Originally Posted by lovetheduns
I don't disagree.
Americans love to consume, but they are very flippant about what they will consume with actual higher quality equaling higher costs.
I went to a department store the other day--not as nice as Neiman Marcus but not rock bottom either. I was looking for shoes. EVERY single womens shoe I picked up was Made in China. Didn't matter if it was on clearance for 11.95 or if it cost 109.95. The leather in the 109.95 may have been somewhat nicer but it was all made in china.
On the other hand when I was last in France (I travel quite a bit to Dublin and Paris for work), it was VERY difficult to find a shoe NOT made in France, Italy or Spain. The quality and workmanship was VERY different, but the price was also higher than 109.95 (think twice as much for a cheaper shoe on sale).
I told this to my coworkers and they were all saying-- that they may only have a few pair of dress shoes that they expect to be used for work on a day to day basis-- if they want a "fun" shoe they may pay a cheap price for a piece of crap to wear the few times out to a night club but in general they are not so consumed with buying A LOT of shoes-- the preference would be to buy a very high quality shoe and have fewer pairs. Same with clothing, etc.
One of my coworkers still carried a Hermes leather purse that was almost 30 years old that her mother used to carry. It was a very pricey bag when her mother bought it (heck they still are!), and her mother gifted it to her when she got her first professional job. The bag is classic and looks timeless. I think about my own relatives who would much prefer to go and buy cheap leather or manmade materials bags for each season versus having one exquisite expensive bag to last far longer.
We want it all-- but at WalMart prices.
I noticed I stop doing this awhile back. I look for the highest quality items I can buy and reasonably afford and I do not spend or waste money on the cheaper throwaway crap.
I'd rather have nicer things that last longer myself. I envy the Europeans and Asians for not compiling piles and piles of cheap crap that doesn't hold up well like Americans do. I also collect American Girl dolls, the cost of which people complain about. But American Girl dolls are very high quality, and the cost justifies the expense in their case, since many girls keep them forever, or are able to sell them off for a profit when they become teens. Some argue its not fair that American Girl dolls cost so much. Well, if people were not so preoccupied with buying cheap crap toys from the clearance aisle at Wal-Mart, maybe you could buy your child quality toys and they would actually take care of them.
I have been unemployed in the past. I buy all my clothes from Macy's or similar shops--not Target or Wal-Mart. The entire 6 months I was not able to find work, I did not have to buy a single article of clothing. My stuff held up that whole time. In fact, aside from occasional forays into the mall, I don't have to replace my clothes that much. I replace my Chloe, Burberry and Louis Vuitton handbags even less. Everyone I know who buys cheap stuff ends up in the discount store buying more on a regular basis, like clockwork. For them, 6 months unemployment means half the wardrobe goes up in smoke because the clothes cannot handle regular use, and the handbag falls apart like clockwork.
I've noticed that, long term, I spend less; my stuff holds up better. I don't need to replace the clothes or the handbags, so I don't.