The Parks Department has arranged a gala to raise money for a new park on the old Sullivan Lot. If they can’t raise the money, the lot will be sold to build another Paunch Burger. Nothing has gone their way while organizing the gala, and Tom hasn’t been able to find a caterer who was willing to provide free food, but then he had an idea. Paunch Burger operates in a monopolistically competitive market, which means the introduction of another fast-food business would lead to decreased demand for other fast-food companies. Tom is then able to arrange other fast food companies to provide food since they have more to lose if a new restaurant opens.
See more: monopolistic competition, imperfect competition, demand, substitutes, incentives
Jerry (Terry), Joe, and Donna sample wedding cakes from the finest bakeries in Pawnee to determine which one to serve at Donna’s upcoming wedding. Donna and Joe both select the same cake, which is revealed to be the local grocery store cake. Billy claims that he placed that cake in the lineup to weed out the low quality palates, but preferences are often subjective.
See more: preference ranking, preferences, ranking, subjective value, transitivity
Tom and Donna are doing one last Treat Yo Self journey before Donna’s wedding. As the Butler of Honor, Tom takes Donna to eat at the hottest sushi restaurant in LA. All of the fish served has been previously owned by celebrities as a way to differentiate it from standard sushi.
See more: advertising, celebrity endorsement, monopolistic competition, product differentiation
Donna and Tom are curious about what the newest fad is in Pawnee. Annabel Porter tells Ron, Donna, and Tom about milk with a flourish that makes it worth $60 a gallon instead of $3 a gallon. Ron isn’t fooled, he realizes it’s just milk.
See more: advertising, demand shifts, monopolistic competition, preferences, product differentiation
Gryzzl wants to bring in a celebrity to help distinguish the company so that they can win the bid. Tom and Donna list other instances where celebrity ownership or endorsement have helped companies. Celebrity endorsements may serve as a signalling device for companies.
See more: advertising, celebrity endorsement, monopolistic competition, product differentiation, signalling
The Parks Department is holding a garage sale to help raise funds for Jerry’s medical bills. The scene starts with April and Andy trying to decide the appropriate price for a hat that has sentimental value for Andy. Later, Tom tries selling a coat he had paid $150 dollars for. Tom marks the coat up to $200 because he put a scorpion on the back of it, but the customer doesn’t seem to think that’s an appropriate price for this venue.
See more: costs, inputs Prices, prices, subjective value, value, value added, willingness to buy, willingness to sell
Tom needs help learning about basketball so that he can connect with the customers at his store. He believes Ben and Andy can help him since they’re good with numbers and athletic (respectively), but he tricks them into coming into his office by telling them that their favorite items are there. For Ben, he claims that Michael Stipe is in the office, but all he needs to do is offer Andy some free Skittles, respectively to incentivize him.
See more: incentives, Principles, self-interest
Mona Lisa has just started working for Tom and wants to leave early to go to a concert that she received tickets for. Based on her logic, if Tom were to say no then it would feel like he’s taking something away from her. Even though she didn’t purchase the item, the feelings of loss are often stronger than the amount of gains for an item.
See more: behavioral, endowment effect, framing, loss aversion
Ron owes a large settlement, but keeps his money stored in the form of gold and palladium. While the rest of the office thinks this is a really neat idea, they question whether he knows how much money he actually has since it’s not stored in paper money. Ron is confident in the weight of his money, but not its value.
See more: commodity money, fiat money, medium of exchange, monetary policy, money, store of value, unit of account
Tom isn’t happy with Mona-Lisa anymore, but he isn’t brave enough to break up with her. He decides to seek out help from his previous girlfriend, Ann, but it’s going to cost him. Ann initially refuses, but agrees once he offers her his chenille blanket that she likes.
See more: behavioral, break ups, exchange, gains from trade, prices, trade