27 November 2007

Welcome to the Logic-Go-Round

(An excerpt from a "customer discussion" on Amazon.com about why not to buy stuff on eBay or wherever that is being resold new by someone who bought it for the express purpose of reselling, ie, "flippers". Actually, it's a thoughtful and impassioned essay on the topic.)

For those who think the time of ebay buyers is more valuable than that of persons waiting in line, they should reconsider their definition of value. Because poorer people don't live as long as wealthier people, the life expectancy of those waiting in line behind flippers is shorter than the life expectancy of those served by flippers; therefore, time is actually more precious for those waiting in line behind the flippers. When time is evaluated in this way, flippers actually do more damage in this market than good. In other words, they are a drain on value.

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