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Malcolm Gladwell would say I’m a maven

January 15, 2010

I went to Staples yesterday to purchase acrylic picture frames to use to display 8.5×11 and 5×7 flyers about my book. As I drove to the store, I calculated what I thought would be my cost for three of the larger frames and four of the smaller. I expected to spend about $30, for everything.

Every penny I spend on marketing my book I balance against the cost of a book. So, I figured that for about the price of a book and a half, I’d get my display frames – which I hoped, when sprinkled around local stores, might sell about 35 copies of the book (Love’s Compass). That felt just barely ok to me since the estimated $30 would actually be one-fourth of my royalty on those same 35 books.

Well I don’t know if Staples thinks acrylic is the new hot commodity, alongside gold, but the real price of the frames in Staples would have cost me three books! That translates into nearly $60 for the frames! Or, half my royalty on the estimated sales the frames would help generate!

Where did I get the impression that these acrylic frames were super cheap? Didn’t we used to buy them at CVS (which I went to and they didn’t have even one of these frames) for next to nothing?  Why is $2.99 the acrylic number in my head? Even estimating inflation since I last bought this type of frame (when my now borderline adult children were babies), I thought the large frames would be about $5 and the small would be $2.50.

Now, here’s the maven personality  that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in one of my all-time favorite books, The Tipping Point. I am so happy with the price I got at Michael’s, I am writing a post about it so that everyone who reads my blog can share in my savings discovery! The frames still are as cheap as I had thought they would be – at Michael’s, the craft store, where I went today in search of less costly acrylic.

Here’s a big plug for Michael’s, where creativity happens, and inflation is on target. The 8.5×11 frames are $4.99 and the 5×7 frames are $2.99.

The competitive market system works – Michael’s got my money.

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