Sunday, May 31, 2009

Companies Giving it all Away. Are They Crazy?...Or Crazy Like A Fox?

Friday's episode of the Tyra Banks show revealed some fascinating freebies as well as unconventional ways to make money in today's troubled economy. I watch her show often and it is often entertaining but she really outdid herself this time!

Among the guests featured were people who sold everything from plasma, to a kidney, to one woman who made about $1300 selling her hair!

In addition there were some people who frequented particular websites giving away various products for free; individuals who had won food, big screen TVs, and even lavish all expenses (or most expenses) paid trips, health, and beauty products, and there it was reported that some unusual networks of people allow strangers to trade houses with them while on vacation or stay a night or two with them at their house when they needed lodging when they couldn't afford a stay in a hotel.

One little known fact is that General Mills gives away not only coupons but free full-sized products they manufacture just for asking or signing up on their website.

Many companies are willing to literally give things away in order to gain new and devoted customers long-term. I've seen this among sellers on Etsy, but it doesn't seem to be quite as prevelent in commercial circles (or at least it's not widely publicized). Well, after Tyra's show I guess their cover is blown, LOL.

These companies probably factor into their marketing plan the number of people who just take one of something and never come back, but they figure losing a few items is worth what they'll gain in those who try their products and love them so much they decide to make something of theirs a regular household staple.

I know that I have stumbled upon much loved items this way myself. I have found a number of new favorites by sampling the local faire at Sam's Club via those little tables set up by people hired to hand out samples, and similarly at the Dekalb Farmer's Market in Atlanta. Just a few weeks ago I discovered a delicious new Onion Bread this way (and believe me, I plan on buying more when June comes around and I go back for more groceries!)

These types of arrangements in the long-term (although requiring a short-term sacrifice) do pay off. They are win/win situations.

Some might assume if it looks too good to be true then it probably is, but that can't be taken as a given or you're likely to miss out on some really wonderful opportunities!

Now, ironically, more than ever, retailers everywhere are willing to try new and riskier marketing ideas. The old standby's aren't always enough to increase one's market-share in an arena where everyone is starving to make a go of it and total resources are fewer.

Even computer manufacturers who haven't sacrificed much from year to year are now lowering prices, taking advantage of each holiday to run special deep discount promotions, and placing their trust in the market to scratch their back later like never before. Just a few months ago I didn't see anything decent for sale under around $900 in laptops, but now many are down around $500-$650, and store credit cards are extending all kinds of "same as cash deals" to entice customers to buy.

I turned on the TV today and noticed that the housing market is starting to do all kinds of creative marketing as well; reducing the required down-payments people are required to place, gated communities sponsoring new and luxurious amenities, and many developers are even lowering their total prices on newly-built homes.

Hotels are dropping their rates as well in hopes that people won't cut back on vacations this year, and websites like are becoming even more widely used by the traveling public.

I have not seen alot of deep discounts yet from wholesale jewelry suppliers, (but I suspect it's just a matter of time).

These were the websites recommended on the Tyra Banks show (and some suggested by posters on her forum who had personally tried them and found them to be legitimate and helpful. I've organized them and divided them into categories:

Free Stuff (or Get Paid)

Food and Clothing (pays people to shop or assess product display in stores) (Free Clothing) (Free health and Beauty Products) (Free stuff on your birthday) (Free food; will send you full sized products)

Medication (Free Medications)

Travel or Place To Stay

Financial Aid For School


Various Free Stuff

Sell Your Hair

After I took a look at the hairtrader site I decided this would be a fantastic way to raise some of the money I need to pay off Carmella's vet bill! Unlike giving plasma or selling a kidney, cutting your hair really has no risk involved and the great thing about it is that it grows back. I discovered that cutting the hair after you find a buyer brings the highest price.

Some buyers seem to want to cut the hair themselves. There seems to be two or three reasons for this that I can identify;

1) The fresher it is the better it works in creating a wig or hair extension

2) Some buyers may want this because if they cut it themselves they can be sure what they see in pictures is what they will get

3) There seem to be some buyers who want to cut the hair themselves because they have some sort of hair fetish (those are the ones you want to avoid). Some of them seem to want to shave the person's head too.

I don't think I would be comfortable with that, and besides you never know when dealing face to face with strangers whether you're going to meet up with somebody harmless or an axe murderer. With the recent serial murder case which took place on Craig's List you can never be too careful. I think I will opt for the shipping option with hair cut at a salon or by myself just to be safe. There are some buyers who have above-board reasons for buying the hair and are still willing to pay high prices.

Right now I have about a foot of harvestable hair but the ones who usually command the highest prices have longer hair than that. I was amazed to see that there were some women who had grown their hair to two feet or more!

I don't think I want to wait that long to sell mine, but maybe a few months more growth will get it into the range at which I can reasonably expect more than $1,000.

The fact that I have a large percentage of both Native American (Iroquois) and Hawaiian in me will also be to my advantage. There is a woman with one of the Iroquoian Nation tribes in her lineage who sold hers within days, and a guy (I think the buyer) left a question for her asking where he could get more Native American type hair, so I know that it is sought-after.

Doing this could have all kinds of side-benefits as well; possibly increase the customer-base to my Etsy stores, raise awareness even more to the Distemper cure cause, and who knows, it might also end up helping Carmella in ways I don't even imagine right now!

Sales (though most of them small) have started to become more frequent in both my finished jewelry and supply Etsy stores since I've been listing more items in my supply store lately. Things are looking up. I hope this will continue to increase.

This Southwestern Cross necklace and earring set is my latest.

The set has been wire-wrapped with fine silver wire, Southwestern Sterling silver beads, red coral, tiny hematite beads, and has a nice weighty sterling chain. It's available now on Etsy.

Keep the donations coming for Carmella. She needs all the help she can get. We won't be out of the woods financially until this bill has been reduced quite a bit more.

I think finally her expenses are slowing down. Her mange is alot better than even at my last writing. You can see that the sides of her face around her whiskers have healed very well and most of the fur has grown back there.

However she still has the look of buckshot on her flank (one side more than the other).
I sure hope the hair follicles are not destroyed in that area and that this too will heal and the fur will grow back.

She has been full of energy over the weekend and even chewed some wood in the kitchen. I have not been able to locate where it came from, but I came home from running some errands to find splinters scattered all over the floor and Carmella with a guilty look on her face. Now that she is free of much of the previous immune system stuff I have been taking her for walks in the neighborhood. Sometimes it is me who hasn't felt up to it.

Now I can attend to some of my own health problems and gradually make headway on some of the consults that have been on the back burner. I have an appointment with an ENT for mid June to look into the status of my bone loss and assess whether or not there is still any active infection before going ahead with bone regeneration. Then there is the Dermatologist appointment.

Meanwhile the marketing for both shops continues, and the making of new pieces of jewelry, as does my work with the Canine Distemper cause.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Distemper Cure Successes-Latest News!

On Monday, March 9, 2009 a 4 month-old puppy in Texas by the name of Maya with severe abdominal spasms was treated in both body and CNS and came through it successfully!

As of March 28, 2009 these 2 dogs were treated by another vet in Texas with Newcastle Disease Vaccine (NDV) in both body and Central Nervous System;

A little dachshund was in what is considered "end stage" Distemper. He was showing the characteristic "chewing gum" seizures for months, yet was still able to be saved! This is another great example showing that it's never too late.

Next, on Monday, May 11, 2009 a 5-month-old Border Collie mix named Hunter from California traveled with her owner to Texas and received the life-saving treatment in both body and CNS. Her nose started softening within about 24 hrs, and amazingly her pneumonia disappeared fairly soon after both injections. This sudden resolution of the pneumonia rarely happens without Baytril and Pennecillin G administered over a 7-day period, and the result implies that the NDV might cause an overall immune system improvement in some dogs! The owner was elated and had this to say:

"There is a huge group of people in LA who are mostly pet rescuers and they can't wait to see the results. They have been emailing me all day in the last 5 days."

Then on Monday, May 18, 2009 Dr. Muller here in Atlanta treated another dog, Sammy, a mixed-breed terrier of about 1 year in age who traveled by air from Florida. The body treatment and the CSF procedure were done back to back, as this dog had had a turn for the worse in the days preceding their arrival. I met with the couple while they were here in Atlanta and am happy to hear he is doing well. Sammy had reached the "chewing gum" stage and was starting to progress to Grand Mal seizures before he got treatment. His owners were greatly relieved when Dr. Muller stepped up to the plate. Their dog now has a chance at a normal life!


The success of the above 5 dogs combined with those previously treated is beginning to gain the trust of more vets. In all there are 9 or 10 dogs to date who have been treated in both body and CNS with Dr. Sears' treatment and are doing well.

In Texas the very first donor dog created 60ccs of serum! His cytokines will help sick dogs beat this deadly disease.

Next, a beautiful yellow Labrador whose former owner gave him up was taken in by the small rescue operation owned by the family who had the Dachshund and the Boston Terrier, treated by their vet. The family who took him in named him Alson after Alson Sears, the vet who developed this cure. He is healthy and of the optimal age to donate the dog-based serum used in place of the manufactured NDV that will save even more dogs from Distemper. The procedure for him poses no risk, utilizing his natural cytokines stimulated by the bird-based NDV and then harvested, seperating the serum at the exact time-frame necessary.

Texas is one of the biggest hot spots for Distemper in the US where epidemics are running rampant, and there are many dogs in need in that area. This is a wonderful thing that these people are doing to help their local community!

Carmella continues to do well. Her mange has gotten better and better since she started on Ivermectin and she has not had any more opportunistic bacterial infections!

She still looks a little as if she was shot in the butt with some buckshot, but the fur is gradually growing back and the itching is much less frequent.

Over the past week while I'd been house-sitting she has been very rambunctious, nosing around, investigating the new surroundings, and trying to chew my shoes as I put them on in the morning. The people I was house-sitting for had two cats and one dog. All had to be kept seperate or it would have been pandamonium. Carmella has never been around cats so she was captivated looking out the sliding glass window at them on the second-floor balcony enclosed in lattice-work. She whined with anticipation and stuck her head between the bamboo blinds to stare at them (I'm not sure if she wanted to pounce on them and eat them for dinner or just play with them) but I wasn't taking any chances.

Once home, she settled back down and curled up on her black fuzzy pillow in the kitchen after chomping on her rawhide stick and playing with her stuffed rabbit. It was a long week over at the other house, as the quarters were cramped and I had to watch her like a hawk to make sure she didn't chew up anything. I'm happy to be home myself, to sleep in my own bed, and have access to my computer files, and jewelry supplies.

Before I left to house-sit last weekend I created a poster about the importance of early detection and NDV treatment of dogs with Distemper that can be printed and hung in vets' offices. I included the photos of 4 dogs who have died because they didn't find this treatment in time or the owners were unable to get their vets to do it before the disease overtook them. The file was so big in png format that I couldn't send it by e-mail so I have saved a copy in jpg and uploaded it to Flickr;

If you have a vet for your animals please share the link to this poster and my blog with him or her and encourage them to follow what we're doing on behalf of these dogs. As more and more people adopt dogs from shelters it becomes evident just how vital and needed such a cure is. Preventative vaccination alone clearly is not eradicating this virus, and in a shelter environment where many dogs are housed close together all it takes is one infected dog to infect the others, as Canine Distemper is an airborne disease. The numbers of dogs saved by NDV continues to increase, and with them, the evidence that it is indeed is a real cure!

Distemper Cure- Get the most up-to-date information

To see evidence look at pictures of my dog Carmella after she received Dr. Alson W. Sears' treatment (Newcastle Virus Vaccine) in both body and CNS.

Notice her paw pads are fully healed in only two weeks after IV injection. The last headshot in this album was taken after she had the procedure to inject NDV into her spinal canal. (Note the dramatic increase in muscle-tone afterwards; even in her ears);

You can print the full two-part protocol and give it to your vet. Find it here:

Find more successfully treated dogs and their owners in this Facebook Group:

I'm away house-sitting this week and don't have access to my own computer but will be posting more great news and of course more cute pictures later today or tomorrow when I get home!

Stay tuned! More dogs have been saved since my last posting!