Thursday, November 16, 2006

Markets in Everything :: Hiring the homeless to buy Play Stations


Thomas Rosatti and his buddies were first in line at the store. But shortly after they pitched their tent, they got company.

"A truck rolls up, one of those U-Haul type trucks, and seriously, 50 people rolled out, and he says they got them from the homeless shelter," Rosatti said.

While WRAL was there, the truck used to transport the men from the homeless shelter returned with food for the men. Abdul Salem said he and a friend came up with the idea. They said they plan to pay the men $100 a day to stand in line for a ticket to purchase a PS3 unit that costs around $600.

"It's got to be the eBay incentive," Salem said.

The eBay incentive is all about money. The going price on the site for a PS3 unit is approaching $2,000. Salem called his arrangement with the men from Raleigh's homeless community a win/win proposition.
Which leaves the question: why don't the homeless buy the PS3's for themselves? Lack of liquidity? Desire to have the money now rather than later? Poor access to resale market or lack of reputation in that market? Some of all these I suspect.

The link comes from Fark. See the Farkers' comments.

And there's more. Look who's getting in line: John "I was against Wal-Mart before I was for it" Edwards.

"Markets in everything" is a conception of Marginal Revolution.


UPDATE: Wal-Mart manager comes up with way to save folks time waiting in line. What could possibly go wrong? Farkers explain.

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Anonymous TheTsunami said...

how about lack of information of arbitrage opportunity?

6:19 PM  

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