Why would someone pay $19,999 for a vinyl record?

A vinyl record can be pressed for about $4 a pop. 

 

But check any collector’s site and you’ll find any number of rare vinyls, including a copy of Revolver (my fave Beatle’s album) signed by Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr going for $20 Gs.

 

Rhianna’s CD box set goes for $350. That’s for a stack of CDs, which, for all intents and purposes, could double as coasters in the wrong hands of someone who doesn’t appreciate dancehall pop music.

 

Why would someone pay that much for a piece of plastic? 

 

Perceived value.

 

Perceived value is not imaginary, although it IS subject to a few things.

 

The shopper must understand:

 

#1 How does this purchase benefit my life — Will it be a good investment that brings me more money? Less stress? Eternal and lasting happiness? Is so, you got yourself a deal, buddy.

 

The shopper must have desire for this what this thing does for them, especially if it is something beyond basic necessity like food.

 

There are two camps: 

 

#1 No one else has this, so I have to have it. (You belong to an exclusive “club.”)

 

#2 Everyone has this, so I have to have it. (You belong to the "herd", AKA you fit in.)

 

Both camps appeal to the desire to belong. People will go to extremes to belong. It just depends where they want to belong. Understanding this about your target market will help with your branding — the way you present what you’re selling.

 

The biggest lesson here is that it’s not just what you sell. It’s how you sell it.

 

Value is subjective. How you communicate what’s special about what you do or sell matters. 

 

Otherwise, you might as well be selling plastic coaster CDs — but hey, I’ve seen plastic coasters sell for $20 a pop in fancy gift shops, so again, value is highly subjective. 

 

Who would pay $20 for a piece of plastic? Lots of people, if you sell it well by communicating what that plastic does for a person.

 

I want to know — what are you selling? 

 

Are you getting as much for it as you’d like? 

 

Send an email to me at gio@rubyscribewriting.com and let me know. I’ll give you specifics on how to improve.