Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Alone in New Mexico

Here I am, in New Mexico, living in a one bedroom apartment without my husband and cats, who are still in Washington. I was afraid I would get really lonely there.

Rule No. 1, if you are in an apartment complex, there is no hope of being alone.

They peered through the window and invited me out to visit, they arranged potlucks, had birthday parties, took orders from all of us for dinner delivery (mostly Chinese), and you never had a moment of peace. I had to close my drapes, lock my doors, and keep most of the lights off to have any time alone!

Most all were nice, but some were weird, some were loud, some wanted to flirt (the oldest man in the bunch, of course) and NONE were shy!

So I could forget that first worry.

Then I went down to work at the bookstore for a few weeks and get my feet on the ground and figure out how best to work in conjunction with the other "partner". We decided to do a trial period before we worried about signing any papers. Good thing.

He had 4,400 books online and lots more to list. I began selling on eBay for the store, and turned all my proceeds over to him. It wasn't big bucks, but it was revenue. Then he hit me up for some money to help pay bills. I gave him a few hundred. I'd already donated him 26 boxes of books that I had shipped down from Washington - that cost me $220 just for shipping!

The longer we worked together, the more we realized we were not as compatible as we originally thought. His whole goal in life was to keep the business going and get enough for beer and cigarettes and some food here and there.

I had an apartment to rent, a car to pay for and much higher goals. So I started listing books on Amazon, too. Sales were OK, nothing spectacular.

He gave me custody of the checkbook because he wasn't handling money well. I only wrote checks for refunds or business expenses, never took any income out for me. He was pulling cash out for his expenses from the receipts.

Then he writes a post to a bookdealers' list about how I have stolen his money (what money?) and several other disparaging remarks. He wrote the next morning and apologized, but I told him it was too late for that and it wasn't working out anyway.

So I go down and give him back his checkbook and his key to the shop, and he gives me 100 books that were listed on Amazon. I did get him to give me some more books to list for free, but there was no money involved on his part. He promised me he'd pay me $1,500 for my "investment". You can imagine how much of that I saw.

So, here's the big new bookseller, sitting in her apartment with 100 books in stock and about 100 more to list. I felt lucky to get out before he conned me out of more money.

My husband told me to come back home. I told him no, I loved New Mexico, felt so much better here, and I WAS going to be a bookseller!

So I begin listing the stock I brought back from the shop and become an active thrift store shopper for books...

After all, everyone said that the more books you had listed, the more sales you would have. And, in the first year, I made more money than I have in any consecutive year. But times change. And that theory was faulty to start with...

More about that later.

No comments:

The Adventue of the Egyption Tomb by Agatha Chistie

n Agatha Christie's short story, "The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb," the widow of a famous Egyptologist consults Poirot on t...