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Beggar's Market

This business got some fast cash the old-fashioned way: The owners begged for it.

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Chris Staros and Brett Warnock were in dire straits. Their Marietta, Georgia, comic book publishing company, Top Shelf Productions Inc., was going to have to cease publication entirely in April 2002 when their distributor went bankrupt. Because they had been expecting a hefty $100,000 payment from the doomed distributor when it went under, Staros, 39, and Warnock, 36, needed a big cash infusion--fast.

Their solution was to send an e-mail to their friends and customers detailing the situation and asking anyone interested in purchasing comic books to do so (and quickly). "It was sort of an act of desperation," says Staros. "[We wanted] to tell them honestly what happened."

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