What Was That Economics Term?

by Joey deVilla on December 30, 2010

Seen while shopping around for a new vacuum cleaner:

Christmas tree with a sign that reads: "Was $185 Now $50"

For some reason, I can’t remember the economics term used to describe the fall in value of certain types of goods after a specific date. If you know, could you refresh my memory in the comments?

(Also: $185 is a lot to ask for a mangy-looking tree.)

And no, the term I’m looking for isn’t “SALE”, as my smart-ass schoolmate William Merlet suggested on Facebook.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg Brown December 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm


That might not be the actual technical term.

John Bristowe December 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Fire sale?

Greg Wilson December 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Zune? Vista?

John Utter December 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm
Chris Taylor December 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Utter is close; what you have described in the post is really off-peak pricing; the downward trajectory of the fee as the commodity slips down the demand schedule.

Inflection point would also work, since Christmas is the transition point between the pre-Christmas increased marginal value, and post-Christmas decreased value.

nate December 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm

in the airline industry yield management is responsible for a lot of the different pricing you can see over time. One of the elements of yield management is the perishability of the good. (that is they become value-less after a certain time period). [in the airline case, seats can’t be sold after the plane leaves]

so i would guess ‘perishable’ is close to what you’re looking for.

Chipolte Maximus December 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Broker: Homer, you knuckle-beak, I told you a hundred times: you’ve got to sell your pumpkin futures before Hallowe’en! Before!
Homer: All right, let’s not panic: I’ll make the money back by selling one of my livers. I can get by with one.

schildt December 31, 2010 at 9:30 am


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