Leslie tries to convince Jessica Newport to donate the Newport land to the national Park Service by reminding her that the Newport name has not always been associated with positive things. For instance when their hot fudge pipe exploded and the hot fudge flowed into the lake making the fish taste delicious. Negative externality or positive externality, you be the judge.
The Parks Department is trying to determine where to eat and Donna suggests sushi. Andy initially declines because he claims that he is allergic, but it turns out he just thinks he’s allergic. Every time he eats 80 pieces of sushi he gets sick. He probably isn’t allergic, but instead is experiencing decreasing returns (negative marginal returns).
It’s time for some shop talk as Leslie and Ben sit down with Ben’s campaign manager to discuss their strategy going forward in Ben’s election. Leslie takes a brief moment to note that shop talk is one of her favorite types of talk and then goes on to list the other types. This is a cute (and quick) introduction to the concept of product differentiation, where companies sell similar products with different attributes. Product differentiation can allow a company to charge higher prices for their products if people perceive value in the differentiation.
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.
Every time Ann starts dating someone new, her preferences shift and she starts buying items that match the preferences of her partner. For Chris, she started buying a lot of workout equipment, for Andy it was a grunge phase, and for Tom it was purchasing a lot of unnecessary items. The demand for various items in a market can shift when consumer preferences change, and for Ann that occurs when she has a new boyfriend.
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.