Expensive Wallpaper

Why I think stickers should be free: an opinion piece.

As if this whole blog isn’t an opinion piece? Idk. This feels more opinion-y to me.

It took me a while to commit to it – but I started putting stickers on the inside of the van’s sliding door. I still don’t know if I like it – it’s very busy & cluttered. And since the van is such a small space – it’s also quite noticeable. Plus it gives off a dorm room type vibe similar to Christmas lights year-round. So, ya – I’m skeptical.

Probably the biggest hurdle though was the finality of placing a sticker somewhere: it’s a bit daunting! I’m normally one to just hoard my stickers in a drawer for years because I don’t want to commit to sticking them anywhere… So, sticking a whole bunch of them on ONE THING was scary.

But! On the flip side – I think a wall of stickers fits the aesthetic of #vanlife. And it’s an easy way to add some personality to the (currently plain) van décor. And much like I enjoy stalking my own Instagram – I do like looking at the stickers as a memory of where I’ve been on this trip. It’s like a little walk back through all the coffee shops, breweries, & ice cream shops I’ve been to.

So – back to why they should be free.

Or more accurately – why I personally don’t want to pay for them…

Stickers are, what, usually 2-3” circles or squares & so to fill a square foot – let’s say it takes 20 stickers. (My mom said she shared this blog with her math teacher friends – so, please check my (very much estimated) math 🙂 ) Places charge $1-2 for stickers, so that would be…. $20-$40 per square foot. Call it $20, let’s be generous! And let’s compare that to the cost of peel & stick wall paper which runs for $2-$5 per square foot. So – I’m sorry – are stickers really worth 10x more than wall paper?! (I guess you can’t put a price on memories…) Still! That’s so hefty!

Side note: in a normal sticker-placing environment (i.e. not the inside of my van, and say, like a water bottle) I would also make the argument that stickers are free advertising since I’m lugging around a company’s logo everywhere. I guess I have to drop that point here since truly no one ever sees the inside door of my van… But still! $20 per square foot regardless of free advertising or not… c’mon! That’s ridiculous.

Somewhat unrelated, but: I also have to bring up that the sticker purchasing transaction can be bizarre. Sometimes they’re free & the cashier will tell me to take a handful, and sometimes they’re sitting at the register without a price tag but they’re not free. How do I know if I can just take one or if I’d be stealing? What other product do you have to ask the cashier if it’s free or if it costs money?! (I guess water sometimes in other countries…?)  It’s a bizarre transaction!

So. Even though I have & will continue to pay for stickers (if they’re cool!!), I will not like it & will actively complain about it. I usually justify it in the moment – since it’s “only” a dollar; but gosh this is pricey wall paper!! (Especially since I’m still not convinced that I like it…)

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