< Wow
Well, it's official >

[Comments] (6) Economics: Ever since Sumana's entry I've been thinking about cost-per-wear a lot. I must admit I've previously been advised to figure one dollar per wear when shopping, and had dismissed the idea as ludicrous. A dollar per wear? That means you're paying, like $5 every time you get dressed! Who has that kind of money? Not me! But then I realized... how many $20 items of clothing do I have that I've only worn a handful of times? Shame! Shame! I'd like to think that the many items I got on sale for $7 and have worn more times than I can count sorta even it out.

I do think $1 per wear is too much. I'd rather pay, say, 20 cents. But it's handy. How many times would I have to wear a $30 jacket to make it worth buying? All that math turns me off to shopping.

Still, it's easy to see that a pair of Birkenstocks to be worn at least 1,000 times is well worth $115. And a $250 iPod mini used twice, three, four times a day for who knows how many years? It's practically free!!!


Posted by John at Fri Aug 13 2004 16:16

I've pondered this a lot too. I normally take really good care of my clothes (hand wash things, etc) so my utilization should be good, even on the expensive stuff. Shoes especially--they cost a lot but try taking utilization on how many steps you take--now that's what I call highly utilized.

Posted by Susie at Fri Aug 13 2004 18:20

Everyone takes tens of thousands of steps everyday. I too have felt dismay realizing how the more expensive items are sometimese the ones I've only worn a few times. But, like Rachel, I like to think the things you got a great deal on and wear everyday make up for it.

Posted by Pooooca at Fri Aug 13 2004 19:07

Huh. Huh. Well, that means if I wear Levi's sweater 4x, I'll have evened out. Hm. Not liking the math, actually. I don't usually count how often I wear stuff... I think jeans even out to a good penny per wear, or less, as I wear jeans constantly. What about things that you get free? All this math makes my head spin. I feel like AP Stats is starting already.

Posted by Mr. Math at Fri Aug 13 2004 22:02

To help us figure this out mathematically, the relationship between price and number of uses is found to be:

($ of item)/(# of uses) = cost-per-use

For the case of trying to make a $250 iPod mini free (final value < $0.01), we get
[$250/(# of uses)<$0.01]
-> [$250/$0.01<(# of uses)]
-> # of uses > 25,000

For this example, let's work under the assumption that:
1 use = 1 hour

Therefore, it would take 2 years, 10 months and 8 days listening 24-hours a day to accomplish this task. However, since listening 24/7 isn't likely, if you listened on average 8 hours per day, then you would finally pay it off after listening for 8 years, 6 months and 22 days! My suggestion, if you're going to buy it, buy it now before you get too old to enjoy it.

Posted by Alyson at Fri Aug 13 2004 23:14

You know, I've used my mother-in-law's iBook a lot during our visit in Canada, and I am really liking it!!

Posted by rachel at Fri Aug 13 2004 23:55

Ooh, Alyson. *rubs hands together* Welcome to The Way. (I bet Dave can get a student discount too. My iBook was only $999.)

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