Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where do you draw the line?

Now, I have no problem with a bit of snobbery. I don't mind paying a little more for craftsmanship. I like noting little details that indicate an item was made with pride in a job well done: joins that are almost invisible, lines that are true, corners that are square, stitches that are even. I don't mind paying a little extra for an exotic material if it enhances functionality, or even if it is just pleasing to the eye without impeding functionality. But there are times even a gear snob like me gets thrown for a bit of a curve. Thursday's Style section in the local cat box liner had an article on "When luxury goods are worth it," and it led off with a Be&D python skin bag that was priced at... $1,930.00.

For a bag.

That you put stuff in.

They explained how carefully stitched the suede lining was, and even showed a picture of the interior of the handbag, which made it quite apparent that there were no gold bricks, freezer bags bulging with uncut cocaine, or bundles of Ben Franklins lurking in the bottom that might account for the price. Neither was the python skin currently attached to a live 28' albino retic, which would, again, go some way towards explaining the nosebleed sticker. Can you imagine putting a used hankie in that thing? Me neither. I'd wind up stuffing it in the trouser pocket of the nearest bystander and explain, "I'm sorry, I can't put snot in my $2,000 purse." I'm sure he'd understand.

Like I said earlier, I like to think I have an eye for nice stuff. I've shelled out serious change for bags or belts or shoes or whatever before. But... $1,930.00? I've got to hand it to them. It takes a lot to set off my "WTF?-o-Meter", and they've done it.


Anonymous said...


The problem is one of disposable cash flow and costs of an item.

When I was a poor college student, the thought of buying factory ammo was a foreign concept and would have been something only the rich did.

When I was starting out as a professional, the idea of owning more then a ruger mk1 and diamondback was something only the rich did.

When I got my first Registered Magnum, the idea of owning more then one, or one with the box and paperwork was something only the rich did.

When I got my first sig 210, the idea of owning several of them was something only the rich did.

When I got my 1st custom 1911, the idea that I would own several one of a kind 1911's was something that I would only do if I was rich.

Now as I look for a really nice Triplelock Target I realized that it is all relative. Dropping $2000 on a handgun now is not that big of a deal. It is in the range of petty cash flow. It is the $10,000+ guns that I would really think about.

I think the same goes for your bag. If you have the money and are debt free like me, who cares. Its not like you can take it with you and besides soon you will just give it to the government in taxes.

One other thought I have learned. No matter how big your bankroll. There are folks that have you beat by a factor of 10 to 100, so relatively speaking you are always poor.

OA said...

If it makes you feel any better, the people that buy it will probably default on their credit cards and the taxpayers will end up paying for it.

Arthur said...

"a Be&D python skin bag"

Maybe it was a typographical error and they left the "of Holding" off of the label?

Breda said...

I got my last purse at the thrift store for $4.

It's a small black messenger bag, designed by Liz Claiborne (the most designer-ish purse I've ever owned, actually) and it holds stuff.


Mykl said...

Yepperz - woodn't shell-out that for a bag.
Woodn't think twicet bowt drappin that on a good gun, thow!

tom-the-impaler said...

I always though women's bags were priced according to the number of additional interior dimensions available. I've thought this ever since my mom emptied her purse on the table and I thought "Wow, all that crap can't possibly fit in that small a space"

deadcenter said...

maybe the interior volume is greater than the outside dimensions allow given current physical law?

i might pay more that kind of quality.


Pretty Pistolera said...

I am with you on the snobbery... I have a little of it myself :) No thanks on this one. I don't have a problem with wearing an animal, but I just can't put a python on my shoulder... ick ick ick.

tom-the-impaler said...

"but I just can't put a python on my shoulder... ick ick ick."

Unless it's a Colt revolver in a python holster perhaps?

Brian J. said...

I second arthur's joke.

Brian J. said...

Also, please note that being the second to make a D&D joke makes one less geeky than the first to make it. Slightly.

phlegmfatale said...

Um, I lurves me some luxury goods, but part of lurving that stuff is knowing I got it for a steal. A girlfriend of mine (classical pianist) wore a vintage designer gown she bought at a thrift store for about $40 for her Carnegie Hall debut. When I worked at Steamin-Carcass(figure it out), at an employee sale I purchased a $2498 Chanel tote (in 1996) for $50. Carried it to school a few semesters and to Europe a couple times, banged it all over the place and generally treated it like a $50 bag. When I needed to run away from home earlier this year, I sold the damned thing-- looking to' up from the flo' up on ebay for $600. Yeah, I'm a label whore, and I'm not down with spending oodles on that fetish, but I'm mighty glad someone else is.

Timmeeee said...

$2000 for a python bag? Not bad, how about $22,680 for croc?

Bottega Veneta Crocodile Tote

Available at Neiman's.

Jeffro said...

"I'm sorry, I can't put snot in my $2,000 purse."

I don't care who ya are, that right there is funny.

Word verification: smuvat. Hrmm.

staghounds said...

Where can you buy a nice New Century Target for $2000?

I loves me the luxury goods also. Really the difference in cost between ordinary and much better isn't much.

But it has to be, as Col. Cooper would say, a tactical improvement. I can feel the difference between cheap sheets and good ones, and a cashmere sweater is warmer than ordinary wool.

The $2000 purse loses me.

But if I had one, I'd definitely put snot in it.

Steve Skubinna said...

I read about the world's most expensive burger a while ago. Chopped sirloin patty, duh, but then it had foi gras on it. Hmmmm. Well, okay, maybe some people would appreciate the flavor.

The detail that really tripped me up was that the bun, I believe, was dusted with real gold flakes. At that point the whole exercise became stupid - it wasn't to make a burger that was worth the money, it was to make a burger that made a special statement about the consumer.

The statement was "I am so frickin' stupid I put things in my mouth not because they taste good or are good for me, but because I want to turn gold into shit!"

Jenny said...

I think Steve has a point there.. the time comes when you've well passed the whole point of diminishing returns and are in the category of "just because I can."

But hey, I guess fancy pursemakers have to eat to.

Also, while I'll happily admit I totally don't get most fashion... it still looks kinda ugly to me. Oh well.

Oana said...

Ever seen "The Princess Diaries"? Well, probably not, but there's a line in there that I think of every time I read about one of these bags that (presumably) should come loaded with stacks of cash.

"These bags? You HAVE one of these bags? You know, we could hock that and feed a whole third world country!"

Y'know, if you want to spend $2,000 on a bag, that's great. Just make sure it's quality, and that you'll actually carry it for 10 years. Don't go out three months from now and buy a $500 or $5000 bag because the old one isn't "Hot".

Anonymous said...

Steve Skubinna: The statement was "I am so frickin' stupid I put things in my mouth not because they taste good or are good for me, but because I want to turn gold into shit!"

Well, in reality that would be 'mix gold with my shit'. Ok, I'm in a nitpicky mood.

That kind of stuff does make me angry, though. Maybe because I'm in the income group where I might actually be tempted to pan for that gold from their shit...

Tam said...

"That kind of stuff does make me angry, though. Maybe because I'm in the income group where I might actually be tempted to pan for that gold from their shit..."


Kristopher said...

I think a human skin purse might be cheaper ...

HerrBGone said...

My thing is to find things like this:

(1940's Breitling Doctor's Chronograph calibrated in pulsations)

at yard sales for $20-. (Yes, it’s real.) Of course that doesn't happen every weekend...

BTW: The chainmaille key chains were made by yours truly.

HerrBGone said...

Well, that didn’t work. Here’s the link in cut-n-past plain text.

Sorry ‘bout that, Chief…