I hope you weren’t expecting a reasonable explanation of ‘why’ a bottle of McDonald’s Special Sauce sold for more than the cost of a brand new Range Rover, because the reason is ‘people are batshit crazy’. Well, the reason is simple economics. Scarcity is what drove the price from $4 to $96,000 on a single bottle of McDonald’s Special Sauce, all because there is somehow only ONE bottle of McDonald’s Special Sauce in all of the UK.
The Big Mac turns 50 this year — the perfect occasion, McDonald’s crackerjack PR team figured, to hype the sandwich by auctioning off the first-ever bottle of special sauce in the U.K. To ensure a frenzy, the chain created an eBay listing two weeks ago that read: “This is the only bottle of Big Mac Sauce that’s ever been available to the public in the UK and isn’t available for sale anywhere else in the country.” The starting bid was £3 (about $4.33), but with this kind of scarcity, people sort of expect a couple Martin Shkrelis of the fast-food-novelty world to hijack the bidding and run the price up to something truly outlandish — like say £1,000. Nope, chump change: By day two, the bottle had cracked five figures, and when the listing closed yesterday, some 232 bids later, it had reached £65,900. (Which is about $96,000.)
Now I’m not economist, you all know that. I’m moderately shitty with numbers, but fairly intuitive when it comes to most things in life, and my intuition is telling me that the risk-reward on just robbing a McDonald’s and stealing a box full of bottles far outweighs spending almost a hundred grand. Are you really going to get caught robbing a McDonald’s of their Special Sauce (probably, yes, don’t do it)???
As we reported back in late January McDonald’s has begun rolling out the bottled Special Sauce in select locations worldwide, but not here in the states. This is probably due to the fact that here in the US we love YouTube, and YouTube has video tutorials on how to make the delicious Special Sauce all by yourself for cheap as hell (not $96K USD, £65,900.00 on eBay).
Also, as GrubStreet.com points out there were 4,000 bottles released in Australia and sold at $4.99 per bottle. I’m looking up last minute flights from London to Sydney right now on Kayak and they’re about $1,5000…that’s last minute. If someone planned this out they could’ve purchased all 4,000 bottles at $4.99 for a total cost of $19,960 and flown from the UK to Australia, taken a sick ass vacation (let’s call it $20k) and in the end they could’ve saved themselves fifty grand…But this wasn’t about saving money, was it? This was about the goddamn Special Sauce.