Thursday, October 12, 2006

The time value of money

We're right smack in the middle of the console release frenzy. Just search Ebay for PS3 or Wii and you get a sense of how desirable it is for some people to get these consoles right away or before anyone else on the block. Based on bids made, it's looking like people will pay about a hundred bucks above retail for the Wii and two to three times the price for the PS3! Obviously, there's a monetary value associated with getting something now instead of days or weeks later.

All this got me thinking. Why doesn't Sony or Nintendo actually do something interesting with this phenomenon? They could release some limited edition consoles at an early date and charge a lot more for them. Release 1,000 consoles a few weeks earlier than the public release. Put the consoles up for auction with people bidding on the first to hundredth. There's no doubt in my mind that there'll be a wild response to it.

Now before you stop reading in disgust, this is not a suggestion for them to make more money. I actually think this would be a really cool way to make some money for charity. With 1,000 consoles and the possibility of people paying $1,000 more than retail for each, that's a cool million they could give to charity. They don't come out of it empty handed since they get a great PR story.

Just an idea.

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