Dollars & sense

growing up, i used to be think there was a conspiracy that i was so often drawn to the most expensive item within reach. a very impractical 6th sense. i liked to think that i was drawn to the quality. as an adult shopper, with more than accumulated babysitting earnings to splurge with, i have come to appreciate that a high price tag does not, for better or worse, guarantee quality, nor does it ensure satisfaction.
a friend recently complained about a $150 t-shirt she saw. with a cotton t-shirt, as with all things, factored into the mark-up is what a customer is willing to pay. the item with the greatest appeal carries with it the higher cost. while appeal is subjective, quality is not. yet i have seen great price disparities where quality is actually superior in the less expensive item. no question about it, production costs are a big factor, but i think so is the x factor that seems to create demand.

1. ?

2. ?

3. ?

is there any way to guess, among each pairing, which item would have the higher price, without knowing the store, the target customer, the brand or the quality?


martha said...

No, I would say that there is no way to guess... other than applying my own interest/preference for certain bags and assuming that is the more expensive one, which would go like this:

1. left
2. right
3. I'm not crazy about either, but... right

GenX Theorist said...

I could be totally wrong, but I'd say left, left, right?

GenX Theorist said...

Hold on....#2 could be right...hmmm...depends on if it's a copy or a 'real thing'.

Shoot, this is hard...

Iheartfashion said...

I like to think that by touching them and examining the stitching I could tell, but not in a photo. I've been fooled by photos of fakes on eBay, and didn't know until I saw the bag in person.

Anonymous said...

uh oh iheartfashion - does that mean you bought the fake? :( that's a bummer. you can never be too careful i guess.

let's see, this is fun, but i agree it's almost impossible, which is in a way a nice illustration of what the real elements of value are. i really like the pairs you made, btw. if i tried to intellectualize it, i would say that for 1. here are 2 bags that are very opposite, with different styles, materials and functions. i would bet the bag that goes out of its way to look so basic and rough costs more than the glitzy over-the-top bag. and that people who would buy that bag on the left, who want an exaggeratedly casual bag would pay extra for that effect, whereas formal clutch/evening bags are a dime-a-dozen and this one on the right is easy enough to achieve at every price point.

2. the one on the left references a chanel, whereas the one on the right seems more original (rare these days - unless i'm just missing the reference/inspiration for it. entirely possible). so i would say that the one on the right would be more expensive. the "inspired by" bag on the left can't cost so much that it would compete with the original, and the bag on the right is for people who want to be unique, and for that they might be willing to pay more.

3. weird effort to contrast flashy and casual in the 2 materials on the bag on the left, whereas the one on the right is more consistent/complimentary, despite also using 2 different types of material. the one on the right does the combo more successfully, so i would pick that one as more expensive.

La Belette Rouge said...

I am not reading other posts until I put in my guess. I don't want to bias my guess.
2. Left
3. Left

I am not a person who craves the bag of the moment. Just not my thing--and I have to say I wouldn't want any of these bags, no matter the price.

Gervy said...

I think all of the ones on the right are more expensive. But like La Belette Rouge, I don't want any of these bags.

You are very clever, ed.

Shar said...

I agree that none of these bags appeals to me (though I believe the ones in the right column are the more expensive) and I also don't go much for the bag of the moment. I have used the same Michael Kors bag for a year and a half and have no intention of changning it anytime soon. It is a larger bag of walnut color leather with a slouchy opening. I paid $220 for it new on ebay (it is real!) and I LOVE it just as much now as I did when I bought it...probably even more so. To each his/her own, but I would rather spend $1000-$6000 on a vacation.

editor said...

truth be told, i intentionally chose bags that were not on my radar, both to increase the likelihood that no one else would readily id them and therefore undermine the guessing aspect here, and also because i'm not setting out to promote any products with this blog, so it would have been counter-productive to use especially delicious bags.
unrelated, but unlike shar, who is very very wise, i would (idiotically, i've said it, so no else needs to ;p) spend the money on a purse before i would spend it on vacation (bad bad editor. bad editor). that said, i don't go for popular bags, etc., and until recently, had happily, make that blissfully, carried one purse for 4 years. i still have and use that bag, but i now i have one other purse for when i want to alternate, and i've always had a larger longchamp nylon tote for when i travel or am hauling extra stuff.

let's see, as for $$, it goes left, right, right.
i enjoyed all the observations and thoughts shared though.
the posters here always make me think. thanks.

landis smithers said...


i was going to say left right left.

i actually love 1. left

and i think there are two types of joy in this area. the joy of a truly great quality piece that you know you crave for that reason. and the joy of the killer "find" that cost you nothing, but keeps you engaged.

editor said...

landis you are making me feel like marching.
1. left is very similar to an hermes bag, but i guess both can be based on some type of feed or horse-related bag.

Candid Cool said...

the expensive one:
1. left
2. right
3. left

and a higher price certainly does not mean better quality, esp. when so many brands license. quality can find at all sorts of price points, it just make take more effort & time to find it at lower prices.

Candid Cool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.