How to Sell the Eiffel Tower (Twice)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick any building in the world and sell it with out having to own it? Well, that’s what Victor Lustig did in 1925. He sold the Eiffel tower, not just once, but twice within two months!!!

To understand how he did that, we have to know a bit about Victor Lustig...

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Victor discovered his talents to charm and persuade while still a young man. He spoke multiple languages and people liked him. Pretty soon he could talk his way into almost anything. He started with small scams for pocket change and quickly developed a taste for it. He sharpened his skills to the point where he evolved into a smooth talking, confidence man. In order associate himself with wealthy people, he began frequenting the same places as they did. One of which was on the ocean liners between Europe and America. Onboard, he would pose as a free spending, wealthy businessman. He would quickly make friends among the passengers and seek out the wealthiest and most vulnerable to his scams. When his new friends felt comfortable with him and the talk turned to money, he would grudgingly reveal the secret of his wealth, his “money box”. The money box was a skilfully crafted mahogany box with brass dials and internal rollers which he claimed could duplicate hundred dollar bills. He demonstrated by inserting a real bill along with a paper blank into slots at one end of the box and then, after a six hour “chemical reaction” time, he would pull two real bills out of the other end.

This kind of scam requires a lot of psychology and Victor was excellent at sizing up his marks:

How to Sell the Eiffel Tower (Twice)

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