Monday, October 26, 2020

The Luxury Goods Market: A Value Shopper Weighs In

Cartier Love and Juste Un Clou bracelets

Like many women I love watching some of the YouTube vloggers of luxury goods. I've even linked a few of the vloggers I like over on THE SAVVY SHOPPER'S sidebar. Great fun watching, yet I marvel at the amount of shopping for luxury goods they do! If you take the tours of their closets, these ladies own so many ultra-expensive pieces of apparel and accessories of the most exclusive brands. They have HUGE collections of Hermès, Chanel, and Dior bags to name just a few + other pricey goods! The value is easily $100,000+ and counting! Totaling a sum many ordinary people pay for a house and car combined!!

Hermès Kelly
Don't get me wrong I understand loving well-made material things, as well as, the buzz one gets from working and saving for a splurge. I, myself, have received or bought a piece of jewelry here and there. First, you get endorphins 
from the anticipation; then saving up for it; and finally by achieving your goal of buying and owning your desired item!  

Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Rolex

But I lean towards being a minimalist, and I'm a value shopper. In general, I think it best not to let the tail wag the dog, or in other words, not pay for a designer's label in lieu of the true value of gold, leather or other elements. How much are you willing to overspend for status merchandise? Personally, I could never pay such inflated prices for a designer's name. At $12,000+ I'll never own a Birkin bag. A Cartier gold bracelet will always start at $10,000+ higher than a similar non-status gold bracelet without the Cartier name. I always ask, will I enjoy it to the tune of $10,000 more? Frankly, I also wonder who convinced women to wear a bent nail around their wrists, or a bracelet one must either never take off, or suffer the inconvenience of having a 2nd person unscrew it using a screwdriver to remove!? Too much work!

Hermès Birkin
I also know the pack I grew up in didn't buy luxury goods. We had one Coach bag at a time, never Hermès or Dior bags ... and ignorance was bliss. There was freedom in not knowing the scene we were not getting caught up in. If everybody were to buy luxury, the goods would no longer be exclusive, and then how do you justify the big markup?😎

Moreover, I'm not criticizing women who get their adrenaline rush from bags, or shoes, or (fill in the blank) over jewelry. Different strokes for different folks. Jewelry is as much of a luxury purchase (and never a true investment) as a designer bag, or shoes, or dress, etc. 

Of course, bank accounts, lifestyles, and dreams vary, so what seems crazy for me may be nothing for you to spend. 
🌈I always say ... looking is free.🌈 Do you have a luxury item on your wish list? You are not alone if you do!

Stay tuned: I'll write a future blog matching the Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags to their budget-friendly real leather (and legal) cousins for less! Meanwhile here are links to a Chanel inspired classic flap and a bigger option here,  WOC inspired bag here, and my "Rolex" vibe watch here.

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  1. It is always nice to look, isn't it. I have never had a designer bag or shoes, and I do enjoy a bargain too. If money was no object, I would love to own something by Chanel - bag, shoes or clothing, it is a label I always admire.

    1. We are of like minds, Trish. I love Chanel too, but since the retailer just raised prices again, I don't expect to ever lay down $7,100 for its lovely classic flap bag. Every product example I used in my blog would make me feel like I've been price gouged if I bought the item, which for me takes any enjoyment out of owing it. Overpaying for luxury doesn't make me feel pampered in the least!

      I must give Hermès credit for making one of the best leather bags sold, and each one is individually made as I understand it. However consumers should refuse to play their "extortion" game of having to buy other expensive accessories before they are allowed to buy the ultra expensive Birkin or Kelly bag. And too, I cannot support a business who will not treat each and every person who walks in with friendliness and respect. There are far too many reports of customers receiving poor and snobby treatment from Hermès staff the world over. I have gone into NYC's Madison Avenue store over the years and have been treated with a cool politeness (which I will accept) but I have not tried to buy a bag or scarf. The bags are behind glass cases, so you can't examine them. To look and touch them I go to the resale shops up the block. For me, the 2nd hand prices for Chanel and Hermès bags are also too high. I like a bargain too, Trish! Therefore, I'll stick with my excellent Coach leather bags and T.J. Maxx finds for much less. Love the luxe bags, but can't and won't be one of the flock!