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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twenty One

In the past week I’ve been mauled by an angry cat, survived a 4.8 magnitude earthquake and received a rude email. Quite an exciting week really!

Thanks to Felix, my ginger Rodentus Enemius I have a two and a half inch scratch marking the drumstick region of my thumb with its pain and bloody glory. I was trying to do him a favor by taking him to the vet but we never made it past the getting-him-into-the-cage stage as his back legs suddenly and miraculously turned into spinning lawn mower blades for my own special treatment of say-good-bye-to your-thumb pink face! (Sometimes Felix communicates with me through my own imagination so there’s a small chance I made that last part up). Nevertheless, there was nothing fake about me cancelling his vet appointment and swearing that he can die from whatever it was he was meant to be getting immunized against before I try putting him inside that cage again. Either that or I’m going to need one of those police shields you see used in riots, that and a large pair of chop sticks. He must have sensed my ferocity because he didn’t show his ginger locks again until after dinner time, which was just as well because he might have ended up on the menu.

Earlier this week I was sitting at my desk at work when all of a sudden I had this feeling I had entered the Jelly Dimension. Everything seemed to be wobbling. My desk, my chair my Jurassic Park style glass of rippling water all seemed to be shaking in anticipation of the T-Rex about to barge its way through my Projection Booth…

My first thought was that a really big truck must have been going past the Cinema but then, while I was still sitting there unconcerned about the new shaking world I found myself in, I realized that they don’t make trucks that long and it dawned on me this must be an earthquake. AN EARTHQUAKE?! I quickly jumped under my desk, and as I huddled under my dark wooden fortress I began to wonder how the rescue parties might find me in my little bubble under all the rubble until I realized my cell phone was comfortably sitting on top of the desk enjoying the moment with no concern at all. I made the decision to risk my life for my phone because being trapped in the toppled remains of a movie theatre without the internet is more than I could bear… except the “earthquake” had stopped and there was no point jumping under the desk anymore, even though I secretly wanted to on account of its sleepy possibilities.

Naturally I called my boss and neither he, nor any of the floor staff had felt anything. So much were they engrossed in their work, focused on the movie going public, that they didn’t take a moment to consider the earth moving beneath their feet, along with the roof (with me inside it) above their heads.

Having confirmed with geonet.co.nz that it was indeed the real deal I, along with the rest of Auckland, came to terms with the fact that I was being a great big girl’s blouse over the whole thing. The only casualties in the entire city were a garden chair and a sparrow, which died of natural causes completely unrelated to Auckland’s rendition of the Harlem Shake.

Incidentally I saw the so called Harlem Shake for the first time today on the internet. What a complete load of rubbish.

Having survived the ordeal, of both the Harlem Shake and Auckland’s great quake of 2013 I was left with a certain affinity for my fellow man and an appreciation for what I have against the things that I do not, like the $9 one customer still owes me from two weeks ago. I had waited five days for a payment that never came, deeming that to be a reasonable amount of time to pass before offering him a little nudge via the old email. He wrote back apologizing and that his internet banking wasn’t working and that he’d need to go to the bank in person blah blah blah…

I’m pretty patient with these sorts so I gave him ANOTHER five days and sent him another motivational message across the impersonal and non-threatening ether of the web… now I didn’t want to frighten the poor chap so I made my email a bit upbeat and positive, at least that’s what I thought I was doing:

Hi there

So um… yeah still no payment, what’s up with that?

Cheers

K

To which I received the reply:

What’s up with the?? Wow, really, gee I couldn’t make it to town on the only day off I have and now your circling me like a shark…

I told him that my having waited for ten days made me a very patient shark.

I’m actually waiting for a few AWOL payments and the thing I don’t understand is these missing buyers have been people with excellent feedback from other Trademe users… but then again I find myself less apt to leave bad feedback for fear they will return the favor…

The fact that I’m currently owed about $16 from these rogue traders however doesn’t help explain why I’ve gone backwards this week… I mean really backwards… I’ve gone so far backwards that my back has grown a face!

Maybe it’s been a combination of the moving earth, the cat with a lust for human thumbs and the fact that people find the Harlem Shake even remotely interesting that I seem to have lost over $40 in this week’s total? Or then again it’s likely due to the fact that no one seems to be buying anything at the moment.

I won’t bore you with the titles of what I sold anymore; I mean seriously who cares right? Suffice to say that I sold nine books at a total cost of $41.

Having done the disastrous sums, accounting for relisting fees, new listing fees and buying new stock – I am only left with $347.13 and about $152 to go before I reach my final goal of $500.

I’m feeling a bit gutted, like a fish with no stomach, like a cow in Dulce Texas, like Jar Jar Binx after having received the fax notifying him that he will not be reprising his role in the new JJ Abrams installment to the Star Wars series…

I’m pretty sure the culprit is that the more stock I list the larger my listing fees become and when that happens I either make more money than I spend or I lose money plain and simple.

I’m going to give it one more week and if I continue this trend of going lesswards then I might have to do something drastic and cap my listings at a certain number and as a friend recently suggested just focus on selling the stock I have rather than obtaining more.

Having said that I did go to a school gala today and couldn’t stop myself from spending $11 on new stock! But just before you role your eyes I did find a marvelous antique King James Bible, containing a personal inscription dated around the late 1800’s – for a dollar. You might remember that when I first started this series I sold a King James Bible for $25 and that one was published in the 60’s… In this case I’ve never handled an actual antique before; I might have to look into it further before listing it.

Finally last week I hinted at things to come as I prepare for my next mighty series – How to Turn $500 into $1000. Things are coming along, shall we say, frustratingly slow and yet painfully pleasantly… all I can say is - keep an eye on my Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words! Hopefully that will whet your curiosity enough to keep you coming back…

So until next week then, I shall leave you with this ridiculous video, which happens to have been made by one of my brothers’ (the geography teacher) ex-students. (please feel free to correct the grammer in this sentence, I can’t recall whether the “s” is meant to go after “brother” or “teacher” let alone the placement of the apostrophe!)

Fare thee well…



Click Here to read Part Twenty Two in this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!





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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Twenty




The islands of my fortune lay on the distant horizon; I’m so close except I brought a rocking horse instead of a boat!
At least that’s how it feels. In all great exploits one reaches the point where you just want to get it over and done with, partly because you have other things you want to do and partly because boredom is stimulating your yawn glands!
As you know about six months ago I set myself the arduous task of transforming $100 into $500 no matter how long it took. The vehicle for my journey was Trademe, the Kiwi equivalent of eBay, on which I would list old books I scored from various op-shops for bargain prices. I started this series with just over a hundred books left over from my last series; I now have just over 350 listed.
Last week I complained about the sad fact that listing fees, success fees and the acquisition of new books to sell left me with a profit the size of a tooth pick in a cocktail sausage, nevertheless I am determined to continue until I reach the end of that sausage!
After reading my depressing diatribe of self pity last week a friend asked me why I don’t stop buying new stock and just focus on listing the stock I already have…
Well, at the time I couldn’t really answer beyond the fact that temptation had got the better of me one morning when I walked into my local op-shop and came out with a bag full of Maeve Binchey among other things, I just couldn’t help myself! But as this week has gone by I’ve realized that there is a far deeper and perhaps metaphysical aspect as to why I can’t bring myself to stop buying new stock to list…
You see I’ve noticed a sort of Universal Law at work as I’ve gone along with this challenge, kind of similar to the notion that you reap what you sow in life, and it’s the idea that hard work creates wealth, as the old Proverb goes, “In all toil there is profit…” You might not agree with that but let me explain how the principle relates to me…
Over the past six months there have been weeks where I’ve had a lot of stock to list, while there have been other weeks where I haven’t and then there have been weeks where I simply couldn’t be bothered listing anything at all…
What I have observed is that on the weeks where I consistently listed say ten or so books a day I seemed to make more than on the weeks where I just let go and did as little as possible. So for me the sharpened axiom is very true, and so is this – “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest , and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
(I used to think that was, “like a one armed man” It would make me think of Doctor Richard Kimble from the Fugitive for some reason… maybe that’s why I remembered it… funny how one’s mind works!)
So last week I boasted 23 sales, and last week I was listing like a crazy man. Then this week came along and sat on top of me. Due to a change in my usual roster at my day job I found myself a wee bit bereft of time and desire to run with this and my sales have definitely reflected my missing diligence!
This week I sold 10 titles:
When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith - $6
Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason by that lady whose name I can’t recall - $6
Bodyguard of Lightning by Stan Nicholls - $4
No Mercy by Colin Forbes - $6
The Love Acadamy by Belinda Jones - $3
Stark by Ben Elton - $4
Wabi by Joseph Bruhac - $4
This Other Eden by Ben Elton - $3
Sundiver by David Brin - $4
The Business by Ianin M. Banks - $4
And a Canon BC1-24 Black Ink Cartridge, which I just happened to have lying around for $1!
Making me $49 which, after being chopped and diced in the kitchen of my weekly expenses, leaves me with a total of $390.84 – only $109.16 to go until I can close the fridge on this one! 
You’ll have to excuse me if you’ve sensed my impatience, but please don’t mistake my attitude. My angle for wanting to break free of this project is so I can move onto my next, something I can’t stop thinking about, but I’m not going to tell you about it just yet because when the time comes I’ll have nothing to write about!
On a different note I’ve been adding to my little side project, The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words, which is my attempt at taking the boring out of the English Dictionary. I’m hoping it will also play a role in How to Turn $500 into $1000… oops I’ve said too much already… pretend you never read that…
I’ve also kept up with my appearances in the old Trademe forum and I hit on a winner when I started a thread entitled, “What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done.” If you can ignore the rude ones (as I’ve had no control over what some people have written) I think you will find some of these absolutely tear jerking, that is your laughter will jerk the tears right out of your face! Check it out here if you are within Australia or New Zealand, sorry to everyone else (which I’m afraid is most of you)!
Finally, I think there might be something wrong with that “Like” button down there on the bottom right of this post, would you mind clicking on it for me? (I’m kidding of course, I just wanted you to click on it.. I’m a lousy liar!)

Click Here to read Part Twenty One of this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Nineteen

Wow, I just realized it’s been nearly six months since I started this thing! Actually that’s a little bit depressing.

In this series I set myself the challenge of turning $100 into $500 using Trademe, an online trading site not unlike eBay. Specifically I began by buying books from op-shops; listing them online and then using the money I earned to buy double the amount I sold.

When I started this challenge I had about 100 books left over from my first series Pimp My Twenty Bucks. Now, many months later, I have close to 340 books listed and very little space to keep them all!

I have unfortunately reached that place in any journey where you feel like the proverbial pencil who thought that a pencil sharpener was a great idea until one day he woke up to discover he had become a pencil stub. It used to be fun twirling around in circles until he realized that those pencil shavings on the floor were all that was left of him and he would never ever become a real boy.

That is of course a terrible metaphor but hopefully it explains how I feel at the moment. All work and not too much to show for it except my flailing sanity.

In this series I have not shown a great way to start an incredible business, I have not demonstrated how to make money quickly or in a chronologically friendly manner (or even logically for that matter). Heck, the basic premise I’ve based this whole exercise on isn’t even original! Nevertheless, I have shown that anyone, even me, can take something, in my case second hand books, and turn it into more… minus lots of time.

If you’re familiar with my previous blogs you will know that I have not taken too kindly to people who have mocked me for the money earned versus time spent equation. I guess I still don’t really care about that, but am nevertheless feeling rather sorry for myself because of how far I have to go.

So, you might think it very strange that I am upset at all when you find out that I’ve actually had a fantastic week in terms of sales!

This week I sold:

Wild at Heart by John Eldridge - $6
Space Ranger by Isaac Asimov - $3
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - $3
People of the Wolf by W. Michael Gear - $3
Watership Down - $5
Ubik by Philip K Dick - $5
Beam Me Up Scotty by James Duhan - $5
Better than Nostradamus by Barry R. Smith – $3.50
Warning by Barry R. Smith - $3
Traiter’s Knot by Janny Wurts - $3
Blood of Wolves by Loren L. Coleman - $4
The World According to Garp by Irvine Welsh- $4
That way Lies Camelot by Janny Wurts - $3
Alice I have been by Melanie Benjamin - $4
People of the Sea by W. Michael Gear - $3
People of the River by W. Michael Gear -$3
Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy - $4
The Gargole by Andrew Davidson - $3
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - $3
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella - $4
A Perfect Spy by John le Carre - $3
Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold - $4
Startide by David Brin - $4


A total of 23 books for $87!

All expenses considered this leaves me with a total of $382.59 and only $117.41 to go until I’ve finally reached my goal of 500 smackaroos!

So what have I got to be upset about? Well, I guess it’s the realization (it took me a while) that books have a cruddy profit margin; of that $87 I only really get to keep about $27 while the rest gets absorbed by listing fees, success fees and the acquisition of new stock.

Put in another light if I ever dreamed that this little enterprise could free me from my day job I would have to sell over $500 worth of books per day, and of that $500 approximately $350 would go into running the business. Considering how much time I invest in the little I do now that equals one big stressful occupation which surprisingly makes my normal job look as fun as a Star Trek The Next Generation Marathon. Well, for me that’s like the coolest thing in the world.

So do I give up? No way!

Thankfully I know that my task here is not to create an instant solution to the rat race. My immediate goal is and always has been to turn $100 into $500 no matter how long it takes. What I do with that $500 is a completely different story, but believe me when I say I have an end game in mind, a pseudo-plan which does not involve me becoming a full time second hand book salesman, but it does involve making more money. So watch this space…

On the other hand I’ve been thinking a great deal about this blog. I think it’s about time I define its purpose, after all why put my abysmal financial “success” on public record in the first place? Originally I guess I just thought it would be an interesting thing to write about but I realize for me it’s about motivation and accountability – in a way it keeps me going from one week to the other knowing that if I give up someone out there is going to want to know why!

But I also realize that beyond my need to be kicked in the pants every time I start to drag my feet or my genuine desire for someone out there to feel inspired enough to do the same and make their own fortune I also have a third desire, that my blog would actually make some money!

Which it is not! I think I made about two cents on adsense alone this week and in the six years that I’ve had this site my Amazon ads have made me less money than my time machine patents, which I haven’t invented yet but will when future me travels back in time to give me the plans. This hasn’t happened yet.

Anyway, while I plod my way through selling crusty old books to people willing to pay for them I have felt inspired to start something else, on the side, sort of a pet project of mine really. On this site you will find lots of articles from movie reviews to theological commentary but lately I have been working on my own dictionary…

You see, the English Dictionary is quite boring so I’ve decided to write my own version which I call The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words, which is basically the dictionary if it was written by Dr Seuss. It is my hope that in addition to selling books and writing about the glacial movements of my bank account this side project might attract enough attention to cheer me up. So please check it out and let me know what you think of my work in progress which I update every other day with a new poem… oh and hit the like button!

So until next week…

Click Here to read Part Twenty in this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pimp My Hundred Bucks - Part Eighteen

Wow, writer’s block. Doesn't happen often but when it does its like trying to force a cinder block through the tips of your fingers!

It could be that too much time on the computer has fried some of my synaptic pathways, or it could be because I went all hippie on my back yard today and planted two new fruit trees, leaving a blister the size of a Kansas right in the center of my right palm, which would be true if Kansas was the size of my blister. I’m clearly not used to physical labor, the handle of my shovel might as well have been a potato peeler for the damage it did to me, I feel like I’m typing while a small meteor burns its way through my hand!

So in short, this week’s entry will be brief and written through gritted teeth and possibly tears… er, manly tears of course, the kind that would take Chuck Norris’ tears down in a fight.

Regardless those tears won’t be from my gardening injury, but rather from the puny figure on my little accounting sheet here. It hasn't been the best week I’m afraid and my attempts to turn $100 into $500 have a great deal more attempting to do! I only managed to sell 14 items this week at $49, making me a profit of only $11.34, a figure that makes me wonder if I have suddenly turned into a snail.

Snails apparently don’t win the monthly Bonus Bonds draw either, the $20 I invested way back when I started this thing is still just $20.

So, drum roll please (on really tiny drums)… I now have $355.51 with $144.49 to go until I reach my goal of having turned $100 into $500.

On the bright side I did finally finish listing all those sci-fi books that I bought a few weeks ago, and at the last count I had 306 books listed on Trademe! Time to go out and buy some more stock I think…

Oh and I've signed up to Amazon Associates in an attempt to monetize my blogs, hence the abundance of advertising on my site these days! Don’t let it put you off; it’s all part of my plan!

Tune in next week for longer paragraphs about greater successes!

Click Here to read Part Nineteen in this series!

Click Here if you would like to follow my progress on Facebook!

Click Here to read this series from the beginning!

Click Here to read my awesome last series, Pimp My Twenty Bucks

Click Here to view my Trademe Listings

For some great money related articles please visit workingathomeinternet.com for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!