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The Antique Toy

 

Techniques Confidence tricks > The Antique Toy

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Buy an old and worn toy from a second-hand shop. The odder-looking the better. Go into a bar and plonk it down beside you. Buy a drink Don't talk much to the barman, and don't be that nice to him (just act neutral). Take a fake phone call which calls you away. Exit, leaving the toy behind mentioning that you won't be long.

Now a couple of your accomplices come in. When the barman is there, they 'notice' the toy and ask where it came from. Declaring it as a rare antique with particular value in another part of the world. Ask the barman to tell the owner when they come back that they'll give him $500 for it. They leave, declaring they'll be back later.

Now you go back into the bar. With luck the barman will offer to buy the toy off you for well under $500, but far more than you paid for it!

Discussion

Aside from good old-fashioned greed, the barman is being hooked by a variant of the scarcity principle, whereby they think they know something you don't--at least for the moment.

See also

Greed, Scarcity principle

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