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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pimp My Twenty Bucks - Part Two

Let’s just jump right into it shall we?

Here’s a brief recap. Last week I listed 16 Books on Trademe, most of which cost me 50 cents each, except for two that were a dollar, from a local Opportunity Shop.

I chose books that I recognized as popular from my own experience as a book salesperson in my youth, and also books that I definitely would have considered putting on my own bookshelf so I could dream about the day when I would find the time to actually read them.

Total Cost of books - $10.

I then credited my Trademe account with $10, which is the minimum amount Trademe will allow. (If memory serves me correctly eBay charge your credit card directly, but it’s been years since I used eBay. Why? Kiwis just don’t use eBay, and as for the time being I want to keep my sales local, this is where my market is. In any case, rather than charging your credit card directly they operate on a system where you credit your account first and then you can buy/sell items. I think it just ensures they get their money.)

As long as your account is credited it is actually possible to list items for free on Trademe and you will only be charged a success fee should your item actually sell (In the case of books the success fee is 50 cents). This way you can just keep on listing your item and not actually spend any more money than the initial cost of the book until it is actually sold.

You can list up to 50 books on Trademe before the site recognizes you as a “High Volume” user, after which they begin to charge you 10 cents per item. Beyond that I’m not sure if the listing fees go up as, until present, I’ve never listed more than 50 items, because I’m cheap.

Wanting to attract customers to my books I made sure I included a photo in the gallery. According to Trademe this increases the number of views your items receive times three. I don’t know the math, but I decided to take their word for it, because I’m also lazy, mentally speaking.

So I took my 16 books and listed them at 30 cents per item, which cost me $4.80 in total for listing fees. But I was lucky, and that’s the beautiful thing about any financial endeavor – sometimes luck plays a very big part. Though only a small amount of luck in my case, it had a very convenient consequence - when I listed those items Trademe were running a promotion which allowed me to relist whatever books I didn’t sell for up to 3 times and still be able to feature a photo in the gallery, with no extra charge, an offer which I was glad to take advantage of.

Having listed the items I then blogged about it in Part One of this series, to either share my great success or show myself to be a complete financial idiot; we will see which as this series progresses I’m sure. In my blog I also included a link to my listings to hopefully drive some traffic to my items. (Though, to date this blog series has only had about 17 hits so I’m not sure how successful that tactic has been!)

On a side note, once I have sent the items to the buyers I will send a courtesy email to say the item has been posted and include a link to this blog series and thank them for participating. Call it a hunch, but I have this crazy notion that the more popular this series becomes, the more books I’m going to sell.

And by the way, I’m not suggesting that should you try this formula at home then you also should write a blog! Why? Because you might suck at writing blogs. No offense! But it comes back to what I said in Part One – stick to what you know. I’m selling Books because I know books, and I will advertise through Facebook and my blog site because they’re my stomping ground, where it’s completely natural for me to act like a monkey howling from the trees. You won’t see me standing on the streets with a sandwich board that says, “Buy my Books.” Because I don’t know the first thing about sandwich boards, seriously.

Anyway, let’s regress from this digression…

After listing the items I played the nail biting game of waiting. I must have checked my listings a thousand times during the week. I suggest you don’t do this. It will drive you mad. On the first day I sold Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden for $6 – that’s 12 times what I paid for it. Not bad, I thought excitedly… then for the rest of the darn week Gone with the Wind sat at $3. I began to seriously wonder if maybe I should discretely delete Part One in this series, which would have been embarrassing because it was already featuring in a Blog Carnival alongside articles by people better adept at creating affluence than me!

Finally though, the end came. The listings closed and in trepidation I checked my Trademe Ap. (Oh yeah, there’s an Ap!) The results were not as cool as waking up to discover the Google Stock you bought while the company was virtually unknown had suddenly endowed you with the ability to retire, but I was pleased and that’s all that matters.

Here’s how it went down:

Tomorrow When the War Began​ - $6.00 ​​
Gone With the Wind​​​ - $3.50​​
The Third Day the Frost​​​ - $3.00​​
Burning for Revenge​​​ - $2.00​​
Wuthering Heights​​​ - $3.00​

Total​​​​​ $17.50​​

11 Books Remained unsold.

You don’t know it but I just took a break to do some math. My Brain runs like the old Eniac Computer used to crack codes in World War II when it comes to figures. Unfortunately I don’t have the necessary staff required for running such a computer and I think I blew a few vacuum tubes in the process…

But this is what I have done with the above information:

I started this endeavor with $20.

From the initial $10 I credited my account with - $4 remains.

I made back $17.50

Which means I now have $21.50.

Multiplication? No. Addition? Yes. Proof that my system so far is working, albeit ever so slowly. But this is not a series about how to get rich quick and while “Present Me” is thinking, “My cat’ll never be neutered at this rate!” I can hear the faint praise of “Future Me” saying, “Don’t stop now! Future cat will love you for it!”

So where to now? Keep on pimping my 20 bucks of course!

At no extra cost I immediately relisted the 11 remaining items.

With $4 lingering in my Trademe account I needed to top up, and given that $10 is the minimum top up I had no choice but to once again part with half of my $20, which left me with only $6 to purchase books while keeping the $1.50 I made in my Savings Account (especially opened for this enterprise).

Having used that $6 to replenish my stocks I now have 22 books listed here on Trademe. Please feel free to have a wee nosy.

Financial genius or monetarily demented? Come back in a week and find out…

Click here to view Part Three in this series

Click here to follow my progress on facebook!

Click here to listen to a completely random song I wrote that has nothing to do with this series :p

(If you are enjoying this series, why not pass on the gift of my nonsense to a friend by sharing this post, or better still hit the Stumbleupon Button and prove your sincere obsequiousness… thanks!)


  1. Umm Kerin dont you have to add postage costs into your sums? Sorry if you have addressed this I only started reading :)


    1. Hey, Na I didn't think it mattered because I've kept postage costs separate. I charge $4 on top of whatever the sale came to, And I don't make or lose any money on postage so it doesn't effect what goes into the bank at the end of the day. I thought including it into my sones would be a)boring and b) pointless because it has no bearing on whether I make or lose money... Make sense?


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