My post about dicussing prices and costs caused a discussion that I found very interesting. I want to thank those who shared their opinions in the comments! I’ve thought a lot about the subject, and remembered a dinner I was at a couple of years ago.
I can’t remember exactly what the main dish was, other than that it was some sort of meat with potatoes. But I do remember that it was very “special” – at least according to the hosts. As we were eating, they wouldn’t stop talking about how they went to this special meat store downtown, and not the usual grocery store. There they had gotten the “day’s special”. And since they go there pretty often to buy premium meat, they got a special price. But that doesn’t mean that it was cheap, far from it. The hosts said that of course meat like this costs a lot, but they think it’s worth it. They said that it’s better to buy a little less of something really good at a specialized store than a lot of what you’ll get at the grocery store. The potatoes were also top class – fresh, organic and local.
As the evening went on they started pointing out different things in their apartment and applied the same philosophy on them. I learned that their plates and cutlery were really expensive (the cutlery was pure silver!), but that it felt good to have something that not everyone else also has. They talked about how exclusive the chairs we were sitting on were, how influential the designer was and how often she appeared in different lifestyle magazines.
I’m not against luxury goods or of the opinion that a cheap fork is just as good as an expensive one. It’s essential for the free market that companies can differentiate their products and services by their own unique mix of quality and price, among other elements. Often I’m happy with something mass-produced and less expensive, but sometimes I prefer to have the luxury option, which performs the same job but gives me that “special” feeling that the host couple was talking about.
I just don’t like to talking about it too much.