My neighbor's mom did a sorta-similar thing. I bought his Gameboy Color (a good bit after the Gameboy Advance was already out) and she was furious. She remember all the money she had spent years before on it, and never quite got the concept that electronics don't exactly keep their value. She ended up making me give it back to him, though even my mom was rather ticked off about it because had already gotten games for it by the time she found out. I also got my class ring from jostens, turned out way smaller than the picture.
ouch. you were well on your way there...but ha...yes you have a great example there for government class...the big guys never want the little guys to figure out their secrets...smiles.