The First Printed Copy Of SuperFreakonomics Auctioned Off For Charity

from the not-so-superfreaky dept

With the follow-up to Freakonomics coming out, as part of the plan to promote SuperFreakonomics, the books' authors are auctioning off the very 1st printed copy on eBay for charity. The winner of the auction gets a signed copy of this book, as well as a verification letter and a limited-edition SuperFreak t-shirt. Clearly, the economists behind this offer understand the value of scarce goods, and they've tried to increase that value with a couple extra goodies (as well as a matching donation up to $5,000 from Stephen Dubner). But wouldn't it be more interesting to see additional "reasons to buy" around the content, along with typical "freakonomic" analysis of what works and why? Dubner has already suggested (tongue-in-cheek) that the winner won't suffer from winner's curse, but will there be more practical lessons to be learned from this auction? How would the results of this charity auction be different if it did a Dutch auction (like xkcd did recently)? Auctioning off another copy of the book without the charity aspect would be an interesting test, too. And are there other scarce items that Stephen Dubner or Steven Levitt could offer for their book sales?

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  • icon
    Christopher (profile), 8 Oct 2009 @ 5:51am

    You're just trying to bait economists into doing a free analysis... I approve!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2009 @ 11:34am

    "But wouldn't it be more interesting to see additional "reasons to buy"...."

    When techdirt does the experiment the signed book idea is a reason to buy, but if it's done by anyone else it only counts as a "extra goodie" which is apparently an inferior thing ?!!

    Ordinary people might think making the money go to a charity could be a reason to buy and/or connect with the fans (particularly if you know which charity), but apparently this isn't doing things the correct way - Masnick doctrine says you need to keep all the money yourself.

    Is this a problem of ego or does Masnick really not get it ?.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Michael Ho (profile), 8 Oct 2009 @ 12:18pm

    not inferior at all....

    Perhaps I wasn't clear in the post... This is an AWESOME charity offer. Kudos to the freakonomics guys for donating their work and encouraging others to help out others.

    But seeing that the authors are economists themselves, it's also a bit disappointing that they don't try other alternative methods of selling their work. And I'd really like it if they'd analyze their own experiments...

    Charity is great, but charity isn't really a business for content creators, is it? Maybe it can be, but the economy usually runs in a profit-earning mode -- and it would be beneficial to society to develop more profit-earning models for content creation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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