I Scream for Ice Cream

by | Mar 3, 2001 | Archives

Here is a way to really earn 330% in ten days in Ecuador and have fun as well

A warm breeze billows a message of freshness and new crops. Patchwork quilts of green plowed by a farmer with brown and white oxen rise through the valley mists. I hang on.

Ibarra Ecuador Feb. 27 2001. I am riding in the back of a dusty, pickup truck and getting wet! This is Carnival and the tradition here is for the kids to throw buckets of water and water balloons at traffic that passes by. We are weaving along cobblestone village lanes watching for local aqua bombarding waifs who have forwarded of our arrival by the roar of our engine. We are watching so we’ll know when to duck!

Our trusty drive slows or speeds to ward off the sodden arcs as they are thrown. Most of them miss. Yet a few get lucky. One tiny, barefooted girl in a green ragged dress and a dirty nose, not more than four I would guess, caught me perfectly with a full yellow, water balloon. Our guest John, got a whole bucketfull in the chest. Luckily the sun is warm, the air flows and we dry out quickly. What a fun way to conduct a business!

Merri and I have driven with friends to look at some farms for sale. We rode along wide clean boulevards lined with stately Canary date palms, their trunks painted white as we entered this 80,000 populated town. Then we hustled into the city center to look at some secrets our tour guide  wanted to share. We were looking for business opportunities we told him.

The first comes in the form of a candy shop where they specialize in a blackberry syrup and sugarcane candy called Nogada. This walnut covered candy comes in four flavors, (blackberry, vanilla, cream and cinnamon). This delight is packaged in circular and heart shaped wooden containers (perfect for export) and is highly unusual. I bought over a dozen for gifts. The cost retail? A mere dollar each.

The next surprise was even better, an ice cream shop named Rosalia Suarez. This shop, opened 105 years ago by Mama Rosalia, makes it own ice cream and sherbets on the spot. A large, round wooden bowl is lined with thatch and loaded with salt, sugarcane, ice and fruit. Stirred with a huge wooden spoon the resulting sherbet is slightly below heaven, but not much. Unless you have tasted fresh, home made ice cream on a hot day while sitting under a shady oak tree, you cannot begin to imagine the treat. Flavors you know are blackberry, coconut, banana, mango, cream, and chocolate. Others such as guanabana, fruitilla, naranjilla, ovo, taxo and maracuya are pretty much endemic to Ecuador but no less delicious. All are served up with barquillos (wafers made from banana skin).

In the name of good journalism I had to taste them all!

They are all exquisite, I can professionally report.

The shop is like old fashioned soda fountains used to be, white tile floor, charming white chairs and tables and big servings. The cost for all six of us was a puny three bucks.

This is a good business idea to take to U.S. cites especially with large Latin populations.

The farms we saw would make farmers in the north weep, direct sun 365 days a year, volcanic soil, sweet, good natured labor at $50 to $75 a month. The cows were so healthy, the fruit and vegetables so ripe and huge, the meadows so green. Prices were low. One 5,000 acre majestic farm started at $1,000,000 and I expect will sell for much less.

But the real reason we love Ibbarra (which by the way is one of the cleanest cities in Ecuador) is as a source of wood products and art. We are buying really low cost products in Ecuador and selling them over eBay.

I have been writing to you to watch out for scams that offer to make ten or more percent per month. But in this type of business that you operate yourself, you can earn much more! Look for example at the prices of recent products purchased and resold. In one case the return exceeded 330% in ten days!

Here are a few of the items, what they cost in Ecuador and sold for in the past few months via our existing import business here.

The costs below include cost of merchandise, shipping, duties, Customs and advertising.

Santos (religious statues) sold:

The costs below include cost of merchandise, shipping, duties, Customs and advertising.

Santos (religious statues) sold:

  • St. Theresa – total cost $300.00 sold for $960.60 net $660.60 – turn around time 1 month.
  • Virgin of Quito – total cost $38.00 sold for $156.00, net $118.00 turn around time 3 weeks.
  • St. Anne – total cost $42.00, sold for $150.00, net $108.00 – turn around time 3-1/2 weeks.
  • Choir angel – total cost $35.00, sold for $115.00, net $80.00 – turn around time 10 days.
  • Santo vestments: Burgundy cope, total cost $18.00, sold for $118.00, net $100.00 turn around time 2 weeks.
  • Dark Blue vestment, total cost $15.00, sold for $80.00, net $65.00, turn around time 2 weeks.
  • Lot of 5 vestments – total cost $85.00, sold for $300.00 – sold before purchased!
  • Christmas ornaments: Sold over 1,000 marsapan ornaments for $1.95 each. Total cost $.25 each, net profit $1.70 each

There are many such examples, but the above are enough for you to get the idea. Prices here are really low!

Why so many religious items you ask? Because our partner here knows this market incredibly well and one of the secrets of such a business is to deal in what you know.

This is a great way to help the poor in this country as well, through capitalism and good business, not charity. Our purchases here help create work and jobs. Our exports help nations learn about and serve one another.

How is this different than 10% a month scams? This is a business you have to work blending your knowledge with capital. There is risk of lost or broken cargo, finding buyers and paying overheads. Some of the niches though very profitable are quite small. You can’t duplicate such buys thousands and millions of times.

But such business can be immensely profitable and the process expands so many horizons and is so much fun. You can learn more and set up your own business at the first “Ecuador Business Made EZ” course conducted March 18 to 24. These courses will be conducted twice a month and will normally cost $3,499 (for details go to courses) and be conducted by our good friend. This first course however is only $1,799 (due to the late announcement and its having the normal first time hiccups).

One other benefit to this first course is that Merri and I will be here to help Richard conduct this first course. I hope to see you here.

Until then, good global investing!