Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle
I can't argue with that logic. But a similar logic could be applied to price gouging in a time of calamity.
I'll clarify that I don't mean the prices go up because the seller jacks up the price. Rather, I meant that the seller jacks up the price because it is "vintage". In a similar fashion to the way prices are jacked up for products because they are "boutique".
A thing can only be worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, right? But some things are only worth so much in absolute terms. There are plenty of examples of sellers quoting ridiculous prices and as many examples of buyers quoting paying ridiculous sums.
If no one is willing to pay a high price for my goods, that does not mean the goods are only worth that much. Look at the dotcom bubble burst. People put all their money into worthless stocks. Were the stocks actually worth what people paid for them? No, even if that was the price the stock was being traded for.
Well this is fun, and touches on all sorts of economic and psychological ideas.
I absolutely agree that the arbiter of what something is worth is what somebody is prepared to pay. And often rationality flies out the window when people are paying silly money, from the South Sea Bubble, to the Dutch Tulip Bubble to the Dotcom Bubble and the more recent GFC, there have been cases of people losing the sight of the underlying economic value of objects being priced. In those cases what happened was that "the market" revalued the object. There isn't really any inherent "right" or "wrong" involved.
Watch in amazement as I bring a drumming-related element to my analysis... Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd, has always had a fascination with classic sports and racing cars. In the early 90's he was about to interviewed by some financial journalist because the value of his car portfolio had appreciated way faster than financial markets had managed. Sadly, just before he was about to impart his wisdom, specialist car values plummeted and the interview never took place. Subsequently, specialist cars have looked very attractive once more, especially in the light of the GFC. What is certain is that if you are lucky enough to have a special Porsche/Ferrari/Bentley/Whatever in your garage, even if it loses value, it's still a lot more fun than if you owned a dotcom stock that tanked.
If noone is willing to pay a high price for your goods, then it does indeed mean that they are worth that much to somebody other than you
. You may also have sound reasons why you are not prepared to sell for the market value, in which case you are saying that the goods that you own are worth more to you than the money which you could exchange them for.