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Tickle Me Elmo

If we believe that the laws of supply and demand always hold, why is it that the "popular" gifts for the holidays always sell out early?

Doesn't the quantity supplied always equal the quantity demanded?

a. Pick an item that is for sale
b. Describe the market
c. Does quantity supplied equal quantity demanded most of the time? If not, what could cause the discrepancy? Is it government interference?
d. Is it that producers were too short-sighted and didn't estimate expected demand accordingly?

Solution Preview

Tickle me Elmo is a children's toy that became the "must have" toy for the christmas season of 1996. The market for it was one of high demand and not enough supply. The toy was adorable. A large number of parents wanted to show their kids how much they love them with gifts, and that is best shown if they can show up with "the gift" that everyone covets. Why wasn't there enough supply? Well, one of the reasons might be that the producers didn't know that ...

Solution Summary

Tickle me Elmo is expressed as a marketing example.