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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pimp My Twenty Bucks - Part One

I want to tell you about a certain love of my life. She is delicate and yet rough enough to have a tattoo on her face, of The Queen. She's not scared to pay for her man (that's me) and my wife is more than happy to allow me the freedom of her company... ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the New Zealand twenty dollar note. She's not that bad a gal to keep in your wallet for a cold day and might even get me more than a couple cups of of coffee.

But let's face it, she's lost some of her lustre. Although her plastic nature has kept the wrinkles from her Queen Tattoo I can't quite get her to stretch as far anymore with her financial power. What used to be enough for a paperback novel, 20 litres of gas or my monthly mobile phone bill won't even get me two thirds of that Novel I've been wanting to buy, can only squeeze less than 10 litres into my tank and while it still covers my text messages she only leaves me with 50 mb of data for Internet usage, which barely lasts me a week. Nope, shes' just not the fun girl she once was.

You see, I'm a man with needs! I could do with a new pair of shoes... I went to a fine dining experience with my elegant spouse on a recent evening wearing everything the right way above my ankles. As I walked into the fine establishment with its flashy waiters and rich poncy people sitting at their tables sipping a $19 glass of whatever all I could think of was, please don't let anyone notice I'm wearing tramping boots! On the other hand I would quite like to visit my dear old mother who lives about a $60 petrol ride away, but $20 will get me just far enough out of Auckland to end up being the guy in a horror movie that starts with his car running out of gas on a lonely rural route. I don't want to be that guy so I think I'll stay home and wonder how I'm going to cough up the cash to neuter my cat. He's a big ginger 6 month old nightmare called Felix who I should have named Jubba the Cat. Just looking at him its not hard tom imagine a miniature Princess Leia chained to his fat stinky exterior. He's a nightmare of testosterone and fleas and needs to be dealt with. Twenty dollars will get me a rubber band to do the job myself but to be honest I think he would agree with me, its better to pay the vet bill than even think about going there.

So the challenge is, how do I turn this $20 of mine into something more spendable? How do I transmogrify this green Queen clad bill into something red with a picture of some moustached up dude from my country's past whose name I can't remember right now, but he must have been important because where our Queen got the worthless twenty dollar note, he took up residence on our rarely seen $100 (rarely seen in my back pocket at least).

I've put a great deal of thought into this over the past year and am now ready to invite you, the reader, on a journey of multiplication. I'm going to test a theory I've developed, and blog about it. The theory is so simple its almost stupid, not because it works but because it took me 30 years to realize it, and amazingly it takes most people a life time never to even make it that far. My theory is that anyone can turn a little amount into a bigger amount if they just use their brains a bit...

It began over a year ago when I walked into an op shop in Aussiestralia (spelt that way on purpose) and I was thrilled to discover that here I could get a paper back for a meager dollar! What joy filled my heart when I discovered they actually had some decent titles by the likes of Michael Crichton and Dan Brown (though Dan Brown isn't really that great, his books are rubbish), but by decent I mean popular - for a dollar!

And so the seed was planted in my brain and remained long enough to grow into a money tree... I began to realize that I had resources at my disposal and certain interests that I should be able to benefit financially from. The resources being the Internet and the interest - my love for books.

And so I poured the concrete of this idea into the foundation of this endeavor and as it set here is what it looked like:

Having been a semi-avid reader for many years and also a clerk in a bookstore in my younger days I have developed a certain knowledge of books, what is popular, what is not, but more importantly I know what I like, and if I like something then surely someone else out there must like it as well?

Secondly with opportunity shops all over the place surely they are a source of cheap books? What if I were to purchase some with the intention of selling them for up to three times what I pay for them?

Thirdly with tools like ebay (or here in New Zealand we have Trademe) I can cheaply list these items and, well, sell them.

I told you it was ridiculously simple.

So I looked and found in my own neighborhood an op-shop with a hoard of books that seems to be replenished weekly and purchased paperbacks for 50 cents a piece! Authors like Tom Clancy, Crichton, Wilbur Smith, Jack Higgens... you name it, the list goes on. I listed them, and slowly but surely found, well, not success exactly, I didn't go on to build my Trumpian empire, I didn't found "Virgin Books" and buy an island to retire on but I did find a way that a simple chap like me could double his money, painstakingly over a few weeks, money that actually came in handy when I found myself in need.

I know what you're thinking, it goes something like this, "Yeah but the time you invest in going to the shop, listing the items and actually posting them, just isn't worth it." That's fine if you have a better idea you are actually implementing. But at the end of the day I ended up with a fist full of dollars I would not otherwise have had, money that I made out of my own God given ingenuity.

As a bloke it made me proud I must say, and my wife smiled at me with a certain adoration her ancestors might have given her great great great great great great.... granddad upon bringing home a freshly killed zebra or the like.

For the purposes of this blog I have decided to start again from scratch so you can follow and participate in my little financial adventure. Beginning with only $20 here's what I have done...

I have credited my Trademe account with $10 to cover my listing fees. With the remaining $10 I have purchased 16 titles which I have placed on a 7 day listing here: (just for the extra curious among you).

For as long as it takes I plan to document in a series of blogs my success or failure to turn my meagre $20 into a handsome hundred!

Why books you may ask? As alluded to up the top, books are something that I know about and am comfortable trading with. I'm not exactly going to buy a mating pair of rabbits and encourage them to have babies so as to increase the thickness of my wallet, because I'm not particularly interested in rabbits and don't even know if I can get 2 for $20... my point here is if you would like to put these hopelessly basic principles to good use then do so with your own interests, whatever it is that gets you going, utilize that interest and look for ways to make it work for you.

In the mean time we're all just going to have to wait a week and see if my little scheme works...

Click here to read Part Two in this series...

Click Here to follow me on facebook!

Click Here to listen to a completely random song that I wrote which has nothing to do with this blog!

Wish me luck and stay tuned... and click the "like" button for good measure!

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