Students More Likely to Buy Half-Used Makeup Wipe than Lightly Worn Jeans

NORTHFIELD, MN—Senior Rachel McMartin gave her Comps presentation last Friday morning. Her topic of choice? The spending habits of Carleton’s student body—as shown through purchases on Carleton’s “Free and For Sale” Facebook group.  

Comments McMartin, “After my lightly worn heels didn’t sell at the asking price of $5, I wondered if there was a way to calculate how likely an item would be purchased.” McMartin developed her own algorithm that was eventually able to determine the probability of a purchase in Free and For Sale.  

McMartin’s study found that any item under the asking price of $3 was the most likely to be purchased, regardless of the item’s type. McMartin explained that her findings indicate that “the likelihood of purchase of a $1 half-used makeup wipe is three times more probable than the purchase of $4 lightly worn jeans.”  

When asked about the goal of her project, McMartin said that if she “can help just one Carl sell their unwanted partially-used makeup wipes, my work will all have been worth it”.   

–Jordan Fues