Although that comment is not a news bulletin by any means and I have been aware of it most of my adult life it comes into laser-like focus working in any bead and jewelery show. There is an overflowing plethora of cheap, lower grade mostly Chinese-made junk in the form of beads and jewelery findings and some cheap finished jewelery as well as other materials manufactured cheaply. They are also sold cheaply but in such a way as to suggest they are a bargain to the buyer when in fact junk is junk and worth as much. These products are sometimes even misrepresented as containing materials of greater worth than they are actually worth.
past weekend at such a show this very sort of thing was observed when a fairly
unremarkable serpentine material in various configurations was being
dogmatically presented to a credulous public as nice jade. This is hardly unique to these shows unfortunately as we see such misrepresentations in the big box stores like Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond
where inferior products are presented as being of a higher quality of
material and/or workmanship than they often are. This is in contrast to Walmart which wastes no time with such grandiose affectations but is nakedly a shameless extension of the Chinese economy.
Another interesting but
obnoxious phenomenon to be seen at these bead and jewelery shows are folks having been
conditioned by entire tables covered in cheap bead strands being offered
for $3/strand or 70% off their grossly inflated price. That $3/strand
price comes out of a strand that the seller has 50 cents or less in
which makes that strand nothing more than a cheap bauble. That 70%
discount is 70% of what total amount? Out of a 400% mark-up of what its
true intrinsic value actually is?
These mindless consumer
drones next come into my friend Dave's booth at these shows and see bead strands featuring high
quality real stones presented as what they actually are and priced quite
reasonably but at prices higher than the cheap Chinese crap. They then
throw a fit and leave the booth as if Dave's prices are grossly inflated
and are a personal insult to these dolts.
consumer creatures believe that they are getting what economists
refer to as marginal utility by receiving extra benefit or utility for
the cost of less. Actually, they
are paying too much to get even less than they realize they are
receiving. At any given time only three numbers really matter: the
intrinsic value of a good or service and
what it will cost the consumer at a given moment and the difference
between the first two numbers. That percentage discount foolishness is all
smoke and mirrors designed to separate fools from their
That these shenanigans work so well is all a consequence
of the cultural conditioning of the masses to become mindless consumer
drones. Part of this conditioning comes in the form of a lack of
education about finance and economics prior to and entering into
adulthood. More knowledge would lead to less consumerism and a smarter
form of consumer populating the marketplace.Part of it is mental-emotional laziness and weakness on the part of the Masses. Another part of the problem is how the Marketplace is set up to manipulate the propensities of people.