Why Would Anyone Bid $55 For A $50 Target Gift Card?!

The ever-thoughtful economists over at Freakonomics are stumped by eBay member lpinok, who bid $55.71 for a $50 Target gift card.

Skipping past the fact that gift cards are a terrible investment and that you could easily take your $50 straight to Target, why would anyone bid more than face value on gift card?!

Steven Levitt is baffled:

This seems to defy all logic. The item description is: “Just a $50 gift card to Target … .”


We need to find lpinok and sit him down with Ben Bernanke. Maybe, hopefully, hours of conversation will unearth the mangled thought process behind baffling phenomena like the subprime meltdown.

Until someone offers an explanation, we have no choice but to believe that lpinok represents everything that is wrong with personal finance in America.

How Much Would You Pay for a $50 Target Gift Card? [Freakonomics]