Category Archives: consumption

When Gift Cards Trade Over Par

Dealbreaker finds a $75 Amazon gift card which sold on eBay for $75.76. Interestingly, if you look at the auction history of the winning bidder, it’s pretty much all gift cards — this is someone who knows what they’re doing. … Continue reading

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Wine Tasting Datapoint of the Day

Robert Hodgson has a paper out entitled "An Examination of Judge Reliability at a major U.S. Wine Competition". He had the ingenious idea of serving up three identical glasses of wine — poured from the same bottle — to groups … Continue reading

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The Economics of Liquidation

Andrea Chang has a story about Circuit City shoppers being angry that liquidation discounts aren’t larger: "What happened to 30%? Lies!" shouted customer Gabriel Ifrah, 52, at the Circuit City on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles on Monday, where … Continue reading

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Broken Glass

Is Waterford Wedgwood luxury, or "masstige"? Either way, it’s bust. Its $625 million in debt is essentially worthless, it’s been losing money before interest payments for a couple of years now, and its prospects, as we enter another grim year … Continue reading

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Packaging Datapoint of the Day

It’s hard to keep up with Amazon. This morning, Tyler Cowen checked out the prices for an 8GB memory card: $24.45 but out of stock if you want Amazon’s frustration-free packaging, and $17.45 for the regular, frustrating version. Right now, … Continue reading

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Retail Sales Datapoint of the Day

The WSJ has quite the chart this morning, taken from MasterCard’s SpendingPulse data: These are huge numbers, especially the 35% drop in luxury sales: it wasn’t all that long ago that the luxury segment was supposed to be immune from … Continue reading

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The Difference Between Televisions and Pianos

Costco sells televisions. Here’s what its CFO had to say on the subject of recent sales, as reported by Jeff Matthews: Our television sales have been way up in November…. [W]e had unit sales up over 50% in the four … Continue reading

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Diamond Datapoint of the Day

Bloomberg headline, Dec 9: "Diamond May Fetch 9 Million Pounds at Christie’s, Defying Slump". Bloomberg headline, Dec 10: "Diamond Sells for Record $24.3 Million, Defying Slump". Consider the slump defied! But the best line comes from the buyer, Laurence Graff, … Continue reading

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Conspicuous Consumption Datapoint of the Day, Private Jet Edition

Times have changed over the past ten years when it comes to attitudes to private jets. In October 1998, Nathan Myhrvold famously wrote a lavishly-illustrated paean to his Gulfstream V in Vanity Fair, and even appeared in a Gulfstream ad … Continue reading

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The End of Excess

Today’s 8,000-word dose of schadenfreude is here, courtesy of Michael Shnayerson and Vanity Fair. All the bankers laid low by ill fortune you could ever want! Still, a look at the real-estate "bargains" shows how much further there is to … Continue reading

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