Over the weekend I came across an article on our sister site, The Big Money, that focused on luxury retailers trying to market their expensive merchandise as an investment to consumers.
Now that the middle class is evaporating at a rapid pace and even some well-off people are pinching pennies (or gold coins, I should say), it’s becoming difficult to get shoppers to walk into Hermès to buy a Birkin bag.
So with consumers no longer consuming, advertisers are finding themselves in a tough position: How do they get people to continue to splurge on luxury items?
So far, they’ve turned to "this will last you forever" slogans. “This season’s investment accessory of choice.” In other words, items typically marketed as trendy are now being passed off as timeless pieces.
I hope the fashionistas and fashionistos of the world don’t hate me for saying this, but the notion that spending a gang of money on a luxury bag or blouse is an investment that seems like something out of the short, yellow bus school of thought.
When I think of investments, I think of mutual funds, money market accounts, IRAs and home ownership (circa five years ago), not a Chanel suit or a pair of Kanye’s Louis Vuitton shoes (retailing from $800-$1,100).
Despite what they tell you, it’s highly unlikely that you will make a profit off your luxury goods should you resell them in the future.
I know the old adage “if you got it, flaunt it,” but until things boil over, how about those who still have loads of money (that they should look into donating my way – just saying) think along the lines “if you got it, save it for right now.”
There’s a reason why sites like cash4gold.com are cleaning up during this recession. It's easy to wind up in a funny financial situation, and the first thing to go is something you probably shouldn’t have purchased in the first place.
To quote a friend, “I have always wanted an LV wallet … but I would have no money to put inside it if I bought one.”
Until you have it, invest in some patience.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.