The younger generation are said to value experiences more than possessions these days, which isn’t the best news for people like me who spend their time disposing of chattels at auction.
Having said that, Generation Z also seem rather taken with the latest fashions and footwear – the global market in trainers is now worth around £5 billion, I understand, so all is not lost on that front when it comes to acquiring material items.
However, the past week has been notable for what must surely be the record price for an ‘experience’ sold at auction: $28 million for a single ticket to join Amazon entrepreneur Jeff Bezos for his maiden flight on the Blue Origin capsule as it leaves Earth’s atmosphere. That means that the unnamed buyer will be paying out around $9 million for each of the three to four minutes of the ten-minute trip that will be at zero gravity.
If we are genuinely at the beginning of what may later become mass space travel, then this exclusive experience may well prove a bargain. After all, to be one of just four passengers, including Bezos and his brother, on the trip will surely seal their position for posterity – once they are named, of course.
The statistics from the live auction are interesting too: 7,000 bidders took part, with pre-sale bids from 159 countries reaching $4.8 million before the live auction began took place on June 12. It’s yet another example of how impossible this process would have been without the internet – a facility without which Mr Bezos would not now be the world’s richest person.