This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, December 19, 2011

How Do You Perceive Value?

Pure-Gold-CoinsImage by digitalmoneyworld via Flickr

          A recent article by Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times Business section was telling about the struggles of the greeting card industry to maintain relevancy when facing the competition of the internet age.  In the article, Susan January, president of the Greeting Card Association is quoted as saying, "As better products have become available people are more aware how certain embellishments, like gold foil and embroidery, increase the perceived value of the card and the perceived value of their relationship."

           Now, I've heard the term "perceived value" before but never gave it much thought until reading it within the context of this article.  Perceived value is the subjective worth that we place on something according to our own needs or wants.  The perceived value of an item might be artificially created by the marketing agent as in the case of luxury items or new products. Perception of value may also be influenced by availability and is the motivating way the law of supply and demand can increase or decrease prices.

           Perceived value can be dictated by the influences of the marketplace or it can be all in our minds.  When much revered technological innovation comes on the market, some people may wait in line to pay premium prices to be the first to have it in hand even though they know it will most likely be available at reduced prices later down the road.  Part of their perception of value includes the prestige of being the first to own a product and their strong desire to have it in their hands now rather than later.

         If gold were no longer perceived as valuable as backing for monetary systems or for jewelry and valued only in the context of its practical use in industry, the price of gold would undoubtedly plummet since it would no longer be coveted as something of extreme worth and prestige in ownership.

         The collectible market works in much the same way.  Certain things will gain a reputation of having a high potential of future worth and collectors will jump on board to pay premium prices.  We see past fads such as beanie babies or Hummel figurines where prices soared for a while and then dropped to ridiculously low prices leaving the investors unable to get any return on the money they put into their collections.  The marketplace will be influenced by economy and changing interests among other things.

         Artificial market manipulation is the mainstay of companies like the Franklin Mint.  Such purveyors of collectible merchandise entice speculative customers with advertising that suggests that whatever it is they are offering may increase in value eventually.  They don't make promises (read the small print), but in the minds of certain ones of us who are lured by the advertising, we want to believe that we are investing in an attractive item that might one day hold great value.  And I won't knock anyone for that--I've bought some of those things myself because I liked them and I wanted to believe I was making an investment in something of collectible value.

         However, I am straying from the real point that I want to make here--the thoughts that came to my mind as I began to contemplate the concept of perceived value.  As I pondered this concept, I began to think of perceived value as it applies to that which is not an item of merchandise or a service. What about the perceived value of friendships and interpersonal relationships, personal tastes and artistic evaluations, or accolades and kind words?

         It's a certainty that the topic I'm touching upon here could become quite lengthy if it were to be examined in its totality, so I'll focus on one aspect and then allow you to take it in your own direction.  

          For my part, I'll consider blog posts and blog comments (and I hope this is not becoming a redundant topic).  I make an attempt to produce some degree of quality in my posts and in my comments.  Even when I think I am going to quickly hash out something short, I will often get carried away and will write more than I had set out to do (this post for example).  When I comment, I try to leave something of substance.  I want my words to have more value than something I just slapped down to be saying something. I value my words.

         And now I'll toss the topic to you:  What do you attach value to and how do you perceive value?   What makes certain people valuable to you?   Why do you have certain passions or interests?    Excluding some of the obvious answers like those related to God, family, country,  or pets and the like; what are some tangible things that are valuable to you?

          Please visit my memoir blog Wrote By Rote.  Teresa from Journaling Woman is my guest and she has a special giveaway offer.  
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  1. Value to me Lee is not wealth but the love and respect of my family and friends......that's something money can't buy.

    Enjoyed your post as usual most interesting subject.

    Have a good day.

  2. As far as tangible objects go, I value books. Maybe it's because I had access to so few of them as a child, or at least I lacked access to books that I, as a Braille reader, could read independently. Books can be so many things to so many people; entertainment, comfort, information, escape, the portal to one's own imagination, just to name a few. So I still place a great deal of value in them; I want to be the VERY FIRST to read a new book, I want to read as many as I possibly can, and maybe someday I want to write one of my own.
    As for the intangibles that I value, where interpersonal relationships are concerned, there are two things--that I am treated as an equal, and that I am loved as a whole person, flaws and eccentricities included.

  3. I like the "Punk Exclusive" value of something; such as underground music that you can find for $4 at a used CD store that no one else has heard of, but when I find someone who's heard the Lost Highway soundtrack, it's like we're in a special club.

  4. Thanks for a great posting Lee! Great as always and got me thinking... my value in life is my kids and wife, and what they think of me. I guess that is about as solid as it gets...

    Enjoyed the post!

  5. Perceived value can be something that looks more expensive than it really is. People can have a perceived value - that's why some sports figures make so much. I don't value many objects although I do like my gadgets and tech toys.

  6. This is an extremely thought provoking suggestion so I'm going to have a go with answering it. In my opinion the definition of value is something that we possess that leads to happiness. The happiness factor is what is ultimately the difference between just possessing something and feeling value from what we possess if that makes any sense? Here's hoping it does.

  7. Tangible things of value not mentioning family country god you indicate? Gosh, if you really put your mind to it, those are the only things of REAL value..the rest is just stuff isn't it? There are the intangibles of course, like education and experience that have real value.

  8. This makes me think of something I always say to others and myself (I did a workshop on it, too). "Don't let others determine your value." Others will try because it can add to their power.

    Value is an interesting concept.


  9. That's a lot of deep questions for a Monday morning. In relation to blogging and these online connections, I've found that sincerity and a willingness to be open to new friendships carries a lot of weight with me.

  10. It goes without saying that I value my family above all else.

    I value the work I've done on my Novel "Concilium" and my future readers (hopefully I have some!) above the royalties it may produce.

    As always, a great topic. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Author of Concilium, available July 2012
    Concilium: The Departure, November 2012

  11. I suppose in a way all value can be thought of as perceived. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that. Good, thought provoking post!

  12. Perceived value is when it doesn't matter what the monetary value is in truth, but how much everyone wants it.
    The only things I truly value is the health and love of my family. Everything else is extra.

  13. I returned after a holiday ahaha
    great post :D
    i like it

  14. I really do like to put thought into my blog comments too, but sometimes I'm so strapped for time that I just can't manage it!

  15. Yvonne -- I feel the same.

    Rachel -- What you are asking for as far as for yourself is not at all unreasonable.

    Will -- I'm in your club then. Lost Highway is one of my favorite movies and I've got the soundtrack as well.

    Rodney -- Your value is a good one.

    Alex -- Perceived value is very subjective or based on the assessment of a group such as from the aspect of popularity. When it comes to raking in money there might be some other very objective factors that might come into play.

    Matthew -- But your definition might also have to factor in something about ones perception of what happiness means.

    Delores-- Stuff is all it amounts to. There are somethings that can't be replaced. You have named things of value that it would be difficult to put a price on.

    Teresa -- You have raised another interesting aspect of value.

    LG - Those are good qualities on which to base and measure friendship.

    Michelle -- Those choices make sense.

    Kirsten -- And the eye of the beholder is a big factor in determining perceived value.

    Ciara -- Those are the real fundamental values that make all the stuff also enjoyable.

    Damon -- Did you feel this post was valuable to you?

    Trisha--Especially at this time of year I can relate to this.


  16. This reminds me of a tale about my Grandpa trying to sell something ( I forget what) and he gave it a reasonable price and no-one contacted him about it. Then someone said he's pitched the price too low, so he increased it and ended up being inundated with calls...
    Merry Christmas Lee with gold foil and embroidery ;O)

  17. I've been hearing something similar in terms of books, how they're trying to make them nicer and more collectible in order to compete with ebooks. Interesting to think about, especially in the context you've given.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  18. I'll second the interesting point that Madeleine made. Way back in the late 1970s or very early '80s, my Pa (who, by the way, was a professional salesman) was attempting to sell a used car.

    The ad he put in the paper was attracting no calls. So a couple weeks later, he submitted a new ad. Same used car, same exact description, but this time with a new asking price. A HIGHER ASKING PRICE.

    We all told him he was crazy and that he had just thrown away more money on a pointless ad. (Temporarily forgetting that only one of us sold things for a living, and that one person was HIM!)

    The phone was still ringing off the hook long after the car had been sold at the higher price.

    I learned a great lesson from my Dad through that unforgettable situation: few people think independently; most people are like sheep. Tell 'em they can have something valuable cheaply and they won't want it, assuming it must not really be worth much. But tell 'em they can have that same item at top dollar, and suddenly they will be racing each other to get to it first.

    Believe me, I have often applied this lesson in my thoughts about blogging. (A couple years ago, I even posted a joke about it on my blogs.)

    As for me personally? I perceive value in any liquid that is 80-proof or stronger.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  19. It is often the things we take for granted that we later value beyond price.
    Four months ago, my 27 year old daughter was rushed to hospital having suffered a catastrophic detachment of the retina her left eye. Today she has had the last of three operations to correct this. The surgeries were invasive and will almost certainly have greatly reduced her peripheral vision in the affected eye, though some sight has been preserved.
    During the recovery periods she has realised how much she depended on her sight and what the lack of it has meant - no driving, no reading, needing to be careful going
    up and downstairs and generally being dependent on others.
    We are learning, as a family, to value the simple things and not to take good health fof granted!

  20. 'However, I am straying from the real point that I want to make here--the thoughts that came to my mind as I began to contemplate the concept of perceived value. As I pondered this concept, I began to think of perceived value as it applies to that which is not an item of merchandise or a service. What about the perceived value of friendships and interpersonal relationships,'

    Lee, I have given this quite a bit of though, as well. In fact, I was thinking about it as I read your words on market value.

  21. Hi, Lee, I had some time and wandered over to your post on what we value. Mine is the ability to read and write, also having friends. I, too, like another commenter value books. I often think about people who never learned to read and cannot imagine fully what it would be like not to be able to read.
    Your friend, Ruby

  22. The comments about trying, and failing, to sell things at lower prices interested me. This is one side of the argument for the 99c e-book. Some people see that low price and perceive the book to be 'too cheap'. Someone once told me an item is worth exactly what you are willing to pay for it. No more, no less.

  23. Madeleine -- I'm like your Grandpa when I try to sell something. I always feel too guilty pricing things too high. I need to rethink that.

    Sarah Allen -- There's something about the word "collectible" that draws certain people. It's perception that someday the thing will be worth more than we paid for it.

    StMc -- I think I need to repost some of the crap I was trying to sell on Craig's List really cheap and this time I'll raise the price a lot.

    Sue H -- Without good health and vision, the material stuff doesn't really mean that much.

    Suze -- Stuff can be easily replaced with other stuff. Family and friends are not quite so replaceable.

    Grammy -- I'm glad I can read, but if I couldn't then I wouldn't be able to blog and might get a lot of other things done. But no, I would never want to give up reading.

    Sarah-- And you have provided an excellent explanation of what perceived value means.


  24. I wrote a post a couple years ago titled Packrat or Collector, because my husband and I have a lot of stuff! And I've been working on getting rid of most of it.

    I think we've been emotionally attached to things because it provides reminiscence, but also, I have to admit that we've thought about the future value of it, too.

    I have at least 70 of those Franklin Mint and Eastern Press books. My husband has all the Harvard classics. We have Sacagewea coins, Kennedy half dollars, etc. My husband has old record albums, and magazines with covers of Michael Jordan and other sports figures.
    We have the artwork of our kids. The list goes on. LOL

    If the house were on fire, though, what would I take?
    Hmmm... my journals, my kids journals, the computer that stores the home videos, a few pieces of passed down jewelry, the picture albums and framed pictures, and letters. I'm sure I've forgotten things, but you get the picture/theme...right? :)

    Good thought provoking post.

  25. Oh, I meant to tell you that your effort in producing quality posts and comments is apparent.

    I enjoy and appreciate your feedback on this blog and when you visit mine.

    Hearing from my readers is nice, even when they just say, "good post," however, when something is said that is conversational and/or thoughtful, I value it more. You are one of those commenters. :)

  26. Anita -- Thanks for those kind words. You and your husband have similar behavior as I do when it comes to saving things. You just never know when you'll need something or it will become immensely valuable one day. I still need to get rid of a lot of stuff though. Simplifying life would be a good thing.


  27. Hi Lee .. I've had one egreeting card this year thankfully and loads of proper cards with notes and letters for my mother and I. Value to me.

    Value is the friendship and support I have over the years received .. value is found in change - blogging does that to us .. value comments have become part of my life .. I love getting them and I endeavour to be relevant to topic.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and New Year - and lots of success in 2012 .. really looking forward to doing the A - Z in April .. cheers Hilary

  28. Funny that the industry sees gold foil and such as increasing the perceived value of a card. Isn't the primary value of a card in the sending itself? Or in what is written by the sender?

  29. Hilary -- I don't get many cards, but I always enjoy getting the ones with little personal notes on them.

    Kelly -- You would think it would be the thought of the card being sent and what is said within that would be the most important thing, but I'm sure that there are those who assess the value of the card itself.


  30. I value my relationships with my family, friends, blog community, and my work community. I try my best to provide friendship, support, encouragement, and positive energy. Great post!


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