Hype is Expensive

I want a Wii. I really, really want one. I’m an avid female gamer and I am dying to play Trauma Center: Second Opinion so I can use Nintendo’s innovative remotes to perform surgery. I want to play Cooking Mama where you race against the clock to mash, slice, cut, and stir based on “real-world receipes.” I want to bring the Wii over to my parents’ house and watch my mom play tennis and my dad try to bowl.

I had one. Actually I had five. I stood in line at Walmart at 6:00 am and was 30th in line at EB Games. I picked up the one I preordered at FYE because no one knew FYE was doing preorders. I got the last one at Game Stop by sheer luck and won a lottery at Costco. I sold them all. At a profit margin of $100-$200, hype paid for the Wii.

I am amazed at the markup people are paying for the Wii because either they are addicted to instant gratification or they feel that if they don’t get it for their kids in time for Christmas, they will be deeply and forever traumatized. Perhaps not giving in to the demands of instant gratification is the only way we can start slowing ourselves down before we burn out trying to catch up to each other. It’s also a great way to save money.

It's hard enough trying to be a smart spender by finding discounts and balking at paying retail price. It's quite another to pay a premium for no other reason than "I don't want to wait two months."

Of course, I have no right to judge. There are those with the luxury of spending without thought or caution. If I were rich, maybe I'd figure, why should I wait? But this is Wise Bread after all. So give yourself and those you love the gift of patience and consumer control this year for Christmas. Otherwise you might as well tell your kids that Santa operates a bank under the Christmas tree. Hype is expensive. Don’t pay for it.

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Guest's picture
anon dad

Hype = What my kids want = I'm a bad father if I can't deliver a PS3 like Richie's got. Yes, hype is expensive.

Will Chen's picture

It's working baby!


Guest's picture
You know what's really amazing? Not the markup people are willing to pay, but the lack of any critical analysis in your writing (and almost all of wisebread for that matter). What an embarassment. I would be more understanding if this was a highschool newspaper but you guys are trying to present yourselves as a serious blog giving advice on a very serious topic. I suggest you guys hire new writers. Oh wait, you can't afford them right? Now I get it, you've failed at mainstream capitalism so you're trying to convince yourself being frugal is hip. Good luck. And good luck with this alternative capitalist venture you call a positive blog. I'm sure your click-throughs on all the ads will do great this xmas season. Oh, and thanks for reminding me you have no right to judge, but maybe you should have remembered that before you wrote this post.
Will Chen's picture

Mom, is that you?

I don't mind criticisms of the blog, in fact, we embrace such criticism if they are constructive.

Savvy living is a serious topic, but it is our goal to present useful information in an entertaining manner.

Of course, I agree that not all our writing is filled with prize-winning critical analysis. Heck, my first post today is just a link to a video.

If you want to pick on someone's writing, you should probably stick with me, because I certainly have room for improvement.

But I think you are way off base when you apply that criticism to someone whose articles are generally thoughtful and informative.

If you think you can do better, feel free to submit an article and show us how bad we really are.

Lynn Truong's picture

the "embarassment" is that you couldn't even spell embarrassment right. a high school newspaper would have gotten that right.

Andrea Karim's picture

Wait, when you guys hired me, you never said anything about writing "serious" articles with "analysis" about "topics" that you would find "above the level of a high school newspaper". I thought that this WAS a high school newspaper. I was totally going to ask Greg to prom, too. 

Hm. I wonder what critical analysis I can squeeze into my article on how to make instant ramen a nutricious meal. Shall I deconstruct the packaging? Break down the caloric benefit versus preparation time?

Go ahead and criticize all of us (Lynn can take it, she's a big girl. Although I LOVE that Will is trying to shield us... it's so chilvarous). But at least offer concrete criticism, like, "I would like to have seen a cost-benefit analysis on paying mark-up for this console" or "A naked picture of Jessica Biel would properly illustrate the 'instant gratification' mentality of the American consumer at holiday time".

Just doing the whole "Wow, you suck so much and you should hire people to do better writing but you can't hahahah Air America SUCKS!" vein of commenting, well - it's a waste of electrons.

Will Chen's picture

"I wonder what critical analysis I can squeeze into my article on how to make instant ramen a nutricious meal. Shall I deconstruct the packaging? Break down the caloric benefit versus preparation time?"

You're giving away my super-secret post of 2007 !