Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Value Added

As a new homeowner, my budget has shrunk considerably in the last few months. Even before that, I was careful to measure the value of my purchases. It often seems like the value of things doesn’t match up with the price tag we put on them.
During my trip, I wanted to relax a bit, and thought about ordering the newest X-Men movie to watch in my hotel room. I quickly changed my mind when I saw the price tag was $12.00. How can one justify paying more than twice the price of the average rental simply because you’re in a nice hotel room? The value of the hotel luxuries is reflected in the price of the room itself. Fair enough. There’s no value added in the movie itself. For that price I’d expect to be able to take the movie home, or have popcorn & soda delivered and hand fed to me.
Conversely, I arrived at the airport and breezed through security, leaving nearly the entire requisite 2 hours to spare. Eager to be home, I discovered that a flight to my same destination was leaving in 15 minutes. A quick check with the desk, a silent prayer of thanks, and I was on the plane, headed for home delightfully ahead of schedule. Free of charge. Now, I’m not about to suggest that the airlines institute charges for this. I’m just saying I’d had a rough morning and I really wanted to be home. Given the degree to which I valued getting home as quickly as possible, I could hardly believe that such a wonderful transaction had no monetary value placed on it.
So then I started thinking, which I admit, can be dangerous. What if things were really priced at the level of their value? A favorite example is chocolate. It’s priced so that I can eat it every day. But that’s not necessarily a good idea. What if chocolate were priced to reflect the idea that it’s supposed to be an occasional treat? It could make healthier eating a lot easier. Again, I’m not really suggesting that happen, I’m just speaking hypothetically. Really.


Karen Wingate said...

Nancy, well said. You've said what I've thought many times in such an exquisite way. Thank you for sharing your thoughs.


Crystal said...

What would be the value of your friendship? Would it be priced out of this world? (Yup.) I like what you said here. (And it also brought a chuckle to me.) What I want to know is why healthy stuff to eat is priced astronomically and I can buy something unhealthy for a lot less?? Not quite right...