Glenn has brought all of his previous foster children to the store so that he can get a group photo with all of them. While working in the backroom, Glenn mentions to Cheyenne that his family used to own a photo studio. Cheyenne is surprised that people used to pay to have their picture taken since she has grown up with digital cameras and cell phone cameras. With these inventions, there’s really not a reason to pay to have your photo taken, but Glenn says it was mainly for families and lonely women with dogs.
A Sudden Increase in Income
Jonah finds a wallet with $906 in the shorts that Amy ended up with in a lost and found activity. Amy wants to pay her pending bills or help her family with household repairs. Jonah convinces her to spend it on herself, instead of doing something that he considers boring. Amy decides she wants to treat herself to a spa visit. When the other employees find out that she has that money, they ask for things for the break room that are needed, but also ask for things that would be considered luxuries.
Shortage of Pepto Bismol
A lot of the employees have food poisoning from the morning’s potluck. Mateo approaches Cheyenne about some Pepto Bismol, but she raises the price to account for the fact that she has purchased the entire store’s stock.
Looking for a Bribe
A customer is looking for a particular coffee maker, but Cheyenne and Mateo tell him they can get another from the stock room if they are offered a bribe. If prices weren’t so low, there would probably be an adequate stock of items on the shelves. Cheyenne and Mateo try to initiate a black market transaction in response to this shortage.
Black Friday Purge
It’s Black Friday and customers are in a rush to get the good deals. Before Dina can unlock the doors, the crowd knocks the doors down and rush for the deals. These low prices will cause a shortage and impact the allocation of items among consumers.
Black Friday Bribes
As customers stand outside waiting for the store to open, one of them offers Mateo and Cheyenne $40 each to put aside one of the TVs that is on sale. Because prices are so low, there won’t be enough for all of the customers that want a TV, creating a shortage among the waiting customers. Having people wait in line helps allocate the items based on people’s willingness to spend time rather than money, but this man would prefer to have the item allocated through a black market transaction.
Bo and Cheyenne are shopping for wedding supplies in the store. Bo really wants to buy some laptops so they can smash them during the wedding as a form of entertainment. Amy is shocked because she knows how expensive it is to raise a child and believes that the couple should be saving the money instead of spending it on one day. Amy tricks Bo into playing a game with a price gun so that Bo and Cheyenne can see how expensive a child can be. People struggle to recognize the opportunity costs in their decisions, but Amy has made the cost more salient.
Wedding Sale Rush
The store is having a one-day wedding sale and the discounts are steep enough that there is a line of women ready to purchase products. The increased purchases represent a change in the quantity demanded for items from the store. Since they didn’t stock enough items, the low prices will result in a shortage and likely an inefficient allocation among the shoppers.
Garret notices that the store sells two dresses that look identical, but one is marketed as a white dress and the other is a white wedding dress. The wedding dress costs $200, but the other dress only costs $30. The wedding industry is notorious for high markups on products that are labeled for weddings because brides and grooms often have fairly inelastic demand for their products. Because of this inelastic demand, firms are able to price discriminate and charge higher prices.
Unnecessary Bean Hopper
In order to win the Color Wars, teams have to sell as much as they can. Jonah doesn’t feel comfortable with the premise of this competition, even when the customers explicitly state that money isn’t a consideration in their purchase decisions. The coffee maker with the built-in bean hopper isn’t really necessary (which Jonah points out), but the customer is displaying some conspicuous consumption behavior.