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A strip of leather for $150. I do not understand the price tag in my hand.
Understanding price is simple in theory.
A calculation is required the involved the quality of ingredients, the craftsmanship, and rarity.
Deciding to purchase is more complicated.
It requires you to determine your current financial standing, your emotional state, future utility.
I struggle with price and purchase. I monitor my bank balance with the watchful eyes of Scrooge McDuck. I enjoy seeing the digits constantly rise. When the numbers drop so does my stomach.
There is a difficulty towards purchasing an item for a higher price when you believe you can make due with one purchased at a significant cost reduction at a big box store.
There is a diminishing return on everything.
Where does it begin with a strip of leather?
I read Terry Prachert's Men at Arms. There I developed my policy towards purchasing.
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
Standing in the store, knowing what I know, I still did not accept the price before me.
I tuned out the drones of the salesman.
I find my emotional price point for a belt.
I walk out.
I spend the next few weeks inquiring online and going through blogs and forums.
One day the search ends. I find what I sought,
A small workshop in Maine. An aging craftsman. Price I believed honest.
My first belt order: Three belts: a casual brown, a dress black, and a hoof pick belt. Cost: $165
The belts are beautiful and feel better than the ones I had handled previously.
The craftsman is in his late seventies now.
Weeks later I make a decisions.
I order a Pelican Hook and Rifle Sling belt next. Cost: $145
I love these belts.
They elevate the simplest of outfits to something that becomes recognizable as my style.
I make my third and final order: Finally a brown dress belt and the tooled ranger belt. Cost $145
I now own every type of leather belt I have wanted.
I will never need for another belt as long as I monitor my waist and moisturize the leather.
After owning these belts do I realize why I had a lack hesitation when purchasing them.
I bought them out of fear.
I feared the day I needed them, the craftsman would no longer be here to make them.
Rarity Inspired Purchase.