An unlikely economic lesson from Archie comics

ArchiesWhen I was younger I used to collect Archie comics.   I usually only got them in the summer, as a treat from my Grandfather while staying up north with him and Grandma.  Sometimes, I would save my allowance and buy a few from a bookstore, but I was happy reading and re-reading the same books over and over again.

My mother is a huge fan of antiques, and one day she took me into a store that had a box of old comic books.  I was looking through them while she went looking for her latest treasure, and I stumbled upon an Archie comic from the 1950’s.  It was selling for $10, and I immediately thought that it must be insanely valuable, since the most I had ever spent on a comic was $1.

I took it to my mom, and tried to convince her to buy it for me, explaining that it would only go up in value as the years went on and since it was $10 now, it would be worth so much more later.  This completely made sense to my 10-year-old mind.

My mother listened to my reasoning and said, “Bethany, it’s only worth $10 if someone is willing to pay $10 for it.”

Obviously, we didn’t get the comic and those words have resonated in my ears for years.

Currently, I’m working with a client in the real estate field.  Her apartments are priced over market, and she has a number of vacancies.  She insisted that they are worth the price she has set and refuses to give concessions or lower the market rate, even though comparable apartments in the area go for $50-100 less…with more amenities.  My mother’s words remind me that any product is only worth what people are willing to pay for it.  If the market had deemed my client’s apartments a good value, they wouldn’t be vacant. Just like the Archie comic would not have been available for sale, had someone thought it to be worth $10.

 Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company.  Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!

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