In Rio de Janeiro, Buy Guns, Get Free Homes

A Brazilian gun dealer has offered to give a free home to the first five customers of the New Year if they buy any quality rifle from his gun shop. Jose Arma de Fogo says he got the idea from a news item he picked up off the Globo International newswire where a Kansas City, Missouri real estate broker is offering a free gun voucher to anyone who signs a contract to purchase a house in the Kansas City, Kansas area.

In Brazil, standard real estate is extremely affordable and in fact, a home on a small plot of land can actually cost less than a decent gun. In recent years, illegal gun traffickers in the favelas have driven the price of guns to black market levels not seen since the 1970’s. For bona fide gun dealers in Rio, it is difficult to sell guns for anything less than a small fortune. In order to increase traffic to his gun store, Arma de Fogo bought five one-room houses in the Precludo de Violencia suburb of Rio and is offering the homes to the first five customers who purchase any gun worth more than 15,000 Reais.

Taking his cue from Arma de Fogo, Ricardo Negotiante is offering a similar deal to anyone who purchases a car from his used car lot in Bairro de Tapeador. Guns aren’t the only thing in the favelas of Rio that are more valuable than real estate. In fact, a used 1974 AMC Gremlin can fetch as much as 20,000 Reais or more, depending on whether or not it has a back seat.

While Kansas City real estate brokers are offering guns to entice buyers to buy homes in the area, and Brazilian gun dealers are using houses to entice purchasers into their gun shops, one Chinese real estate broker takes the prize this year for being the most creative in its offer to prospective home buyers with the following promotion: “Buy a House, Get Free Wife.”

A company out of Beijing has all avenues covered. It has contracted with a matchmaking agency to hire their “unwanted” girls as sales persons. It is now encouraging future homeowners to date the sales girls and if “magic” happens, they will give a prize of RMB 60,000 (Chinese Yuans) toward the purchase of one of their condominium apartments. Someone did the math and determined that the company stands to make much more money in bonuses from the matchmaking company to get these “unwanted” girls married off than they would spend giving it to potential apartment buyers.

What a year it has been. Guns and houses, houses and wives, can it get any more romantic than that? Why, yes it can. In fact, in February of this year in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Brian Zinn of the General Coin and Gun Exchange offered his male customers a deal they just could not refuse: “Buy your girl some diamond earrings, and get yourself a free gun.” According to Zinn, the more expensive the earrings, the bigger the gun. Once the word got out, the women of Eau Claire were the ones telling their lovers to take advantage of the deal. Seems the women in Eau Claire really love big guns.

So there you have it. Just when you thought you knew the value of something, it gets all blown to hell by some creative marketing genius trying to make sense of this crazy, mixed-up global economy. For those who are without the funds to purchase guns, houses, used cars, or diamonds, there are still some things you can afford so that you get something free in exchange. Just take your sweetheart down to the local Waffle House and buy yourself a waffle, because for a limited time only, you can get another waffle free.

Author: P. Beckert

P. Beckert's is one voice vying for frequency room at the top of the opinion dial. Angered and bewildered by many of today’s events, P. Beckert uses humor as a tool to fight against an onslaught of stupidity and ignorance that seems to permeate the airwaves and pollute the sensitivities of a once brilliant nation. You can find more at