Rob Walker has a great piece in this weekend's Times magazine
"Last year, sales of StriVectin, which costs about $135 for six ounces, reached $64 million in department stores, more than any other skin-care product, according to N.P.D."
$20 an ounce!
The key to the product's success is that the product refuses to tell you what other people are using it for. The box intentionally mirrors a pharmaceutical product, and you'll note that all the messaging is about stretch marks. Yet most people who use it use it for wrinkles. Part of the story here is that misusing the product is part of its charm. That buying a super expensive, industrial strength product for one problem is a great way to solve a different problem.
My favorite part is the latin translation of "stretch marks". That probably really boosts sales in ancient Rome.