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June 22, 2017

How much would you pay for three leaves? Before you say, “Definitely not $19.99,” give me a second to elaborate. It probably won’t change your mind, but it might blow your mind.

Earlier this week, Somerville, Massachusetts, resident Kyle Waring launched ShipFoliage.com—a site that does pretty much what its title purports to do: ship you fall foliage direct from New England.

But before you start thinking this is your chance to relive childhood memories of jumping into a leaf pile, let’s dial back your expectations. You see, this is not just some handful of raked leaved thrown into an envelope. “We collect, preserve and ship gorgeous fall foliage!” the site exclaims. “All leaves are collected from New England, and undergo a unique preservation process. The process enhances the foliage color contrast and also preserves the leaves for years to come!”

What that means is you get, literally, three leaves for your $19.99 investment. “Each bundle of 3 leaves is color balanced, 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green or mixed leaf,” the company explains. “Leaves are approximately 3" x 6", though sizes may vary.” Yup, that’s $6.66 per leaf—and yet they can’t even verify the size.

Probably as perplexed as you are, the Boston Globe tried to get to the bottom of this one and spoke with Waring. “When I was looking at foliage, I didn’t see anywhere that sold foliage, and it seemed like an untapped market,” he told them, perhaps not realizing that he was literally thinking about how money doesn’t grow on trees.

So what makes his leaves worthy of such a steep price tag? I suppose the cost comes from the labor. He told the Globe he “filters through tons ... to find Grade A leaves.” That’s a real thing a human said. The Globe unfortunately did not report on whether he said it with a straight face.

Looking for a silver lining in this story? Well, here’s some good news: According to ShipFoliage.com, “Rush delivery is available, please contact us for more information.” Because for a deal this good, you don’t want to wait.

[h/t The Consumerist]

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