Friday, September 23, 2011

What's the price of garbage?

Take a guess. How much do you think this box of trash is worth?

Reply in the comments. No cheating ;)

See answer below: updated Oct 24th. Thanks for your comments!

This is the PART II of the post….

The price is actually $50.

The artist Justin Gignac started this project as an experiment after a friend told him design and packaging didn't matter. So he wanted to prove that with great design and packaging, you could sell anything. Even garbage.

The first piece was was priced at $10. Nobody bought it. People thought it was garbage.

He raised the price to $25. People started buying them as NYC souvenirs. When he couldn't keep up with the demand, he raised the price again.

At $50 which people started viewing them as art.

Now he sells limited edition pieces for $100. Yankees game. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. New Years Eve.

The mayor of Dublin invited him over to cover the St Patrick's day festival. And the popularity of garbage continues to grow. Sounds like Justin proved his point.

It wasn't really about making a few bucks out of selling garbage making a point. In any case it's a great study in perception of value.

You can check out more of this stuff here.

This is a monthly post in the touchiest of all subjects, pricing! See you again in October.


  1. hmmm, is it art, or is is a souviner? The only thing distinctly NY about it is the metro card (if that is what it is...?), so if it is a souviner, then I would say that it is not particularly NY enough to get more than $15 (but it gets the $15 for the clever packaging and novelty of it). If it is art, then I guess it is worth more, but how much more I am not sure- $50, $150?

  2. Thanks that's a really smart way to think about it.

  3. A hint : It started out as a souvenir. The same object, became art by raising the price.

  4. $10-15?

    You are really just paying for the packaging & idea. This is a tough one.

  5. For germaphobes like me that is frightening.
    For a person with little to no money they wouldn't even consider it.
    Others with money to burn are likely to pay any amount upto $80 for the novelty.


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