Week 2 – Selling Books – 100to100K Challenge

I managed to pick up some really good books this time. Earlier I would get paperbacks for ₹20, but this time, I got hardbacks of a book called Benediction from Kent Haruf, and those books were going for over ₹400 online (not sure if they were actually being sold though). Anyways, it was a great deal for me, so I bought as many of them as my budget allowed, 7 to be precise.

Editing and the Instagram filter make the cover look better than it actually is

After all my expenses, I have 8 books in hand (7 purchased now, and 1 from earlier), and ₹6 in surplus. I spent the surplus on buying some sandpaper, because my books had some fingerprints on the side, which I brushed off with the sandpaper.

I sold 1 hardback to my classmate. He wanted to read a book, and didn’t really have a particular one in mind, so that sale wasn’t difficult, but the real challenge was selling to those who I wasn’t friends with, or didn’t know at all.

I stood outside the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station. I wanted to make some sales before going back home. I spent an hour, asking passerbys if they wanted to buy the book. I faced rejection, after rejection, after rejection. It was difficult to approach people at first, but as I approached person after person, and got rejected by them, I started becoming less and less apprehensive about approaching people.

Finally, someone decided to buy. I was elated, and although I only made a profit of ₹80, I felt like a king. I felt triumphant.

My first buyer, who wasn’t someone I knew.

I don’t know why, but I didn’t feel like selling any more books that day. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to face more rejections, even though I was sort of getting used to them, and I knew that I was going to face rejections nearly every time I approached somebody to sell them a book.

I went inside the metro station, and started my way back home. Beside me, sat a girl, reading a book. This was an opportunity for me, because when I approached people otherwise, they usually were not readers. Here, I had someone, who reads, and could potentially be interested in what I’m offering. I asked her if she’s reading a novel, and then I said that I have a book with me which she could be intersted in. I showed her the book, and told her the price. I think that’s what got her interested, because you really cannot find hardbacks for 100 bucks. She even asked me how I manage to sell it for such a low price.

After this third sale, I was exhilarated. This was big for me, because these books were high margin. I was selling them for 5 times what I bought them for. I know I can sell them for more, but I want to make sales as quick as possible, and come back with more options.

After my 2nd day of selling, I had ₹300 in hand, and 5 books in stock, worth ₹450 if sold at their full prices.

I gave a copy of the hardback, Benediction, to a roadside bookseller near the metro station. I asked him to pay me, if he managed to sell the book. I looked at it every day, as I passed the shop by on my way back home.

I even listed the book on Facebook Marketplace, but nobody even enquired about it. At the end of the week, the copy I gave to the shop was still lying there, so I took it back.