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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 for some great monetary wisdom... see you there!

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