Interesting post at Blueprint For Financial Prosperity about how savvy marketers can drive up prices and create demand where there previously was none.  The base idea being that black pearls were never desired or valuable until a wise man threw an outlandish price tag on them and hung them in a store front.  It reminds you that lobsters were once considered the unwanted food of “commoners.”  One man’s trash, right?

A brief touch on the other products he mentions:

  • Bottled Water:  I think I’ve made my views here known.  If you live in any locale on this planet with potable water, you’re a fool for buying this.
  • “Enhanced” Water:  If you’ll pay over a buck for plain water, how much can we get if we add some sugar or taurine or caffeine and bill it as “vitamin water” or “energy water”?
  • Diamonds:  Sort of chicken and egg, y’know?  Are diamonds expensive because they’re prized, or prized because they’re expensive?
  • Wines & Spirits:  Multiple studies have shown that peoples’ perception of wine increases with the wine’s price.  I’m not enough of a conniosseur to say I know cheap from expensive.  My eternal quest is to find the best wine you can buy for under twelve bucks.  It used to be ten, but there does seem to be a lot better selection in that $10 – $12 range.  And I try never to order wine in a restaurant ($8 a glass?!?).
  • Coffee:  You know the words, sing along.  You don’t get ahead in life spending $5 for a cup of coffee regularly.


Filed under finance

2 responses to “Marketeering

  1. Coffee: buy good beans from an independent specialty roaster and brew at home. Pick yourself up a decent grinder, french press and thermos – total investment under $100, lasts for decades, literally. Bring your coffee to work or school. Even if you buy some of the best, exquisite coffees available, you’re looking at $15 or less a pound – that translates to about 35 cents a cup. DO NOT BUY TOO MUCH COFFEE AT ONE TIME – it goes stale. Your enjoyment will suffer, more than you save buying bulk. If you must buy bulk, get a couple friends together and split it up so you use it faster. Full disclosure: I am an artisan roaster, happy to help with recommendations, whether or not you buy from me.

    Wine: lots of good alternatives under $12, even many under $10. Buy case quantities and ask for case discount (typically 10%). Unlike coffee wine does not go stale, but know that much (most?) wine is best consumed not too long after purchase (a year is pushing it). You can get your friends in on splitting a case, too. Again, get to know your local independent wine merchant. Go frequently. Talk to them. As they get to know your tastes and pprice sensitivity, their recommendations will improve. My wine merchant now sets asides bottles he thinks I’ll like and has a case ready for me when I pop in every couple months.

  2. SBR&R

    That can be a great compromise for those who NEED good coffee. I used to be one of those, but admittedly I now drink cheap swill at home since parenthood invaded so many creature comforts. And I get good coffee for free at work.

    But I do like the idea — I even work 4 blocks away from a very good local roasting company, Jittery Joe’s.

    Tell you what…mail me some free coffee and maybe I’ll take you up on it. 🙂

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