BeFrugal
BeFrugal

Compare the Price Tags Of Your Favorite Movie Weddings

BeFrugal
BeFrugal

Real-life weddings are expensive, but real-life budgets generally keep any major extravagances contained. In the land of make believe however, all bets are off.

BeFrugal decided to take a look at five of the silver screen’s most memorable nuptials—in Bridesmaids, Father of the Bride, Sex and the City, The Hangover and Twilight: Breaking Dawn—and break down the costs involved with each. From venue (Father of the Bride nailed that one in terms of frugality), to the dress, the food, travel expenses, and more, it’s a practical look at imagined espousals, and a good way to keep things in perspective as we head into the heart of wedding season. At least you (hopefully!) don’t have to shell out for the Zac Posen bridesmaids dresses donned by Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda.

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Why a Readily Available Used Paperback Is Selling for Thousands of Dollars on Amazon
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At first glance, getting ahold of a copy of One Snowy Knight, a historical romance novel by Deborah MacGillivray, isn't hard at all. You can get the book, which originally came out in 2009, for a few bucks on Amazon. And yet according to one seller, a used copy of the book is worth more than $2600. Why? As The New York Times reports, this price disparity has more to do with the marketing techniques of Amazon's third-party sellers than it does the market value of the book.

As of June 5, a copy of One Snowy Knight was listed by a third-party seller on Amazon for $2630.52. By the time the Times wrote about it on July 15, the price had jumped to $2800. That listing has since disappeared, but a seller called Supersonic Truck still has a used copy available for $1558.33 (plus shipping!). And it's not even a rare book—it was reprinted in July.

The Times found similar listings for secondhand books that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than their market price. Those retailers might not even have the book on hand—but if someone is crazy enough to pay $1500 for a mass-market paperback that sells for only a few dollars elsewhere, that retailer can make a killing by simply snapping it up from somewhere else and passing it on to the chump who placed an order with them.

Not all the prices for used books on Amazon are so exorbitant, but many still defy conventional economic wisdom, offering used copies of books that are cheaper to buy new. You can get a new copy of the latest edition of One Snowy Knight for $16.99 from Amazon with Prime shipping, but there are third-party sellers asking $24 to $28 for used copies. If you're not careful, how much you pay can just depend on which listing you click first, thinking that there's not much difference in the price of used books. In the case of One Snowy Knight, there are different listings for different editions of the book, so you might not realize that there's a cheaper version available elsewhere on the site.

An Amazon product listing offers a mass-market paperback book for $1558.33.
Screenshot, Amazon

Even looking at reviews might not help you find the best listing for your money. People tend to buy products with the most reviews, rather than the best reviews, according to recent research, but the site is notorious for retailers gaming the system with fraudulent reviews to attract more buyers and make their way up the Amazon rankings. (There are now several services that will help you suss out whether the reviews on a product you're looking at are legitimate.)

For more on how Amazon's marketplace works—and why its listings can sometimes be misleading—we recommend listening to this episode of the podcast Reply All, which has a fascinating dive into the site's third-party seller system.

[h/t The New York Times]

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5 Million Americans Will Cut Their Cable TV in 2018
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The trend of media consumers ditching their cable boxes for streaming subscriptions doesn't appear to be slowing down. As Fast Company reports, more than 5 million Americans will pull the plug on pay TV in 2018 alone.

That number comes from a recent survey of 3385 people conducted by the management consultancy cg42. The most common reasons cord-cutters gave for their decision all had to do with money: They cited annoying hidden fees, the waste of paying for channels they never watch, and the high price of cable bills in general.

The price of cable and satellite TV continues to skyrocket, costing customers $101 a month on average in 2017, up by 53 percent since 2007. For comparison, many streaming services charge subscribers the same amount in a year.

If cg42's projections are correct, 685 percent more consumers will cut the cord on cable this year compared to 2016. That loss comes out to about $5.5 billion for cable companies, with Comcast alone predicted to lose 7.2 percent of its customers and $1.6 billion in revenues.

If you're among the millions of American consumers fed up with cable, there are plenty of other options available. Consider signing up for one of these services if you're finally ready to make the switch.

[h/t Fast Company]

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