You describing the “opportunity cost” of buying a Stowaway, which is tangible and easily calculated in comparison to the S&P. In post #13, DeanS is describing the opportunity cost of not buying a Stowaway, which could be called “less happiness.”
Happiness is less tangible and much harder to calculate, but being difficult to calculate doesn’t mean it’s not real. I took money out of the S&P to buy a Stowaway. I don’t know whether I am happier, but I am definitely poorer in $.
“Profit” is something else entirely, but easily calculated. Time will tell, but I expect buying a Stowaway will turn out to be a loss over the longterm when inflation is considered as it must be when the period of investment is greater than zero.
Agreed. I left out the ultity in owning an A-P because the question was about profiting (presumably monetarily) by buying such scopes, and the ownership benefit is hard to quantify. There are certainly those who buy them and never even un-box them. In that case it's pretty clear--you are likely to lose money, and more likely the longer you keep it.
Obviously there is utility in owning an A-P scope. That's why I bought one. I could have spent the money in lots of other ways, and I could have invested it. I decided I'd rather have the scope than the money, and A-P decided they'd rather have my money than the scope.
The people who think of these scopes as investments are probably mistaken most of the time. But as a depreciating object, the depreciation is relatively small and the ultity can be extremely high. In that sense you could call them good investments.
A slighly more perverse take . . . if you were motivated by money, and you were the manufacturer, then you might choose to keep aside a certain number of your highly valued products that you know are appreciated, both to artificially create a demand based increase in value, and to capitalize on that in the future by selling them off (gee, look what we found in the store room!).