Nazar Pendants and a missed arbitrage opportunity

I know it now. I will never, ever be a shrewd, ice-cold businessman displaying the sharpest of acumen.  No, I am not talking about bottom fishing during a recession and selling out when the market hits the top. Nor am I talking about trading currency futures which was out there for everyone to see. I missed out on a very very lucrative opportunity of selling  Nazar Suraksha Kawach  that keeps coming on late night TV shopping ads all the time. The opportunity of trading these pendants would have been so fruitful that I really could have set myself up for life if I had simply followed common sense and of course, the requisite killer instinct to zoom in on a positive-only cash flow trading situation

I was going to put up an example of what goes into a Nazar Kawach and how it benefits people, but then I ended up being waay too lazy to take screen grabs and go through the whole process of typing out hahahaha type details about the whole thing. Instead, I smartly waited for @bhalomanush to put up his post on how to make money by warding off the evil eye at his blog

In India, these things sell on TV for Rs 3000, where as in Turkey, I could have got it for as little as 1 TL (~Rs. 30). The opportunity that I had to sell this stuff to gullible folks here was just too big. In-fact, since I am an MBA-type, let me take a quick stab at what is a very simple market sizing question in a consulting interview

As you can see, I missed out on a clear profit of at least one crore !

Nazar pendants define Turkey and if it were possible, there would be a great big blue and white eye hung over central Anatolia, protecting Turkey and its people from the ill-effects of envy, dislike and malignant intent.

Outside of the touristy areas, one sees Nazar pendats ( nazar boncuğu) in all places- ferries, trams, buses, coffee shops, hotel rooms, outside international hotel chains. The largest I saw was a one-foot wide sample hung outside our hotel in Göreme.

 These glass beads were hung from the mirrors of buses, on key chains, straps of backpacks and baby carriages all  in a bid to ward off the evil stares of jealous people who might want what you have. This was really surprising, since Turkey, though a predominantly Muslim country considers itself to be secular. Well, I guess being secular does not mean that one can not be superstitious.


I knew it.. these things grow on trees

What would have been the easy fruits of labour

I guess if I had bought the 'Suraksha Kawach' before I went to Turkey, I wouldn't have been affected by someone's Nazar and would have had the brains to stock up on the pendants and would have been richer by a crore. Yikes.

Trampled byY Trip at Friday, May 28, 2010


Anirban said... May 28, 2010 at 5:35 PM  

Brilliant post and thanks for the shout-out. I am going to link to your post now.

I love the pictures of the anti-nazar things growing on trees.


Prashant said... May 28, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

holy cow!! They are selling this stuff for 3 grand on TV and people are buying this stuff! Even the Suraksha Kawach will be in a dilemma as to how to protect such dumb people.

There SK are selling because they are on TV..In your case, does the distro and channel expense include marketing cost? Even if it does not and you spend 50-60% on marketing even then returns are simply too good. Even thought the math is correct, I feel the figures are too good to be real, not sure why.

Y Trip said... May 28, 2010 at 10:53 PM  

@Anirban I had a few more pictures of these things in really odd places.. can't find them now

@Prashant The beginning of my blog starts off with "I will never, ever be a shrewd, ice-cold businessman"

That should explain it all :D

Vidya said... May 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM  

God save us from the TV wares !they sell quite a lot of weird things and still weirder prices. This one takes the cake though!

Very nice pics!

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