars and post them in one place.  You video a map of your location and click on the deals to see what is there.  It does not have all of the best local deals but has many of the national chain and online deals.  It also has ton’s of really dumb things like listing dollar menu items from McDonalds or Burger King as a deal alert, those are the prices everyday with no coupon needed.

For the person who eats out a lot these links and ideas can really save you a ton of money.  I know more than one person who does not even buy much food for their home, they eat out almost every meal because it just is cheaper.  It also saves me money on oil changes, car washes, bowling and much more.

Thanks for reading please click a link below to see the other 9 ways to save money in tough times…

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10 simple ways to save money in tough times, #1 Price Match

Almost everyone I know right now is concerned about ways to save money and I have had many people ask me about ways to help them to save money.   So I decided to write a list of 10 ways that I use to save money, these work well and help me live better for less.

Of course saving money is only part of the formula to making ends meet, earning more money and investing your money correctly are also two major parts.   I think that everyone should have a reserve equal to at least a few months of expenses…more on all of this in my other blog entries.

So here are 10 ways that I know that can really help your budget, help you save, and help you get ahead in the world.  On some of these I will tell you exactly who I do business with, most of them are local so if you don’t live in Arizona than you are out of luck.  This may be a bit long so I am going to post it as 10 separate entries.  Please read them all, Even if you only do a few of these things it could really help.

1.    Price match all your purchases.

Many companies out there are very willing to price match.  Most people know about this but very few ever use it.  Basically most stores buy from the same supply chain and have basically the same cost so when one store has a huge sale, even if they sell it at or near cost the other stores are still happy to have the business.  So all you need to do is find the best deal on an item that you want to buy, and then show proof of that deal to the store you actually plan to buy the item at.  This lets you get the best deal, but still buy from the store that gives you better service and quality.

If you have an android based smart phone you can use ShopSavvy, a free program that will scan the barcode of the items you plan to buy and show you the best deal, locally or online.  If the local deal is better than what you are paying now simply show the phone as the cash register and you will get the lower price, it has worked every time I have tried it.  If the online price is much lower then forgo the purchase for now and get it online because most stores don’t pricematch online ads. I know that other apps for other phones also exist.  But the best deals are usually found the old fashioned way, by checking your mail and getting the newspaper ads.

For me the BEST result that I have when I go to Wal-Mart and get groceries.  For many households groceries is one of their main expenses other than housing and taxes.  The grocery business is highly competitive.  Companies also do things where they have loss leaders, this is an item that “leads” their advertisement, and it is usually such a good deal that they are actually selling it at a loss.  They figure that people will buy these few items from them and stay to shop for the rest of their weekly grocery needs.  Here in Phoenix, there are at least 8 grocery stores that mail out weekly flyers.   So I just put these in a stack and take it with me when I go to Wal-Mart.  They all seem to take effect on Wednesdays, so that is when I shop.  So just follow a few simple rules and let the savings begin.  The item does not always need to be exact, just similar.  There is a grocery store called “Ranch Market” here in Phoenix.  Shopping there is terrible, they are messy, noisy, smelly and the food is not so fresh, but they have great advertised prices, often they are 1/5 the price of other places.  So I don’t shop there, I just take their ads to walmart, less than 200 yards from my house and get their higher quality and cleanlness for the ultra low price.  Today I bought over $20 in fruits and veggies and paid only $6.42.    I went on to price match doritos, sour cream and 5 other things for a total savings of over $30, while paying only $24.  That is a savings of over 50%.  Combine this with stocking up and you have a great way to save lots of money on food.

Price matching also allows you to buy things that are out of stock at the original company.  The other day one store did 32oz Gatorade for only 40 cents, a very good price, the problem is that they were out of stock after the second day, and they had a limit of only 5 per person.  Not a problem at Wal-Mart, they had plenty in stock and did not care about the limit.  It does not really go bad, so I bought enough for a 6 month supply.  At thanksgiving they did the same thing with 12-pack coke products, just $1.25.  I still have 30 unopened a month later.

On top of price matching you can use coupons, but personally I found that most coupons are not worth the time they take.  For me price matching is very simple.  I usually don’t prepare much, I don’t even look at the ads until I am at the Wal-mart, and then I only buy things that are on sale.  And I stock up on items that are on a huge sale. By doing these things I have found that I am able to save over 50% off of my grocery bill on average.  That comes down to $200 or more per month.

Thanks for reading please click a link below to see the other 9 ways to save money in tough times…

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Media promotes Christmas Club plans…idiots!

Once again we see how easy it is for corporate America to control the media with ease.  This time it is Sears/Kmart and their new Christmas club.  Today I was watching the local news, something I try to avoid, and they had a 2 minute story on this subject.  Basically here is the deal, you “save” your money by buying a gift card for Sears/Kmart and they are so nice that they will give you a 3% bonus.

It does not really mention that you MUST now spend all of that money only with Sears/Kmart and their sister companies.  They promoted it with multiple interviews and such with no opinion other than “DO IT NOW, or else you are stupid”  But to me I see this as a very dumb gimic, and worse it could harm people by locking them into buying from these companies.  They don’t price match here, and they don’t give refunds from the money “saved” in this account, so if there is a better price somewhere else you are stuck.  If you need your money for an emergency you are stuck.  If you lose the card you are stuck, if you forget about it they keep the extra money and you are stuck.

Now I don’t fault Sears/Kmart for doing this.  For them it makes money, and in these times they need to find every way to make money, heck if I was them I would be loving this program, they get to borrow millions of dollars just when they need it, and they get locked in customers allowing them to predict their holiday sales with ease.  On top of that they get all of this nice media attention.  Totally brilliant on their part.

I DO fault the local media, trying to fill their “News” broadcast with junk like this, with no couterpoint, and promoting it as the sencable thing to do.  They were saying that this card was better than using a back, due to the 3% bonus.   I also did a quick google search and found ton’s of blogs jumping on the band wagon.   Totally crazy.

It would be better to just put cash in a piggy bank and wait for Christmas, or even sock it away in some sort of Auto Savings plan at your local bank.  You need to keep your money free, free to be spent where you can get the best deal, and free to be used when you need it.

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I am so excited about this…

For over 5 years I have always wanted to be more involved in investing in real estate.  I have helped out many people with their investing, but the amount of investing that I have done for myself was not enough.  Sure I bought a few properties but nothing that was a turnkey money making solution….well that is UNTIL NOW.

Over the last few months I have spent countless hours educating myself, working on my connections, and working on a new website for Capital Active.  Well it is done now.  I have a functional site up and running.  But the REAL work was done finding and securing assignments on over 30 awesome wholesale deals.  You heard me right, you can now click HERE and find over 30, way below fair market value properties that you can invest in or simply buy for your own use!!!  This has me really excited.  It was a lot of work but it is worth it.

On top of having all of these great deals, I also have lined up people to help home buyers buy these homes, and if you are an investor we can help you find a tenant.

The readers of this blog will have the FIRST shot at buying these houses from me.  If you are interested in any of these please contact me ASAP, I hope these will go fast, they should because they are killer deals.

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The truth about Millionaires.

Everyone wants to be a millionaire.  I always had it as a goal, a first step.  First I wanted to do it by the time I was 25, then I set it for 30.  Now I have a goal of doing it while I am 35.  But this time I have a firm plan to get there.

First off most people think that if you are one you will be set for life.  In many cases that is correct, but in most cases it took risk to get the million and most people who have it take those same risks and lose it.  There are ways to earn without too much risk, but mostly that is very slow.  Other people simply go crazy, they get the money too easily and spend it all.  Over 80% of lottery winners have a negative net worth just 5 years after they win.  They get this huge lifestyle, and then spend spend spend, and when the money runs out they borrow like crazy.

I personally know a lot of millionaires.  I don’t know of any who made the money trading time for money or having a job.  I know a few who won it, but the VAST majority worked hard, ran a business and invested the profits.  Some are in farming, some are in insurance, other have a business in one form or another but most are in real estate.  And all of the millionaires that I have asked about this invest heavily in real estate.  Time and time I hear that no matter how you make your millions that real estate is the best place to store the money.  Another common factor among those that have made and kept millions is that they live WAY below what you expect.  They drive older cars, they don’t shop at the fancy shops.  Most of them live on less than 60k per year.  That is still 5,000 per month.  While they were making their money they lived on much less.  Those people you see shopping at all the ritzy malls and spending thousands of dollars are usually people who earn a lot, and spend even more and have a negative net worth.

So what does it take to have a net worth over a million dollars.  I define it as all assets, at the price you could sell it for today minus all debt.  It is hard to value a business so I usually set that as valued as 8 times last years earnings as long as you project those earnings to go on.  Using that measure I actually was a millionaire once during the years that my business was really profitable, but I could not project that computers would become a commodity and that my business would start to lose money at huge rates until I was in the hole.

Also you can only grow your net worth from your personal profits each month.  If you have $3,000 in monthly expenses you need to deduct that from your income before you see if you have enough.  For me I have about $3,000 that I must spend each month to stay current.  About half of that is servicing debt, and could be gone if the interest rates were not so low.  If I am starting with a net worth of zero and I want to be a millionaire in 2 years I need to pack away about $42k per MONTH.  That is a crazy number, and that is why people with jobs don’t hit it.  Even if you had 8% interest on your side and you wanted to do it in 10 long years you would need to save over $7,000 per MONTH.  This is why less than 1% of the people are millionaires.  Even if you earned $120k per year and spent only $3k per month it would take you 10 years of constant effort.  The biggest problem is that when you earn that much, you usually hang out with other people who earn that much, and they start talking about their new cars, second homes and their vacations, and you feel “less than” for living on such a meager $3k per month and you can not maintain it.  It is like a bucket with a ton of holes in it, the more water you pour in the faster the holes take it out, and it never really gets full.  So the answer is clearly not a job, even a high paying one.  You have the limit of how much you can earn because of who you work for and with.  So a business is really the only answer, but to have a good business you need to be as good or better than all of the other businesses out there, or you need to have an idea that really sets you apart.  If you have a really great idea that can duplicate all over the world you can even become an instant billionaire.  This is what they folks at YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have done.  The first ones cashed out when the company was only 7 months old.  The second two have yet to cash out, though twitter just sold 2% of the company for $200 million, making the company worth over $10 billion.  But it is hard to come up with such an idea, most usually stumble upon it early.

So now we all have an up hill battle to climb.  So if you want to be a millionaire in 2 years from today you need to come up with an idea that makes you $50k per month on a constant basis.  Or if you want to build and sell a business you need make one that earns $125k-$150k next year, and that number is AFTER your take from the company because the company will need your or someone like you after you sell it.  The way you design a million dollar company is much different than the way you design a company that just pays your bills.

When you are looking for a large net worth you need to keep in mind the laws of large numbers.  One of the easiest ways to get there is to sell a product over and over.  Even if you only make $10 each time you do it, that means that you need to sell 100,000 items.  So plan your business accordingly.  If you need to sell 100,000 items that means that about only one out of every 1,000 households needs to buy your product.  Depending on your product that may mean that only 1% of the population even needs to know about your product.  But to even get 1% penetration may be a hard thing to do.  But one good viral video could do it for you, or one good endorsement.  Thousands have made it rich this way.

You can also get there by helping others reach for their dreams.  Imagine if you could help people earn a living and you got a cut of what they did.  For me this was always by hiring sales people.  I basically would set their wages to where they would get 40% of the profits that they generated.  I would pay for their phone, a place for them to work, I would help them close deals and I would design the products that they sold, I would even pay for them to have a base salary in case sales were slow that week.  The more successful they would be the more successful I would be.  If I have 3 or even 4 of these people it would keep me busy.  Imagine if I had 30 or 40, and if they averaged making $2000 for themselves per month, that means that each one would make me $3000 per month.  That alone is a million in a year!  Becoming a millionaire is REALLY a team sport.  I don’t know anyone who has worked to get a million who did not have a team behind them.  Most people I know help out people all of the time because the more people they help the more they make in the long run.

If you want to make it rich selling something, or helping other people get rich you need a system to manage the entire thing.  A system is really the key.  The good part is with a little math you can start to think about the system now, you can design the system now that will take you to the millions you want to have.  A good system with the right principles will take you there.  Run a simulation on your system, if it does average will it get you to where you want to be, is your system too small?  Is your system too hopeful, does it require that something unknown will happen to catapult you into your success, if that is the case it probably will not happen.  You can’t predict such things.

I really hope this helps you put your dreams in perspective.  And I hope you start to think how duplicating a successful system will get you there.  You need to focus on people, you need to focus on results.  Your plan must have the muscle to get you to your goals.

When you get your millions remember the little guys, remember to give back.  Millionaires are some of the nicest, most humble and most generous people I know.  Most millionaires are not they greedy people the movies and media make them out to be.  They usually are very humble because they know that peopled helped them along the way, and that being nice to people and helping others is the key to their success.  They feel lucky that they made it.

As always, please subscribe, and if you liked this blog please comment, I read them all personally.

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Is phoenix real estate turning into a sellers market!?!?

Well the stats are rather convincing.  Look HERE for all of the stats. For houses priced under $175k there is very little inventory and prices are going up.   WOW, this makes me feel much better.  What is most awesome about this is that most sellers still don’t know, so there are plenty of really good deals out there. 

I want to make my money in real estate and I see that the time is getting short.  I spent over 10 hours today working on my real estate business.  Tomorrow I plan to do at least 8 hours.

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Do you respect your money?

The other day Adrian posted a great blog entry that really got me thinking.  His idea is that the number one most important lesson to be learned by people who want to be rich or be better off is not delayed gratification, not saving, and not any of those other things that all the books tell you.  Instead it is the concept of actually respecting your money.

moneyPlease read his blog, it is good, but I want to take it even farther.  I think that you respect for money is based mostly on what you learned from your parents.  When I say respect I mean that you value money, you value the stuff that you own that you bought with your money.  I have found that most rich people I know have a deep respect for money.  Some of the richest people I know watch where they spend.  They almost never throw anything away, they will have a sale first.  This is not being frugal, these people will invest in very expensive quality items that will give them long term enjoyment and even have a residual value.  They will buy things, but when they do they make sure that they get the best value.  They also think long term, and they look at the total cost of something, including the financing cost.

For years I have been in retail sales, owning my own computer company.  I have always had the hardest negotiation with those that were rich.  They would fight for every dollar to get the best deal, and I would give it to them.  But the people who could barely afford my services would never ask for a discount.  I have had friends who are always out of money, but they would ask me to go out to a restaurant with me and they would spend 2-3 times as much as I did.  I value my money, so I look for the best value when I spend it, at a restaurant that means usually having a coupon and usually I order one large item that will fill me up.  But most people order a smaller item, then the add on the salad, an appetizer and then if that is still not enough they add on dessert.  This same guy also had his car break down, it was going to be 400 to fix it, so he decided that it was time to get a newer car.  He found a car that was worth about $7000 and he bought it from a dealership that caters to people like him, he paid over $11,000 after he traded in his old one, and he agreed to 24% interest.  He did not need this car now, and I had connections he could had used to get it much cheaper BUT he needed it THAT DAY, he could not wait, and he paid the price for it.

Needing gratification now is the KEY that keeps most poor people poor.  Companies know this.  Car dealerships are told to get people to fall in love with the car then tell them that they need to buy it now to get that one.  One of the most profitable segments in our economy right now are the rent to own stores, just pay a bit now and you can take these new items home.  The typical price is about 350% the price you would pay if you just bought it at walmart today.

But the other most common trend among these people is that they never would think of starting their own business.  They usually don’t think about selling their old stuff, they simply give it away.  A friend of mine is in charge of cleaning up houses after they give their keys to the bank, and it is astounding how much stuff of great value they leave behind.  They leave furniture, toys, TV’s, computers, clothes lighting, and boxes and boxes of stuff.  Why did they not sell this stuff, and pay their mortgage…we will never know.

People that respect and value their money are able to live much much longer with out money.  A lot of people who own businesses now are also hurting, they have lost their business, they have lost their credit, yet almost all of them that I know are doing quite well, they manage to find money to pay the bills each month, they sell things, they dabble in freelancing for other companies, they do consulting, but the bottom line is that they do what they need to to keep afloat.  Then I know other people, who have never had that drive, and they sit at home all day playing video games, and they do nothing other than look for handouts.

This fundimental view of money does a lot more than effect our personal lives, it also shapes our nation.  Because the rich and poor spend money so differently they often scratch their head when they look at eachother.  When I had a lot of money, yet I would still buy things on sale, and I drove a modest SUV and such, many people wondered why I did not spend more, why I was also so “cheap”, it was not logical to them.  And then I look at them, and how much they spend when they have nothing and I can’t understand it, it is not logical to me.

To me and others the most frustrating part of people not respecting money is when it is your money that they are not respecting.  At this time our governments are spending money at record levels, our money, and they are doing it with very little respect.  They give money away, they waste money all over the place.  Right now they are spending our kids money, but soon they will start spending ours.  The plan to start taxing energy soon, and many other things.

So think about how much you respect you money.  I would love to hear what you think, please leave a comment.

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Is this the end of the credit markets again?

The world as we know it is over, unless something drastic happens in the next 24 hours or so.  For the entire history of our nation business has been the engine that has spurned our growth.  And the engine of big business has been the ability to raise and borrow money.  This has been done by selling bonds, basically chunks of debt.

This is how corporations work.  A corporation is a business owned by the stockholders.  Most companies sell stock to raise money to start out with, this is called an IPO.  But after a while if you keep selling stock you dilute the amount that each person owns.  It is basically like taking on more and more partners in your company, meaning you own less, and you control less, and these partners share in the profits.  So most companies find it much cheaper to borrow money by selling bonds.  These stakeholders do not share in the profits or any upside in the company, but they also are the last to be hurt by and failure in the business.  As the business operates they also accumulate other debts, to vendors and to employees.  If a company fails it is just like a small business that fails.  The owner equity is wiped out first, the assets are sold and the bond holders get paid first and in full, and then if there is any money left over the other debts are paid.  Only after all of this is paid does the owner get anything.

In the history of large American business many companies have gone bankrupt, and it has always worked this way.  Almost every time the stock is wiped out.  Some companies survive by getting bought out, others simply restructure and are able to get out with little pain.  But here is the big change.  In recent times the government has gotten involved in being the largest bond holder of many companies, but the government does not look our for the best interest of US the tax payers, they don’t mind taking a loss.

Supreme Court ChryslerSee a few weeks ago Chrysler declared bankruptcy, and their stock was wiped out.  The company basically had three large creditors; The Government, the Union for future pension and health insurance payment, and the bond holders.  Lucky for Chrysler they found a buyer in Fiat for 35% of their restructured company, the problem is that this buyer is only willing to pay much less than what the company actually owes.  The Government is not really looking to get their money back so they are willing to take a major loss, the problem is that the Government used TARP money to invest in Chrysler and that was illegal, but that is a mute point now, they are just rolling over.  But the problem is that the Government and Obama have decided that the BULK of the money should go to the Union, heck Unions are the ones that put democrats in office.  So the Government decided to write the plan in such a way to pay only 29% of debt owed on the 42.5 million of debt of the bond holders, the people who should be first in line.  While the unions are getting 55% ownership in the new company, and the federal government is getting 10%.  A group of the bond holders spoke up and rightly said that they were not being treated right, that they should be first in line, not last.  The one Justice of the Supreme Court of the US saw it this way also and decided to stop the sale to Fiat under this current plan.   A huge amount of pressure came from the White House to allow the Fiat sale to go on, and the Court caved today and let it go on.

Now what this does is it creates a terrible precedent in US law that bond holders are no longer first.  This means that the people who invest get in bonds get none of the upside and much more of the downside risk, all for very little return.  This move will freeze the bond markets even more, in a time that we need them very much.  This also sets up the precedent for when GM finally gets done with their restructure.  The correct thing to do would be to wipe out the Unions.  These unions are the root cause for the failure of these companies.  Line workers start at more than $70 per hour in pay and benefits, many with tenure make well over $100 per hour.  And then they retire with a huge pension and a huge health care bill.   With such a high labor cost the average vehicle made by GM had over $7,000 in labor cost.  Newer, non-union plants owned by Nissan, Toyota and such have average labor costs per vehicle under $1,500.   So if GM wanted to make a vehicle for a cost of $20k (Sales price much higher), they would have much less money to work with to buy materials and make profits, in fact they have not made profits for many years, and now pay thousands per vehicle to cover their debt.  So if you spend only half that as your competition on the parts going into your product then your product can not be as good for the same price.  So during the 80’s and 90’s they just built a lower quality car, and recently they started building a much higher quality car, but at a much higher price.  In both situations it caused a steady march of customers away from these companies, and a vast loss in market share, making it even harder to do business.  The unions were like a boa constrictor, killing the company by squeezing tighter and tighter, but the Obama plan for GM is to give the unions over 90% of what they were promised, and they have taken no real concessions, not even a payout.  While the Government is willing to take only 60% of what GM owes the tax payers, and what about the bond holders.  Well they are going to get somewhere between 19% and 29% of what they are owed.  This is crazy really.  But this is payback to the unions for supporting the democrats, and a step into the much more socialist America that we find ourselves in.
If secured creditors keep loosing their rights then our capital markets will simply fall apart.  I was getting hopeful about our economy recently but this will really put a crimp on things.  It also does that help that the federal government needs to issue over $100 billion in bonds each month just to stay afloat with all the spending that is going on.  How much longer will people keep trusting in these bonds, when you see interest rates start to go up you will know that the trust is fading, and when that happens there will be even more trouble for us.

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Theft by technology.

For years now my printer of choice has always been a laser printer.  I like the faster speed, more quiet printing and the quality of the output.   The drawback of any printer is that it needs to use ink or toner.  Companies know that you need it, and they also know that they can make a cartrage that works perfect stop working by design.  Designing a way to make something stop working is one of my most hated things in the world.

HP is by far the worst offender at this.  They design their printers to count the pages, and then stop working when they reach a specific number and force you to buy more ink, even if your cartage works perfect they make it stop working by putting a chip on it that tells the printer that is has printed enough pages, even if it is still half full.  This makes is almost impossible to refill or even recycle the cartridges, they simply need a new chip that can only be had from HP.  Lexmark recently sued a company that made chips that worked with their printers.    In Europe these chips are ILLEGAL, because it blocks recycling.

For this reason I have avoided all HP printers for many years.  So I have this trusty brother printer.  It was a really good deal and prints fast and with high quality, but today it stopped working.  It flashed the toner light, and said toner low.  I was just finished with a print job and it worked perfect, nice and perfect then all of a sudden it stopped.  I had to print something really important so I kept turning off and on the printer, I even took out the toner a few times and it would power up and do a test then say flash the toner light.  After I while I decided to search the web and after a ton of research I found that other people were able to fix this.

brother-hl-2140-toner
How brother steals your money

It is so simple.  Look at the photo, in the center there is a hole, the printer shines a light into this hole, it bounces off of a mirror on the other side and then a detector will tell you the toner is bad if it sees light.  But as you can tell the whole is rather high up.  So you could have toner for 100’s more pages left in there.  So I simply took a black sticker, folded it up and blocked the whole, and guess what, my printer prints perfect now!

I know that they are out there to make a buck, they don’t make money on the printer, but they sell the toner cartridges for WAY too much money to compensate.  They design them to fail and this makes them last much less.   This makes the cartridge cost more, due to the added complexity of the mirror and lens.  It makes the printer cost more to make.  It even makes them put more in the landfills.  But it lets them sell many more cartridges.  At least brother is easier to fool than HP.

If you are reading this because you have the same problem I know this will help.  I would ask that you let me know that this helped you by posting a reply, it is easy and free.

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The Cart is up and running, will this be a new era for Emerald Computers?

After over 100 hours of my time and many more time from others, I finally have the cart that I always wanted for Emerald Computers.  It works perfect, it allows people to custom design their own computer system, it is easy to modify, it is easy to update.  Of course this is not the end of development.  I will be updating and adding new products as the market changes, I will also add much more data about each product in the coming weeks.

This cart software is one of the most advanced cart programs that exists today for anywhere under $10,000.  It does all of the advanced tricks that the huge companies do, like cross selling, up selling, layered navigation, full CMS support so you can have many skins and change in an instant.  It has bread crumb navigation also, user accounts with total control of access, tier pricing, built in SEO urls, client feedback system, cloud tag programs, and a hundred other cool features.  I am really glad that I decided to get this software, it totally rocks my world.

Everything us up and live RIGHT NOW, and I am letting the readers of my blog be some of the first people to view it.  Soon I will be linking it in with my main website. If you want to check it out and tell me what you think then CLICK HERE.

On a business note, I am really thinking that this will revitalize my company, and allow me to reach my goals in much less time than I thought before.  Wish me luck.

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