Diagram showing how to launder money

For the most part, we cannot predict the future. And yet, we predict that over the next year or two, we’ll be reading a lot in the news about money laundering. Specifically, how foreign oligarchs use expensive real estate purchases in the U.S. to launder their money. This widespread practice is deeply corrosive…to our profits! You see, oligarchs could be laundering money just as easily with expensive candle purchases. If you happen to be an oligarch googling for money laundering tips, here’s an easy step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Have a lot of money.

How did you get a lot of money? We don’t want to know! But if you’re looking to launder it, chances are good that it’s in a foreign currency that isn’t easily convertible into dollars, Euros, or another widely-accepted “hard currency.” For the sake of argument, let’s just say Russian rubles. Obviously, there aren’t a lot of things you can buy in the U.S. with rubles. Except our candles! (And U.S. political ads on Facebook. But Mark Zuckerberg has got to earn a living, guys.)

Step 2: Buy our candles.

The key to laundering money is to buy something:

1) expensive and/or cash-generating,
2) that isn’t inherently suspicious,
3) from someone who won’t ask a lot of questions.

For instance, if you have millions of dollars that you want to move into America under the radar, you could buy a Trump property. Or several! But—to be brutally honest—this is a pretty tired way of laundering money. If you want to try something fresh and cool, buy our $1,000 Defective Candle!

Defective Candle

Now, we know you’re thinking: “I need to launder way more than $1,000! If it were only $1,000, I wouldn’t be trying to hide it! The FBI doesn’t even get out of bed in the morning for less than $100k in money laundering!” (Except maybe you’re thinking it in Russian.)

Well, that’s true. But check it out: we don’t often admit to this, but we can actually make more defective candles. In fact, sometimes it feels impossible for us to not crank out defective candles. I’m not going to say there is NO limit on how many we can make. But I will tell you this: using our special processes, we can actually produce defective candles EVEN FASTER than regular candles. At $1,000 apiece, I would conservatively estimate we can hand-pour $280,000 worth of defective candles per day. Just let us know how much money you would like to launder, and we will produce the corresponding number of defective candles.

Step 3: We deposit your cash.

Everyone knows home candlemaking is incredibly lucrative. So our bank will have no questions about why we’re depositing millions of dollars in rubles.

Or at least, no questions other than, “Why aren’t you making even more money selling candles? We assumed that your ‘Rutherford B. Hayes-Scented Candle’ would have made you billionaires by now.”

Step 4: Your assets are now safe from prying government eyes.

Your hard-earned wealth has now been converted from suspicious, icky cash, into nice, clean, defective candles. And, what’s more, it is disguised by the common misconception that defective candles are worthless. If an IRS auditor demands to see your investments, you can simply point to your vault full of defective candles and shrug sadly. Don’t feel obligated to reveal that each candle retails for a full $1,000!

Step 5: Convert your investment back into money.

Some people won’t accept defective candles as payment, so at some point, you might want to convert your wealth back into money. No problem! Just create an Etsy shop and put all of your defective candles on sale. We’ll even help you set it up and give you some free tips.

(For instance, people love free shipping, so you should consider offering free shipping on each defective candle you sell. Also, on Etsy, it helps to add that personal touch. Maybe take a selfie with your candle hoard and upload it to your shop’s webpage, or include a personalized, handwritten note with each candle sold.)

Defective Candle with thoughtful note

Just remember to have a little patience. It will probably take a few weeks to sell millions of dollars of defective candles. So don’t lose your nerve and drop the price! If anything, you should probably raise the price, to account for inflation.

Step 6: Your money is clean!

Etsy will wire the money directly into your bank account. And now, when people ask where your vast wealth comes from, you no longer have to say, “I stole an aluminum mine during the chaotic breakup of the Soviet Union” (or whatever). You can just say the same thing we do: Your vast wealth came from selling candles on Etsy!