Ebay has been running an interesting campaign over the last couple of weeks. You may have seen a series of "Shop Victoriously" commercials. These show people in competition for some kind of trinket or collector's item, such as a classic lunch box or an urn. By the end of the commercial one person stands with the item as a trophy. On some commercials the voice over is, "It's better when you win it." You can read more about this marketing campaign on Ebay's website.
For time to time, my wife has come to me saying that she "won" something on Ebay. I try not to be the kind of person that corrects other people, but this line of thinking tears me up inside. What kind of prize requires you to pay near market value for it? I don't doubt that there are legit bargains, but why not say, "I found it on a bargain price on Ebay." I think of Ebay as a flea market or yard sale with worse pricing due to it serving a national market and requiring shipping. Would you say that you "won" an item at flea market?
Psychologically, I think this line of thinking of is very dangerous to your personal finances. If you equate Ebay purchases with "winning" you may be more likely to buy things you don't need. I may need to add this to my list of ways companies use psychology to trick you.
While I'm on the topic of the "Shop Victoriously" commercials, check out when the quarterback runs to his right. It may be hard to see on this YouTube clip, but the urn turns back into a football from that view. It's much easier to see on live TV.
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