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It’s the American Way

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 14 September 2008 | Views [571]

I completely forgot to mention this... I have a business!


Several weeks after Pat and I returned to Melbourne, Maxime and I bought used bikes.  We got em from a bike rental shop that was trying to get rid of its old generation bicycles to make room for its new shipment.  The owner, Murray, was selling for an incredible $80 each... an outrageous deal considering the good quality of the bike and that the price included a lock and helmet.  (This is important as it is illegal to ride without a helmet in Oz.)


Meanwhile... reality kicks in.  As I only have a tourist visa, it is illegal for me to work while I’m here.  I was (achem… am) running considerably low on cash and was looking for any way to make a couple bucks so I wouldn’t have to tap into my New Zealand stash.  Patrick casually mentioned that I should try to profit from Murray’s situation and after sitting on it for a few days, I worked out a plan...


I approached Murray and made him a business deal: I’ll work to sell off his bikes if he sells them to me at a reduced price, say $60 each, including a lock and helmet.  I guess he must have been up to his neck in bikes because we had a deal!  The next day I designed and printed out flyers, and rode my bike around to 14 hostels and community boards in and around the city.  A few days later, the calls started coming in and business was booming! 

Here's how it works:  when I have an inquiry, I tell Murray a day before I need to pick up the bike.  He gets everything together and I pick it up and pay him $60.  (A bargain!)  Then I ride it to meet whomever to make the sale.  So far I’ve sold six or so bikes at roughly $100 a pop.  (Pat bought one and I only charged him $60, and one bike was in great condition so I sold her for $120 to a very happy customer.)  And I still have four or so to sell off.  Yep, business is good.  Since I have some cash in my pocket now, I can once again pay for public transportation and go out to dinner!  It’s a great feeling.  Plus, the major perk, I get to ride around the city making easy money, and I get to keep the best bike!

Tags: bikes, business, making money abroad, melbourne



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