Black Market Marketing — 7 Barely Legal Marketing Methods Including Forgery and Espionage

Black Market Marketing is simple.

It’s just marketing territory that’s seen as “black market” to most people, but when you take a closer look, it’s actually completely legal.

It requires inspiration, outside of the box thinking, and Sherlock Holmesian dedication to law and loophole sleuthing.

Black Market Marketing is based on products and strategies that are either:

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”590″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#eeee22″ txt_color=”#000000″]a) 100% legal

or

b) Potentially prohibited, but rarely (if ever) enforced.[/mks_pullquote]

 

Kind of like going 5 mph over the speed limit — it’s treated as more of a guideline than a law.

Like Einstein said, you have to learn the rules of the game, and then play better than anyone else.

Some people prefer to just break the rules and pay whatever consequences necessary.

Robert Heinlen freedom quote

Me personally? I say win fair and square, but take advantage of every “barely legal” opportunity passed up by the less courageous.

The spoils go to the bold.

Black Market Marketing #7: Counterfeit Degrees, Diplomas and Certifications

fake degree

Couldn’t afford your community college tuition? No problem. Graduate from Harvard or MIT instead.

Cheaper Than Tuition offers a wide range of customizable fake college transcripts and diplomas, or “novelty diplomas” as they call them for obvious legal reasons.

You only pay $200 tops, BUT you won’t have the satisfaction of a job well done after years of studying, stress and binge drinking.

Hmm.

That sounds kind of nice actually.

Remind me again, how is this legal?

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”590″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#eeee22″ txt_color=”#000000″]The real question is, how do I use this in my business? [/mks_pullquote]

 

Credibility boosts sales, and sometimes credibility comes in a humble package.

With Phd papers hanging on your wall, your clients will treat you with the respect you deserved before you had it forged.

Until they notice that you graduated from Yoda’s Jedi Knight School anyway.

You can also use your novelty diploma as a unique contest prize or giveaway.

Last (and possibly least), you may want to consider opening a retail outlet for this channel of business bravado, or adding it to your collection of product offers.

There’s certainly a market for it. (Ask Laura Callahan, the former senior director at the United States Department of Homeland Security.)

Black Market Marketing #6: Radar Detectors and Cop Blocks

police speed gun

If you’re the type of person who gets borderline murderous when you get stuck behind a slow person in the fast lane, chances are, you’ll appreciate these black market marketing items.

When I bought my first radar detector, everybody I knew asked the same thing: “wait, aren’t those illegal?”

Nope.

In fact, they’re legal in every state. The only exception is if you’re driving a commercial vehicle AND happen to live in New York, Illinois or New Jersey.

Another brilliant cop-dodger is an app called Waze.

waze

It shows you where the speed traps are, DUI checkpoints, and so forth.

These cop deterrents aren’t just legal — they’re loaded with marketing potential.

I think one of the best incentives an insurance agent could ever give me is a high quality police radar, and if they really want to get on my good side, a blocker too.

If you own a auto parts shop (or just about any shop really), radars and Waze app promotion should be high on the priority list, because there’s plenty of people out there who’d love to detect and avoid speed traps legally.

Black Market Marketing #5: Defacing US Currency

walter white money art

Donovan Clark, a guerrilla artist from Humboldt County, found a niche in the market that I could have sworn was illegal.

But… surprise!

It’s not.

batman money art

These delightful defacements have all sorts of marketing potential.

For instance:

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] Covering your restaurant wall with them, to create a creatively unique environment for your customers.

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] Sending thank you cards with superhero-themed dollar defacements enclosed to your clients.

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] Swamping your local stomping grounds with these cute little buggers is a guerrilla tactic that would make Che Guevara grin in his grave. Just make sure you have your contact info on the back!

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] Slap your professional info on there and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable business card.

Jack Skellington money art

 

Black Market Marketing#4: Art Forgery

starry night marketing replica

Does this look like a forgery to you?

This Van Gogh masterpiece is a genuine fake. The good news is, counterfeit pieces of art are only fraud when you sell them as the original.

Current copyright laws apply as well. As a general rule of thumb, it’s smart to NOT sell replicas of any living artist. If you’re copying Da Vinci, Van Gogh, or the vast majority of dead artists, you should be in the clear.

Application?

As an art enthusiast, you tell me. Which would you prefer — a cheap photocopy or a hand painted replica?

These meek but magnificent classics can boost your business atmosphere by leaps, and you can even sell them for the local artists you got them from — whilst pocketing a solid commission.

This sort of thing works great for coffee bistros and small restaurants. It’s actually quite difficult to come up with marketing win-wins as good as this one.

Etsy-style retail shop owners would be crazy to not include a line of forgeries, and with the slew of rabid White Collar enthusiasts out there, it might work out well to label them as professional forgeries.

Black Market Marketing #3: Weapons Dealer

flamethrower marketing?

Weapons of mass marketing appeal. Obviously these trinkets won’t sit well with many people, but if your marketing niche is on the combative side of things, you may want to consider buying a flamethrower to mount on the wall.

I’ve never seen a flamethrower listed amongst the top 3 raffle prizes, and that’s because of misinformation.

As bat-shyte crazy as it sounds, these fire-belching anarchist wet dreams are exactly 100% legal to own in 40 states. California is one of the few state that imposes a restriction on owning this kind of weapon.

The non-military versions (used for fighting forest fires with fire) can be purchased for as little as $150, but for a genuine, commie-killing fireballer, expect to shell out at least $500.

Black Market Marketing #2: Spy Gear and Privacy Invasion

spy pen marketing

Nobody likes invasion of privacy.

We don’t like it when the government records private phone calls, we hate when people eavesdrop, and even website cookies used to customize the online ads we see are annoying to most of us.

Because of our severe hate of intrusion, our laws support the freedom of privacy, but…

…do they really?

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] The US Department of State estimates an average of $500 million spent every year on eavesdropping equipment used against private persons.*

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] They also estimate an average of $300 million spent per year on corporate eavesdropping devices. *

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] There are approximately 600,000 private investigators working in the United States (there’s less than 250,000 chief executive officers in the US, to give you a point of reference).**

[mks_icon icon=”fa-check-square-o” color=”#1e73be” type=”fa”] It’s legal to “observe” (spy on) people, and even to record them with video devices.

While it’s illegal to eavesdrop with bugging devices in most cases, private investigators (and everyone else) can:

[mks_icon icon=”fa-car” color=”#000000″ type=”fa”] Follow and observe people.

[mks_icon icon=”fa-car” color=”#000000″ type=”fa”] Take pictures and record video that can be used against them in legal cases.

[mks_icon icon=”fa-car” color=”#000000″ type=”fa”] Wiretap the phone of a spouse (with consent from the other).

[mks_icon icon=”fa-car” color=”#000000″ type=”fa”] Run license plates.

[mks_icon icon=”fa-car” color=”#000000″ type=”fa”] And believe it or not, much more.

So how can you put this information to work in your marketing?

Hire a PI.

There’s two monolithic reasons to hire a PI for your marketing:

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”590″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#eeee22″ txt_color=”#000000″]1. To observe customers and potential customers. The more you know about your target consumer, the better you can serve them. While people may not appreciate being observed, it’s really for their own good, right? And what they don’t know…

2. To spy on competitors.  Two heads are better than one. Put your competitors innovation to work for you by hiring a PI to figure out what he or she is doing right — and what they’re doing wrong (that you can do better).[/mks_pullquote]

 

Black Market Marketing #1: Profit Pulling Pranks?

This black market marketing stunt made people wet themselves.

If your product isn’t the horror film Carrie, you might want to come up with a different (more relevant) prank.

Also, it’s completely legal to pull a prank, but you’ll want to make sure you’re not breaking any other rules in the process.

For example — in many states, prank calls can be fall under the jurisdiction of harassment, if the prankster calls during certain hours.

Also, if the person or persons involved in the prank belong to a single race or ethnic group, you could get hit with a hate crime.

But hey, there’s risks involved in everything — if you reap rewards as good as this viral 62-million-views-video, it’s well worth it.

Do you have a black market marketing method to share? Let us know in the comments!

Notes

Feature Image Source

Money Art Image Source

Dank Doob Delivery Van Image Source

Flamethrower Image Source

Will it Blend Image Source

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