Chilean Man Pays For Smartphone with 128 Pounds of Avocado

The fruit dealer took advantage of a marketing loophole.

By Ethan L. Johns
June 04, 2018

Image: Shutterstock

Even though this is the age of the iPhone X, some people just don’t want to drop a thousand dollars for a smartphone. Instead, some people want to drop a whole load of avocados.

Last month, after a Chilean department store started cheekily advertising its products with a price in terms of avocados, a fruit distributor known as “The Avocado Man” (“el weon de las paltas”) decided to see if he could get the business to keep its promises, according to The Independent.

On its website, Ripley showed a Motorola Moto X4 smartphone with a discounted Cyber Monday selling price of about $300 (189,990 Chilean pesos). As what can only be reasonably seen as a joke to acknowledge the price of avocados, the store decided to also list how much of the fruit you could buy for the same sum, which turned out to be 58 kilograms, or 128 pounds ($2.34 per pound).

The Avocado Man, Camilo Briceño, found that joke metric intriguing. On Instagram, Briceño posted a video asking how he could take advantage of the promotion.

To everyone’s surprise, the department store responded on the post, telling him to bring his 58 kilos of avocados to its location at the Parque Arauco shopping mall in Santiago.

In a photo posted to Twitter, Briceño can be seen, phone in hand, standing in front of a counter piled high with mesh bags full of avocados.

So it seems that avocados are basically currency at this point. OK, not really, but consumers pay jacked-up prices at supermarkets, which take advantage of an insatiable taste for guacamole and bougie toast. Not to mention the fact that avocado production is resulting in the emptying of Chilean waterways, caused by illegal siphoning (it takes about 240 gallons to grow a pound of avocados).

So while you might be tempted to pick up a few bushels to pay for your everyday expenses, keep in mind that this fruit has a very limited window of ripeness. Hoard at your own risk.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns