I belong to a wine club. Every month they send a half case and I pay for 0.5 of a case. This month my shipment was a full case, which was perplexing. It turns out that it was a promotion wherein they would ship a full case for 0.75 the price of a normal case.

I did NOT ask for this, so they are refunding me the increased cost (i.e. 0.25 the price of a normal case), but I also get to keep the wine!

This particular wine club sends bottles that retail between $15-30 each, which presents a conundrum in how to calculate how much “found money” I get. Do I take the low-end? The high end? The median? Do I take the value of the bottles calculated according to what I pay for them (about $15 a bottle)?

In this case I think it makes sense to chose based on how I use this wine club. To me, the bottles I get from the club aren’t bonuses – that is to say, I don’t buy my regular amount of wine per month and then also have these on top of that. To me, these bottles are replacement bottles. Each half case I receive is six fewer bottles I buy at the store.

Given that, it makes sense to calculate the found money based on the retail price of these bottles. This then raises the earlier question: what value does each of the bottles take? The low? The high? The average? The median? It also raises another important question, which informs the first: which six bottles of the case are the free bottles?

Being a nerd, I am inclined to take the actual retail value of each bottle, then average them, and use that value. But that would take a lot of time and cost to do (not all stores carry all bottles, e.g.).

In my experience with this club, the bottles shipped are rather evenly distributed between the low retail price and the high. Given that, taking the median will give a reasonably accurate value of the free wine, once which I can use to calculate the value of the found money this deal has netted.

Here, the median is $22.50, there are six free bottles, so my total found money comes to $135!

As usual, this will be deposited into my Prosper account.