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.
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.
Ron’s chair becomes popular after being featured in Bloosh, and Annabelle wants to talk about licensing his designs and scaling up production. Instead of having each handmade by Ron Swanson, they can be mass-produced by foreign labor.
Tom gets an offer that someone is interested in buying his business. After some though, Tom chooses not to sell his clothing rental business and then finds out that the potential buyer will now try to drive him out of business by setting up across the street. Monopolistic competition allows for easy entry and exit into a market that is profitable and results in a reduction in long term profits. This is also a good example of the Hotelling Model where similar firms setup near each other to split the market.
See more: barriers to entry, demand shifts, duopoly, free lunch, hotelling model, imperfect competition, invisible hand, marketing, mergers, monopolistic competition, NSTAFL, product differentiation, supply shifts, zero profit
The Reasonablists are having their end-of-life party in the local park and Ron sees an opportunity to sell his high quality wooden flutes. Because the party springs up without notice, Ron sees a sudden spike in demand for his flutes. The leader of the Reasonabilists offers Ron a check because they don’t believe it will have any value the next day, but Ron has been selling them flutes for each of their previous going away parties.
While Leslie Knope is running for city council, the Parks Department needs to get a lot of vans to help people get to the polls. A local van rental company realizes they have a monopoly over the market for these white vans and this recent surge in demand has given them the opportunity to capitalize.