Chapter 48: Cooking The Books
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
On the first day of “Forever Jewels” opening, it had an auspicious start of over ten million in sales revenue.
On the second day, which was also Singles’ Day, the promotional campaign for the jewelry shop continued. The volume of customers was even bigger. The shop realized $18,600,000 in sales revenue.
On the third, fourth and fifth days, the sales revenue was $8,700,000, $8,300,000 and $7,400,000 respectively. Only on the eighth day, when the promotion ended, did the sales revenue drop lower than $5,000,000.
In seven days, the total sales revenue from the jewelry shop was more than $64,000,000! This was a sales number that would put a gleam into anyone’s eyes. In her more than 20 years of experience in the jewelry industry, Chiu Wan-Ting had never created such prosperous sales revenue.
Of course, she knew the reason for the dramatic business of the shop. It was because the pricing of the jewelry was so competitive! Especially the gold jewelry. Other jewelry shops would set a general price of $350 or $360 per gram. Even when they did promotions, they would only give a discount of about $10.
But at “Forever Jewels,” The price of gold was set at $336 per gram. With an additional discount of 10% to 15% off, the average price was around $300 per gram. To the customers, it was equivalent to shaving off the handling fees.
Then, there were these tiny little gold bullions of 50 grams that were custom-made for the investors. They had a square appearance without much aesthetic beauty. But, they were priced at only $288 per gram. It was very close to the international spot price of gold. The pricing was extremely attractive and very suitable for hedge investing. In fact, more than a third of the sales revenue was from customers with investment needs.
Some of those investor clients were picking on the gold bullions for its small size of 50 grams. They wanted bigger gold bullions, like those weighing 100, 200, 500, or even 1,000 grams. That way, it would be more comfortable to look at them.
Chiu Wan-Ting could only follow their wishes and increase the number of gold bullions weighing 100 grams, 200 grams, and 500 grams in order to satisfy the different needs of different customers.
At the same time, she could not help but sigh with deeply, “There’s simply too many, too many rich people in Shang Hai!” However, even though the sales revenues for these few days were very high, the realized profits were not high at all. It was because they employed the strategy of using low prices to bring in huge sales volumes. Especially the gold, which was not only unprofitable but made a loss of $2 to $3 for every gram sold. If not for the millions in profits brought in by the sales of platinum, diamonds, and other jewelry, the shop would not be earning a single cent in those seven days of promotion!
It was great that the promotion period was over. Word of the jewelry shop had spread. The price of the jewelry had risen to normal levels, causing the volume of sales to drop. However, there would definitely be profits!
On the other hand, Chen Jin had a totally different attitude. He was so happy that he could not stop smiling. It was because the 100 kilograms of gold that he provided were all found on Haierfa. After going to the jewelry manufacturers to exchange the gold for 90 kilograms of gold jewelry, the purchasing cost of these goods was close to zero.
Those 90 kilograms of gold jewelry had long been sold during the few days of promotion. They had been changed into a huge sum of $26,000,000 in a secret account (the account had been created using the identity of Uncle Qin).
The process of changing gold into cash had successfully been completed in a few short days. Maintaining the profits of the jewelry shop was also a guarantee now. It could be said that this process was perfect. But, he wanted to keep a low profile. In order to maintain the normal operations of the jewelry shop, Chen Jin felt that he only needed to provide a small amount of “third void gold.”
“I’ll take about 100 kilograms of gold every month and go to various jewelry manufacturers to exchange them for gold jewelry. In this way, I’ll have more than $20,000,000 in cash deposited into my account every month! It will be more than two billion.”
Around two billion…. Was that enough? Of course, it was far from enough! The hot air that he had boasted to his parents was a profit of 10 billion in a year! It was equivalent to changing four or five tons of gold into cash every year.
Of course, if Chen Jin possessed sufficient gold, he would want to sell off tens or hundreds of tons of gold each year. It would earn him hundreds of billions! But this method carried too great a risk. The probability of being exposed was too high. In order to avoid causing the need for an inspection, trading 100 kilograms of gold each month was the limit! But if he wanted to fulfill the goal of earning ten billion annually, he still had to employ other methods to generate money legally!
“Start a business! I have to take immediate action to start a business. I have more than $20,000,000 going into my account every month, it’s enough for the first phase of starting a business. When others start a business and spend money, they are always worried about the enterprise funding chain breaking. But I have a jewelry shop and an entire planet! My funding chain will never be broken! The next step in my plan will be launched soon!”
Making use of her two days off, He Li thoroughly inspected each sum of money that went in and out of the shop’s account books. She calculated everything comprehensively. She nodded her head and said to Chen Jin, “Your judgment was right. The person you hired as the store manager, Chiu Wan-Ting, is very good. No matter if it’s renovations, incoming stocks, outgoing stocks, staff expenses, or other consumables…. They can all be matched to the invoices. I can’t detect any problems. In addition, travel expenses, fuel costs, treating the clients to free meals and the staff to supper, and even beverage costs, are not included inside here. Obviously, Store Manager Chiu had contributed a portion of her own money for these expenses. Son, give her an additional bonus of $10,000 next month. Such good staff is uncommon nowadays.”
Chen Jin nodded. “Understood, Mom.” If not for his mom’s expert experience, he would not even know that Auntie Chiu had contributed a portion of the money.
“But…..” Looking at the account books, He Li reflected quietly, “The origins of this 90 kilograms of jewelry is very strange. There’s only a record of stock coming in. I don’t see any purchasing list so I can’t calculate the purchasing costs of this batch of goods….”
Chen Jin’s heart skipped a beat. Mom had seen through him. But, he was not surprised. With her sharp and piercing gaze, it would be weirder if she could not detect such an obvious flaw in the account books. Luckily, he had already prepared a plausible story to explain the origins of this batch of goods. “Mom, weren’t you very worried about how I got the money to open the jewelry shop? To tell you honestly, a friend lent me that money.”
He Li rolled her eyes. It was the same as not saying anything.
“Also, he was the one who actively lent me that money. He did not give me any IOUs or want me to return the money. It’s because he possesses a huge amount of gold!” Chen Jin continued to talk incessantly. He created a mysterious friend who had a huge amount of gold but had difficulty in trading it personally. Hence, he requested Chen Jin work with him using the method of using gold to exchange for gold jewelry at the jewelry manufacturers and then selling it in the jewelry shop. Chen Jin would personally handle the business and liquidate his gold. So, Chen Jin was only a business intermediary. The real power laid with the mysterious friend standing in his shadows.
He Li suddenly understood. “No wonder that enormous sum of $26,000,000 was deposited into a newly opened account. Clever. Your friend is really clever. He actually thought of this method to deal with the “third void gold” in his hands. He’s so clever to the point that he turned my son into his cover and scapegoat….” With a chill in her voice, she asked Chen Jin, “Son, what’s the name of your friend? Where does he live? Can you take me to see him?” He Li planned to have a little “meet and greet” with this mysterious character.
Chen Jin waved his hands repeatedly. “No, no, I promised him that I will keep his secret. Once exposed, he’ll either disappear himself or the people who found out his secret would disappear…. I can’t tell you.”
He Li snorted heavily. “Just how much gold does he have that he dare to make statements like ‘making people disappear’?”
Suddenly, she remembered the question that he had asked her. “If he found a ton of gold, who does the gold belong to?”
Could it be….
Her mind went to how that mysterious friend “gifted” her son with more than $10,000,000 to open a jewelry shop. He took out more than 100 kilograms of gold all at once for liquidation, strictly requesting her son to keep it a secret. He Li instantly understood that the mysterious character must have an impressive amount of gold on him!
However, he should not have targeted her son and used him as a tool. Therefore, she had to interfere! She would use her resources to continue investigating this matter. She would find out how much gold that fellow possessed. According to the law, he had to hand it over to the state. It would all be confiscated and depending on the situation, he would either be rewarded or face penalties.
“Mom! The gold is legal. It was a legacy from his ancestors, it absolutely belongs to his family!”
HeLi shook her head. “No, no. Theoretically speaking, that is a cultural artifact.”
“But that’s an enormous amount of gold, who would willingly hand it over to the state? Mom, if the gold was the legacy of our ancestors, would you hand it over?”
He Li sank into deep thought, “Um….”. She had to admit that this question tested one’s character. But, if it was her, she would not hand it over either.
“Mom, I have a good relationship with that friend. He has a good personality too. I promise you, he’s definitely not a criminal! I went to transport the gold with him during the long National Day Holidays. We dug it up from the bottom of his old house. He has the title deed to the old house! He trusts me the most; I can’t make any trouble for him!”
He Li had another sudden realization. No wonder he did not come back home for eight or nine days on his last trip. He was not on a vacation. In fact, he was transporting gold. A single transport took eight to nine days to complete. This made her imagine a scenario where the gold was piled high as a mountain.
“All right, son. I’ll believe you guys.” He Li finally believed him. No matter who it was, once anyone got their hands on such an enormous amount of gold, their first thought would be to take it for themselves. Then, they would want to keep it an absolute secret. It would be ideal if there was only one person in the whole world who knew about it. But Chen Jin still revealed part of this secret to her. Finally, she said, “Ok, son. I can understand how you and your friend conducted the business. I’ll help you keep the secret!”
Chen Jin was ecstatic. “Thanks, Mom!”
“But….” Waving the accounts book in her hands, He Li shook her head, “Young people… you have a brain, but the way you do things is still not sufficiently reliable or secure. How can such an obvious loophole in the books stand up to inspection? Although this is not against the law, what would happen if something does come up? We still have to cover up this loophole.”
Chen Jin scratched his head. “But… how do we do that?” He had no clue how to go about it.
He Li gave an abrupt sigh. “Huh, it’s better for you to leave it to me. I’ll handle it.”
Chen Jin’s eyes swiftly widened! Looking at her in shock, he said, “Mom, you mean… you’ll cook the books?”
He Li nodded gently.
“But, don’t you never do that kind of thing? Your nickname in the tax bureau is the ‘Iron Amour Accountant’.”
He Li shook her head. “Who knows? It’s because you’re my son.” Normally, she would never break the rules. But because her son was in a rather unique set of circumstances, she could make an exception.
“Thanks, Mom, thank you!”
Cheering happily in his mind, Chen Jin beamed with joy.
Hahaha! It is done. This time around, it is a 100% done deal!
With his mom in action, he could rest assured, and boldly sell the gold from Haierfa!