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    Don’t Waste Your Money on These 10 Luxury Brands

    By David Nadelle,

    25 days ago

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    The pandemic changed the spending habits of many Americans who were suddenly hit with significant hardships. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting economic fallout. However, while many businesses were forced to close up shop permanently and countless others are still recovering, the world’s biggest luxury brands not only survived, but thrived, during this turbulent period in time.

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    “2021 and 2022 were blockbuster years for the luxury industry,” says Lauren Sherman, fashion correspondent at Puck News. “The biggest years they’ve ever had — ever.”

    The lure of the luxury brand is a powerful one indeed, but for those not in a position to buy chic goods, the fleeting but intoxicating feeling of superiority can turn into resentment and guilty debt quickly. Some expensive products are works of art in themselves and some things are simply crafted better than others, but most ego brand goods have enormous price tags that far exceed what the average consumer is getting in return.

    Before you invest your hard-earned money, take the time to consider purchases that truly fit your lifestyle and budget rather than those that rely more on hype and name brand status. Here are 10 luxury brands you should avoid wasting money on.

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    Louis Vuitton

    Louis Vuitton — the LV in French luxury conglomerate LVMH — is the most valuable luxury brand in the world and one of the most profitable, according to Forbes. With profit margins above 30%, Louis Vuitton makes a wide selection of marked-up goods, but none more so than its overpriced bags, that are sought after by the glitterati and wannabes alike, but are more about status symbol than substance. Your bank account will thank you.

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    Bang & Olufsen

    Moving from high fashion to high-end consumer electronics, Bang & Olufsen, along with Bose, are known for streamlined audio products that look sleek, but unless you are an audiophile, the audio quality doesn’t justify the sky-high price tag. Before you shell out for a luxury label, do your research and make sure you’re actually getting your money’s worth for how often you’re going to use it, because there are plenty of more affordable alternatives out there that provide wonderful sound and as good a listening experience, every time out.

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    Rolex

    Before you shell out thousands of dollars on a Rolex, consider the true value you’re getting. While Rolex watches are undoubtedly well-crafted, the reality is that you’re paying a premium for the name and status symbol rather than superior quality or functionality. Now that smart phones have taken over and watch-wearers are few, you have to consider whether overpaying for a name is worth your while. In strictly practical terms, you can find comparable timepieces from lesser-known brands at a fraction of the cost. The best reason for buying Rolexes these day is as an investment.

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    Rolls Royce

    While some types of vehicles hold substantial value, most cars lose a large portion of their value the moment you drive them off the lot, and high-end luxury cars typically depreciate the most according to auto experts. When it comes to luxury vehicles, Rolls Royce is often touted as the pinnacle of opulence and prestige. For many, you’ve “made it” when you can afford a Rolls, but unless you’re getting driven daily to your private club, you would be wise to steer clear of Rolls Royce and invest their hard-earned money elsewhere. With automakers emphasizing luxury models now, you should be able to get a great high-end brand for significantly less money.

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    Hermès

    Luxury brands like Hermès are not always worth the hefty price tag…or the wait. As The List claims, there’s a two-year wait for its flagship product: the Hermès Birkin purse. While the craftsmanship and exclusivity may be appealing, consumers are often better off investing their money elsewhere. Many Hermès products can be replicated for a fraction of the cost, providing similar style and functionality without the inflated price. Before splurging on a Hermès handbag or accessory, carefully consider whether the brand’s reputation truly justifies the exorbitant price. In most cases, you’ll find better value and quality in more affordable alternatives that meet your needs just as effectively.

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    Tiffany & Co.

    Luxury brands like Tiffany & Co. may seem alluring, but the reality is you’re often paying a premium for the name rather than quality. Famous for its jewelry and diamonds, you might be paying way more for stones and settings that are more comparable to Costco than its rivals like Cartier, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.

    In 2017, it sent diamond expert Jacob Worth to New York, where Worth found that luxury retailers “all use ‘identical’ diamonds to those found in basic retailers – but with huge markups.”

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    Gucci

    Granted, talking about your financial goals won’t wow the cocktail crowd as much as showing up wearing the latest Gucci ready-to-wear line. But blowing hundreds or even thousands on a single Gucci item won’t offer as much lasting value to the typical American that starting a high yield savings account will. As the New York Times reported, gross margins for companies like Gucci are above 60% of total revenue, an astronomical percentage compared to less indulgent businesses.

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    Prada

    The List uses the example of a $170 “paperclip” (money clip) as a questionable and outrageously-priced product by Prada, saying, “If you have so much cash that you can sink nearly $200 on a money clip, then you have too much cash for a money clip to hold.” But the brand is notoriously overpriced throughout its product line and its reputation has taken a beating over the past few years. Since its 1990s heyday, the influential brand has even seen demand for its famous handbags plummet.

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    Chanel

    Another brands that is famous for its bags (and its fragrances, fashion and fine jewelry), which are made from the highest-grade material. Still, its iconic Chanel Classic flap bags are now retailing at more than $10,000, after the company raised prices this year. When it comes to Chanel eyewear or sunglasses, you’re often paying more for the brand name, although many Chanel frames are unique in design. Again, we are taking about an accessory that is supposed to be functional. Before dropping hundreds on a pair of Chanel frames, do some comparison shopping for frames that fit you, not your social followers.

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    Coach

    The U.S.-based upscale brand specializes on leather accessories, luggage and handbags in addition to a wide range of “ready-to-wear” clothing products. If your purchases are based solely on envious glances, you might want to consider Coach’s popularity, which has dropped because they are deemed too accessible to be regarded as exclusive, according to The List. Of course, Coach is attempting to address that issue by — you guessed it — becoming even more exclusive (a common luxury brand ploy). To do so it will reduce the number of its online flash sales and add pricier bags to its already expensive lineup.

    This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com : Don’t Waste Your Money on These 10 Luxury Brands

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