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Bootleg Video

 

Techniques Confidence tricks > Bootleg Video

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Set up a market stall with a cardboard box full of DVDs or videos of the latest movies. They are actually blank, but they do have nice covers which you have printed up. A poster or two of the movies can also help. Dress casually. Act in a shifty way, like you're worried that the police may be along soon. 

Sell the movies for a bargain price, because you're 'in a hurry' to get rid of them. If anyone gets home and back before you have legged it, apologize and offer to give them a replacement or their money back. They will usually take the replacement. Then you leave.

Discussion

Several principles are at work in this simple scam. The fact that you can't get it elsewhere uses the scarcity principle. Your friends don't have it, so their envy will boost your sense of identity. There's also the frisson that comes from cheating or breaking the law, where you seem to be have complete control over your environment.

Variants of this scam include selling in bars and street corners. Pretty much anything can be sold. The nice touch is that by giving the person the impression that they are buying something illegally, they are dissuaded from going to the police about the situation.

See also

Greed, Scarcity principle

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