GYP of the MONTH (Nov, 1959)

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GYP of the MONTH

Beware the old lady with a charity swindle.

A PERENNIAL “GYP” worked in large cities, carnivals and county fairs is the “unlicensed-toy-hawker” who hustles a lush living peddling toys like hopping dogs, rolling cats, jiggling monkeys, skipping elephants, prancing horses and other cute jim-gigs.

The toys usually sell from 25c up to 50c and look like the brand-name toys sold over the counters of novelty shops and leading department stores.

The Hawker winds the toy and the festive citizen stops to watch the tin animal cavort merrily. “Bargains galore. Half price!” the Hawker cries. The happy citizen laughs and buys a toy and brings it home to his child.

At home, he winds the toy once or twice and is startled by a rattle, a clatter and a crack. The toy is now junk. He’s been had.

There are small factories scattered all through the country that specialize in manufacturing such “rigged” toys. They cost about 4c to make. The Hawker buys them for about 9c and makes from 250% to 550% profit.

The Hawkers sell on a psychological basis called “impulsive buying.”‘ The citizen can’t resist the “impulse” to buy what appears like a bargain. He ends up being penny-wise and bargain-foolish.

The sharpest way to gyp a gypper is not to be an impulsive sucker.

Beware, of little old ladies, sweet and fair; they’re sometimes trickier than blue-eyed babes with blonde hair.

A gentle old lady who conducted her own private “gyp” worked the subway exits in New York city. With ragged shawl and teary eyes, she would shake a tin can at people and wail: “Please give to the children suffering from Extalmorphobia.”

People kept dropping coins into the tin can to help the unfortunate children overcome this horrible disease. When the can was full she would pluck another can from her shabby skirts and keep pleading: “Please save the children dying from Extalmorphobia.”

An irritated citizen reported her to the police.

After finishing a day’s work of collecting, she would walk to a parking lot where she picked up her Cadillac. She was apprehended and booked on a misrepresentation and “defrauding the public” charge.

It was learned that she netted a tax free $500 a week on the non-existent disease called Extalmorphobia.

Be wary of “sympathy” solicitors who push tin cans at you and beg for donations. If you are of a charitable bent, ask to see their credentials before contributing—or the money you donate may just be paying for a new set of expensive white wall tires.

A clever “gyp” has been devised to hoodwink romantic-minded lads and lassies who dream of an overseas career where they will find adventure and excitement—plus a high salary.

Ads are placed in magazines and periodicals circulated in all large cities and small towns offering “inside” information about American firms anxious to fill job-vacancies for clerks, plumbers, draftsmen, welders, laborers, etc,, for their foreign construction projects.

The ads often claim that anyone buying the lists will be given information on how to get the overseas job. The usual charge is one dollar. Sometimes, more.

Save your money, Lassies, and buy some nail polish. Save your money, Laddies, and buy a snazzy tie.

The list of firm names forwarded to you is almost useless.

American companies working on foreign soil have not asked these “gyp” operators to recruit them employees. Nor have they given them the right to use their names for such shabby purposes. Many of the ads are as phony as a six dollar bill.

Large companies working on foreign projects that need specialized or general personnel hire their staffs from legitimate employment agencies and other reliable sources.

Anyone can obtain the names of the companies—from government bulletins and other outlets—free.

Attention: to all housewives—the next telephone call you answer may cost you from $4 to $10.

A voice sweet as candy and soft as cream may say, “This is Mr. Green of the Merchants Association, calling in regard to our campaign to promote better business relations in your town.”

The housewife, a bit perplexed, but curious, usually answers, “Yes?”

“We would like to ask you two questions. If you answer correctly, you will receive a wonderful gift.”

“All right.”

“Which President freed the slaves?”

“Why, it was—Abraham Lincoln.”

“Absolutely right, Madam. Now for the most important question. When did Columbus discover America?”

“1942—yes, in 1492.”

“Right again, Madam. Your remarkable knowledge of American history has won you a discount coupon book which will entitle you to many money-saving- purchases at your neighborhood shopping areas. The slight cost of the book, only four dollars, will save you over one hundred dollars. A member of our promotion staff will call on you tomorrow. Thank you.”

The next morning a pleasant looking man will come to her door and collect four dollars for a book of colored coupons listing the merchants who will give her a 30% to 50% discount of some items.

She is overcome with happiness and the shaky family budget is about to be saved and besides, she is “flattered” by her own cleverness.

But there may be one catch. The merchants in her city or township sometimes know nothing about the discount coupon book.

The good-will of the merchant is bruised, the house wife suffers and the family budget suffers a $4 loss.

Beware of sweet telephone voices that offer discount coupon books.. Check with your local merchants or Chamber of Commerce BEFORE you buy.

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