Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Megan:

My question is simple:

"-Jim is able to sell a hand-carved statue for $650 which was a 35% profit over his cost. How much did it originally cost?"

I don't even know where to start could you help?

Hi Megan,

I would start by thinking

"If I knew his cost and I knew he wanted a profit of 35% of his cost, how much should he sell it for?"

That I can do. If his cost was C dollars and he wanted a profit of 35% of the cost then he would add 35% of C to arrive at the selling price. That is the selling price would be

C + 35% of C

which is

C + 0.35 timesC = 1.35 C

But you know the selling price is $650 so

1.35 C = 650.

Solve for C.


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