In this “Money With Mak and G” podcast episode, I’m joined by 13-year-old entrepreneur Katie Schischa to talk about how she’s turned her passion for bargaining and garage sales into an eBay business that’s making her hundreds of dollars of profit…
Katie Schischa has always looked up to her father’s entrepreneurial spirit and it seems like she’s going to be following in his footsteps.
Today, Katie and her dad join me on the show to talk about how the 13-year-old has started her own little business buying collectibles at garage sales and reselling them on eBay.
We talk about how Katie started the hustle, why she enjoys it so much, and how much profit she makes…
“I make a profit on a lot of items that I buy.” – Katie Schischa
“My dad is an amazing entrepreneur, and I always admired how he started new businesses and helped them.” – Katie Schischa
00:00 – Introducing our guests 13-year-old Katie Schischa and her father, Glenn.
03:39 – How Katie and her dad started a side business together.
05:40 – The type of collectibles Katie buys at garage sales.
09:40 – Katie’s first impressions of flea markets.
13:05 – How Katie’s mom responded to her bringing a carousel horse home.
15:05 – How much profit Katie makes from reselling beanie babies.
19:21 – How Katie’s mom helps her sell her items.
21:32 – The weirdest purchases Katie has bought.
24:20 – The different costs of goods in Russia.
27:55 – The cost of housing in Russia.
30:55 – Reselling iPhones in Russia for astronomical profits.
33:17 – The problems with free healthcare in Russia.
Connect with Ben Jones:
BEN: Hello, welcome to Money with Mak and G. We’re so happy that you’re here. We have two special guests today. The first one is a 13 year old, who is an entrepreneur at heart who has really great stories and has lived all over the country and all over the world, to be quite honest. And it has some great stories about some different money items in those different places. Her name is Katie Schischa. And we also have her father here, too, who’s going to bring some interesting insights. We’re so glad you’re here. Please subscribe and like this podcast, the video on Educounting and we’re so happy that you’re here today. Katie, how are you today?
KATIE: I’m good. Thank you.
BEN: And did you have a great time at the beach today?
KATIE: Oh, yeah, it was awesome.
BEN: It was, wasn’t it? I think I got a little too red. Been hanging out in Indiana just a little too long, right?
KATIE: Yeah, definitely. You need to come down here.
BEN: I need to come down here.
GLENN: It’s kind of like a lobster mixed with a raccoon.
BEN: That’s not a good side. Well, I’m just so happy that you’re here because I know a lot of the stories about you and I know you’re a little bit nervous. Don’t worry about it, it’s all okay. You’re 13 and you’re doing some amazing things and just kind of wanted to dive into it because it has to do with money. And it has to do with what we can teach and help other people think about how to make some money. What do you say about that?
KATIE: I find that cool.
BEN: All right. Well, I talked to your father who I’ve known for 20 years. So about seven or eight years longer than you’ve been alive. Is that a little scary to think about?
KATIE: No. Actually, no, it is scary to see what my dad was doing at that time.
GLENN: And when you grow up we’ll tell you.
BEN: You’re a little scared about who his friends were before you were actually born. I got it.
GLENN: But to make it really simple, it’s about the same thing as now. Ben and I were sitting, watching TV and eating warm Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with a fork.
BEN: Things haven’t changed much. One day, when we’re sitting in Holland Park, enjoying ourselves eating some wonderful ice cream, but it’s all good. We just had a tomahawk at that time.
GLENN: And we should note that the Ben and Jerry’s there tasted like the Ben and Jerry’s here, which is not always the case. But that was very cool.
BEN: It’s amazing. I think that’s a great thing. Even if they sell it at Tesco over there are Costco, which they did have over there at any of the local places, it was still pretty amazing.
GLENN: But the m&ms were different. You gotta remember, the m&ms were different. I can’t remember how different they were. Kind of like that candy coating was a little bit more sugary and sweet. But the m&ms here were better.
BEN: The ketchup over there for McDonald’s was actually sweeter. So that’s all good.
GLENN: So when we went to eat at Burger King, we had to go over to McDonald’s to get the ketchup packets because they were right next to each other. So Ben would go into the McDonald’s to get the ketchup packets. And I go to Burger King in order. So somehow I always ended up paying for stuff. And that’s cool. He’s like he was thinking about business and saving money from the beginning.
BEN: I was just thinking that I wanted to give him the opportunity to feel good about himself.
KATIE: So we’ve got an evil mastermind and minion.
GLENN: You can look at it like that. But the generosity that you put out into the universe, it comes back. So you know.
BEN: Katie’s have a twin sister Eva, right? And she was invited to be here if she wanted to. But I think she’s back in a room doing a lot of reading. Reading a book, which I think is so amazing. She loves to read books. But I know you’re a little bit different because you love doing your little business on the side. Ain’t that right?
KATIE: Yes, it is more of a hobby. But yes, business you can say it’s awesome.
BEN: And I think it’s started maybe a little bit with your dad because your dad saw some stuff. You want to try to give us the story, maybe Dad hops in and helps you out a little bit? You don’t have to look at him to see what the story is. You should know this story, right?
GLENN: So you don’t have to look at me for approval because we’ll just edit it out if there’s a problem.
KATIE: Okay. So it all started off as my dad is also a very amazing entrepreneur.
GLENN: Wow. And here’s $5. Thank you for that compliment.
KATIE: I always admire how he started new businesses and helped them.
BEN: Yeah, help them grow and develop.
KATIE: And I loved how he used techniques to negotiate to get what he wanted at all times. Okay. So when he takes me to a flea market or garage sales, I find it very fun to just go around and see the new deals and the exciting part of it and see how low I can go.
GLENN: And also think about it. Because at the very beginning it was how cheap things were relative to how much you’d have to pay in the store to buy them. And if you want it, let’s say a game that could be $20 in the store, and we’d say no, it’s too expensive. And then you’d see it for like $1 at a garage sale because the people, they weren’t thinking of how much it was worth, they were thinking of getting rid of it out of their house.
BEN: And I think that’s amazing. Because you realize that and you go, oh my gosh, this is so completely inexpensive. I would love to get this because I get 100 times more than I could buy it for full price.
GLENN: I could buy it brand new or I could buy them at the garage sale and get 20 different things for the price of that one brand new thing.
BEN: So what kind of things did you normally like to hunt down? Did you hunt down like old beer cans?
KATIE: No. I am underaged.
BEN: Okay. I’m just checking it.
GLENN: See Ben’s work around the world. So he gets a little confused on these things. 16 in Germany at the beer festival. Exactly.
KATIE: I don’t want to go there. No, I mostly do a lot of collectibles, almost any collectible.
BEN: Collectibles. Now, so for some people, they don’t know what a collectible is, what is that?
KATIE: It is like supply and demand. A collectible is something that is low on supply but high in demand.
GLENN: Think about collectibles, things that you buy that you start to add more and more to your collections. So what are some of the things that you see as a collector that you bought one and then you liked it so much, you wanted more of those?
KATIE: Star Wars.
BEN: Star Wars stuff? Who’s your favorite character by the way?
KATIE: I don’t really have one. I really love Star Wars.
BEN: Everything from Star Wars. Yeah. Awesome! Like lightsabers, do you have an awesome double sided lightsaber?
KATIE: I have a possessed double sided.
KATIE: Yes, it’s possessed.
GLENN: So what makes it possessed?
KATIE: I have no idea.
GLENN: But how do you know it’s possessed? What happens?
KATIE: It just lights up for no reason. Some days it stops, and doesn’t turn on at all. Other days…
BEN: Didn’t you tell me a new Star Wars that came out and then it started to glow or something like that?
GLENN: It was communicating with the movie. it was possessed!
KATIE: It was really creepy!
BEN: It was a little creepy. So you got things that are cool that you want to collect that other people go, ooh, you got a double sided lightsaber that’s possessed and you’ve got this or you got that. What are some of the other things because I know there’s one thing you focus on for sure?
KATIE: I’m focusing a lot on Beanie Babies. And also, of course, other Disney items.
BEN: Because you live near Disney and you also know that people are a little cuckoo cuckoo for Disney, right? And they’ll pay crazy amounts of money for stuff, right?
KATIE: Yes, I can get it for cheap at the flea market for brand new items, and then maybe resell them for a higher profit.
BEN: I think you told me that your teacher is just totally wacky about her stuff and her whole classroom is decked out in Disney stuff. So you realize there could be a market for this right?
GLENN: If we just think about it, we all know somebody that’s crazy about Disney. Disney is this universal thing that even the people that are listening to this podcast, you know, their moms, they’re probably already nodding yes, she’s crazy about Disney.
BEN: I love the Little Mermaid, I can’t deny it. It’s pretty wonderful. So, you say you collect Disney, collect Star Wars, Beanie Babies.
KATIE: And also some other things. Anything that is mostly old toys, coins.
BEN: Oh, you collect coins, too? I didn’t know that, okay, it’s new.
GLENN: You know those good old pennies whenever you go to the theme parks and you roll them and flattens it out and makes it? She has a collection of those that she collected from every place she goes to.
BEN: So, it was a hobby but also you found that you could buy some of these things that you love, and then pass it on to people who really want them and make some moolah, right?
KATIE: Yes, money.
GLENN: Thanks for the translation for everybody else here.
BEN: Yeah. Sure, sure. And you were doing this at garage sales and then I think maybe your dad said hey, let’s check out the flea market or was that you?
KATIE: Actually he always wanted to take us to one flea market.
BEN: For himself, right? He went to check it out.
KATIE: Yeah, he always wants to go there and bring us also just for fun family experience.
BEN: Did you go together, all four of you? Your mom and twin sister?
KATIE: Yes, all four of us.
BEN: What was your first impression of a flea market?
KATIE: I don’t know the right word for this but it was intense. There were a lot of people and a lot of booths. But it was awesome also.
BEN: So, is the flea market like a garage sale, like a 100 garage sales all in one place?
KATIE: You can say that.
GLENN: You can say whatever you want.
KATIE: Chaotic, I think then garage sales. More people do more research and have higher prices most of the time at the garage sale. Or it can also be less expensive.
BEN: So, you know your customer, or you know, like who you’re buying from, right? Because I think you might have told me and remind me if that’s true, but people when they’re selling their own stuff, they’re emotionally attached to it. Yeah. Well, I had that when my first son was born, we needed at least $5 from that. But you go to a flea market, and they’re like, yeah, 30 cents, 50 cents, right? And so it’s a different mentality, right? So you’re walking around this flea market, probably excited, but you’re also probably saying, what the heck is going on, right? Yeah. Did you like it?
KATIE: I saw a lot of unique items there.
GLENN: And a lot of times, it’s like even history lessons, because when we go, she sees a lot of things there that she’s never seen before in her life. And she’ll start asking questions, like, when the time we were there, remember, and she saw the water skis that were used at Cypress Gardens. Cypress Gardens was the original amusement park in Florida before Disney and before anything, and they have these famous shows there where the ladies were waterskiing and double decker and everything. And that was kind of like, you know, for the people listening, it’s the stuff that your grandmother used to go to on vacation to say. So we saw these and they had the logo on them and we got to talk about what Cypress Gardens was and which is now of course what Cypress Garden because it changed hands. Now Cypress Gardens is LEGOLAND Florida. So when you go to LEGOLAND that is the former Cypress Gardens and they still have a big Cypress tree. There’s a memory of the Cypress Gardens.
BEN: Gotcha. Because of some of that stuff, people like to relive that memory and own something from that time.
GLENN: So we looked at it and we thought it would be really cool because it had the logos and put it up on the wall. But one of our major limiting factors in our family is that her mom does not allow that stuff in the house. So we have to juggle between really cool stuff. If moms at home, can we bring it into the house if mom’s away, and we can sneak it in somewhere which we’ve done once on one item. And what happened when mom found out what we brought in?
KATIE: Oh well, we bought a carousel thing.
GLENN: A carousel horse! You know the merry go rounds, the carousel horse, we had one at the flea market. And we looked at it and we thought okay, this thing must be a few $100 and cute and wait, wait, wait, Katie was really super excited and we said before she even walked up. Okay, if it’s less than, like $25 or something, you can take it home. And I knew there’s no way it could be less than $100.
KATIE: It was $10.
GLENN: It was $10! So we had to buy it. And so we put it in the trunk of the car because it was the horse with the pole and then I had this whole plan I was going over. While mom was away, I was going to go in the backyard, dig a hole, put that carousel thing in and the girls could sit on it.
BEN: So I think what you’re telling me is that going to a flea market could be bad for your marriage, right? And it could be fun at the same time.
GLENN: It’s really cool, funny stuff there like, the gigantic high heeled shoe that was a lounge chair. And we thought it was the most crazy, ugly thing we’ve ever seen. And there were two people there and they’re like, oh my god, this is gorgeous, I can see this in our house. And it just taught us in the world that there is something for everyone. Anything out there, there’s going to be out of 6 billion people or 7 billion people in this world, somebody’s going to want it.
BEN: So you get out to the flea market, you’re excited. You want to buy a high heeled chair, you want to buy a horse from a carousel, but you’re buying things that you’d like to collect because you know that you can make money on it. Tell me some stuff like the money that you made.
KATIE: I make a profit on a lot of items that I buy.
GLENN: So give us an example like with the Beanie Babies. We mentioned the Beanie Baby hobby. So, when you go to the store, how much do you pay for Beanie Baby?
KATIE: At around 50 cents each to $1.
GLENN: Okay, and is there anything particular on a Beanie Baby when you go to buy it that you would have a feeling oh, this is the one? Because we all see a ton of Beanie Babies out there right now.
KATIE: Yes, I look more specifically for holidays or specific events for Beanie Babies.
BEN: So people don’t know about Beanie Babies, a holiday or specific event, holidays could be like, Halloween, Christmas, and a specific event could be like a birthday Beanie Baby which has a month on it, or Olympic. Okay, cool!
GLENN: Yes, absolutely. We saw an Olympian.
BEN: And you know that people, there’s going to be more of a demand for those because those are extra special, right?
KATIE: Because to celebrate something.
GLENN: People are celebrating Christmas and part of their gift, they want to do a Christmas beanie. Now, here’s a really interesting catcher, right? Because at first you were buying just normal Beanie Babies, right? And then remember, there’s something on the beanie baby, that made it very much more expensive, right? So why is that?
KATIE: Because they’re different generations of Beanie Babies.
BEN: Like a first generation second generation.
KATIE: The first couple generations are far more expensive, more valuable than newer ones.
GLENN: And you can tell that because of the design of the tag.
BEN: Wow! So you learned a lot about it. And when you’re talking about investing or making a profit, you have to know about collectibles in particular. You got to know about what you’re doing right? Stock and bonds are a little bit different, right? Very similar, you got to understand what’s going on. But for collectibles, you have to have some very specific knowledge, right? Yeah, the Beanie Babies, the generations, different stuff like that. And so you started to buy it for 50 cents or dollars, is that right? And what would you sell for?
KATIE: It depends on the Beanie Baby. Some of them can go up to $30 to $10.
BEN: 10 to 30 bucks?
KATIE: Yeah, maybe even higher.
BEN: Maybe even higher. So have you ever bought a whole garbage bag of Beanie Babies?
KATIE: Oh, yes!
GLENN: Look at that look on her face. That’s one of her fines.
KATIE: I have bought a huge tub of Beanie Baby, covered with all McDonald Beanie Babies.
BEN: Do you mean like, what is it called, The Happy Meal? The toys which are in the Happy Meal?
KATIE: Yeah. All Happy Meal toys and Beanie Babies.
GLENN: So how much do you want for each one in that top?
KATIE: Whoever wanted one, at least $1 for each toy.
GLENN: And how many were in the top about?
KATIE: Over 100 toys are in there.
BEN: So you got over 100, you wanted $1 per toy, that means 100 bucks. Where would you get to?
KATIE: Well, then I decided to go ahead and just put it out there and ask for $10 for it.
GLENN: That’s crazy. Aren’t you embarrassed when someone wants to sell something for $100 to say just $10 and not like $50 or something?
KATIE: I would not feel embarrassed for it. Because if I don’t ask, I never know.
BEN: You never know what you’re going to get. That’s awesome. And so now you’re selling them for what, $3 to $5 is kind of normal maybe?
KATIE: Actually, no. Some of them are actually at a higher price. Two of them can actually go up to $10 to $15 to actually $20.
BEN: So if you have 100 of them, you’re at least $200 to $350?
GLENN: Probably $500 to $1,000. You will like it when she ends up selling him them all. It’ll be $500 to $1,000 for her $10 investment, plus, of course, commission, which we have to talk about which is your employee posted on because we haven’t talked much about your employee that you have working with.
BEN: I saw a very attractive lady walking around here. Who was she?
KATIE: Yes, my mom.
GLENN: So your mom, what does your mom do?
KATIE: She uses eBay to place them up.
GLENN: First, she researches them on eBay to see how much they’re selling for, to get the best price. Yeah. Then she posted on eBay right? Yeah, that’s where the whole system kind of falls apart. You buy it, she sells it, she keeps the money. So on the one hand, it’s a very good business model for going there but on the other side, you need to see some profits from it.
KATIE: I need to get more strict on seeing the money.
GLENN: Collections are very, very important. To have a sale is important, but you still have to collect the money from your sale. That’s a very good lesson tomorrow.
BEN: So the thing I think’s amazing is one, it’s like a hobby but it’s a business. Because you know what you’re doing, you’re vibe and you’re actually making money. And the other part is, you get to keep some of those profits in things that you like, right?
GLENN: The fun thing is to imagine when you’re at the garage sale in the flea market, that part we haven’t talked about that you love so much, is not just the transaction, but it becomes like a treasure hunt. Like, Indiana Jones is looking for a treasure out there. So she’s going through looking for a hidden gem and a hidden treasure amongst all of this other junk.
BEN: So your dad paints this great picture, is that true? Do you feel like?
KATIE: Yes, it is, especially on windows in the full outbox. In boxes where there’s a lot of things where it says like, five for $1 or something. Those are one of the best ones because you don’t know what’s in those boxes.
BEN: And you walk away and it could be something good.
GLENN: Yeah, and then she digs in and starts picking through.
BEN: Nice. And sometimes it’s like a surprise getting a gift and you’re like, oh my gosh, this is really a valuable one. And some of the money you actually use to buy other things that you say, well, I want to sell this, but really, I kind of like it. And I think I’ve heard a couple stories of some weird stuff that you buy. One of them’s kind of round like an egg.
KATIE: It is not weird. It was an ostrich egg painted over with an ostrich on it.
BEN: An ostrich egg with an ostrich on it. Okay.
GLENN: Sometimes you just gotta have one. Yeah. Everyone should have an ostrich egg.
KATIE: It is a memory from Africa.
GLENN: Yeah. And how many times if you’ve been to Africa that you would want one now?
KATIE: It would be a memory if I ever get to Africa.
BEN: The thing is, I don’t recall seeing any ostriches in Africa but I’m sure there are lots of them there.
KATIE: South Africa, whatever.
BEN: So you got this little gift for yourself and it all came about because of this business. And then the double sided lightsaber, which you collect, because how many lightsabers do you have now?
KATIE: I think I own around more than 10.
BEN: And I love the story about the guitars because you bought two guitars, right? Yeah. And you couldn’t quite sell one of them. So what do you do?
KATIE: No, I couldn’t sell. I mean, I could sell one but then my sister wanted the red one, because that’s her favorite color. And sadly, I couldn’t make a profit on her.
BEN: Why couldn’t you? Why not?
KATIE: Because my dad said, no, you moron!
GLENN: You were supposed to say because it’s family, you don’t make money off a family. And that wasn’t the truth. For full information for all the kids, she wanted to make a profit. And I negotiated with her that if she sold it for the same price to her sister, I would buy her a churro. So she did make a profit, she got a free churro out of it.
BEN: So you’ve got some great stuff, you buy some great stories, you’re making money. And what we wanted to tell kids is, hey, you know, there’s all different types of ways to make money out there, right? You can cut lawns, walk dogs, you can buy low, sell high and go to flea markets, or garage sales.
GLENN: Your kids that are buying used video games and reselling them.
BEN: So yeah, you’re telling me some great stories about it.
KATIE: Well, I actually did it once.
BEN: You did?
KATIE: I actually sold the video game.
BEN: So you got these video games. And I think even Grant bought some video games that he didn’t think he could buy. He thought he had to be 60 bucks. But if he got one that was, what do you call it, gently used. It cost him like eight bucks or whatever. And so he’s like, yeah, this is awesome. But that’s really cool. And I give you huge kudos for doing that. That’s awesome. I think you’re averaging about $50 a profit a month after everything else, which is great. Because it’s something you love to do, right? And the old saying goes, hey, if you love to do it, you’ll never work a day in your life. Right? Yeah. Now, one of the other things we want to talk about because you have a very unique insight. And your dad does too. You lived in Russia for seven years, right? Yes. And I think you speak fluent Russian, right? Da. Can you say da Hello, Mr. Jones. How are you?
KATIE: Здравствуйте, мистер Джонс. Как дела?
BEN: Hey, okay, you gotta like that. I like vodka, that’s my thing. So you’ve lived in Russia and we want to talk just a little bit about the money in Russia because sometimes we don’t talk about money in different cultures. And you’re telling me some stuff about buying things in Russia, right? Like some things are super cheap, some things are super expensive. And I was hoping to maybe talk to you just a little bit about that. So the super cheap I think we started with which is, how much whenever you have a dollar’s worth of their local currency, what is their local currency because you have to pay with the money?
GLENN: You can pay in dollars, right?
BEN: What do you pay in rubles?
KATIE: They are in rubles.
GLENN: Which I always jokingly called Barney rubbles.
BEN: Barney rubble, yabba dabba doo!
KATIE: And around 65 to 70 rubles is $1.
BEN: Okay. And you were telling me about it, go ahead.
GLENN: No, I was going to say but what’s interesting is when we first got there, it was 35 rubles to the dollar.
BEN: Wow. So twice as many rubles.
GLENN: So, for $1 later on, we got twice as many rubles so we could buy more.
BEN: So dollars are strong and you use them in Russia to get rubles, and you’re telling me how much I loaf of bread was in Russia?
KATIE: Oh, some of them are very cheap, around 20 to 40 rubles each.
BEN: 20 to 40 rubles. So what is that like? 15 to 50 cents somewhere in that range? Wow. So like money in other countries because Glenn, you and I, you’ve probably been to more countries and worked in more countries. What do you think? 25, 30 countries maybe?
GLENN: Maybe 50. It depends if we’re talking UN certified or non-certified.
BEN: But you were telling me about that and then you’re also telling me a little bit about things that are very expensive. What were a couple things you said were expensive?
KATIE: Apartments and toilets were very expensive. It’s true! Our houses were one of the well-built ones out there.
GLENN: Am I allowed to say this for a kid thing, which was learning?
BEN: It depends on what you are thinking.
GLENN: Maybe this is inappropriate, but one of my stories from Russia is that, when I went to a public restroom in a town, she asked me if I was doing one or two, because she charged differently. Because number two, you need paper. They had costs associated because they had to provide some TP so they had to charge 20 rubles instead of 10 rubles.
BEN: Wow, that’s crazy! So when you’re in Moscow, right? That’s what your mom’s from.
GLENN: Mom’s from St. Petersburg.
BEN: St. Petersburg? Yep. Sorry, but you lived in Moscow. My fault. So when you’re in the larger cities, you generally have an apartment. But when you’re out there…
GLENN: Sorry about that. St. Petersburg and Moscow, that’s kind of like, the Chicago Bears versus the New York Giants or something. Oh, yeah. One calls the other one that little village. The big village, sorry.
BEN: So when you’re there, you have an apartment in the large cities, right? But then outside the city, you have a house or you can rent it. Go ahead.
KATIE: Some of them can be expensive. It depends on the house and property value also. So if you’re near a lake and cities and everything, it goes up.
BEN: Gotcha. I was getting to the part where we were talking about how an outhouse could be very expensive because if you’re renting a house outside of the main cities, then those houses cost more because you have a toilet indoors versus outdoors, right?
KATIE: Yes, electricity, electronic computers and other special perks. It can be a trampoline, or a lake nearby.
GLENN: A lot of it when it comes down to, which is quite interesting is, in the old days, Russia used to be the Soviet Union, a communist country. And so the stuff that was built during that period is very, very cheap. The stuff that was being built after the wall came down, and it became a democracy is very, very expensive.
BEN: And that could be a podcast for hours and hours. But ask your parents because the changes in the past in Russia and many countries in Eastern Western Europe, lots of things change. And you get a chance to experience the different currencies, you get a chance to experience what things cost. And I think I remember us saying that if you want to buy strawberries over there, it would be like…
KATIE: Way more expensive because of the season.
BEN: Well, it would actually be…
GLENN: That’s true. There are seasons. So if you tried to buy it out of season, because you couldn’t get it like we do, because we’re lucky, we get stuff from Mexico or South America or winters, they couldn’t get it. So you had about two or three weeks in the year that strawberries were there. And they were really super cheap. But outside of that window, it was very expensive.
BEN: Can you imagine not being able to get strawberries for a big period of time? Two or three weeks?!
KATIE: A lot of fruits are like that actually,
BEN: And you love gooseberries.
KATIE: Oh yes. Those are one of the things that are mostly there year round.
GLENN: Gotcha. I was just going to say when the strawberries are in season, you ate them until you started to look like a strawberry. Because you knew you had a whole another year to pass after that.
BEN: And what are we talking about the things that were difficult to get were not difficult, but were expensive clothes, right? They were much more expensive. We talked about the fact that you couldn’t actually get a double stroller in Russia, you had to buy that. So what happens when it’s expensive? What are they really doing? We talked about would they make them in Russia or would they have to import them? A lot of them were imported. Remember, we talked about that?
KATIE: A lot of them were imported by some, also they have their own factories, of course.
GLENN: On some things.
BEN: But when they imported it, they’d actually charge an extra importation fee.
KATIE: Yes, but most of the berries were actually grown on the farms in Russia because of all the forest nearby. The gooseberries are actually known to grow a lot.
GLENN: And if you wanted to buy let’s say, like an iPhone or an iPad, was that cheaper or more expensive than buying it in America?
KATIE: It is, I think, more expensive, because technology wasn’t really a big part.
BEN: Do you remember how we went over that example, that when Apple would come out with a new phone, they would start in North America, which means where we live in the United States, right? And they wouldn’t sell any in Russia yet. They would wait six months? Is that right Glenn? Wait six months. So what was the supply in Russia for the first six months?
KATIE: It was a goose egg.
BEN: Zero for the first six months. And what was the demand?
KATIE: Very high!
GLENN: How many people are in Russia? Like nearly 150 million people, a third of the United States. And they all wanted an iPhone, and there were zero of them there.
BEN: So, what would happen? Didn’t you tell me Glenn?
GLENN: So, as we talked about it, what was really amazing is when opportunities to make money rises, someone would buy a plane ticket for $1,000, from Russia to America, he would go to the Apple Store, he would buy as many as he could, let’s say five or 10 and then he would bring it back to Russia. And he would sell them for like $2,000 each.
BEN: So he would make $1,000 on 10 iPhones. So he made $10,000.
GLENN: Minus what his cost was, what was his cost?
KATIE: $1000 for a round trip.
GLENN: For the plane flight, right?
BEN: And so you would make $9,000! Now to put that in perspective…
GLENN: For what period of time, how long do you think it took him to do that? four days, maybe a week. So we made $9,000 in a week.
BEN: And Glenn, what was the average pay in Russia a month?
GLENN: During that time, people were lucky to get $250 to $300 a month. And so if we’re talking about this week, we’re talking their pay for working a whole week was maybe $70.
BEN: And he made $9000, or three years worth of money in that short period of time. Now he had to have a visa to get into the United States. So there were some barriers, but talk about a money making business and talk about the differences. In the United States we’re discussing, what does a physician or a doctor get paid? Did we talk to you about this?
KATIE: No. I think it’s pretty high.
BEN: On average, probably $200,000 to $400,000, somewhere in there. And in Russia, do you remember how much it was that you got paid a month?
KATIE: No, but it’s more of a high thing.
GLENN: High compared to let’s say $200. But still, let’s say they are at $500, they could double everybody else, but only $500.
BEN: $6,000 a year, that’s $500 a month times 12 months is $6000, where in the United States, they earn 70 times that amount. So when we talked about it, you’re…
GLENN: And part of the reason for that is there wasn’t a lot of private practice, because they have public health care there.
BEN: So public health care means everybody gets health care, which is a fantastic thing. But what happens is that sometimes it changes the pricing and changes your ability to get to a doctor. And what that means is if you get sick, they put you on the list, and they get to you when they do. And your perfect example is you knew somebody who was sick, who needed a heart operation, and they said, hey, you’re probably only going to last a month or two. But we can get you on the list. And in six months, we can operate on you. Now this is kind of hard to think about, you would not be alive still, because you’re only going to last two months because of this problem, and they can operate on you in six months. But if you pay them a little extra, then they’ll put you to the front of the list. Now that’s not really cool.
GLENN: But that’s the way business works there. Because the doctors weren’t being paid much, they were happy to get a little extra money to help you to get the surgery you needed.
BEN: In order to get you healthy.
GLENN: To keep you alive, because the system wasn’t working in your favor. And you wouldn’t be around by the time you were ready to have that surgery.
BEN: So the thing is that we have tons and tons of stories. And you know, they’re all about money. But we want to just to impress upon people that in other countries, the way that the money works is substantially different. And we’re lucky, you’re lucky here because you do a great job with this hobby. You’re earning good money, and got some good insurance that we’re dealing with. And we’ve got a lot of real positive things to talk about. But I just wanted to end it here. We’re 36 minutes. That’s absolutely cool. Thank you for being here. Thank you to my guest Miss Katie Schischa and Mr. Glenn Schischa for being here. You guys have such wonderful stories. Can’t wait to come back and hook up with you again and talk just a little bit more. So this is where we say goodbye, ready? Goodbye!
GLENN: Until the next treasure hunt. Bye!