Some shops ask you to queue outside before you’re allowed to buy something.
Not every day, but it can happen during the January sales, or on the approach to Christmas, or during that recent import from the US, Black Friday, which celebrates how the Pilgrim Fathers used to wrestle for custody of widescreen televisions.
Sometimes a new telephone or computer game will be launched and people will queue to buy those, too. Waiting, hoping, pleading for a faceless multinational conglomerate to take their money so they can own something that, during the next 48 hours, only a few hundred thousand other people will have.
It is the cynical side of marketing and consumerism, and it brings me to the limited-production supercar/ hypercar/collector’s car, when a model is built in far fewer numbers than there will be a demand for. It’s a fairly recent phenomenon which, after some deliberation, I have decided I also despise.
The premise is simple. A car maker decides it will create a car, likely a really good one, and that if it works hard it could probably sell a thousand. Then it decides it won’t work really hard; it’ll make 300 and charge a lot more for each one instead. Collectors and investors clamour to have one, and the car maker picks a handful of its most-loved customers and rewards their loyalty, as if it’s doing them a favour. It’s a scheme that is the product of – and further fuels – the inexorable rise in collector’s car prices.