Bras are not currency

This expands to say that goods and money have different properties and behave differently. This is an important point to make because given this, you cannot use bras as currency. This might seem pretty obvious, but when applied to the purchase and exchange of bras on Bratabase, we begin to think bras can retain a certain value we put on it based on what we paid for it.

Bras are less liquid than currency

With money you can essentially buy anything. You might need to exchange your money for a different currency in some cases, but finding someone willing to exchange your money is in general easy. Your money is liquid.

Bras on the other hand have different value to different people. While a bra might have a high value to someone to another person it might be completely useless. Buying what you want using bras as payment is hard, unless you meet the right person for that specific bra. Bras are a lot less liquid.

When you own a good that is less liquid you should anticipate it might take longer to sell or be prepared to drop the price to reflect what it might be worth to the right buyer. To buy a good that is less liquid means buying something that might be hard to sell, and that is a risk in itself that in turn lowers the value of the good.

You can lose value when exchanging a bra

You buy a new bra for $30 and I buy another bra for $20. You list your bra for exchange or sell for $30 and I do the same with mine for $20.

We decide to exchange our bras. Now you have a bra that is worth $20!

You decide the new bra doesn’t work for you and want to get your money back, and list the bra for $30. You just inflated the value of the bra by $10. And your bra will never sell.

Since bras are not currency, you cannot expect to retain the value of your good after exchanging it.You’ve accepted the exchange and you now have a good that is worth $20,, so you cannot expect to sell it for more than that price.

How to game the system? Make sure that everybody always sets the exchange or sell for the highest price possible and cheat. This is of course not only harmful to Bratabase, but also unfair to honest contributing users who are not here to cheat the system.

I always like the “new car” analogy. The worst day in the life of a car is the day it gets out of the shop. It is the day its value decreases the most. That is a widely understood analogy that can apply for any good.

Selling a bra for what you paid is same as charging more

You buy a bra for $40 and turns out it did not work for you, so you decide to sell it for $40 since that’s what you paid. Second owner tries it on it and also doesn’t work and decides to sell it again for $40. Now this bra has been through two hands so it has evidently deprecated in value compared to the first bra you got that was worth $40. This bra after two ownerships time cannot be worth the same as the new one. By selling the bra for what you paid, you are inflating the value of a depreciated bra.

The longer a bra has been in a consumer’s possession, the less you can expect the bra to be worth. This is the dynamic behind why a retailer will not accept returns after a certain period has passed. The merchant simply cannot resell the bra at the original price after it has been out of their possession too long. By the same logic, a bra that has had X owners over X period of time cannot retain the same value as a bra that has had only one owner.

Recuperating shipping costs means charging more for less value

By changing hands the bra is losing value. By trying to get back everything you paid for the bra originally, including the shipping cost you paid, you are actually increasing the price of a good with decreased value. If you buy a bra for $40 and pay $5 for shipping and then try to get back the shipping you paid you will be selling it for $45 +$5 for shipping. The next seller does the same and then lists the bra. Now the bra is being listed for $50 + shipping. The value of the bra has decreased but the price has increased, which does not make sense, especially when you as a seller is competing with the online store the bra was originally bought from.

As a buyer, you would much rather buy a brand new bra from an online store at $40 plus shipping, than $40 plus shipping from someone who has owned the bra for any amount of time. So as a seller, you should not expect to recuperate shipping when selling the bra. In fact, as it has depreciated in value through your ownership, you should discount it slightly in order for the bra to sell.

When you buy a new bra you also buy intangibles

A bra store, physical or online, incurs in a number of costs to run their business, be it running a site, paying employees, etc. These overhead costs are built into the price of the bra. When you purchase the bra, you are also acquiring some intangible benefits and services the store is providing to you. You have acquired the legal rights as a customer, the right to return the bra, access to customer support and assistance etc. When you buy from a retail store, you have the access to these services.

You decide this bra does not work for you and decide to sell it. You are not providing those services to your buyer, so the bra cannot cost the same without those benefits that have value. By selling the bra for the same price as the store, you are inflating the price of the bra more than the good is worth minus those benefits and services.

In order to make sure the site continues to exist to benefit the users, please practice good bra economics when buying or selling on Bratabase!

Happy Bratabasing! :)

- Jj

Special thanks to Nesoa (<3 as always) and Gemmy for helping with this post.