Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts: Scratching the Surface on How Much we Pay

Alright, I'm not sure about the rest of the beauty world out there-- maybe it's because I have a mom that loves finding a good bargain, maybe it's because I spend a lot of time wondering about odd things, but I often think about how much we pay for the things we love in relation to how much they are worth.
For example, if you really, really truly love something... a pair of sunglasses, a purse... maybe a Dior blush... how much would you be willing to pay for that? At what point do you go, "oh my gosh, that price is ridiculous there is no WAY I'm paying that!"
Via moneysmart
I think for me, it depends on a few things:
1) Originality of the product
2) Where it was made
3) How it was made
4) The material
5) The craftsmanship
6) The rarity
7) The nature of the product (purse, glasses, etc.)

There was an article (here) in the WSJ that discussed this in relation to designer sunglasses. I found it very interesting because the gist of it was that one major Italian company owns roughly 70% of sunglasses making-- including Ray-Bans, Chanel, Tiffany, Tory Burch, and Miu Miu. Does it bother me that all these are under one corporation? Not really, because I've come to expect it. MAC cosmetics is owned by Estee Lauder, Kiehl's is owned by L'oreal. All you can do is hope that they keep the individual spirits and goals of the company alive.
Sunglasses in particular are tough for me because I love them. I LOVE THEM. I am constantly looking at sunglasses, I just think they can make a look so much better. But it really does hurt me to see a price like $450 for a pair of Oliver People's sunglasses. Yes, of course I'm in love with the design, shape, and  style of them, but is the material any different than that of $150 Ray-Bans? Not really.
Then you get to things like purses. Swoon.
Via Brand-Land
Had to include a little O. Polermo because I love how she dresses (as does like the entire world). Here is a picture of her toting the famous Birkin Bag by Hermes. Look at the craftsmanship. Look at the gorgeousness. The bag designed for Jane Birkin to fashionably carry babies diapers and whatever else she would need (I remember reading this somewhere maybe that's an entire lie I dreamt?). It's gorgeous, traditional yet forward thinking... and $17,000. Let's take a deep breather there and look at that price one more time. Yes, not $1,700, it's $17,000. Of course, it depends on the color, make, and model. I'm not dissing Hermes. I love them to pieces and if I made enough money, and that weren't a huge chunk of income, I would buy it. As crazy as that sounds, if it fit in my budget, I probably would. But then I think, my gosh, that would be like dangling a KIA off my arm.
Via Glamour UK
I love Chiarra from The Blonde Salad, she's so Italian and listening to her speak just really makes me wish I could parlo piu rapido. Here she is holding a Celine bag. Another gorgeous bag that has become an "it" bag. At first, I didn't like it. I was just like, "what's with the wavy parts. I don't get it." And then one day I was like, "I get it. I get it, Celine."
This bag is around $3,700. And you know what? I kind of get that price. I get that it's made somewhere special, that the people who work on it probably put a lot of effort into the product and the materials are incredibly nice. So yes, I would save up money and buy that purse. 100% love Celine's designs, concept, originality, clean cut, high quality stuff.
I'm not saying this in an "us vs. them" way. I like both companies and both are obviously successful, and this is simply an example. It just makes you wonder how the products are made. Is what you're buying worth it? Is that McDonald's hamburger really good meat if it can cost 99 cents? What kind of working environment do the really high end companies have? How much do their employees make? How much do the raw materials cost? I want people to think about what they buy in a new way.

Am I the only one who thinks about this kind of stuff? Not in a nosy, exposé kind of a way but more of an, "I'm really intrigued by how these companies work and would genuinely love to see how they make their items in real life and not in a promo video."

How do I make this happen.

1 comment

  1. For me, I find sometimes the reverse is true. I'll pick up something at the Barney's sale, for example, that feels really luxurious, and then I'll see the original price was like $40 and I'll be like, "oh, well I guess I don't REALLY like it then." Whereas if the price had originally been $400, I would have snapped it up. More expensive prices affects my sense of appreciation for the piece in a way that's kind of unnatural.


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