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How Superstitious Are Shoppers?

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Very superstitious, apparently. New evidence comes from a great study on the auction market for diamond rings.

Anne Bowers, associate professor of strategy at the University of Toronto, analyzed 1.5 million eBay listings of diamond solitaire engagement rings. Those rings that indicated a failed relationship(“right ring wrong guy”, “called off”, “ended abruptly”, etc.) sold less frequently, and for a lower price, than comparable rings that weren’t “tainted.”

She followed up the eBay analysis with an experiment. She created ads for engagement rings from a store, from someone who works with their hands, and from someone who got divorced. People were willing to pay $820 for the ring from the store, $780 for the ring from the handi worker, and only $557 for the divorcée’s ring.

In other words, the story behind the ring significantly impacts the ring’s value. I mean, who wants to enter a marriage with a tainted ring? Certainly not most shoppers. They’re a suspicious bunch.

Image source: eBay

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