rendered myths #112

The New Bookseller and the 19 Books.


Once up on a time . . .
Newbookseller found 19 titles at the local thrift store and put them up on eBay one at a time. He started the bidding at $1 with no reserve. The first 18 sold for $1.01 each, the last, alas, did not get a bid. So, Newbookseller was 18¢ to the good, minus shipping, of course. Being a newbie Newbookseller did not understand shipping.

Four dollars for gas was also spent that day, plus $5.97 at Taco Bell. With the shipping for 18 books (all media mail), for a total of $38.52 (18 books, one each to a different location), plus the $4 for gas, plus lunch of $5.97 (forget the money for TUMS), Newbookseller paid out $48.49. Subtract the profit of 18¢ from the expenses and you arrive at MINUS $48.31.

However, Newbookseller had to pay $1.20 per listing on eBay for a total of $22.80 plus eBay’s 5% fee on all sold items, or 5% X $18.18 (18 sales at $1.01 each) or 91¢. Now Newbookseller is in the hole, with all fees, minus the 18¢ profit, now down $72.02. Newbookseller made another ‘error’ highlighting each eBay listing, all 19 of them, for an additional $19, now Newbookseller is MINUS $91.02. Newbookseller was learning the ropes.

Newbookseller got 4 of his 18 sales returned, his description failing to mention obvious flaws (yes, a return on a $1.01 book). This set Newbookseller back an additional $3.85 each since the 4 separate buyers returned each book priority, to get their refunds quicker, plus shipping; $3.85 x 4 is $15.40, added to the MINUS $91.02 one finds MINUS $106.42, and then add the $1.01 x 4 (4 refunds) or $4.04 net; the newbie is now down $110.46.

Newbookseller was starting to question his newfound profession and had half made up his mind, when he realized Paypal was charging him 3.8% on his $18.18, or robbing him of an additional 18¢ . . . so far Newbookseller was down $110.64.

Three of the finds Newbookseller had sold were ACES, books worth about 4k each. However, since Newbookseller misspelled several words in the SUBJECT LINE, nobody but a sharp-eyed bookseller from Florida, had FOUND the listings (simply by misspelling in the search box on purpose.) Adding 50% of the potential profit from the 3 misspelled listings, at $2k each, is another $6k. Newbookseller didn’t know any of this yet or know that the paypal and eBay fees on this amount would make his INSIDES TWIST. Newbookseller had another $6k marked in the MINUS column. Now down $6,110.64.

To reach the status of BOOKSELLER, Newbookseller ATE his loses, and . . . hoped tomorrow would be better. It wasn’t.

Newbookseller is now counted among all the other “booksellers.”

PS: for the record, Newbookseller initially paid $95 for his 19 books, plus 7% tax, or $6.65 each, or a new price of $101.65.

The total the NO LONGER NEW bookseller is down is only $6212.29(net).
But now, being a REAL bookseller, all the new bookseller could say was ” . . is that all?”

Ed Smith @ Ed Smith Books

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