In facing the “Buy one, get one free” suit deal, my quick-thinking wife said, “Let’s take the second suit anyway.” She called our older son on her cell phone from the store, as we knew he was shopping for a suit, and he said he was interested.
The store has a branch where he lives, so we are taking the suit to him this week when we visit. He will take it in and exchange it at no cost to himself for the suit he wants. While I would have derived perhaps $50 of consumer surplus from the “free” second suit, a suit’s value to him is at least $300; and with the pick of the store, he’ll buy a fancier suit.
Giving up a suit worth $50 to me, I confer at least six times the amount of surplus on him and derive even more pleasure than that myself, since I will enjoy seeing him wearing the best possible outfit. So I converted the nearly worthless (to me) second suit into something of value to me!
Couldn’t I have saved myself schlepping the suit on my plane trip and offered the deal to someone locally? Yes, but the pleasure from having that person have a new suit is less than that of seeing my son get one, and even less than the $50 of surplus that I would get from a second new suit.