Thursday, December 07, 2017

Fair Market Value ≠ The Most You, Personally, Will Pay

I've seen whining around the 'nets about the price tags of things like Columbia's Empire Strikes Back repro coats and the forthcoming CMP M1911A1 surplus pistols. People are in full "REEEEEEEEEE!" mode, demanding that these prices should be set at a "fair market value".

I will point out that both these things will sell out with a quickness. (The Star Wars coats likely within hours*.)

I will further point out that there is a limit to the number of units an individual customer may purchase, in order to keep them from selling out too quickly. This is, if anything, an indication that an item is priced below fair market value, since otherwise someone would buy the lot and sell them at the actual market value on eBay or Gunbroker.

The irony is that this is the same half of the political spectrum who can expound at length on market theory and price signalling whenever the topic is minimum wage or anti-gouging laws. Let the topic of discussion be a tchotchke they desire, however, instead of a generator or an hour of a teenager's time, suddenly we're all about some reasonable restrictions on capitalism.
*EDIT: The Star Wars coats sold out in minutes, and were promptly selling on eBay for better than double MSRP.