Economics Class

First Come, First Served

There are some areas of life in which we encounter the principle of “first come, first served” and in others where we have the principle that “high bid wins”.  In situations like yard sales where time is of the essence and items are one of a kind and in short supply, the principle of “first come, first served” should be observed.

When it comes to yard sales I think that the principle of “first come, first served” works best. In this situation, where time is of the essence, one would think that getting up early to be in front of the line is the right thing to do, instead of showing up late and then flashing money around to get what one wants. For example, imagine that someone planed wisely and got in front of the line for a certain item. Why should that person have that item snatched away by someone else just because that someone else has more money and can come up and take away what that person, in a sense, paid for in time? To that person who was first in front of the line time was valuable enough and therefore he made it a priority to arrive early. The other person simply usurped the position of the person in the front of the line by using money.

Also, at yard sales the items are usually priced, therefore it is not an auction where “high bid wins”. The price was planned before the yard sale opened. Thus, when a person comes to a yard sale, they come knowing that the items there usually have a price and that if they get it, they should be able to buy it at the marked price or lower through negotiation.  Why should someone else who did not come first, regardless of the reason, say “I’ll pay more for that item” and be able to “steal” that item from the other person? These items at yard sales tend to be one of a kind and those who want to get them make an effort to come early.

Common sense should make us realize that if someone made the effort to come earlier, they ought to have the right to purchase the item.

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