We all experience things that we don’t experience often. Sometimes it’s for the better. Arranging funerals, getting pulled over by police, having to call 911, getting mugged — negative examples. Getting married, having a child, graduating, buying a house— positive ones.
Products designed for an occasion have some justification for being more expensive as a result of a smaller scale of product development. It takes more effort on the part of the producer.
But experiencing something only once or a few times seems to set us up for the risk of abuse. The defence against abuse is knowledge and fortunately, Internet on every phone helps level the playing field. It’s easy to see whether you’re being conned within the first two results of a Google search. Sometimes time pressure might make getting feedback and advice more difficult.
The a potential abuse can counter the wide available of knowledge that consumer has through means of collusion. It might not be collusion in the pure sense of the word but could mean the converging of prices and the tight following of competitors to the point that they become nearly indistinguishable from each other and also make it difficult for new competitors to emerge. Then, the two or more entities can drive up the price or profits.
And how can one fight against that? Advocacy, protests, and general organization by the consumer. The formation of purchasing groups or crowdfunding can help break this. Not often doesn’t need to mean painful.