Home  |  Reviews  |  Vlogs  |  Interviews  |  Guest Posts  |  Fairy Tales  |  Jane Austen  |  Memes  |  Policies

Monday, February 2, 2015

On Winner's Curses and Getting Less Than You Bargained For... | Blog Tour

You guys are probably no strangers to how I felt about last year's The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I pretty much raved about it in my review, had Marie on the blog talking about one of my favorite aspects of the story, and basically never stopped shoving the book in your faces, so...
With the follow-up, The Winner's Crime, set to come out soon, a group of bloggers who loved the first installment are circling back to the idea of winner's curses and discussing what happens when the price is just too high...
The ‘Winner’s Curse’ is an economics term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted – but at too high a price. What would you pay too much for?
Questions like this are always hard to answer, aren't they? Of course there's the surface level of it; we all have spent too much on silly stuff. I had a moment of questioning this myself when I "leveled up" in both Sephora's and Ulta's memberships programs, meaning I spent an obscene amount of money on frivolous stuff last year. Anyone who's picked through my makeup drawer(s) would probably agree with that. On the surface, I'd agree — but did those things make me happy? Do they still make me happy? If the answer is yes, well, then did I spend too much? Same for my (also obscene) book collection — if you added it all up, I'm sure MANY people would say it's a case of winner's curse. Surely it's not worth it to spend all that on all those books when you know you can get them at the library for free, right? I mean, I think anyone reading this has probably heard that argument before... And yeah, actually, it's accurate. But... is that always the point of owning? It's only worth it if it's your only option? I think all of the world's collectors, of any and every -thing, shudder at the idea that their collections aren't "worth" it, or that they should give up the pursuit because they can experience it elsewhere cheaper, or for free.

In these cases, it's not about the items' actual worth, but about the personal value, and there are a lot of things rolled up into that. All of your emotions and experiences, your personal aesthetics and peace of mind, your loving satisfaction at your collection, your personal pride, the pursuit of the thing itself...all of that is part of the product, is part of the "price." Which means, even if the price of a thing is *generally*  considered too high, if you still want it that badly, you must consider it worth it. Whether it's the satisfaction of winning, as in a bid or an auction, or it's just personally satisfying on a nostalgic level, if you're willing to pay the price, you must deem the cost 'worth it.' (At the time, at least. There is the whole "buyer's remorse" thing, and I'd imagine that's where the idea of the curse really comes in...)

There are also the times that not paying the price is worse than paying it; you know you'd regret not going all the way, more than you'd regret what it took to get there. We already know this is used against us, at least in the US, when it comes to things we have no choice but to pay whatever's asked on, like health care (and there is an excellent vlogbrothers video on the topic, which I'd suggest watching), but sometimes it's not as serious or life-altering as all that — it's just a personal choice you can't help but make. I once paid over $500 for a pet rat to have surgery. When I tell people about this, the look they give me is pretty consistent, and of the 'are you crazy?' variety. I mean, it's a teeny, tiny rat. Something that small may not even survive surgery, anyway, and besides, most people consider them disposable, vermin, to be eradicated, not saved. And though I knew chances were slim, and that the price was very steep, I couldn't not. To see this tiny creature that loved me so suffer...there was really no choice.  And though I can look at the situation logically, and know that I really couldn't afford that, and that it was probably too much, I also know that the weight it would have left on me, the guilt and sadness, would have been worse,

(And hell, sometimes it's lighter and sillier than that! My sister once paid an outrageous amount of money to go out of town for a Katy Perry concert, and when I asked her afterwards if it was worth it now that her bank account was basically drained, she said yes, absolutely, and she'd do it again in a heartbeat. The memories were worth more than the money.)

I think that's the key in the idea of the 'curse,' actually; no matter what the end product is, is the entirety worth it: the product, yes, but also the emotions, the meaning, the personal importance. So whether there's a "curse" really depends on your personal outlook, I think.

But what do you think about winner's curses? Are there things you'd knowingly and willingly pay "too much" for? Are there times that you have regretted it in the end, and fell victim to the curse? Let me know in the comments, and make sure to keep an eye out for The Winner's Crime (and read The Winner's Curse if you haven't already!)

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Get It | Add It
352 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2015 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Check out more thoughts on winner's curses with the rest of the Winner's Curse blog tour!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you put the "winner's curse" into very simple, but impacting, words! I've been following the blog tour and it has been so interesting seeing how differently everyone approaches this topic. Some talk about what they want, like material objects, and others talk about what they would do if their families were in need. I very much liked how you talked the economic thoughts of "cost and worth"; something that is one man's/woman's trash may be another person's treasure! I also liked that you pointed out that a lot of things have sentimental or personal value, and that you can't really put a price on those kinds of things or experiences!
    Really great post! I am so looking forward to The Winner's Crime, and I wish it was March already!


Tell me all your thoughts.
Let's be best friends.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...