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How to make extra income with your own online store!

ecommerce1The online store business (e-commerce) has come a long way in the past few years, which is good for those who want to open an e-commerce store to supplement his or her income or to go into business full time. The cost is low, the ease of creating your new store has never been easier and adding products to sell is a breeze!

Now, with DollarDays’ Dropshipping Program, a store owner no longer has to invest in expensive inventory. Customers order from your website that has been populated with some or all of DollarDays’ 300,000 products and DollarDays ships the product(s) to your customer with a packing slip that has your store’s name on it. Pretty simple, right?

Watch this quick video to see if an e-commerce store is for YOU!

February 17, 2014   No Comments

Congress Could Use a Lesson from America’s Innovators

marc feb14 huffpo blogby Marc Joseph, CEO of DollarDays; reprinted from The Huffington Post

The compromise spending bill for $1.1 trillion keeps the government open through September, according to CNN. It increases funding to Head Start by $1 billion for early childhood education which makes sense after its recent low point with the forced budget cuts last year. It increases the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel by one percent. It reduces funding to the IRS and Environmental Protection Agency. It launches policies at getting more low-risk passengers through security quicker at airports. So it has a little bit in it for just about everyone. But once again, Congress is kicking the can down the road because we are going to have this same contentious conversation next fall when this extension expires.

The New York Times broke down the cost of this new budget per each US resident: $259 goes to food stamps now known as SNAP, $61 goes to the child school lunch program, $30 goes for crop insurance and $40 to loans and direct payments to farmers, $2,672 covers Social Security and $1,591 for Medicare, $26 goes to the FBI and $22 to the Federal prison system.

These budget impasses remind me of the movie “Groundhog Day,” where we wake up and repeat the same mistake month after month, year after year. There has got to be some innovative thinkers outside and inside of government that can get us out of this rut of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

One big idea is coming from Ron Unz according to USA Today. Mr. Unz is a Silicon Valley multimillionaire and registered Republican, who is pushing a California proposal to boost the minimum pay rate to $12 an hour. Unz believes that taxpayers, for too long, have been subsidizing low wages since the government pays for food stamps and other programs these workers utilize. He feels raising the minimum wage to $12 would lift millions of people out of poverty, driving up income and sales tax revenue; at the same time saving taxpayers billions of dollars, since these workers would no longer qualify for many of the welfare benefits.

Another big idea came out of Chicago under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He created the small business center in City Hall last spring to streamline small business services. The city has reduced the number of business licenses from 117 to 49, which has saved small businesses $700,000 in just the last 6 months. Chicago is phasing out the Head Tax which saved small businesses $4.8 million in 2013. This is just an example of how cities can cut through the red tape to not only make its citizens’ lives easier, but to actually save money.

TOMS is a for profit company that whenever it sells a pair of its shoes, another pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child. Additionally, when TOMS sells a pair of eyewear, part of the profit goes to help restoring sight in those who need help, and according to their site, “helping to restore sight restores independence, economic potential and educational opportunity.” They have taken the “giving back” theory a step further and last fall launched TOMS Marketplace , that gives socially conscious suppliers a platform to sell products that help support causes ranging from education and health to nutrition and clean water.

Most organizations don’t have the resources like the city of Chicago or TOMS to help make a major impact in changing our country or making our Federal Budget a non-issue. The largest charity in the US is the United Way which is a network of 1,800 United Way communities and manages $4.26 billion. They “envision a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.” The second largest is the Salvation Army, that manages $4.08 billion to carry out their mission of “to feed, to clothe, to comfort and to care.” These budgets seem small compared to the $1.1 trillion Federal Budget, yet they do take some pressure off the government in taking care of everything the underprivileged need. I guess it is up to all of us to do our best to relieve some of this pressure. At DollarDays on our Facebookpage, we are giving away hundreds of flip flops (the TOMS model inspired us) to organizations who help kids in need, so make sure you nominate a worthy organization.

Sometimes I think we put too much faith in our government that they will take care of pushing our economy forward as well as taking care of those most in need. Gallup Poll just reported that just 13% of Americans approve the job Congress is doing. If that was the approval rating in any other part of our society, they would all be gone. This is the group we must rely on next fall to permanently fix our day to day operations of our government. Based on their recent history, I am skeptical this will happen. That is why the rest of us have to step up with the “big ideas” to make our civilization work with or without our government’s support.

February 6, 2014   No Comments

We’re donating 1,500 pairs of flip flops to kids in need

What charitable organization for kids would you choose?
Click on the image below to nominate a children’s organization that you would like to donate 300 pairs of kids flip flops to.

DollarDays is donating 1,500 pairs of flip flops—five organizations that benefit children that are nominated by YOU will each receive 300 pairs of flip flops—just in time for Spring (they will arrive mid to late March)!

It’s easy to nominate an organization. It might take a minute, but it could be the minute that makes a difference in the lives of 300 kids! Feel free to share with your friends! If you are on a board, for example,  the local children’s hospital, this is a perfect opportunity for you to nominate the hospital and share with the board.

Thank you so much! Click this image or this link to nominate. http://bit.ly/1i5JvtV
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February 5, 2014   No Comments

We have winners! Homeless Shelters get $5k in Merchandise

The results are in and we have winners in our January 2014 $5,000 Facebook Merchandise Giveaway for Homeless Shelters that were nominated by YOU!  This was one of the most unusual random selection of winners, as two homeless shelters were nominated so many times that they were selected for more than one award! We use a computer generated selection process, so we went with giving WestCare’s Pikeville Emergency/Homeless Shelter in Pikeville, KY $200 in merchandise, as they were selected twice and Harvard Square Homeless Shelter in Cambridge, MA won $500 in merchandise as they were selected five times!

Congratulations to the winning shelters and many thanks to those who nominated them. They will be shopping for much needed items to help the homeless stay warm and comfortable in this bitter cold winter.  And with DollarDays‘ wholesale pricing, these awards will go far! Plus, all winners receive free shipping.
DollarDays continues to support causes for the greater good and encourages you to follow us on Facebook to be sure to enter our monthly $5,000 merchandise giveaways to charitable causes.
And the winners are:
• Greensboro Urban Ministry in Greensboro, NC won first place, a $2,000 shopping spree.
• Padd Homeless Shelter in Dixon, IL won second place with a $1,000 shopping spree.
• BeAboutIt.org in Douglasville, GA won third place with a $500 shopping spree.
• Harvard Square Homeless Shelter in Cambridge, MA won a $500 shopping spree.
• WestCare’s Pikeville Emergency/Homeless Shelter in Pikeville, KY won a$200 shopping spree.
The following homeless shelters each won a $100 shopping spree:
• Our House in Little Rock, AR
• Singled Out-FBC Salisbury in Salisbury, NC
• Mr. Bob’s Under the Bridge in Cedarburg, WI
• My Father’s House in Paoloa, KS
• Saint Charles Homeless Shelters & Services For The Needy in St. Charles, IL
• Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis, IN
• Chicas Latinas De Sacramento in Sacramento, CA
• Bangor Area Homeless Shelter in Bangor, ME

Each shelter has been emailed with instructions on how to conduct their shopping spree. If you haven’t received one, please check your spam folder. Also, you can call Chris Steagall at 877.837.9569 ext 148 and he will take care of your order and get it shipped!  He can answer any questions for you as well.

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February 4, 2014   2 Comments

Nominate a Homeless Shelter to Win $5k Merchandise

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It’s freezing cold in most of the country and our homeless population is at the mercy of shelters across America. Please do your part to nominate a homeless shelter in your area to win in the DollarDays’ $5,000 merchandise Giveaway to homeless shelters. Eighteen shelters will win a shopping spree; first place is $2,000, second place is $1,000, third is $500 and fifteen shelters will each receive $100 (shipping is included). Winners will be selected on January 31, 2014 in a random drawing from the shelters you nominate.

Please visit our Facebook page to nominate a shelter in your area. Together we can make a difference in the lives of many homeless Americans; lives that were hard enough before the bitter winter descended upon us. Thank you!

 

 

 

January 27, 2014   No Comments

January 2014 Fleece Blanket Giveaway Winners!

jan14contest_160x300Perfect timing. With the country as cold as it is right now, blankets are a pretty good prize to receive!  From the homeless to pet shelters, we know the blankets will be a blessing for all.

• Our first place winner is FISH of McHenry and they will receive 240 blankets.

• Second place went to Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva and they will get 144 blankets.

• And third place goes to True Freedom Ministries with 96 blankets being sent to them.

Twentytwo non-profits each received 24 blankets. They are:

Mystic Force Foundation
Animal Welfare ASSN New Jersey
The Christian Center
Rikki’s Refuge
Pet Pal Animal Shelter
St. Anthony’s Chuch
The Wish Project
Mental Health Guild’s Homeless Outreach
Patterson Elementary Booster Club
Phoenix Children’s Project
Blankets and Bears
TASC
Robcyn’s
Clayton Temple
Lost Sheep Ministry
Anchor House
Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley
United Ummah of Philly
Tri-County Animal Rescue Center
Tiny Babies Foundation
Restitution of Hope
Mr. Bob’s Under the Bridge

 

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to nominate a non-profit to receive free Marc Gold fleece blankets. Please be sure to enter our current giveaway, which is $5,000 in merchandise to homeless shelters. they can buy a lot of things they need at wholesale pricing.

January 20, 2014   4 Comments

December 2013 $5,000 Facebook Giveaway Winners!

dec13contest_160x300WE HAVE WINNERS from our December Small Business $5,000 Merchandise Giveaway! Did your nomination win?
Congratulations everyone and thank you for helping small businesses from around the USA!

Here they are:
• First Place $2,000 Winner: Furniture and Merchandise Outlet of Murfreesboro, TN
• Second Place $1,000 Winner: Joe & BJ’s Trading Post of Georgetown, KY
• Third Place $500 Winner: Riverside Box of Little Rock, AR
Fifteen companies each won $100 shopping sprees: Senior Associates of Kankakee, IL,Changing Hands of Tempe, AZ, Redner’s Warehouse Market of Collegeville, PA, Stoker’s Vitaworld of Corvallis, OR,Suzies Cleaning Service of Taylorsville, KY, Papa and Nanas Attic or Riverview, FL, L M Plumbing LLC of Leland, NC,The Strand of Fort Payne,AL, Burnettsville Gas Mart of Burnettsville, IN, The Legendary Chicken Box Cafe of Charlotte,NC, Elkhorn City Senior Citizens of Elkhorn City, KY, Scrub, Rub & Repeat of Kannapolis, NC, Universal Crystal Novas of Spokane, WA, Humanity Road of Boydton, VA, American Interiors & Remodeling, Inc. of Canton, GA.

Each winner has been sent an email, alerting them of their win!

January 2, 2014   No Comments

Did Not Make It Home For The Holidays

jan14contest_160x300Reposted with permission from The Huffington Post
by Marc Joseph

The weather this past December not only played havoc on retail sales, but ruined many holiday celebrations by causing electrical outages, undelivered packages and relatives unable to travel to be with family. CBN news reports that December brought the coldest weather some areas have seen in decades. I don’t think global warming was a factor this December. In fact this year a reading of 135.8 degrees below zero was measured in Antarctica, which is the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth, so even though the cold ruined the holidays for many retailers and families, in comparison to other places on earth, the USA made it through—but wait until January which is set to look much like December’s weather.

With this extreme weather we are having, I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be homeless during this time.  USA Today reported on a financial advisor, Isaac Simon, who on Tuesday evenings for the last six years in Manhattan, packs his white van with soup, bagels, milk and oranges and drives into areas where the homeless gather. He also has clothes to help those less fortunate. When you think that New York City, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, has a census in their homeless shelters of 51,000 which happens to be the entire population of Charleston, the capital of West Virginia,  you know America has a problem that we can’t just sweep under the rug. With that many people in need, we need hundreds of Isaac Simons to help just in Manhattan alone.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the US Conference of Mayors survey of 25 large and midsize cities indicates that homelessness and hunger have increased and are expected to continue to rise in 2014. The poverty rate in the US of 15% is still near the Great Recession’s high of 15.1%. In Los Angeles, 20,000 people sleep on the streets every night and 2,000 of them are families or children living on their own. Homelessness has increased by 26% in LA since last year. Chicago reported an 11.4% increase in the number of homeless families since last year. This survey also reported that 21% of people needing emergency food assistance could not get help.

In my city of Phoenix, nonprofit organizations and government are acutely aware of the issues facing the poor. We have St. Vincent De Paul serving over 3,600 meals a day to the homeless and families in need. We have the city helping homeless vets to find places to live off the streets. Two years ago, the city identified 222 chronically homeless veterans, of which more than half served in Vietnam. Our mayor, Greg Stanton announced right before Christmas that the final 56 veterans were placed in housing. This happened because the city council allocated an additional $100,000 in November to accelerate the efforts to help homeless vets.

President Obama’s administration has pledged to eliminate homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015, but it looks like time is running short unless cities and states get involved like Phoenix has.  The Washington Post talks about the state of Massachusetts and the Department of Veteran Affairs have put aside dollars to hire veterans, some formerly homeless themselves, to help get veterans off the streets in Boston. They spend one day a week roaming the city’s storefronts, alleys and shelters seeking out these homeless veterans. The rest of the week is spent making sure those put into housing stay the course.

Now that the holidays are over, we as a society begin to focus back on our own needs in January. Whether it is finding a gym to get back in shape, or a diet to lose the holiday pounds, our attention naturally shifts away from those who need our help 365 days a year. Homelessness is not just the responsibility of our government; it is all of our communal responsibility whether it is in the dead of winter or the heat of summer. Obviously volunteering is the best way to get involved, but if you don’t have the gumption of Isaac Simon or the political prowess of Mayor Stanton, then helping out with donated money is a high priority. There are several organizations to support. The National Homeless Coalition, The Salvation Army and The Gospel Rescue Mission all make homelessness their priorities. And at  DollarDays  on our Facebook page, we are giving away blankets to help those in need, so make sure you nominate a worthy organization.

Maybe what we should all do is what the Lakewood Congregational Church Youth Foundation in northern Ohio does and has been doing for years. On a night in January, they sleep in cardboard boxes outside in the bitter cold and spend the evening seeking donations from community member passing by to help less fortunate families. If that does not wake up the younger generation to the needs of the homeless, then nothing will. Can you imagine if in every city in every state, we all give up the comforts of our homes for one night to experience the immorality of homelessness, what that would do for the psyche of America? I am sure that if we addressed this issue on a grass roots level and all woke up the next morning freezing cold and hungry, our ineffective congress would hear our collective voices saying enough is enough, and Congress would reverse the recent cuts in food stamps, show compassion with the new congressional budget deal and help those who need unemployment benefits. Wouldn’t that be a way to start off 2014…

December 31, 2013   No Comments

9 Easy Tips for Writing Good Content

Reprinted from FeedFront Magazine
By Jackie Eldridge, Affiliate Manager, DollarDays
 

Google DOES rule the world. If you don’t keep up with Google’s algorithm changes related to content, you may be traveling in reverse. The freshness and quality of your content are more important than ever before.  Post as often as you can and update trending topics related to your business if you want to make Google happy and ultimately obtain better search engine rankings. The most effective search engine content appeals both to readers and search engines.

Nine tips to help create successful content:

1. Create your “Own Voice”

  • Write in a manner that is memorable and credible. Fresh, well written content will make you the authority in your vertical and ultimately successful.

2. Choosing the Right Keywords

  • Search engines identify your website content with the help of keywords. These are usually closely related to the search terms that are entered by the users in search engines. Use keyword research tools like Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner for help.

3. Relevant Content

  • Remember you are writing for your readers, not search engines. It may be difficult to use some of the popular keywords grammatically, but try.  Although search engines look for the keywords in particular, they want quality, relevant content. Make sure the content is interesting and adds value for the readers.

4. Keyword Placement

  • DO NOT to overuse (stuff) keywords! The best way to use them is in the beginning of paragraphs and subheads.

5. Keep it short

  • Readers want short, succinct information blocks that can help them learn something, solve a problem or make a buying decision. Four to five lines in a paragraph is plenty.

6. Subheads, Bullets and Numbering

  • Each complements short paragraphs and provides a visual break for the reader. People don’t have time to read everything they see.  It’s up to you to make it as simple as possible for them to grasp your message by using subheads, bullets and numbering so they can get the gist of your content in a quick scan.  Since most readers are “skimmers,” subheads can be a terrific tool to engage readers and keep them moving through your content.

 7. The final check

  • Read through it again only looking at the subheads, numbers and bulleted lists. Do you get the gist of your content by only reading these? If so, you have done well.

8. Proofreading!

  • If you’re like most, you are bound to make a typo or two. Make sure you proofread your content for typos, clarity and grammatical agreement.

9.  Never!

  • Never underestimate the value of a professional copywriter on your team.

Eldridge is a marketing professional and currently Affiliate Manager for DollarDays.com (Alexa: 3,913).

December 31, 2013   No Comments

Merry Christmas from Waukegan and Mrs. Ahern’s students!

Here’s a lovely letter that made our day from a teacher who won in one of DollarDays’ monthly Facebook contests, and has kept in touch with us ever since. In fact, Virginia Heraz, our Director of Marketing, visited the classroom in Waukegan, IL last fall! Really, this is what life is all about—caring about others and giving without expectation. Teacher Julie Ahern and her second grade students have a huge place in our hearts. Thank you to them for caring and remembering us during the holidays. From all of us at DollarDays, we wish you a happy holiday season! You make us smile!

Here’s the letter:

Dear Virginia,

holding blanketsMy students asked if I would send Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday greetings to you! They also wanted to say thank you again for the blankets that you gave them. Last week they completed a series of writing challenges and then very proudly received the blankets to take home for the holidays. I am including a picture of your friend (seen at the restaurant!) Ezekiel holding two of the ever so soft blankets. Miss Savannah also asked if I would take her picture (I thought I would include it as there is a child sprinting down the hallway, lol).

Thank you again for your incredible kindnesses towards my students -you are a Christmas angel to them. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year. It is sub-zero weather here in Waukegan so I hope you are enjoying much warmer weather!

Mrs. Julie Ahern
2nd Grade Teacher
Andrew Cooke Magnet Elementary School
Waukegan, IL

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December 24, 2013   1 Comment