Let me start by saying that you can spend your money on whatever you want.
If you have a lot of money, you can spend it on everything you want.
But here, now, I’m going to outline an argument I make to unlucky friends and acquaintances on a regular basis: Some things really just are not worth it.
These items are beautifully packaged and generally smell or feel great, which is how retailers are able to justify a $US50-plus price tag, and lifestyle bloggers can vow that they’re never without their $US35 Jo Malone travel candle.
I can’t help rolling my eyes when I see people buy:
1. Scented candles
No, that Jo Malone example above wasn’t randomly chosen.
For the examples used in this rant — er, article — I simply Googled “buy [product]” or went straight to a favourite destination (hi, Pottery Barn).
The candle in the below picture is an 11-ounce, $US60 scented candle from Tory Burch. That’s $US5.45 an ounce. Of wax. To set on fire.
I’d rather … wait for the inevitable scented candle gift from someone I don’t know all that well. There’s always the one. If you’re absolutely set on procuring your own candle, you can swing by Amazon, Overstock, or 100candles.com and shell out a still somewhat unreasonable $US10-$US15 in hopes that you’ll end up liking “raspberry pear.”
2. Picture frames
If the frame is actual silver and you’re giving it to your boss’ daughter for her wedding, I guess I get it. But $US99 for a 4×6 Williams Sonoma frame like the one in the below picture? No thanks — I can see photos on my (exorbitantly expensive) phone.
I’d rather … go to IKEA, for the cheapest picture frames I’ve found yet. You don’t even have to assemble them.
Mirrors are picture frames hopped up on viewers’ vanity. You could pay a few thousand dollars for the mirror of my dreams at Restoration Hardware, or an also-painful $US325 for the mirror in the picture above, from purveyor of fine goods Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
I’d rather … wait for a 25% off sale with free shipping, or take a trip over to Target’s delightfully priced homewares department.
I love baskets as much as anyone else. They’re everything a person needs: easy, multipurpose storage in neutral colours that go anywhere. That said, I’m not paying Pottery Barn $US79 for somewhere to put my semi-overpriced throws.
I’d rather … go to Michael’s, where I’ve found reasonably priced, reasonably charming baskets in the past.
How can you have an attractive coffee table or nightstand without a tray? Really though, trays are desperately fashionable and priced for their desirability. The one in the picture above is a double whammy: a tray/basket hybrid from Pottery Barn that costs $US69 to keep your unread magazines from falling on the floor.
I’d rather … stick around Target for another half an hour (ok, yes, hour — need to scope out the linens).
Pillows are out of control, and not in a movie-montage, pillow-fight way. If you hit someone in the face with a $US450 pillow from Barney’s, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if its owner retaliated with a $US1,600 tray. Don’t worry, it’s “wipe clean.”
I’d rather … wait for clearance or a major promotion. I know that’s not an ideal situation, as it requires patience (yuck), but decorative pillows that are regularly priced in the uncomfortable $US40-$US60 can go on sale for $US20-$US30 — which still seems like too much for something your dog may or may not destroy before you get home, but can at least be mentally justified. If you’re really set on that $US450 pillow, though, you might be out of luck.
If you’ve ever had decorative soap, you know it’s a dust-magnet that loses its adorable stamps and molds within the first three times you get it wet. Plus, it’s a dilemma for guests who don’t know if $US10 Crabtree and Evelyn soap (pictured above) is meant to be useful or decorative — because seriously, it can’t be both.
I’d rather … go to CVS and buy a six-month supply for $US5. Guests: It’s not decorative.
Have I ever caved, paid $US200 for a mirror, and then watched my own contemptuous eye roll in said mirror? You bet I have. That’s the problem right there, and I’m a part of it — these things only cost so much because we keep paying the prices.
I made the collage of overpriced products with the refreshingly free Polyvore.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.