Friday, December 28, 2007

Another easy way to get paid: Clixsense

Well, I've got my Gomez Peer still racking up the money slowly, but in my search to find another way to make some lazy money on the side I came across Clixsense.

Next to having Gomez Peer just run in the background of my computer and making money this is definitely the next easiest income source I have found. All you need to do to earn cash off of this site is:

1. Login to your account
2. Click on "Get Paid To Browse Ads"
3. Click on an ad
4. Let the 30 second timer countdown and click on the "close window" link
5. BAM!! $0.01 added to your account (it adds up rather quickly).

The thing I like about this is that while the countdown timer is going I can do other work in different tabs on my browser or work in other windows (i.e. Microsoft Office) and then come back to it to close the tab. All-in-all it's about 3 seconds or so worth of work that doesn't really interfere with what I'm already doing and it adds up pretty fast.

*Tip* Check the site often, especially during work hours. Ads are paid for by the sponsors for a limited number of clicks so they can disappear fast.

Check out Clixsense today and start making some more easy money with me!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

10 cent listing fees on eBay tomorrow!

Hi everyone, hope you had a great time over the holidays. I'm still getting back in the swing of things and eBay has decided to have 10 cent listings just in time to get ahead of my one big resolution I was going to have this New Year's.....get rid of my extra stuff.

The great thing about 10 cent listing fees is that it's a flat rate, none of that price adjustment depending on how much you want to list your item for. These come around every so often and I usually miss them, so heed my advice, take advantage of this offer if you have stuff you want to sell or just get rid of.

You can get full details here. The 24 hour listing countdown starts at 12a.m. PST, so take that into account as well.

A few of my strategies for the listing this time around are:

- Sell the common items as 5 day auctions. The promo is to get more people to sell, which will flood the market with items ending on the 7th day since most people choose this.

- Sell my rare/uncommon items as 7 day auctions since there won't be as much competition and it will increase the odds of more potential bidders seeing the items.

- Do a mass listing of my items around 9p.m. EST. This is my usual time and I've had good results since most people in the US timezones are home around this time. I've read a few articles stating that lunchtime is good as well, but I don't think my boss would appreciate me selling on eBay if he stopped by.

Good luck and have fun with it!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Out for 4 days, have a great holiday season!

Well, I'm about to hit the road to go visit my parents for Christmas. Hopefully traffic won't be too bad, but most likely I'll get caught up in the mess with all of the other people traveling this weekend.

I hope you all have a great holiday and I'll be back on Tuesday!

Oh, I also recieved a new check from Pinecone Research yesterday that I wanted to share with you as proof of payment:

Like I said, only $3-$5 payout, but not bad for about 8 minutes worth of question answering while watching TV. If you're still interested in signing up, the links are still open and are available in this post from earlier.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Cellphone Hustle: Please change your PIN codes!

Another busy day here, the holiday season definitely has the crowds out shopping (which I unfortunately waited near the last minute and had to deal with today). The crowded stores got me thinking along similar lines as this scam that was on one of my favorite British shows "The Real Hustle". I wish they'd bring it to the states, but for now I'll be bringing you a "best of".

While I'm unsure if this type of scam can work on US cellular phone systems, there is are two very important note in the video that all cell phone owners should follow: Change your default PIN code on your phone and keep it on your person. This will prevent any thieves from accessing your personal data on the SIM card which will most likely cause them to just toss the card away. The SIM card not only holds your stored contacts, but also your billing information, which can be exploited if it's in the wrong hands.

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Government Sponsored Free Credit Reports

As the year wraps up I generally like to get my finances reorganized so that I can enter the new year without any hassles carried over from the year prior. One thing that can end up causing quite a bit of headaches is having bad marks on your credit report that shouldn't be there, or even worse, someone using your credit in your name. That's why every year near this time I make sure to pull my credit report to make sure that everything looks the way it should be.

I know if you Google "free credit report" you'll come up with all sorts of "free" offers, including one on TV commercials that's very similar to the search terms, but is the ONE true government sponsored place to get your TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax reports for free. No strings attached whatsoever.

I found a few things that I need to dispute that I didn't know were on there last winter, so it was definitely worth the 10-15 min. to check them out. I highly recommend that you do as well.

*Ethical Grifter Tip* This site allows you to pull from each of the 3 credit bureaus once every 365 days, not by calender year. To get the most from this site, pull only 1 credit bureau report every 4 months to cover you all year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beat the man at the pump! Or, at least save a few cents per gallon.

Another year with high gas prices is upon us. We've been getting gouged at the pump for awhile now and while it's hard to fully fight back against the big oil companies, we can at least become better educated consumers when it comes to gas purchases.

You all know that gas stations can vary in price per gallon by as much as $.30, but who has the time (or wants to waste the gas) to drive past each station for the best deal? That's where 2 websites come in very handy.
and the gas price section of MSN Autos both allow you to search local gas prices by entering your zipcode. The prices are entered by consumers each day (if there's a station you don't see listed that you visit, get involved and help out the community!) and list the price per gallon from lowest to highest. has come a long way since the price increase, but is still lacking some of the features that MSN Autos provides (lowest/average/highest price headlines and an interactive map view of the stations listed. For that reason I still use MSN Autos more often than not, but decide for yourself which style you prefer. Either way, your wallet will thank you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Investing the Foolish way - Free Motley Fool Guide

The staff at The Motley Fool have been guiding people towards profitable investing for years, following some rules and breaking many others. Almost all of the different stock portfolios that they run have done an incredible job of out performing the S&P 500 and if you browse the Finance section of your local bookstore you're guaranteed to find at least 3 of their many books on the shelves. They even have a weekly show on NPR!

A lot of their knowledge can be found for free (though not quite as much as was available in the past) on their site and I would like to share with you one of the best how-to guides to investing that I have read. It's entitled 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly and, if you can get past the title, is an incredible step-by-step guide to start from where you are at now and end up with a very impressive investment portfolio without debt.

To be able to have a concise (and free!) walkthrough for getting out of debt, retirement planning, understanding investment strategies better, as well as many other things is an invaluable resource and I highly recommend you reading it to help you set some goals as well as build your financial knowledge. I also recommend that you browse through the rest of the site, it's full of very helpful information.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Last minute cool tech gift: USB Flash Drive w/ Software

Tomorrow is the last day to order from and still get free Super Saver shipping on your order. Seeing that put the realization that Christmas is coming very soon on my mind and I wanted to share with you an easy and cool gift I'm giving a few people on my list this year, a Kingston 1GB USB Flash Drive preloaded with a bunch of excellent freeware software installers.

This Kingston 1GB USB Flash Drive is only $8.99 on and very well rated. Purchase this (and pad your order to $25 for the free shipping) and load some of the following software for an excellent gift, especially for those who are getting new computers this season.

$8.99 for a gift that they'll definitely reuse and appreciate? Not a bad deal at all. You can personalize it even more by adding a folder with a bunch of photos or MP3s. Makes an excellent stocking stuffer too.

Windows Software (Much is available for Apple as well)

OpenOffice (120MB)- A freeware replacement for Microsoft Office. Opens and creates documents/spreadsheets/PowerPoint-style presentations.

Trillian (8.64MB) - An IM client that handles AIM, Yahoo!, and IRC accounts

Skype (21.5MB) - A VOIP application that allows you to make telephone calls from your computer.

AVAST! Home FREE Antivirus (17.64MB) - One of my favorite anti-virus programs that includes free updates

Mozilla Firefox (5.7MB) - Probably the best web browser there is

Mozilla Thunderbird (6.4MB) - An email program very similar to Microsoft Outlook

NVU (6.6MB) - The best free HTML editor available, hands down.

VLC Media Player (9.3MB)
- Media player that can handle almost every file type thrown at it

Frets on Fire (32.2MB) - Awesome freeware version of Guitar Hero. Very innovative use of keyboard as guitar controller.

7-Zip (840KB) - Very lightweight program for compressing and uncompressing folders.

Foxit Reader (2.13MB) - Quick PDF reader. Opens in about 1/3 of the time that it takes Adobe Acrobat to initialize

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Easiest money ever: The Gomez PEER

Want to know the easiest way to earn some extra money 24/7/365 and not have to do any more work than just setting up an account? The secret is to download the Gomez Peer, setup an account, and connect to the internet. As long as your computer is on and connected to the internet, you're making money.

The way that this works couldn't be simpler, but you won't be making a ton of cash either. On average users make about $2-$3 per month, but if you leave your computer on most of the time, you might as well make some money from it. Also, they give $2 per referral, so after you sign up spread the word to your friends and you have the opportunity of making even more.

Grey Area Tip: If you have access to multiple computers connected to the internet (i.e. a system administrator), you can have the peer running on each of them and really rake in the cash. Now you can be shifty about this and just install the Gomez Peer on them, but I don't think it's worth losing your job over this, so it's probably best to ask your boss. Just tell him it's for a distributed computing project if he asks what for.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Online Surveys: Pinecone Research

There are tons of online survey sites out there promising all sorts of cash and prize compensations. Many are frauds and few are legit, but I'm here to help guide you to the ones that will give you an actual payout and not just fill your mailbox with spam. The first of these sites is Pinecone Research.

Pinecone Research is one of the most highly regarded online survey sites that have a web presence. I'm not sure exactly why they're considered top-tier, I've had many other good experiences with other survey sites, but I'm pretty sure it stems from its membership exclusivity. In order to become a member you have to find their banner ad that only occasionally shows up on various sites and fit a certain demographic as well. My personal experience was that it took me 2 1/2 years to become a member, and that's when I found the site that is dedicated to tracking the banner and linking directly through it. is that site that took me 2 years to find out about and 6 months before it found an active banner. Well, right now both Pinecone US and Pinecone Canada are accepting new members through the links on and how long they will remain active is anybody's guess so act as soon as you can on it. They are currently looking for 20-some males, but I have had many female friends sign up as well the last time they were looking for male applicants.

They payout is generally modest with Pinecone, about $3 - $5 per survey (they're usually 5-15 minutes), but they are very prompt with payouts and I generally receive a check in the mail 4 to 5 days after completing a survey. Many people also have stated that they sometimes receive products to tryout. I haven't yet, but it's another perk I'm looking forward to getting one day.

When you do sign up through the links on, make sure you answer the first few surveys truthfully. Like I said before, Pinecone Research is very exclusive and is well known for removing members from the program for mismatched survey answers. Tell the truth and you'll be set and earning some extra checks in the mail soon.

I have many more survey sites to recommend, so even though $3 - $5 might not sound like much now, when it's combined with many other sites like this it will make for just one of many strong secondary income streams that are available.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bluetooth: Great technology, easy target

Quick post today. I've got a concert to attend and I still have some more shopping to do on before the double rebates end.

Bluetooth technology has caught on with most of the population for it's ease in wireless communication whether it is used for cell phone use, computer equipment, or other means. The popularity of it has also attracted many scammers that like to prey on this easy target.

Check out this video to learn how simple and lucrative this can be:

*Notice: this is for educational purposes only for the consumer to protect themselves. The Ethical Grifter does not support the use of these methods in any way.*

Hopefully this will make you think twice before keeping your bluetooth turned on throughout the day. Personally, I only use it for quick phone-to-computer data transfers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ebates: Get money back at most online stores

Looks like I started this blog just in time, tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. PST is repeating their incredible Cyber Monday deal.

If you haven't heard of, it really is an excellent program that I use almost every time I do online shopping. They keep it simple too, before you purchase an item online just sign in to your account and check to see if the retailer you're going to purchase from is listed (there's a pretty good chance too, they have over 800 merchant partners).

Just click on the merchant's link on the site and you'll automatically receive a rebate for your purchases (up to 25% depending on the merchant). Also, they will list all current coupons for the merchant so you can save even more cash!

Sounds good right? Well get this, for tomorrow's Cyber Monday repeat offer all merchant rebates are increased (most of them doubled)! Especially with the holiday season, this is the perfect time to sign up for an account and finish up your holiday shopping.

As an added bonus: Sign up with my referral link (any of the mentions on this page) and we both get an extra $5 added to our rebate accounts.

Like I said in the welcome, I'll only use referrals to things I approve of for my own use, but since I'm new on the scene, you can check out 119 other review of on epinons here.

Get your account now for the big event tomorrow!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome to The Ethical Grifter

I've been following numerous financial blogs through the years and it seems that some of those that first offered what I was looking for either lost their way or my opinion on how to earn money changed over time. This blog was created to fill in that void and help my readers generate some extra revenue on the side for whatever they may use it for.

The name "Ethical Grifter" pretty much sums up what to expect from this blog. Since a grifter is commonly known as a swindler, I had to throw in the ethical part (some of this stuff might be shady, but not that shady). We'll be covering alot of fully legal methods of making extra revenue as well as a few gray area methods. Also, occasionally I'll include some thoughts on investments, living more frugally, as well as some good information on how to protect yourself from the true grifters out there that will take your money by any means necessary.

Bookmark this page now, it will definitely come in useful.