Responding to the misleading representations rather than to the underlying values
Reading note from Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey (page 31):
With the aid of money, commodities can be labelled in the market with an asking price. That price may or may not be realised depending on conditions of supply and demand. But this labelling carries with it another set of contradictions. The price actually realised in an individual sale depends on particular conditions of supply and demand in a particular place and time. There is no immediate correspondence between this singular price and the generality of value. It is only in competitive and perfectly functioning markets that we can anticipate the convergence of all these singular realised market prices around some average price that represents the generality of value. But notice it is only because prices can diverge from value that the prices can move around so as to give a firmer representation of what the value might be. However, the market process offers many opportunities and temptations to disrupt this convergence. Every capitalist longs to be able to sell at a monopoly price and to avoid competition. Hence the name branding and the logo-laden sales practices that allow Nike to charge a monopoly price that permanently ensures departure from unified standards of value in sneaker production. This quantitative divergence between prices and values poses a problem. Capitalists necessarily respond to prices and not to values because in the marketplace they see only prices and can have no direct means of identifying values. To the degree that there is a quantitative departure of prices from values, so capitalists find themselves having to respond to the misleading representations rather than to the underlying values.