Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Economic Naturalist: Why Do Brides Buy Dresses While Grooms Rent Tuxes?

While we may always assume readily that women value the wedding event more than men, it is not always the reason why they buy their wedding dress instead of just renting it. Do men value marriage less? The assumption seems too unfair to be tagged to men as much as tagging us to be polygamous by nature.

A married female student of Robert Frank offered a rather plausible and fair explanation to the matter. It is not the sentimental value of the event that leads them to buying, rather, their very high fashion sense.

Because women want to make fashion statements on big social occasions as the wedding, they tend to be too selective of their wedding gowns. Now we take the assumption to the gown rental shop. In order to cater to the bride's wish to make a fashion statement on her wedding day, the shop should carry a wide array of distinctive wedding gowns. With that, the bride is allowed to choose more extensively.

The effect of having a wide array of distinctive gowns on the part of the gown rental shop would be the infrequent renting of each of the wedding gowns. If, say for example, a wedding gown is rented only once every four to five years, it becomes a problem for them to recover the cost of a single wedding gown.  They have to,in effect, charge the rental costumers more than the purchase price of the gown to cover its cost since the items may not be as good after five years. So, why would the bride rent for more when she can buy for less?

The situation is different on the rental market of tuxedos. There may not be a lot of tuxedo styles around but the groom would be willing to settle for a more standard style not wanting to make a fashion statement for the occasion. The renting shop therefore can keep a stock of only a few tuxedos for each size. With that, there is a high probability that each suit gets rented a lot of times in a given year.  That would enable the rental shop to cover cost by charging renting costumers only a fraction of the suit's purchase price.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Economic Naturalist: Why do 24-hour convenience stores have locks on their doors?

If you are the owner of a 24-hour convenience store, would you think of regularly closing the establishment for a particular time of the day for some reason? Apparently not, for closing half an hour will make it a 23.5-hour Convenience Store. lol. In other words, an owner would not think of closing the store for even a single minute of the day. But why do 24-hour convenience stores have their locks?

Of course our answer would be: "JUST IN CASE..." the store needs to close inevitably during emergency instances. In case the store temporarily runs out of stocks or becomes bankrupt, it has to close. In case no one is able to tend to it, it must also have to close.

While the answer is valid, Robert Frank points out another reason why these stores have locks it is difficult to find or even more expensive to purchase doors without locks. Industrial doors are sold mostly to establishments that are not open 24 hours a day. These establishments obviously have reasons for wanting locks on their doors. Therefore, door makers make doors with locks, thereby making production cost cheaper in following the same process. Making doors without locks deviates from the usual process and therefore needs an assembly line modification resulting to additional cost. Using doors with locks makes negligible cost on oddities compared to the manufacturing cost of those without.