Several years ago, while living in Ghana, West Africa, a market bag saved my life.
Well.. not really “saved” my life as much as “saved” my gifts and personal belongings from the trash. As usual, I was running late for a plane and in Africa this is usual okay. Except this was the ONE time that the plane decided to leave on time. As I approached the check out counter, I knew my bags were way over the limit (about 100 pounds over), but the wonderful KLM attendant agreed to let me carry on all my excess if I could somehow distribute the items into smaller bags.
Enter the $.50 USD plastic market bags.
The bags held my items (which included several drums, 2 stools, and of course, a complete wardrobe by a designer named Alfie), better than the expensive set of Travelpro luggage I inherited from my parents.
I made the plane and my family got their gifts.
Fast forward 10 years.
While browsing the net, I saw a popular boutique, Shopintuition.com, selling my $.50 luggage for $95.00 and up. While the intuition bags are cute and the $35 donation to the International Rescue Committee for each bag sold is admirable, $95.00-$115.00 for these plastic bags is utterly ridiculous. If you’ve ever been to a developing nation or to your local laundromat, you know that these bags cost, at most, $5.00 a pop. Even with the slight extras added (lining, plastic piping, etc), a whopping $90.00 price difference is crazy and raises suspicions that the site added an additional $35 onto the price of the item (maybe even a little more) in order to get us to buy it.
Which brings up the question- are marketers using our goodwill and charitable nature to help sale items and make a nice profit? Is it justifiable to mark up an item if a portion of the sale price is going to charity? Is our need to consume so great that we need to purchase something in order to be persuaded to donate?
Yea or Nay: Market Bags at ShopIntuition.com