I recently saw some things for sale and my first thought was that I wouldn’t buy them. In my opinion the items weren’t worth the price they were being sold for.
But people were buying the items.
Turns out that that even though I didn’t value the items at the price they were being sold for other people did, which got me thinking.
Who determines value?
If you’re selling something for £50 and nobody buys it, is it actually worth £50.
Or does value come from what the customer is willing to pay for it.
In my opinion it is the customer that determines the value because they’re the ones willing to pay for it. However, it is worth noting that just because you’re unable to sell to one group of people, doesn’t mean you’re prices are too high.
It might just mean that those people don’t see the value in what you’re selling.
But maybe another group will.
Consumerism is out to get us.
Or at least that’s how it often feels anyway.
I’ve been noticing emails on my inbox from various retailers with things like last chance, don’t miss out, you haven’t completed your order (which is super creepy in my opinion).
Instead of finding it enticing, I just find it overwhelming, its too much. Often these great deals aren’t even that great and the ‘last chance’ will always come around again.
It’s like a false sense of urgency to try and get you to spend money on things you don’t even really want.
One of the biggest consumerism scams is the discounted items that are equal to or more expensive than the original price.
10% off something that costs £20 isn’t a great deal when yesterday it only cost £15.
Arizona Birkenstocks are a classic sandal, there is no doubt about it. They’re ergonomic footwear designed to mould to the shape of your foot over time.
There around £60 which is not particularly expensive for a good quality pair of sandals. However, when there are similar versions for a quarter of the price it can be tempting to go for the cheaper version.
But the thing about the cheaper version is that it has a few things missing. There’s PVC/PU instead of leather, they’re not as comfortable and they show signs of wear much sooner.
They’re a bad version of a good thing.
That’s the sacrifice you make when you’re constantly looking for the cheaper option.
In a recent discussion online, I got thinking about how when it comes to information or resources we pay for things that we can get for free.
But what I’ve come to realise is that for me it’s not about getting the information, it’s about doing something with it. When you pay money for something you’re more inclined to use it, unless you don’t mind wasting money.
It’s also about trust and how much we value the resources.
Sometimes we forget that time, effort and care goes into the things people create.
I think we’re more likely to trust and value something with a cost from someone who has given us things we trust and value for free.
To the point where even if we could get something similar for free we’d actually prefer to pay for it.