Here’s another business made possible by the existence of the internet, and more specifically Amazon. It seems crazy to find books available for 1¢, but I’ve bought several used books for just that.  If you’re picking your inventory up as garbage, your cost of goods is pretty low, though the potential payoff comes with the shipping charge. Ink, Bits & Pixels tells us how this all got started. The Guardian (via The Passive Reader) has a fuller story.

Success is available only by being efficient. “What remains inflexible is the $3.99 fee Amazon charges the buyer for shipping. From that $4, Amazon takes what they call a “variable closing fee” of $1.35. They also charge the seller 15% of the item’s price – which in the case of a penny book is zero. That leaves $2.64 to cover postage, acquisition cost and overhead.” Not a huge amount, but enough, with volume, if your operation is super-efficient, to amount to a decent profit.