Violins is not the Answer

I happened to see this in my spam folder today:

In a study posted in August, Brandeis University financial experts Kathryn Graddy and also Philip Margolis demonstrate how, in the duration from 2007 to 2012, uncommon violins were viewed as a superb alternate investment.
While that table has some of the highest-priced violins shown, it is most absolutely not the great 10 sales!


First: uncommon violins as an investment strategy. Quite honestly, this had never occurred to me before now; but I confess, the idea has a certain logic. You buy some violins, they go up in value (presumably?), you sell them. Just like stocks, right?

Except that you need to be a violin expert so that you can tell which violins to buy, how much to pay, when to sell them, how much to sell them for, and how to care for them while you have them. And you probably need a lot of money, because uncommon violins ain’t cheap (presumably?).

So maybe this opportunity isn’t for me. But let’s think.

Who created this spam? Someone who (1) has a lot of expensive violins to unload, (2) is shady enough to resort to spam, and (3) is tech-savvy enough to create spam in the first place. Can you…can you imagine such a person? The sleazy, corrupt, high-tech black market violin dealer? Do they sign into chat rooms as StringSeller239, stroking their curly mustache, chortling softly, reeking of gin? Are they married? Do they maintain a facade of legitimacy for the coppers? Do their children know about their WordPress-comment-based musical underground empire of sin?

Just as crucially, who’s the target audience? Rich but naive investors, swindled into questionable violin schemes by the tawdry allure of quick riches and sweet sonatas? Reclusive millionaires with a sophisticated knowledge of instrument markets, who have somehow never considered buying or selling, but are convinced by a two-paragraph comment on an unrelated blog post? Functionally illiterate computer users with money to burn and an itchy click finger?

Do you think this advertisement – and I use the word loosely – do you think it resulted in even a single successful transaction? Did this misshapen, desultory missive cause even a single dollar to change hands? Do amoral Internet dreams really come true?

Alas, we will never know. Such is the bittersweet mystery of life.

I should probably get outside today.

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