I previously alerted you to other forms of deceptive advertising used by all kinds of businesses. I heard a new one on an old theme. It’s the “fool the customer into thinking they are getting something valuable” sales pitch.

The ad on the radio was touting how gold and silver prices are likely to rise this year. They will send you a brochure on their services and you get a 1 gram bar of silver for free! Stop a second. What did you hear? “Free silver”, right? Pay attention. Did you notice how much free silver you’re getting? It was quick and not obvious – 1 gram.

Do you know how much 1 gram of silver is? Trust me, it’s not much. If you took them up on their offer, you’re going to get one of two things. Either you’ll get a tiny bar of pure silver that is so small, you’ll need a magnifying glass to see it. That’s not likely because the customer is going to feel ripped off. The company said “1 gram” so they weren’t lying. The customer probably thought “1 ounce” which is how silver is usually sold (by the ounce) and was picturing a larger bar. What the company probably will send you is a larger bar (maybe the size of a piece of chewing gum) that is 99.99% of some valueless, inert substance that has the barest trace of silver coating on it equaling 1 gram of silver. The customer is going to think they got a large bar of pure silver. In reality, don’t scratch the bar because you’ll scrape off the fine silver coating very easily.

The total cost of making this bar is probably under $1. The customer is fooled into thinking they got a bar of pure silver. The company is hoping you’re hooked and you’ll buy more gold and silver products from them which is where they really make their money.

In the end, the company fooled the customer. And the customer got ripped off.

The same tactic is used for “gold stamps”. If you read the brochures carefully, they are described as “golden replicas.” They are nothing more than pressed cardboard in the image of a stamp that is wrapped in gold colored foil. There isn’t a single molecule of gold in those gold stamps. Yet, unknowledgeable collectors buy them thinking they are getting real gold for pennies on the dollar. They were fooled.

Whether it’s stamps, coins, or any other collectible, be careful what you buy. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The company will have your money and you are left holding something of little or no value. As always, collect what you want. The “profit” is in the fun that you have with stamps.

You won’t find any fast sales pitches in my pricelists. I try to offer stamps that are accurately described and fairly priced given their condition and centering. I offer a straight deal that allows me to make a fair profit on my investment. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing that I sell will make you rich. However, I hope that I can offer you material that provides endless hours of enjoyment. That is my goal.