The perfect trick: “1 golden coin for 1 coat”


*This article was published on 18.05.2010

100 years ago, there was a town. Commerce was going well and everything was normal until one Monday during September someone new in the city appeared at the central square and announced: "Whoever brings me one coat, I will pay him with 1 golden coin". That time a coat's price was maximum the equivalent of 0,1 golden coin". People were confused, but some of them returned soon with a coat. They were curious to see what will happen. The unknown man paid them, 1 golden coin for each coat. The whole town started discussing about this. 50 coats were sold…
(weekly investment: 50 golden coins)

"2 golden coins for 1 coat"
The buyer remained silent throughout the week. Next Monday he returned to the central square and asked the crowd to listen to him. "I offer 5 golden coins for 1 coat. Again, this offer is valid until the end of this day" he said. Many more people ran fast and returned with coats. He boughtthem all, paying them 2 golden coins for 1 coat. In total, he collected more than 500 coats.
(weekly investment: 1.000 golden coins)

"4 golden coins for 1 coat"
During the week, people searched and found out. He was one of them, who left the town for many years and lived abroad. He became rich there and he returned back to his mother city. Next Monday this weird "businessman" appeared again. Hundreds of people were waiting him, hoping to sell their coats for 2 golden coins each. But he surprised them again: "This week I pay 4 golden coins for each coat, but only to people from this city. Don't bring me coats from other cities, I will not buy them. So prepare your documents too. And don't try to trick me, I can recognize the difference" he said and a… battle begun. Everyone was trying to sell first, in order to get his money, enough to buy horses, food for months etc. He paid 4 golden coins for each and every one coat he bought, in total 5.000 coats.
(weekly investment: 20.000 golden coins)

"8 golden coins for 1 coat"
Next Monday the whole city was there. Policemen were trying to maintain the order, as the crowd was impatient, hoping to sell again. There were many thefts during the previous week, always having a coat as a trophy. The silent (except Monday) strange guy appeared: "8 golden coins for 1 coat" he said. Everyone was selling not only his coat, but any other coat he could find, from his grandfather's one until… whatever. Citizens of neighboring towns appeared and tried to sell their coats but he didn't accept, he wanted only coats of that town. And he didn't hesitate to buy everything. He collected more than 10.000 coats, paying 8 golden coins each.

(weekly investment: 80.000 golden coins)

"20 golden coins for 1 coat"
The following Monday people went to the central square just by curiosity. Almost none of them had a coat anyway. They still did not manage to find out why this person was buying all these coats. He appeared and offered 20 golden coins for 1 coat. But he managed to collect only 500 coats, by the last inhabitants who were not convinced before.

(weekly investment: 10.000 golden coins)

"100 golden coins for 1 coat"
Winter was approaching, the weather was not good anymore and people were feeling cold. But they had sold all their coats. They were even stealing the coats of tourists or anyone entering their city, waiting to sell them to the "crazy buyer". Too many rumors and theories were developed. Some of them included the scenario of transforming their town to the world center of coats. When he appeared, he offered "100 golden coins for 1 coat". But he succeeded to buy just 20 coats, as only those were stolen by foreigners.

(weekly investment: 2.000 golden coins)

Average purchase price: 6,82. "Official price": 100…
There were no more coats in the city. This silent man had collected all of them, paying a sum of 113.050 golden coins. In total 16.570 coats were sold, at an average price of 6,82 golden coins per coat. But the price was set at 100 golden coins.

"We want 200, or 500 golden coins"
For the following two Mondays this man appeared again, offering 100 golden coins per coat, but he didn't manage to buy not even one. Very few people had a coat available for sale. Some of them were afraid of the crowd, so they sent their lawyer to announce to the buyer: "My client will sell to you the coat only for 200 golden coins". 2 others asked for "500 golden coins, slightly negotiable". When he said that "I am sorry, but noone gives you 100, as I do. Why do you sell at this price?" the reply was "I will not allow to a speculator like you to steal my coat for nothing. This is the price, take it or leave it. If you don't wan, I will keep the coat for years".

The "coat collector" was sure: Noone else was selling a coat

"Selling coats for 50 golden coins each"
Next Monday he went to the central square and said: "This is my town, the place I was born. I love all its respectable citizens and their hard work to earn money…" (plus more bullshit to flatter their ears). "…this is why I will sell to you coats for 30 golden coins each, despite their 100 – 500 price". Madness! People were trying to collect money by all means, in order to buy a coat. They were selling their homes, they were doing everything possible, in order to get the chance to buy one of (their) coats at 70% less price comparing to the "official" one. He allowed them to buy anytime during the following 1 month. "But every day you will delay, I will raise the price by 1 golden coin".

He sold about 10.000 coats, with an price of 35 golden coins each.
(Total income: 350.000 golden coins).

Next Monday this man did not show up. The other one too. People had in their hands the coats, but what was the price if there was no buyer? Ofcourse, in the beginning noone was selling with a deduction. It took them months in order to go to the neighboring towns and buy coats for… 0,1 golden coin each. After 2 – 3 years, there were still people asking for 20 – 30 golden coins for 1 coat, but without a client, they remained "patient". They started blaming everyone else, except themselves. They accused any foreigner who entered in their town again, they were cursing everyone who was refusing to buy their coat for "not even 15 golden coins, nothing comparing to the near past".

What happened to the strange coat buyer?
After having earned more than 230.000 golden coins, he donated all the other coats to poor people in other towns and left to other places. He would not come back any time soon. And next time he would deal with something else, properties…

Do you know anyone buying something he considers expensive?



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