It is also crazy to think how relational it all is. I don't really need that extra $7 beer at the bar, "but who cares, we're having fun". Whereas paying $8 a month to the New York Times took me months and months to decide on because I wasn't used to paying for it, even though I'd been a reader for years.
It really is a mostly emotional decision.
People, I find, are simply irrational when it comes to monthly subscriptions. I'm a student with <1000E income and a monthly cost <20E doesn't even register; as long as I get something from it I want. If it's not big enough to induce a lifestyle change, what's the problem? So often I see people use Spotify and complain about the commercials, and I'm just like 'What is wrong with you? Literally nothing would change if you spent that money and clearly you would benefit from it. Why do you not do it?'
This is an extreme example (after all, you're not going to spend 10 dollars on Spotify for the rest of your life), but the principle of the matter stands: Money saved now will be worth more later thanks to compounding interest. In a sense, the dollars you earn today are the most valuable dollars you'll ever earn.
It's up to you to make the judgment call on a case by case basis whether you'd like to live in the moment, or whether you'd prefer to save. Everybody draws the line somewhere (I personally have a Spotify subscription), but to call it irrational is... a bit irrational.
Anyway, all that is true, and I did know that when younger. What nobody tells you is that there are a few times when your income grows faster than an exponential. Everything you save up before of one of those few times is basically worthless.
Anybody's main goal should be to have as many of those income growing events as possible. Not giving-up everything when young because of compounded interest.
Yet, this thing is not predictable, thus it's always good to save a bit. It's a balancing act, not a clear-cut good vs. bad situation.
And even if one went with it: I'll be up by a multiple of 33.5k because I spent money on things that put me in a better mood to work on myself and lead me to better jobs etc. etc.
On top of that, it's not even really about the money. You don't want to feel bad about getting tricked into paying for a crap app. You'd feel like a sucker. It would be frustrating. People do all kinds of mental gymnastics to avoid feeling embarrassment and frustration --to the point that it's dangerous to call out a scammer because they are likely to get geniunely indignant and angry to avoid feeling the embarrassment of their obvious lie. Procrastination to avoid possible frustration is very, very common.
One pitch I found pretty neat goes roughly as follows.
Buy <product> now, and if within (30|90|365) days you at any point feel unsatisfied with it, feel free to ask for full refund, no questions asked, and you get to keep our <marginal cost 0 infoproduct>, valued X$, as a gift from us for trying it out.
Short breakdown of it.
"Buy <product> now" - bog standard call to action
"(30|90|365) days" - if the product is any good, longer guarantees usually reduce returns, since they give more time to grow on the product and forget the guarantee date.
"feel unsatisfied" - eg. you don't even need a reason to return it
"full refund" - that's pretty d'uh now, try a 110% refund for extra excitement
"no questions asked" - eg. we're not going to hassle you for trying to use this. you will not feel stupid.
"get to keep <infoproduct>" - even if you opt out, you get something
"valued X$" - with a home made infoproduct, that value is pulled straight from the posterior, but gives a value anchor
Not always -- many people are shameless jerks. REI used to have a lifetime no-questions-asked return policy, but people were returning worn-out shoes and such, so they had to discontinue it.
People buy enticing stuff off of supermarket shelves all the time though -- things that they are not certain if they'll like them.
Lots of people who have bought and generally like an app (or so they say), still complain for its price on boards, even if it's comparable to a beer. E.g. they ask why a $2.99 app isn't $0.99 etc.
So it's not just "uncertainty".
With the app, not only are you out a few dollars, you potentially commit the sin of wasting your time by not fulfilling any desires. Though the upside is exponential (in relation to the food), so is the downside.
(Yes, I'm aware that attendance is the "price" for the pizza, but let's just say that cold pizza can still be had for free.)
How much future annoyance is your product worth? 8 dollars per year?
The mental overhead in case my card changes might not be worth it.
I go to Five Below or a Dollar Store and stock up on $2-$3 items that are kind of neat even venturing into the $5 range occasionally for "premium garbage" yet I get on the Google Play store and see a really awesome app that fills one of my needs but it's $2! How can someone charge $2 for THAT? They only spent a year working on it and it fits my need perfectly but $2 is too much!
It's really weird, for sure.
I think the hardest part with things like the New York Times is that a lot of us are getting our news from aggregators. I don't give a shit about the New York Times as a company nor any others. I read down through places like Hacker News and click links there. If, occasionally, it's a link to a NYT article, I read it (or don't.. I guess?) but otherwise, if any one of the news sites disappeared off of the face of the globe, I'd be no better or worse off.
Also, $8/mon is nothing when it's one news site but if each site begins charging, using a news aggregator is going to be a very expensive proposition...
I think there's something primal about touching/seeing something before buying, and I haven't seen anything digital that even comes close to this sense of grokking the whole thing you're buying in a few seconds/a minute of physical inspection.
I'm curious what the difference is (if any) in effect of the GBB pricing model in a store front versus online marketplace.
Yes, it could be, but that won't happen unless the act of publishing gets regulated (like in China, where even bloggers have to (or will have to) have publishing licenses) and forced upon an artificial asking price.
And then there's the whole micro payment economy which is another thing.
It also costs $some_amount_of_money to make digital media, yet once created, it can be duplicated indefinitely for free.
At least, that's what always hangs out in the back of my mind.