Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Need help with a jigsaw? Go online to find assistance

By Yuan Shih-Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Anyone who has ever racked their brains assembling a jigsaw puzzle can now turn to a serious enthusiast for help.

Teresa, who declined to reveal her full name, admits that it was just a sudden whim that made her create a Web site to help people by getting them to send her their unfinished jigsaw puzzles for completion.

What amazed Teresa, a run-of-the-mill nine-to-fiver, is that the click-through rate of advertising on her Web site has been among the top 10 in the country of those offering free advertising coupon services.

She gets one or two unfinished jigsaw puzzles sent each month.

"The best part of this is that you can combine your hobby with making some extra money on the side," Teresa said.

Teresa, who has completed more than a hundred jigsaws, said that she became addicted to the hobby at her first job, where her boss was a jigsaw lover.

In July, after she posted an ad on the Internet, Teresa received a reply from a fellow jigsaw puzzle aficionado who needed her assistance in completing a fighter plane jigsaw.

"When unpacking this guy's parcel, I noticed a strong cigarette smell. I guess he was racking his brains while anxiously puffing away at his cigarettes. Then he felt he was at his wits' end and decided to have someone take over," she said.

Although Teresa can only use her time after work to pursue this time-consuming hobby, business has been amazingly brisk since she started from scratch.

Although she only charges NT$1 per unfinished piece, another benefit from this unlikely business is that she gets to assemble a vast variety of jigsaw puzzles.

When asked about the secret behind completing a jigsaw puzzle, Teresa said "you just have to carefully match and arrange numerous small and often oddly shaped and interlocking pieces. If you pay attention to detail, you can be almost certain that there is not a jigsaw out there that you can not complete."

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