When Is It Worth It To Splurge on Luxury Goods?


When is the best time to splurge on high-end goods? RelayRides blogger Eric Rosenberg shares when it is best to choose the deal, or to buy the top-shelf item.

Your TV died. Bummer. I’ve been there before. Whether it is a TV or anything else around the house, we always have a decision to make when shopping around. Do we buy the name brand for more money, or save by buying a discount or store brand and risk that it isn’t as good?

Electronics

Sony has long been a leader in televisions and components, and for good reason. Their products are always high quality and they stand behind them. However, there is a high price tag that comes in tow.

Consumer Reports maintains a list of TV brands and their specialties, but in my experience the highest price does not mean you will get the best quality. I have always done best by buying TVs from any major brand. Instead of focusing on price and brand alone, look at features. The best TVs to buy are the ones with the highest pixel count (currently 1080) and refresh rate.

Low quality TVs give you a lower quality picture and sound and are more prone to break. TVs also have a long lifespan, so the cost is spread out over many years. This is an area where, if you can afford it, I give a splurge thumbs up.

Clothes

Like the song goes, “…every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.” But wait, I don’t really care.

As a grownup, I don’t really care about what brand is on your shirt. I am not going to judge your worth as a human based on what brands you have visible on your wardrobe. Instead, focus on quality.

While I can find new jeans for hundreds of dollars (my record was just over $100 when abroad) and as low as $9 from discount retailers, the best value I have found is looking for high quality without the big name brand prices. At the Nordstrom Rack I have bought Lucky Brand jeans for about $30 on sale, and those are my favorite jeans I’ve ever owned. On the other side, I’ve bought name brand shirts from Lacoste that didn’t hold up at all for the premium price.

The verdict: Skip the name brand markup, but spend a little extra for high quality.

Purses and Bags

Louis Vuitton is one of the kings of luxury accessories. Bags with the famous LV logo can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. But is a bag worth as much as a car?

In my experience and from what I’ve learned from female friends, LV and other name brand bag makers do make much higher quality bags than some of the cheap knock offs, but like with most other items there is a middle ground.

Friends have told me that $200 Coach purses often hold up just as well as their $2000+ counterparts. Many less expensive bags do just as well, but when you get to the cheapest options, many are not as high quality.

Verdict: Shop around for a high quality bag, which might not be the cheapest option, but don’t spend as much as a car.

Cars

There is a difference in quality between a Yugo and a Toyota. There is a difference between a Geo and a Lexus. There is a difference between a Ford and a Ferrari. But the price difference can be huge too.

When buying a car, it is always a good idea to splurge for quality and safety. Buying a car without modern safety features can put you and your loved ones at risk, and buying a low quality car will come back to haunt you with expensive repairs down the road.

When you buy a car, it is worth the extra money to buy a quality brand. While we may all dream of Italian sports cars, few of us have any reason to spend that on a car. But we do have reason to find a quality new or pre-owned vehicle that will be both safe and reliable.

Your Car Can Pay For Itself

When you get your car, and want to think of ways to make paying for it easier, think outside the box for ideas to save money and earn more. With RelayRides, the average member makes $250 per month renting out their car. Put your car to work for you and you can get a better car for less!