Uncommon Markets

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 3, 2010    •    599 Views

Bets on the Royal Wedding: Bookmakers are placing wagers on the color of the Queen’s hat, whether Kate will say “obey” in her vows, the length of the bride’s train, and total BBC viewers. People are even starting to bet on the gender of the first child. You can see the whole list here.

Human Hair: Described by the NY Times, blond women in central Russia sell their hair to itinerant merchants. Valued more highly than darker hair, a woman’s 16 inch blond braid can sell for $50. Through the supply chain, Russian hair reaches companies like Italian based Great Lengths that sell hair to the U.S. for hair extensions.

Human Bed Warmers: Dressed in an “all-in-one fleece suit,” (with hair covered) a Holiday Inn employee will warm your bed before your arrive at your hotel room. A Holiday Inn employee (really) said this: “The new Holiday Inn bed warmers service is a bit like having a giant hot water bottle in your bed.” The bed warmer does not remain in the room.  (This article was dated January, 2010. I could not discover whether the concept was successful.)

Manure Markets: It is all about opportunity cost according to this Atlantic article. With chemical fertilizer prices rising, natural fertilizer is becoming more attractive.

The Economic Lesson

A market is a process through which demand and supply establish price and quantity for a good or a service.


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