At 12 years of age, I had my first experience with making money. Cricket is incredibly popular in India. And like there are baseball cards in the US, we have cricket cards in India. I remember Topps had newly introduced playing cards called Cricket Attax. Each packet came with 5 cards, and costed ₹ 15. Initially, I had puchased cards to collect, just like my friends, soon we had started exchanging cards to complete our collection, and that is when I sensed opportunity.
Selling Playing Cards
I decided to sell the cards for a profit. The cost of one card was ₹ 3, but kids were always ready to pay over ₹ 3 for a card. I never sold a single card for cost price, and some cards would fetch me 50 times what I would get them for.
There were three kinds of cards (if I remember correctly), bronze, silver, and gold. Bronze cards were fairly common, gold cards were rare. I was lucky to have packed a gold card in my first five purchases. My first gold player, was Shane Watson. I sold him for ₹40.
In school, during recess I would hold auctions. Bidding would start for the cards that I had to offer and I made money like I never imagined. I remember starting with an investment of ₹ 45, but soon I had over ₹ 1000 just by selling these cards. Some cards would go for insane amounts of money, I remember auctioning the tournament logo for around ₹ 120.
After The Fad Faded
The playing card fad didn’t last very long. I had made a good amount of money for the expenses of a 12 year old. I never sold cards on a larger scale because I used to do all my selling in school, and I could have been in trouble had any teacher gotten to know about what I was doing. I also didn’t have any long term plan anyway, I just got a kick out of selling, and I don’t know why. I still get that kick today, a feeling of triumph even if I make a small amount of money, even if I would have earned more on minimum wages.
Unfortunately, I didn’t sell anything after that for many years until now. Hopefully, I can sell bigger and better now.