At the farmer’s market, everybody sells garlic scapes in jumbled, messy piles except one smart woman. Here’s how she sells hers:
Of course, she sold out faster than anybody and at a higher price because she’s selling product + additional labor. There was one seller who charged 25 cents per shoot, and you are supposed to stand there, in the scorching heat while your kid’s exhausting her already thin stock of patience as you dig shoots out of a messy jumble one by one and count them. It’s worth a premium not to have to do that. I happily paid $3 a bunch, which comes to 30 cents a shoot.
I remember how hard it was for the post-Soviet people to learn this lesson in basic capitalism. We had been trained for generations to take every shortcut we could think of and expend the least amount of effort. If competition doesn’t exist, nobody learns to take an extra step and do a little bit better than strictly necessary.