supply vs. demand

This time of year a cluster of Academy demos come through the doors of Amoeba. Often, we’ll buy them. Heck, if someone sells it to us (and it’s not an obvious bootleg) we’ll happily make it available for someone else to buy. In most cases, screeners and demo copies are marked down to sub-basement prices. They aren’t really desirable. They have no flashy covers. No special features. And those pesky messages scroll actoss the screen. At most they’ll fetch four or five bucks.

There are exceptions. If there’s demand for the item, it goes in the Collectables case next to the mezzanine info counter. These days, that case is home to an odd assortment of DVDs and VHS tapes. Used copies of Flash Gordon (out of print until the inevitable re-issue to coincide with the dreaded Stephen Summers remake) will fetch $60. We sell it regularly. The Criterion Edition of This Is Spinal Tap goes for $100. This Island Earth goes for $150. We’ve got one now. Hurry on over.

DVD screeners never make it to the collectables case, but music often does. Studios sometimes issue demo soundtracks for awards consideration even if they’ve never been released commercially. In those cases, the extremely limited availability pushes the score for, say, Million Dollar Baby to around fifty bucks.

Expensive, yes. But price is dictated by availability and demand. We keep them at market levels. Still, I wasn’t prepared for this:

In case you can’t see that price tag, take a closer look:

Yes, you’re reading that right. It’s a soundtrack promo for Alexander. We’re selling it for half a Grand. So far, no one I’ve asked can figure out why it’s marked this way. It’s not a typo. In fact, someone checked Ebay and found that an auction for the same item fetched almost fifteen hundred dollars! I haven’t confirmed this myself, but if it’s true, and whatever hype surrounding this thing prevails, someone could make a nice profit.

I’m going to research this and try to find out more. If I learn anything, I’ll pass along the info.

About the author: will

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