Saturday, November 18, 2006

How much is your time worth?

A post this week about the value of one's time really got me thinking. Blueprint for Financial Prosperity wrote the following:

I couldn't agree more with this post. I thought I would approach this post from a different angle.
Yesterday I was at Home Depot buying paint. I could not believe how busy the store was. I walked in at 7pm on a Friday and it looked worse than noon Saturday. While buying the paint, the associate informed me that it was "Midnight Madness". Other than a few door crashers, there werent really any other significant differences between "Midnight Madness" and every other Friday night. It was these door crashers that had me amazed. At 7pm, lines had formed in front of the displays for each of the door crashers. The amazing thing about these lines was that these door crashers were not available until 9pm. People were willing to wait 2 hours just to save a little bit of money. How much money you ask? Well here were the door crashers:

1) Fiesta BBQ Regular $139 on sale for $89.
-While on the surface, it may look like you are being paid $25/hr to wait to buy this BBQ. Consider that its November, and BBQ season here in Toronto Ended at least a month ago. My guess is that this BBQ is being sold for about $10-$20 less that in was during the end of season sales just a few weeks ago.
2) Phillips Compact DVD Player - $39 (no reg price given). Note: Longest Line
-To me this doesn't really seem like savings at all. DVD players can be purchased under $50 on a regular basis. While the quality on a $50 DVD player may not be great, I doubt the one being offered here was any better. Just at quick look at Futureshop and I found a DVD player for $29 and I don't need to leave my house to buy it.

3) Ryobi 5 in 1 Multi-Tool Set $149 Reg $249
-Of all the door crashers, this is easily the best, but its still not great. Last week at Canadian Tire I saw a very similar deal. Consider also that 2 of the 5 tools are a flashlight and a hand vacuum.

I think the above are examples of where time really should be equated with money. If one were to simply shop around, they would realize that these door crashers simply are not that great a deal. Secondly, would these people not be better fulfilled as human beings if they were to spend those 2 hours with their families on a Friday night instead of leaning on their shopping carts in line at the home depot?


At 10:10 PM, Anonymous jim said...

Sometimes people love getting a good deal.. a lot of black friday deals just aren't that great but people go nuts over them anyway.

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like walking around honest eds and people loving the 99cent deal which they are buying just because they can say they got a deal. Perhaps the value of the story compensates for the wait time.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Jeadie5 said...

I remember when the gas stations in Toronto had gas at 49.9 as a promotion to get people into the city after SARS. The news interviewed people who had driven an hour or more to get that price. The funny thing was that gas just outside of town was 59.9 anyway. The wasted gas had to outweigh any savings.

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