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>And I think it's an ok practice.

I don't. I suspect the 'whales' aren't the 1% that Occupy Everything talk about (the richest 1%), but rather a mix of people who may be able to afford the addiction, but many that are not.

It's probably akin to dealing addictive drugs or promoting irresponsible gambling. It might be legal, but I think it's slightly predatory and on the grey side of ethics/morals/karma or whatever you like to think of as 'do good things, not bad' to others.




Do you similarly oppose all luxury brands? There's no quality difference between a $5000 LV handbag and a good $100 one exception fashion, trends and branding. Once you get past about €100/bottle, quality of wine making process rarely increases, it's all just hype.

If someone can sell a $1000 handbag, why can't I spend $100 on my super-duper legendary Diablo 3 item? It's all artificial scarcity. People who spend money any kind of luxury consumer goods rarely get quality. My mechanical watch is worse at telling time than a quartz watch 1/1000th the price. I don't go to Zürich with a tent because of that.


> There's no quality difference between a $5000 LV handbag and a good $100 one exception fashion, trends and branding

While I understand and perhaps agree with your larger point, I have to disagree with this claim. LV stuff is expensive, yes, but the product is very good quality, and comes with what is essentially a lifetime warranty.

Yes, LV is several times the price it "should" be. Problem is that everything else is also several times the price it "should" be. In the larger context, I don't really think LV is particularly bad value, or that the sale price/actual cost multiplier is that much different.

And there is simply no such thing as a good handbag for $100, for pretty much any definition of "good" (substitute briefcase if you are male). To sell at $100, the manufacturing cost of a handbag would have to be maybe $10 or $20 max - whatever you think about LV you cannot possibly claim they cost only $10 to make.


http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/73142?feat=504163-CL2&pag...

$99.

Lifetime guarantee, no questions asked, return anytime.

Now it's not leather, but LL Bean and Jansport and REI do make long-lived quality bags.


I don't want to sound like an asshole but the brands you mention are all "deep budget" brands and have no design credibility whatsoever. The idea of a professional woman bringing a Jansport bag to the office is totally unthinkable. They are not even remotely comparable to an LV handbag.

The link you quote is to a tote, which is suitable for perhaps taking stuff to the beach. You will not find any professional women coming to the office with this bag, unless it's filled with gym gear or something.


have no design credibility whatsoever

So you pay 10x more for design credibility, rather than something that actually affects the quality or utility of the item?

The idea of a professional woman bringing a Jansport bag to the office is totally unthinkable.

Again, you are comparing the items on intangible benefits which are clearly little more than an emotional feeling telling you that brand A is inherently better than brand B (regardless of the actual item in question).

Promoting an item that is 10x more expensive than another based solely on intangible properties like it has design credibility or it's from an in-fasion brand and that using anything else is simply unthinkable is no better than having me pay 10x more on a game than the average player does.

I, for one, find telling me that I have to buy a certain brand or design that's currently in fashion because not doing so would be unthinkable or I would lack some kind of credibility or the items just don't compare (even though the items actual tangible properties are not even discussed) as exploitative when these items cost so much more than the tangibly-comparable items.


I've seen professional women coming to the office with free logo-emblazoned tote bags. Not all professional women are fashion-obsessed.


>Problem is that everything else is also several times the price it "should" be.

What do you mean by "should"? The products are supporting themselves in the market, so there is justification for that pricing.


It's not about the disparity between the price and the functional value. The value is subjective, anyway. Expensive jewelry communicates commitment, expensive handbags signal status, and a wine you paid more for tastes better to you. I may think it's foolish anyway, but I think throwing your money away foolishly is a God-given right.

As long as you're in your right mind.

It's when I start to think you're not in your right mind, or when the seller knows things about game theoretic implications of the arrangement that you don't understand (Penny Bids), that I take a dimmer view of things. And when there's compulsion or addiction, especially if it's introduced or reinforced by the seller, and the buyer doesn't really understand it . . .

Then it may not be illegal, but it's a dishonorable way to make your fortune.


You make a very good point, and I guess the distinction I can see is that freemium apps are marketed as free, with the hidden cost to someone susceptible occuring after the initial 'taste'. It's easily arguable that luxury brands tap into the same 'desire center' but at least they're upfront about the costs and people can vicariously enjoy the thought of attaining them without the freemium sleight of hand.


I think there's a significant difference between the F2P games by Zynga and what not, where you play very poorly compared to people who spend.

Vs typical arcade games, where it's just more fun and a bit easier. But you can still have tons of fun without buying IAP. You can typically spend a couple bucks and use those items forever.

In the first example - you have to keep spending as long as you keep playing.




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