Many people think that luxury brandsare made betterthan other brands, but they arent always right. This doesnt necessarily mean you should never splurge on adesigner labeldress orfancy accessories, but its always good to do your research before you shop. Whether youre looking to treat yourself to something nice or are shopping for the perfect gift, here are some luxury brands that you may want to avoid if you want to get something thats actually worth the high price tag.
Has there ever been a more iconic or overrated luxury brand than Louis Vuitton? With a high sticker price, these bags are well-known as an indicator of wealth. But what are they really worth beyond signalling affluence? The markup on Louis Vuitton purses is ridiculous. Way back in the year 2000, theNew York Timescalculated that the production cost of a Louis Vuitton bag is hundreds of dollars cheaper than what they sell for.
A spokesperson for the company claimed this estimate was inaccurate, but declined to reveal the real production costs. If that sounds fishy, thats because it is. The same spokesperson said that part of what youre paying for is the product development that is involved in its design which is just a fancy way of saying that the company is making a lot of money off of each bag sold.
According toForbes,Louis Vuitton is one of the most profitable brands in the world with profit margins north of 30%. Its valued at $28.8 billion, a fortune amassed over more than a century of selling marked-up items.
Luxury brands arent limited just to clothing, jewelry, shoes, and bags. While the art of writing things by hand isquickly being displacedby modern technology,quality writing instrumentsstill have a dedicated band of followers who are willing todrop hundreds of dollarson a pen.
The very fact the most communication is done electronically these days means that pens are becoming increasingly irrelevant, but the high price tag of a Montblanc pen makes this one luxury good that definitely isnt worth your money. If you really like way a Montblanc pen writes, theresa simple hackthat lets you load a far less expensive pen with a Montblanc ink cartridge.
Whether youre ringing in the new year or celebrating a wedding, a champagne toast is a classy way of commemorating the occasion. Thats right, there are even luxury brands for alcohol. While it might be tempting to indulge in a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, do you really need to? It turns out that you can safely save your money without sacrificing quality. In a blind taste test conducted byWhich?, Veuve Clicquot lost tofar more affordable sparkling wines. Cheers!
Tiffany is one of the most well-known luxury brands there is, but are you really getting what you pay for? If you have more than breakfast at Tiffanys, youre pretty much just shelling out extra money for that blue box. Other jewelers sell quality goods without the steep prices. If you really want the brand name, which many people do, be aware that youre going to be paying extra for it. If youre just looking for beautiful jewelry, however, consider a store like Costco that offerstop-quality gemsat much lower prices.Good Morning Americawent shopping at both stores and found that a Costco diamond of a quality similar to one sold at Tiffanys was $10,000 cheaper.
Now, while were on the subject of products not worth the typical asking price
If youre buying diamonds at all, youre not getting much value for your money. In case you havent heard the news yet, the diamond industry isa massive scam. First of all, diamonds are nowhere near as rare as we have been led to believe. There are other gemstones, like rubies, which are in far shorter supply. Yet, thanks to an aggressive ad campaign in the 1930s, we still believe that diamonds are the jewel to beat. Theyre not even a sound investment, thanks to fluctuating values. It turns out that diamonds actuallyarenta girls best friend, no matter what celebritieswould have us believe.
Rolex is another prime example of an overhyped luxury brand. While the brand is beloved, itsoverwhelming popularityas a status symbol is a fairly recent development. If you want an elegant and timeless watch, look to Rolexs prime competitor,Omega. Like Rolex, Omega has producedSwiss-made watchesfor decades and is widely recognized as a luxury watch brand. They also tend to be cheaper, so youll be getting a much better bargain.
Louboutin sellsmore than half a million pairs of shoes each yearat outrageously high prices. Those red-soled shoes might be iconic, but theyre definitely not worth the costor the pain. Christian Louboutin himself said that his goal is to make stylish works of art and that comfort isnt even something he prioritizes when designing his shoes. People say I am the king of painful shoes, the designer toldVogue.I dont want to create painful shoes, but it is not my job to create something comfortable. I try to make high heels as comfortable as they can be, but my priority is design, beauty and sexiness. Im not against them, but comfort is not my focus.
The only way that a pair of Louboutins is worth hundreds of dollars is if you believe the mantra that pain is beauty.
If you love pearls, youre probably familiar with this luxury brand. Widely acknowledged asthe best cultured pearls that money can buy, even a simple strand of Mikimoto pearls can costthousands of dollars. At the end of the day, though, theyre only cultured pearls which means theyre nowhere near as rare as pearls that are grown naturally and harvested. In fact, theres really not much of a reason to dish out the big bucks on pearls at all; most peoplecant tell the differencebetween real and fake pearls, anyway. If youre looking for that perfect strand to complete an outfit, go ahead and buy some imitation pearls we wont tell.
Once touted as one of the most popular handbag lines in the world, Coach has recently declined in popularity after too many sales made themfar too accessibleto be considered exclusive. Coach is trying to rectify that problem by introducingeven more expensive bagsto its already pricey line and cutting back on online flash sales. While things are getting better for the company, Coach is no longer viewed in quite the same light, which is something you may want to consider if youre purchasing one of their bags in order to make a statement.
There was a time when Michael Kors handbags were highly coveted status symbols, but the MK bubble burst right around the same time that Coach began to lose its following. According toBusiness Insider,the brands overexposureled to a huge decline in sales.
Fortunesaid that Michael Kors created a ubiquity that was contradictory to a luxury cachet and hurt its ability to turn out new and exciting products. The company is trying to turn itself around and improve its image, but it isnt quite there yet. While the companystill markets itself as a luxury brand, if youre going to shop Michael Kors you should wait forone of its many saleswhich often feature markdowns up to 50 percent.
While Prada might sell some quality goods befitting luxury brands, some of their offerings are questionable to say the least. For example, there is absolutely no world in whicha $170 paperclipcan be worth the cost. Sure, its made out of sterling silver and is officially advertised as a money clip, but if you have so much cash that you can sink nearly $200 on a money clip, then you have too much cash for a money clip to hold. The high price tag is in keeping with the lines other outrageously priced products; the average cost of a purse runsinto the thousands.
Balenciaga is another designer that likes to take everyday products, throw their spin on them, and then sell them at ludicrous prices as if the most important thing is owning luxury brands of everything. In 2017 they debuted a $2,145 tote bag that looks suspiciously like the ones Ikea sells forjust a dollar.
While the Balenciaga version swapped out Ikeas recyclable plastic for leather, thats still quite a hefty markup considering how similar they look in practice. If you dont want to spend that much money on a tote bag, Balenciaga has you covered with thiscalfskin shopping bagwhich looks identical to a paper shopping bag. At just $1,100 youre getting a bargain as far as Balenciaga is concerned, but still paying way too much money.
Porsche is one of those names that makes people stop in their tracks. The name of the luxury car brand exudes indulgence and automotive superiority, but how much bang are you really getting for your buck? According to automotive journalistThomas BeyforAskMen, the 911 GT2, with a sticker price of $194,000, should instead come in at $129,900 if you look at what youre getting for your money. Thats still a pretty hefty price tag, but according to Bey, the GT2 doesnt offer enough under the hood to justify the higher figure.
Luxury vehicles are also more susceptible to being marked upto even higher pricesby car dealerships, which put a premium on imported cars that are in demand when first landing in the United States. This means that buying a Porsche might cost you evenmorethan the already inflated sticker price. Porsche is also starting to lose its reputation as a maker of flashy cars as theyincrease sales of their SUVs. While there might be a demand for luxury SUVs, an SUV conjures pictures of suburban family life rather than a fast and carefree lifestyle, which may cause some people to rethink forking money over for the brand.
Once upon a time, Versace wasthebrand to beat. Nothing screamed sophistication and class louder than clothes and accessories from this once-timeless brand. Of course, things have changed quite a bit since company founderGianni Versacelaunched his first clothing line in 1978. After his death in 1997, the company passed into the hands of his brother and sister, Santo and Donatella, and Donatellas daughter, Allegra.
Perhaps the first sign that things were going downhill for the Versace brand came in 2011 when the companylaunched a line for budget brand H&M. With prices starting from $19.95, the line was a far cry from the exclusive styles for which it was once known. Still, Versace may have been able to hold onto its reputation if it hadnt beenacquired by Michael Korsin 2018 for $2.12 billion. Considering that Michael Kors is another brand whose reputationhasnt been faring too well, Versace being acquired by the floundering business further diminishes the brands legacy.
Theres something shady about the sunglasses industry, and we arent just talking about the lenses. It doesnt matter if youre buying a designer pair or some cheap shades from the drugstore. In all likelihood, your sunglasses were made by the same company:Luxottica. Luxottica has a major monopoly on the sunglasses industry, with at leasthalf a billion peoplearound the world likely owning a pair made by the company. They also make frames for optical glasses, although they dont make prescription lenses.
Luxottica makes sunglasses for brands like Chanel, Polo, Tiffany, Coach, and Ray-Ban. While Luxottica wont reveal their exact markup, their designer shades can retail for an estimated 20 times what they actually cost to produce. Many of their cheaper glasses also look quite similar to the more expensive brands, making designer sunglasses quite the rip-off. All youre really paying for is the brands logo on the side of the frame, which most people probably wont see it anyway.
While Herms still retains its ironclad reputation as being one of the worlds most iconic fashion brands, this is still a line you might want to skip if youre looking to get good value for your money. Lets examine the Herms Birkin, a luxury purse that many consider to be the holy grail of handbags. Prospective buyers have to sign up for a two-year waiting list and fork over a five-figure sum before taking one of these home.
Is it worth the money?Former CEO Patrick ThomastoldFashionBeansthat the exorbitant price tag is because theres always one craftsman responsible for the whole process of the bag, from the start to the end. He explained, To create a single bag, it costs around 15 to 20 hours. Of course, with entry level prices starting at 10,000 (roughly $12,800) that means youre paying nearly $1,000 an hour to have that bag made.
The crippling cost of the Birkin may be part of the reason so many of them end up beingput up for collateral at pawn shops. Cost aside, even the person the bag is named for, model and singer Jane Birkin, doesnt want the bag to carry her name because of the cruel treatment endured by crocodiles that areslaughtered for the bags. Youre far better off spending your money on a brand that is kinder to animals, not to mention your wallet.
Theres no denying that SMEG appliances are gorgeous. The retro-style brand was founded in Italyin 1948, but has become more popular since the 1990s when it launched a line of 1950s-style refrigerators. Today, they have otherretro-inspired appliancesthat might look good in your kitchen but arent so great for your wallet.CNETpraised their C30GGRU oven for its sleek design and cherry-red finish, but marked it down for its general lack of usability. With the oven costing $3,199 in spite of not having much to offer aside from looks, its quite the overrated product.
Thats not the worst when it comes to SMEG, though. The brand paired up with Dolce & Gabbana to produce some beautifully designed appliances with astonishingly high price tags. ADolce Gabbana x SMEG electric tea kettlewill set you back a cool $650. Thats a lot of money for an appliance that only heats up water. ADolce Gabbana x SMEG blenderwill run you $850, whilea refrigerator from the linecosts a laughable $50,000 (plus $495 for shipping). No refrigerator is worth that much money, especially when it comes with less storage space than the average refrigerator model the SMEG is less than five feet tall.