The email and internet marketing community is blasting us anew. This time around they’ve become monetary experts and are going to tell us all about the history and mechanics of money and monetary systems. Some are even relating this information to “value” and what constitutes “value”.
First of all what makes them suddenly qualified as economists or even monetary historians. Actually the ones I’ve read so far are sadly way off target and I’m only a student of personal economics.
More importantly these informative missives are just disguises for promoting the latest and greatest, must-have to succeed, new and improved version of some long lost or newly discovered “secret” formula for getting rich or living the life of your dreams.
They’re using the same hypnotic, mass control, neuro-linguistic, psychological trigger pushing tactics that sold the German people on mass genocide and world war.
These tactics prey on your fears, greed, insecurities, and ignorance to lure you into thinking they have the solution to all your problems AND they’re magnanimously going to give it to you for a relatively small fee compared to the “value” you will receive.
Finally… the solutions to all your problems, a book, software, or membership worth $100, $1,000 or even $5,000 and more, for the reasonable sum of $199, no $97, no $49, no again but just $39 dollars, if you order today. Hurry there are only 88 copies left and they’ll be notifying their entire list tomorrow.
PLEASE, stop for a minute and THINK!
Would YOU give away $100 dollars to the first person you saw on the street today?
How many $100 dollar bills would you sell for $49.95?
Why on earth do you think anyone else would be so foolish as to give you thousands of dollars for anything less than what they are worth! But Ahhhh… therein may lie the real secret.
The myth and mystique of information marketing
So let’s talk about VALUE.
There are two types of value for every product or service available from anyone, anywhere, at any price.
Tangible value, that is, the intrinsic value of the actual materials something is made of, and intangible value, or the value set between the seller and buyer of goods or services above and beyond any intrinsic or tangible value.
Tangible value is easy enough to figure out. If a coin is 1 ounce of 99.99% pure 24kt gold then its tangible value is worth the current price of an ounce of gold.
However, the coin has additional intangible value based on less defined criteria such as any artistic value or demand value over and above the intrinsic value of its gold content, or any value a seller may place on his advice or services to you as a coin expert.
So the 1 ounce coin will most likely cost more than the price of gold itself.
Let’s take intellectual property. What’s the intrinsic or tangible value of an idea? In the area of information products; what tangible value can be placed on a “how-to” e-book for example? What’s the tangible value of any book, electronic or printed?
If I have 1 coin worth $10 dollars, 10 such coins are worth at least $100 dollars.
If I have an e-book worth $10 dollars and I copy it 10 times, do I now possess $100 dollars in tangible worth of e-books? Hint, how much paper and ink did you use?
So it is clear that information contains no tangible value and thus its value is comprised completely on intangibles. This is the case for almost all intellectual property values. Their value is based on intangible factors.
So what’s a dollar bill worth? Certainly more than the amount of paper and ink it contains. No, the dollar has an intangible value based on the creditworthiness of the government that printed it.
And how was the price of an ounce of gold determined? Who sets the value of gold at $500 or $1200, or $2,000 dollars per ounce? Well to put it simply, the same factors that set the price of anything…
Fair Market Value is set where the price someone will pay to get something equals the price someone else is willing to receive to deliver the same thing. In financial and commodity markets this is represented by the last trade between buyer and seller.
In retail commerce this often becomes the difference between holding a lot of excess inventory or lowering prices until the public decides the merchandise is worth the price. Imagine what happens to all the after-Christmas inventory. What’s it worth today in terms of prices?
So, even the tangible value of things is affected by intangible factors.
Since intangible values have such an enormous impact on every transaction we make, it should be equally important for us to understand the factors which can determine intangible value.
But that’s the topic for another post.
Suffice it to say that buyers must be aware of how the “value” of an offer is being determined before sending in their hard cash for something potentially far less valuable.
Are the “bonuses” really worth the prices stated, especially since they are often just rehashed versions of past products that no longer draw the customers?
And come on… are you buying the primary product, or a bunch of bonuses? If the primary product was worth what the seller was asking, why give away hundreds or thousands of dollars to get you to buy it?
Remember, a fair trade is when the value received is equal to the value delivered.