12th Hustle: Sell Water


The Hustler has officially gone mad. How do you sell something that is seemingly free?

Let me show you.

There are many different angles that you maythink I am going to approach this from. Sure, you can buy bottles and sell it on a hot street corner in the summertime, maybe even slap your own label on the bottle, that may be lucrative for ya. But what happens if it rains?

Or maybe you would like to go toe-to-toe with your local municipality and sell your own brand of H20. Good luck with that!

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Da Hustler always wants his readers to think higher, so here is the real deal. What I’m talking about is offering a service to offices, hotels and other local businesses to supply their water to them, along the lines of a Crystal Springs (or any number of businesses whose name ends in Springs). What you will do is get contracts with the business owners, and sell them everything that the big guys sell them for less. For instance, it may cost $20/month for water service to one suite in an office building, which normally consists of three bottles of 5-gallon water containers and the water cooler itself. Well if you can offer this same service for $15 dollars/month, you already are ahead of the game!

The key to this hustle is in numbers and customer service. The best thing to do is target office buildings that have a lot of suites, and offer your services to them. See if you can get in contact with the building manager, and get them to sell your services to the tenants! Not only do you have the trust factor, but you don’t have to do the legwork or run into cold shoulders because of any ‘No Soliciting’ ordinances that may be in effect. Also, be timely and courteous so you can get more business through word-of-mouth advertising. The best way to approach something like this would be to hit new buildings either under construction or nearly complete, so you can be the first to get the contracts.

The materials required for this hustle are:

  • Water cooler (~$75)
  • Water bottles (~10)
  • Water (~$1.50/5 gallons)
  • Adequate transportation
  • A computer to keep up with your clientèle

Now there is an initial investment up front, but you could do a contract that has a required duration of 3, 6, or 12 months to ensure you get a return on your investment, else there will be an early termination fee (yes, just like the cell phone companies). If anything happens to the machine, you would have to replace it, but if you do a contract for 1 year, it will be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty anyway. As long as you keep the water bottles clean, they should last longer than the machine itself in most cases! Finally, as you grow, you will need to get a truck to handle all of the bottles and machines you will be deploying. This hustle also complements my 3rd Hustle, which spoke of selling destruction services to these same types of customers since they are in the same locations!

The whole world is on the new health kick wave, and clean water has always been something that we need. Be a supplier of this, and you’ll grow to be a major player in this market!

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  1. Sounds like a lot of overhead and labor for not a lot of profit. But if you can get someone else to handle the labor, and just handle the sales or something it could be fun.

  2. cooliojones 14 years ago

    It can seem like a lot of work, but if you think of it as an ‘add-on’ service, establish a route and like you said, get someone else to run it, then there’s your passive income.

  3. Make Mony Online 14 years ago

    It’s not a lot of work if you think franchise. i have a friend doing this water franchise things, he got rich;) but he machine need to put in coin and the water will come up … interesting.

  4. mahdi yusuf 14 years ago

    make money online took the words right from my mouth with his first comment, but you know what isn’t like that is my contest 😀

  5. Wes Mahler 14 years ago

    haha nice hustling a CRITICAL resource to live!

  6. 14 years ago

    This kind of sounds silly, but with enough business, there could be some big time money…

  7. Balinese 14 years ago

    lol, you could sell it on the dessert

  8. Brian 14 years ago

    It a good idea but not a very good hustle. Basically, you asume that business make decisions only on cost and that just becasue someone comes in at $5 a bottle less, they will just cancel their Poland Spring delivery and go with the new guy. Maybe – but HIGHLY unlikely.

    Businesses, like people, pay for good relationships. In the case of water, the business has a relationship with the Brand. Poland Spring (or Crystal Spring – or anyone ending in Spring) has built a brand over time and along with that brand built up enough quality relationships to tell the new “Hustler Springs” guy to take a hike. Now I’m sure there is a price where “Hustler Springs” can get the business – it will more than likely not be profitable.

    Not only that – most customers when the Hustler Springs guy comes in and offers services at a $5 (or more) savings will just take that deal to their current Springs dealer and force them down – trust me – they have more room to negotiate than any fly by night Hustler.

    All I’m saying is that you need to be able to compete on more than just price – It’s Hustler Springs – every contract they get a copy of Cassidy’s “I’m a Hustler” 🙂

    Gotta bring more to the table.

  9. cooliojones 14 years ago

    Hey thanks for your comments Brian! Many people are unhappy with customer service these days, and that’s one way you could win with this hustle. Who is happy? Who isn’t happy? You don’t know until you go knocking on some doors and ask.

    I encourage all of the hustler’s out there to use this info as a template, and add their own spin to it. Oh , and I love the ‘Hustler Springs guy!’ 🙂

  10. mlm recruiting 14 years ago

    mlm recruiting…

    This article reminds me of a little 8 minute film(?) I watched the other day….

  11. Chloe 12 years ago

    Brian’s right, competing on price for a commodity item is a losing proposition. Someone will always undercut you. Read Warren Buffet.

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