June 28, 2001
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Every week I discover some new way to earn a living. Some are legitimate, some are not. But I am constantly amazed at the creativity, and sometimes treachery, of the human mind when it comes to making a buck. People earn six figures selling sno-cones! Whole industries spring up where you never would have guessed; like plastic cookware sales, window washing, at-your-home windshield repairs or surveying seminar providers.

I would like to share an idea I came up with a few months ago. It is sure to take off and make the big bucks. I just don’t have the time to do it, so I offer it to any aspiring entrepreneur who may read this. Someone needs to establish an Internet site for land surveyors to purchase that “hard to find” corner evidence. You could call it “bogus”

Here’s the idea: You set up a dynamic Internet presence, complete with shopping cart and credit card purchase capabilities. You offer low cost corner evidence to fit any need, all with the convenience of shopping from the office or home. No more time and money-wasting efforts researching the record, digging holes or examining evidence. Surveyors could throw away their metal locators and shovels.

You won’t have to go to a clandestine location to meet some guy whose name you don’t know to ask him “You got the corner stuff?” This brings it all to your doorstep. Orders would be sent by overnight delivery service and be shipped in a plain wrapper.

You would have several ways for someone to select what they need. They could shop and search by type of monument, vintage, or government agency. A GLO specialty page would probably get a lot of hits.

Imagine being able to order one of the following combinations of “found” evidence:

  • An 1878 GLO stone 1⁄4 corner; specify size called for and type of rock

  • Old rotting flagging of any color or vintage, even cloth flagging!

  • Pipes of all sizes; please specify rust level and length

  • Bearing tree remains; select species and marks

  • Highway department brass caps; specify state and station

  • NGS triangulation stations; even the old USC&G versions available!

  • Rotted remains of wood posts; identify your vintage of survey

The really market-savvy web host will be sure to have specials on large order discounts. A monthly special would sway potential buyers to return every few weeks, checking for reduced prices on those everyday items (like a cap with your ex-partner’s PLS number on it).

You could have a frequent buyer program. After a hundred bogus corners, a loyal customer would be rewarded with five more. Or perhaps a credit card that earns “bogus points” could be offered, good for boundary fraud at over four million locations worldwide. “It’s everywhere you want it to be”—just like your corners!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. And all done in the name of lowering costs and saving time for boundary surveys. I am quite certain the average citizen would be easily sold on the benefits of having this service. Nearly every realtor in the country would pour business your way if you offered this service on your surveys. After all, saving the client money is our primary goal, isn’t it?

Last but not least, let’s be sure this website is fully secure. It must be able to not only run credit card purchases safely, but also spot rogue shoppers who are really investigators for the state boards. Of course, this would not apply in California, where they would simply tax the corner evidence purchase and let it go.

However, if any reader of POB actually produces this website, I want my take. A simple six figure inventor’s fee would suffice. It’s the American way, you know.

But sometimes I fear I’ve been beaten to the punch. Every time I do a survey, it almost seems like someone before me has already gone shopping.

Maybe this isn’t such a new idea after all.

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