New Commissioner of Lands and Surveys takes office today

first_imgTrevor Benn, the new Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Lands and SurveysMinister of State, Joseph Harmon addressing the preliminary meeting of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission Wednesday afternoon in the Commission’s boardroomCommission (GL&SC), will commence work today.Benn, who was previously a Senior Land Developer at the Commission, was most recently a Programme Analyst with responsibility for governance and poverty at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).On Wednesday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon made the announcement at a preliminary meeting of the Board of Directors of the GL&SC at the Commission’s D’Urban Backlands location, where he said that the Commission was well poised to advance its work in the administration of State lands.At the meeting, the Minister used the opportunity to welcome the Board members and the Observers, who were drawn from the various Government Ministries and departments, and expressed confidence that their varied expertise and experience will promote the work of the Commission.“I trust that with the composition of this Board, the blend of experience from academia, from business, of persons who are in legal practice, persons who are in private land surveying, that you bring that total blend of skills [to] make the Commission what it was meant to be,” Minister Harmon said.Incoming Commissioner Benn, who was not at the meeting, met with President David Granger Wednesday afternoon and said, in an invited comment following that meeting, that he was both pleased to accept the appointment and with the confidence that the President has reposed in him.He said he intended to use his knowledge and experience “to help to bring about some changes to the way we see land and use land in Guyana”, adding that “it is not acceptable for people to be waiting exceptionally long for a piece of land.”With regard to his immediate plans, Benn said he intended to make priority issues related to policy, the backlog of lease allocations and those related to the welfare of the Commission’s staff.The Board of Directors has agreed to meet once per month and the next full meeting is scheduled for May 19 when a time and date for monthly meetings will be made statutory.The Board will be chaired by Paulette Henry, Lecturer, Head of the Department of Sociology and Interim Director of Gender Studies at the University of Guyana and will include Rawle Small, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Guyana Incorporated; Patsy Ross, former Programme Officer at the UNDP; Lieutenant Colonel Ramkarran Doodnauth of the Guyana Defence Force, Commander at Base Camp Stephenson; Joel Trotman, Civil Engineer/Land Surveyor; Maurice Gajadhar, CEO of New Timehri Handling Services Incorporated; Wilfred Brandford, local hotel entrepreneur; Randy Storm, Executive Manager at Banks DIH Limited; Clayton Hall, former Commissioner of Forests at the Guyana Forestry Commission and Programme Director at Conservation International, now of the Natural Resources and the Environment Ministry; Kevin Samad, Civil Engineer in the Public Infrastructure Ministry; Leon Rutherford, Manager of Surveys, GL≻ Rawle Edinboro, Chief Development Planner, Central Housing and Planning Authority and Carol James, Surveyor.last_img read more

Bartica man released on $3M bail

first_img6M fraudThe gold dealer who defrauded a local bank of a total of $956 million was on Monday slapped with six counts of fraud.Saddiqi Rasul, the owner of SSS Minerals Trading Inc, who was accused of committing fraud at the local commercial bank made his first appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, where he denied the charges.Saddiqi Rasul making his way to the prisoners holding dock after the charges being readThe prosecution is contending that Rasul changed six cheques for a total of $956 million at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) between March 21 and 24, 2017. The cheques were in the sums of $290 million, $96 million, $138 million, $89 million, $298 million and $45 million.The incident became public on Thursday last and within a few hours, the suspect turned himself in to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in the company of his lawyer.At the court on Monday, his lawyer, Sandil Kissoon, in a bail application, accused the Bank of negligence while noting that the Bank’s Manager did not follow protocol, a prerequisite of the Bank’s policy. The Bank’s Manager, however, is still on the run.On the other hand, Prosecutor Arvin Moore, in his objection to bail, informed the Court that the suspect may tamper with evidence and witnesses. Moore also noted that Rasul has a pending case for a similar offence.Rasul, a known fraudster, is believed to have robbed and conned several gold dealers of hundreds of millions of dollars. He presently has several lawsuits hanging over his head from clients that he took money from to purchase gold, but instead, fraudulently converted it to his own use.Since his arrest, members of the Major Crime Unit of the CID swopped down on several of the suspect’s offices and houses where they conducted searches, but came up empty-handed.The fraud was pulled off at GBTI’S office at Bartica. Based on reports received, Rasul deposited the money in cheques into his bank account at GBTI.The cheques were, however, from Citizens’ Bank, but the manager of GBTI went ahead and effect payment without the cheques being cleared.Guyana Times understands that several close associates of the suspect have arrested and have been assisting Police as the probe intensifies. One of those arrested is a worker at the office at Charity, Essequibo.Rasul will make his next court appearance on April 21 at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court.last_img read more

Chicago Pastor Blames Crime on Evolution

first_imgWhy is Chicago the murder capitol of America? Factors are complex, but one pastor fingers the devaluing of human life because of evolutionary ideology.In Chicago last weekend, 75 were shot and a dozen died. Breitbart News says that at least 40 were shot before noon on Sunday, despite the city’s heavy gun control laws. Dr. Eric Wallace, a Chicago-area black pastor and director of the Freedom’s Journal Institute, was interviewed on Washington Watch on Monday August 6th. He was responding to the outburst of shootings and murders in Chicago the previous day. Host Russ Jones asked him to comment on the reasons for the lawlessness in his home city.Russ Jones: From your perspective, you know, a lot of times we see politicians try to fix things from a legal perspective, a law perspective. Give us your take.Eric Wallace: One of the things they’re not looking at is the whole spiritual aspect. [Dr Wallace mentions some political initiatives], but you also have the spiritual and moral issues that are going on in the city that nobody is talking about. A number of the pastors want to march [he mentions some recent marches]. But marching to change laws isn’t going to change anything. We need to change the hearts and minds of those folks who are committing these crimes. And they want to talk about gun violence as if the guns are running around and shooting people. It’s people shooting people, and we need to be able to minister to them and get them to have a heart transplant, if you will, through the power of the Holy Spirit.Russ Jones: Well how do you see taking back these neighborhoods? Just give us an update. I know you are connected with people who are trying to address this.Eric Wallace: Well there are a number of things going on, actually right now as we speak. There are a number of churches that have been coming together and praying for the city of Chicago, and trying to do things in the community [examples of activities trying to bring about change in the city, and how churches have allowed politicians to enact bad policies.]Russ Jones: Dr Wallace, maybe you can say a little about this. The gangs create a family environment, so to speak – a very dysfunctional family – but the fatherlessness in our culture today is very strong. And abortion: the genocide of black Americans, the black babies across the country, is huge. Doesn’t that cast a spirit of disparage over people, and causing them to look for something in all the wrong places?Eric Wallace: Absolutely. Human life is not valued at all, and we’ve kind of lost a moral compass. We don’t have that any more. I mean, we’ve thrown out the whole idea that we’ve been created in the image of God, and so we’re just here by chance. Evolution is the ideology of the day, and we’re just here by chance. And if we can throw away life through abortion, and if we can say that human life doesn’t count for anything, it’s not created in the image of God, it’s here by chance – why should we care? Why should we care about human life, then, if it’s not created by God? There’s no moral authority; we’ve thrown that out as well. Like I said, there’s no moral compass, and so you can pretty much expect some of the things going on.Dr Wallace did not point out in this interview any particular setting where black gang members are learning about Darwinian evolution; presumably any of them who stay in public school long enough will hear it taught eventually. He speaks, though, as if evolution is just in the air. It’s a well-known, generally-accepted idea that contributes to a worldview that devalues human life. He says that a “perfect storm” of factors, including political policies, church ineffectiveness, fatherlessness (due to abortion and welfare policy) are also involved in the rash of gun violence and murder. But he concentrated on this one factor – the evolutionary worldview, which demolished the idea that we are created in the image of God – as the most significant factor.Pastors and teachers, are you listening? Are you focusing your congregation’s attention on Genesis 1:27? Are you teaching your people that they are eternal beings created in God’s image, who have precious worth and dignity? When you ignore that doctrine, and allow evolutionary ideology to sweep in, bad ideas have terrible consequences. Ask the weeping mothers of those murdered in Chicago last week.Yesterday we reported on the confused, mixed-up story of human evolution, and showed how implausible, irrational, and anti-science it is. Don’t think for a minute that you need to bow before the Darwinians. They are clueless! Everything they think they know is wrong. You can trust the Bible. Look how often it points to human exceptionalism. The image of God in man was corrupted by sin, but can be regained in Christ. Preach the Word!Genesis 1:26-2826 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in his own image,    in the image of God he created him;    male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”Genesis 5:1This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.Genesis 9:6“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”  [How pertinent to Chicago!]Psalm 8:3-6 Acts 17:24-31 [Note that even the pagan Athenians knew that humans were exceptional.]24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;as even some of your own poets have said,“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”Romans 8:3-103 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. I Corinthians 11:7-127 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.Ephesians 4:2323 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.Hebrews 2:5-125 For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, [Psalm 8] James 3:7-10 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.  “I will tell of your name to my brothers;    in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” “What is man, that you are mindful of him,    or the son of man, that you care for him?7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels;    you have crowned him with glory and honor,8     putting everything in subjection under his feet.”Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying,center_img 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings    and crowned him with glory and honor.6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;    you have put all things under his feet…. (Visited 499 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,4 what is man that you are mindful of him,    and the son of man that you care for him?last_img read more

How to Port Your Phone Number to Google Voice

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#How To#voice#web mike melanson Google officially announcedtoday that, for a one-time $20 fee, Google Voice users could move their mobile phone number over to the service. The move was rumored when Engadget first noticed the feature’s availability last week, but Google said that it was only a test and that it planned to offer the feature to all users in the near future. According to some, porting your phone number over to the service can be an experience not unlike an LSD trip gone awry. If you want to avoid this, Google offers a few tips on how to make it an easy and smooth transition.When you port your number over to Google Voice, your existing phone carrier cancels your phone line. This is the first, and most important, thing you need to consider. This means that you can be subject to those $200+ early termination fees and you can likely be without service for a period of time. Google Voice, though a VoIP solution in many ways, will not work on your cell phone without cellular service, much as it won’t work on your 3G iPad.To this point, Google suggests that you contact your carrier prior to initiating the porting process and set up a second mobile number and service. “As soon as this second number is added to your account,” the company explains, “go to voice.google.com, click on Settings, and under Phones add this new, second number as a forwarding phone.” If you’re an SMS-addict, also take note that Google warns that you can experience “disruptions in sending and receiving text messages for up to 3 business days.”Now that you’ve been fairly warned about some pre-steps you might want to take, how do you make the switch?Go to Google Voice, click Settings in the upper right corner and choose Voice Settings from the drop-down menu.You’ll see your Google Voice number in the middle of the window with a link to “Change / Port”. Click on it.Fill out all the forms and you’re done.So, the actual porting process is simple. Currently, the feature is only available to existing Google Voice users and to mobile numbers, not landlines. Before you make the final leap, you might consider Danny Sullivan’s tale of Google Voice use for the past six months. According to Sullivan, the service provides a much more seamless experience on Android than iPhone. He also says that text messages can come in “very delayed” and that their integration into the phone is not complete, even on the Android side of things.What do you think? Does it sound worth it to you? Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

N.D. Tiwari’s last rites today

first_imgThe last rites of veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari will be held at the Chitrashila Ghat, Rani Bagh, Nainital district, on Sunday. All arrangements for the former Chief Minister’s funeral have been made, Nainital District Magistrate Vinod Kumar Suman said on Saturday, adding that the last rites would be conducted with full State honours in the afternoon. His body has been kept at Kathgodam Guest House here for the people to pay their last respects, he said. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, a former ministerial colleague of Tiwari, and a host of prominent politicians will attend the rites, he said. The body of Tiwari, who passed away at a private hospital in Delhi on his 93rd birthday on October 18, after a prolonged illness was brought to Pantnagar in Uttarakhand in an air ambulance from Lucknow on Saturday. Last respects Earlier, leaders across the political divide paid their last respects to the Congress veteran in Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his ministerial colleagues received the mortal remains at the Lucknow airport. The body was taken to U.P. Vidhan Bhawan, where leaders from different political parties had gathered to pay their tributes to Tiwari. U.P. Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma in a tweet said, “Shri Tiwari had significantly worked for the development and prosperity of U.P. He was soft-spoken, able administrator and also had knowledge of parliamentary traditions.”last_img read more

Anti-Muslim rant sparks backlash against AFL personality

first_imgSydney, Aug 22 (AFP) A leading Australian media personality sparked controversy today after lashing out at the nation’s Muslim community, saying they “share no common interest” with the rest of the country.Sam Newman, a former Aussie Rules football player who co-hosts the popular “Footy Show” on commercial television, was reacting after two leading Muslim players embraced in a show of solidarity before a game last weekend.Richmond’s Bachar Houli and Essendon’s Adam Saad hugged in a planned silent protest during the coin toss after Australian politician Fraser Anning used a speech in parliament to urge “a final solution” to immigration.Anning, who represents Queensland for Katter’s Australian Party, also called for a return to the White Australia policy that favoured “European Christians”.He was widely condemned, but Newman said the Australian Football League (AFL) was playing with fire by allowing political debate to creep into Australia’s most popular spectator sport.”Keep out of our minds… let people go to the games and not be lectured on politics by the AFL, the NRL the basketball or anyone else,” he told his Sam, Mike and Thommo podcast this week.But he also took aim at the Muslim community and said “70 percent of the people would agree with (Anning’s) sentiment”.”There are 600,000 Muslims in Australia, they share no common interest with what we’re on about,” said Newman, who has previously courted controversy over his views.”They have no common values, they preach to a different deity, they don’t generally nationalise, they colonise, and this has been a huge problem in Europe and is becoming a huge problem in America.advertisement”I don’t necessarily agree with what Fraser Anning said but there’d be a significant number of people in this country that would absolutely agree with what he said.”Why would the AFL think they’re being virtuous by getting those boys to shake hands? They’re being divisive.” His comments sparked a backlash on social media.”How much longer will you give this dinosaur airtime?” asked one person on Twitter, while another said: “He adds no value to the Australian or AFL communities.” Geelong Cats fan Renne-Poe-Munro said Newman’s “vile, racist vitriol” must have consequences, and Melbourne FC supporter Veronica Caramel urged the club to ban its players from appearing on his show.”It’s mortifying to see @melbournefc players that I otherwise respect appearing alongside someone as bigoted as Sam Newman. Please think about the message it sends,” she said.Anning’s comments were condemned from all sides of politics, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who said Australia was one of the world’s most successful multicultural societies.(AFP) AMSAMSlast_img read more

Esther Valdes Border security threats

first_imgEsther Valdes: Border security threats Posted: February 8, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- Customs and border protection say that year to date, more than 650 apprehensions occurred in this remote and unsecured area in Arizona.Joining KUSI to talk more about border security issues is political analyst Esther Valdes. KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, February 8, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

A Better Logo for Better Homes and Gardens

first_imgBetter Homes and Gardens has a new logo for the first time since 1965. Starting with its January 2017 issue, “and” is replaced with a stylized ampersand, and the long-standing three lines of text are truncated to two. The new identity system and refreshed logo, while aesthetically pleasing, also solves a practical issue, Stephen Orr, editor-in-chief since 2015, tells Folio:. Fitting the 51-year-old logo to digital avatars and brand extensions, like Better Home and Gardens Real Estate, has proven difficult. Now, the social avatar stacks “BH” over “&G” with white text inside of a black circle. This will replace the magazine’s current digital logo, a red background with “BHG” centered in a white, bolded, sans-serif font. Better Homes and Gardens is the largest brand at Meredith, and Meredith is the second largest consumer license brand in the world. This means the new logo will be seen on a lot of different products — from homeware sold at Walmart, to cookbooks, to real estate. The magazine also claims 40 million readers, with a verified rate base of 7,600,000 for its print issues. “They were really just thinking about the print magazine,” Orr says of the magazine’s mid-century editors. “But brands like BH&G are comprehensive brands. We needed something that was more flexible.” The new logo from January 2017 Due to the scale of use, the brand decided to partner with Lippincot, a creative agency that redesigned the Starbucks mermaid, as well as the Meredith corporate logo. The process took almost 10 months, Orr says, and involved over 75 different versions. The ampersand, while fresh in its design, is not new to the magazine. Better Homes and Gardens first launched in 1922 with “and” written out, but from 1931 until the late 40’s, the logo contained an ampersand along with its ever shifting typography. The old logo from December 2016last_img read more

Union Budget 2017 What senior citizens and salaried people need from FM

first_imgMatt AielloLet’s make one thing very clear right up front: The Modi government’s demonitisation plan would never have succeeded without the support and tolerance of the common citizen, who spent hours out of their busy days to stand in queues at ATMs and banks to withdraw their OWN money.7th Pay Commission: EC’s order on Budget 2017 could bring cheer to Central govt employeesThere were no riots, nor acts of civil disobedience because the common citizen believed in the government’s intention to wipe out the scourge of black money.Now is the time for Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley to reward the patience of the common man; reward them for their support and belief in the claims made by the government. But will the politics of finance take priority on Budget 2017 Day?Here is what the common man would like to see from the FM and his budget.Raise the taxable limitThe taxable limit should be raised so as to give people the extra allowance for savings, education, housing and maintenance, etc.No Tax on income less than Rs3.5 lakh (up from Rs2.5 Lakh)2. 3.5-7 lakh: 10%3. 7-12 lakh: 20%4. above Rs12 lakh: 30%Protect senior citizensFor senior citizens the government has serious intentions to reduce interest rates thereby encouraging citizens to apply for bank loans for housing, vehicles, startups, industries, corporate financing, infrastructure, restructuring of bad debts, etc.The main source of income for seniors is investments in Fixed Deposits, PPF, NSC certs, etc. This rate reduction will cause a serious depletion in their earnings and hence a revision in their tax deduction needs to be given serious consideration.Senior Citizens 60-80 years of age1: No Tax on income less than Rs4 lakh (up from Rs3 lakh)2: 4-6 lakh: 10%3: 6-12 lakh: 20%4: Above 12 lakh: 30%Senior Citzens above 80 years of age1: No Tax on income upto Rs6 lakh2: 6-12 lakh: 20%3: Above 12 lakh: 30%The maximum cap on Tax Saving Instruments should be raised from Rs1.5 lakh to Rs2 lakh. This limit could be increased by Rs5,00,000 for those with an income of more than Rs12 lakh.The Short term and Long term Capital Tax structure should remain the same to avoid FIIs pulling out their finances, which would result in a major setback to the Indian Stock Market. The US plan to increase their interest rates and reduce corporate tax would result in an exodus of Funds of Foreign Institutions back to the US.Increase in Housing Loan Tax exemption from Rs2 lakh to Rs2.5 lakh.Set up government agencies and cold storage facilities in rural areas to assist farmers in procuring a better price realisation for their crops, thereby eliminating middle men, brokers and hoarders.This direct investment by the government will lift the rural economy and result in a drop in market retail prices.Cashless transactions will promote transparency and to encourage this the government should offer tax sops to card users as well as institutions that invest in machines for cashless/ digital transactions.The recent government scheme on demonitisation was hampered largely by corrupt bank officials, brokers and hoarders of black money. The government should offer an incentive to whistleblowers so as to unearth the nexus of operators who illegally helped in converting black money.Also the government must publish the degree of punishment to corrupt officials, whether they be bankers, law enforcement officers, Income Tax officials, corporate accountants, etc.Declaration of funds received and held by political parties is a must. Limit the expenses they incur during elections. No promises that are detrimental to the financial welfare of the state/country, no freebies for the electorate just to win over vote banks. Politicians with criminal records and involved in hate speeches, money laundering, anti-national remarks, etc, should be barred from running for office.Make it a punishable offence for event organizers to pay cash to entertainers, actors, sports persons, celebrities, etc, as this will result in non-payment of taxes and accumulation of unaccounted for black money. Those being paid should also be made aware of this penalty.last_img read more

Finding a Niche

first_img “Each category is like a little pond where you can be a big fish,” says Mary Margaret Gibson, 61, president of Mirrors and Light Gallery (eBay User ID: maam1945), based in The Colony, Texas. Mirrors and Light specializes in unique, artist-made kaleidoscopes and jewelry. “Our plan was to have more and better kaleidoscopes than anybody else out there,” says Gibson. “There aren’t many who sell kaleidoscopes on a regu-lar basis [on eBay],” or in the volume that Mirrors and Light does. At any particular time, the company typically has 100 or so kaleidoscopes available through eBay for hobbyists, collectors and fans, ranging in price from $700 to $3,500.Because its products are much more expensive than typical eBay merchandise, Mirrors and Light has worked hard to develop a level of trust with buyers, especially the 30 percent of its customer base that is overseas. Gibson knows that overseas customers may be wary of sending several hundred dollars to an unknown seller in another part of the world. To address any reservations, Gibson went so far as to write a book, The Kaleidoscope Collector’s Guide. She also communicates frequently with the company’s core audience about its artists and products.Gibson explains that the kaleidoscopes being sold are either from private collections, self-representing artists, or a family or broker selling off an estate. And in some cases, Gibson acts as broker, helping research and evaluate individual pieces, and selling kaleidoscopes on eBay for individuals unfamiliar with them.Starting from scratch in 2004, Mirrors and Light expects to hit sales of just under $150,000 in 2006 from its online sales of kaleidoscopes and new jewelry.No LimitsInterestingly, choosing a narrowly defined niche does not prevent those outside your core customer group from buying from you, say Jennifer Basye Sander and Peter Sander, co-authors of Niche and Grow Rich. Rather, as a niche seller, you will have an easier time establishing yourself as the source for a particular type of product and still attract new buyers. For instance, if your niche is vintage Hermès scarves, your products will be presented to buyers who search for that exact phrase as well as to buyers simply looking for “scarves,” “vintage” or “Hermès.” Creating a niche doesn’t limit opportunities; in fact, it often results in more business. You won’t limit your buyers, and specializing in a particular product category will frequently make you a preferred seller to your target customers.Scratch That NicheTo zero in on a niche that’s not only profitable, but also fits your interests and background, check out these ebay tools.The eBay “Hot List”: A report provided by eBay and accessible from the “Sell” area of the site, the “Hot List” (http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/whatshot.html) identifies categories with the greatest increase in listings over a certain time period. Because people list more often in a category when demand is increasing, it’s a useful gauge of demand, says John Bodine, product manager for eBay Market-place Research.eBay Pulse: For a quick look at what buyers are searching for, eBay Pulse lists the top 10 search terms on the site (http://pulse.ebay.com). If you subscribe to eBay Marketplace Research, you can see the top 20 terms.Keyword Search: Anyone can use this simple tool to search for types of products and see how many are already listed–essentially, how much competition there is. Search completed listings to determine the typical selling price of an item. Most important, say eBay sellers and experts alike, is finding a niche you love.Gold Mine or Land Mine?If you think you’ve found a winner, ebay marketplace research can give you the following information to help you determine whether your proposed niche will make you rich.Size of The Opportunity: Using eBay Marketplace Research, you can search by product category to find the average selling price of products you’re interested in. Then you can check the number of items sold in that same category. Multiply the average selling price by the number of items sold, and divide by the number of months reported (either two or three, depending on your subscription level), and you have the approximate size of the sales opportunity per month, explains Nick Donelson, product manager for eBay Marketplace Research.Trends: You Ultimately want to enter a category with increasing demand and a rising average selling price, says Donelson. You can use eBay Marketplace Research to chart category performance by day or by week and to spot upticks in demand and price.Sales Forecasting: To determine how long it takes for a type of product to sell, look up average selling price and success rate. This will give you a ballpark idea of how long it will take to sell something. For instance, if 200 listings for McDonald’s memorabilia ended and 100 items sold, you can infer that 50 percent of the listings in this category are completed. Based on that information, you can opt to drop your price to sell your product faster, or you can expect to have to list your goods twice for them to sell, says Donelson.The cost to subscribe to eBay Marketplace Research varies according to the term length, which ranges from two days to a month. A Fast Pass provides two days of access for $2.99 and up to 60 days of historical sales information. The Basic level costs $9.99 per month for 60 days’ worth of data, and the Pro level costs $24.99 per month but provides up to 90 days of historical data and detailed information to help optimize your listings. October 30, 2006 Sure, the flexibility of being able to sell anything and everything on eBay sounds appealing. But specializing–carving out a niche in a particular category or type of product–can yield even greater rewards. For starters, explains Michael Miller, author of Making a Living From Your eBay Business, you’ll know your market and your products more thoroughly than you ever could as a generalist. “You can sell on eBay and not specialize, but it’s more hobby than business,” Miller observes. “The biggest eBay sellers I know do one or two things well.” Knowing a lot about one or two areas, vs. knowing only a little about many categories, can make the difference between being profitable and being very profitable.Seeking out what sellsCase in point: Steve Weber, 46, owner of Weber Books (eBay User ID: weber-books), a Falls Church, Virginia, reseller of used books. Although he made $300 or $400 on eBay the first month he began selling from his own bookshelves, Weber’s sales took off when he zeroed in on specific types of nonfiction books that were in demand. In 2005, four years after Weber started his business part time, the now full-time enterprise sold $335,000 online–more than 100 times what the business was initially generating. It all came down to finding a niche.At the outset, Weber worked part time in the evenings selling books he no longer needed. “I wasn’t an expert in book values,” he admits, but he did notice that nonfiction books tended to be more valuable than fiction, and science and math tomes in particular sold for far more than he anticipated. So he began going to library and estate sales–“the two best ways to get inventory”–in search of science and math guides. His efforts paid off when he purchased a box of books at a sale for a whopping $10. In the box was a book titled Curves and Their Properties, which Weber was able to sell for $200.”The way to make money is to find a specialty,” says Weber. “It’s helpful to start with a niche because you can learn a specific product area and you’re not re-inventing the wheel all the time–you quickly learn what sells.” He recommends that anyone interested in selling books on eBay start with used merchandise because “there’s more profit potential.”However, Weber cautions that mass market books, such as The DaVinci Code, may not necessarily sell for more than what you paid because there are already so many of them in circulation. On the other hand, more unusual books that appeal to a limited audience may take a little longer to sell on eBay, but they can sell for more (sometimes much more) than the original cover price, even if they’re not in pristine condition. With such quirky titles, “condition is not as important as the information they contain,” says Weber.Approximately one-third of Weber’s time is spent finding books, with big pushes during January and August, the two biggest bookselling months of the year. Each month, he buys at least 5,000 used books to resell, in addition to the new books he’s been selling since 2003. Through wholesale sellers online, such as Book Depot (www.bookdepot.com) and Kudzu Books (www.kudzubooks.com), Weber finds that he can buy overstock for 80 percent off retail and then resell the books profitably over the next several months. (You can find more potential product sources in “Finders, Sellers” on page 22.)The strategy has worked for Weber: “I’m making more money than ever,” he says, “because I keep getting better and better at [selling certain types of books] within my niche.” Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global A Well-Oiled Machine Big Fish in a Small Pond Register Now » 11 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Another advantage niche businesses have is standardi-zation of processes and materials. For example, Weber needs to stock only a few sizes of boxes and packages for shipping his books rather than hundreds of varieties. “Back-end efficiency, such as with packing and shipping, and effectiveness improve with a niche,” confirms Miller. You can set up a routine, a type of assembly line, which reduces the time it takes to complete a sale and increases your profitability.Through experience in his category, Weber is also much faster at setting prices. He uses auction-style listings for some hard-to-find books in hopes that bidders will drive the prices up, and he sells others at fixed prices using “Buy It Now” when there is a general agreement about the value of a particular book.Pump Up the VolumeWhile Weber Books expanded from used books into new ones, Curvy Girl Clothing (eBay User ID: curvygirlclothing) has always been about new merchandise. The company focuses on new special-occasion wear for plus-size women, says Laura Poorman, 31, co-founder with her twin sister, Lisa Toton, of the Portland, Or-egon, company. Poorman and Toton began their eBay careers as buyers, with Poorman scouting convertible cars and Toton on the hunt for a wedding ring set. Both found what they were looking for on the site and, inspired by the potential selling opportunities, began discussions about running their own eBay Store filled with stylish plus-size clothing.To amass some inventory, the two headed to Los Angeles’ fashion district, near Toton’s home, and stocked up on trendy tops, dresses and skirts for women size 16 to 32. In the three-mile area that makes up the fashion district, Poorman and Toton discovered numerous stores willing to sell clothing to them at great prices. “We only had to buy a few items” in each size, says Poorman.Although they didn’t have experience selling on eBay, what they did have was knowledge of their market. As curvy women themselves, Poorman says, “We know what’s going to work for plus-size women, so we’re able to pick better styles.” And because they deal only in new merchandise, they can buy in larger volumes rather than offering single items, as with used pieces. “You can buy something [used] for $5 to $20 and sell [it] for $60, but you only have one,” she points out, “so it’s harder work.” Selling used items next to new ones also devalues the new items, which is why Curvy Girl stays focused on its new-clothing niche.The twins started doing business on eBay in summer 2005, and in October, they had their first $10,000 week in sales. By the end of their first year in business, sales are expected to reach $350,000.Poorman says one of the keys to their success thus far is “not losing focus.” By establishing their niche and sticking with it, Curvy Girl Clothing is building a brand that draws eBay buyers back regularly because they know exactly what they’ll find there. Says Poorman, “People like that we only do plus-size, stylish occasion wear.”last_img read more