Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Value of Everything

The more choices one has, the cheaper things get.

About a year ago, I started recognizing that I’d run into incredible pricing that I had to be prepared to recognize as “too good to be true” bargains immediately, and be prepared to seal the deal, or the next time I came in, the deal and all traces of it would be gone — carted away by the whole inventory by whoever could recognize that opportunity and was prepared to act on it immediately.

The famous fall in the stock market of one year ago, was the official marker of this disruption and discontinuity from the past — in which everything that used to be true, no longer was, and things that were not available before, now existed but most people, were still rooted in their conditioning of the 20th century — in which things just got more expensive — for the conventional and traditional things.

But then, towards the 21st century, many things that were prohibitive, actually became free — like online news, information, publications, youtube, etc. There are houses to be bought for $1 — somewhere, under certain conditions, but it probably won’t be prime real estate that is otherwise highly valued by most people. It is a niche market, in which you are the right person, at the right place, at the right time — and you have to recognize that opportunity and act on it.

Many people can not, because they’ll think unbelievingly, “This is too good to be true, there must be something wrong.” But the seller is not going to stand there convincing you what a great deal that is; he really wants to sell you something with a higher profit margin — to which he will expend all the time and attention you want — selling you on that fact.

He is honor bound to sell you what is “On Sale,” but you have to be the person who sells yourself on “the bargain,” because you’ve done your homework, and know all the offerings in the category, and the pricing, and can recognize it as such, because nobody else can, usually because they don’t have the confidence in their own judgment.

The deciding factor is not money but information; the best, can often be the cheapest now. Products and services go in and out of fashion. Some communities have a stubbornly high cost of living, while others are the new now places to be — particularly when people are now shopping the world, for best communities to live in. In the old mass media market, that was likely to be the same for everyone — but now they are niche markets, and so not all marketplaces are equal and the same.

Fortune and Money magazine constantly rate places on their desirability, depending one whether one wants to make more money, and differently, if your objective is to spend the least amount of money, for those on fixed incomes. One of the major developments, has been the rise of the status and value of fixed incomes, because obviously, during uncertain times, those with a small fixed income are actually better off than those who can boom or bust.

Right now, the frugal lifestyles are king, and those who are self-sufficient and self-sustaining, have a major advantage over those utterly dependent on others for everything — which is likely to be highly urbanized living, in which one is trapped into a high fixed cost of living, because one has limited or no alternative options. One simply has to pay whatever the full retail price is.

Meanwhile, if you go to the discount/clearance stores, they may have the last of the luxury items before everybody stopped buying them.

So to generalize the truth for everyone, everywhere, becomes much more problematical. The great value, is deciding for oneself, what has the greatest value — which means more freedom and choices, and not less.