June 13, 2010

Book Club: Priceless

Sometimes, I feel that I need to work on learning more about the history of fashion design (it's been a few years since we did that primer course) and also become one of those people who can recognize an item from the Chanel 1986 Spring Summer collection just like that.

But maybe that's just not the kind of fashionista I am meant to be!

This week, I've been working through William Poundstone's book, Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (And How to Take Advantage of It), and trying to see the ways in which his findings and research apply to my fashion practice as a stylist, consumer of manufactured goods, and sometimes editor.

Some very interesting claims so far (I'm just a third of the way through the book):

1. In practice, we understand prices really in terms of the product's "relativity" to it's previous price (or what we think it should be priced at), and the prices of competitors rather than what a certain dollar amount is "worth" or "means." Which certainly explains why we feel like a discounted $500 pair of shoes can be a "bargain" even though  we may not have paid $300 for the same pair at retail "on principle."

2. After a certain point price stops being an objective marker of value to the buyer - for example, a $1000 watch would not bring you 100 times more happiness (or tell time that much better) than a $10 watch, but regardless you might want to buy the much more expensive timepiece...

I'm just now trying to figure out what these findings mean for my personal shopping habits...

1 comment:

BeautyParler said...

Thanks for suggesting this book , looks like an interesting read as is your blog:)