A Great Debate

Is a house worth £500,000? Is a pair of shoes worth £450? Is a bag worth £2000? Is a car worth £100,000? Big questions with no small answer and questions we are constantly faced with. Is the answer a straightforward no? Sometimes I think so, but it does go a little deeper than that. Its more about value for money. A car is a very clever piece of engineering, where highly trained people work together to build it logically and with care. A house can become a home and be passed on through generations creating unforgettable memories. A pair of shoes and a luxury leather bag are carefully crafted by hand by crafts men and women to create a highly desirable product to be worn and adored by the wearer and admirers. If something is within your reach, then these are questions you would ask yourself. And then, it can go deeper. A car, worth £100,000 is not a Vauxhall, its a limited edition Porsche. The house, is not in a barren poverty-stricken suburb, its by the ocean, with its own beach. The shoes are not New Look, they’re Louboutin. The bag is not Marks and Spencer, its Chanel. Are these names and locations what we’re paying for, the aspirations portrayed to us through advertising that we’re persuaded by? There is only one answer here. Yes. Most definitely. If you’re clever enough not to fall for advertising and branding, which I doubt there are many, then you won’t ever fall into this category of being ‘a marketing mans dream’ (like my dad always called me) Is a bag a practical item or is it a status symbol? Is a house a gesture of wealth or is it a big home to fill with family? My conclusion is that anything we desire is for our own subjective choices. Whether I think buying a Porsche for £100,000 is obscene is really beside the point – I don’t know how much the owner has dreamt of this car, how they’ve analysed every single model of Porsche ever to have been produced, knowing it inside out, how their bedroom walls were plastered with Porsche pictures ripped out of magazines. Building up this dream and ideal over 10 years eventually ends up in a lucky purchase, sending everyone else in a spin as to how much they’ve ‘invested’ in this piece of metal. On the flip side, someone may have had eight siblings and living space was not a luxury, so they make the choice to live in a house with five bedrooms and no children. Its emotional, its personal, its subjective. A dream can become a reality and only you can make it happen and only you can justify to yourself the reason a material ‘thing’ can mean so much to you.

2 thoughts on “A Great Debate

  1. Nice article. Value/worth is very subjective, and always has been, how much someone is prepared to pay and how much they want something. With advertising creating desirability of a brand it’s becoming easier and easier for us to justify to ourselves the prices we pay for handbags, shoes, cars, etc. My own desire for something diminishes in direct relation to its increasing cost. However, I love my Chanel handbag and justified its price by telling my husband that if he’d bought me one sooner it would have cost him less money! It must be a status symbol because it sure ain’t practical, or maybe Mme Chanel had no need to carry a purse, phone, car keys, sunglasses, reading glasses – I could go on!

    I always think that at least with jewellery there is some residual value in the metal/gemstones, especially vintage or antique, and jewellers like us buy back. I can’t imagine any of the boutiques I shop with buying their clothes back from me in a few years.

    Elaine x

    PS. Please tell me that a house with an ocean view and its own beach for £500K is a figment of your imagination, if not, please forward estate agent’s details asap! 🙂

  2. What a thought provoking post Victoria. And it’s funny that I baulk at paying a lot for some things and not for others. I might pay £500 for a bag – but a special one that I’d use non stop that would be more beautiful as it aged – but I wouldn’t pay £1000. My house is a home first, not a show piece. Probably my biggest indulgence was my watch, a Cartier that I about 20 years ago. I saved up to pay for it and yes at the time it was probably a status symbol but it’s much more than that now. It still gives me a thrill and I wear it everyday. It means a lot because it also reminds me of a good time in my life. I do believe in paying for quality and craftsmanship but not just for a label.

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