How much would you pay for a toothbrush? A board game? An ice cube? Chances are, not very much — and you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for any of these things.
But some retailers and brands have put a “luxury” spin on everyday products, charging exorbitant prices for items that you could get for much, much less. From $275 pencils to $4,499 baby strollers, here are 33 things that should not be as expensive as they are.
Cereal has long been a pantry staple. As far as breakfast goes, not much else is cheaper or easier. But General Mills decided to see if it could boost cereal sales by removing the “cheap” part from the equation, releasing a cereal that retails for as much as $30 a box. Its Morning Summit cereal is aimed at the health-conscious consumer and is made from premium ingredients that include almonds, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries and dried cranberries. You could get this at a comparative steal for $15 at Costco. Or, you could skip the “healthy” cereal and buy a box of Honey Nut Cheerios for less than $3.
Ice Cubes: $325
Apparently, even ice can be luxurious. Gläce Luxury Ice is “the world’s leading premium drink-ice brand” known for its “zero-taste” ice. According to the Gläce Luxury Ice website, “traditional machine-ice, generally made with local tap water, may contain upwards of 150 impurities and carcinogens, resulting in poor-tasting and potentially unhealthy ice. In contrast, Gläce Ice is an engineered product protected in a resealable package, ensuring a sanitary chain of custody from origin to enjoyment.”
A case of 50 of its premium ice cubes sells for $325 — but you can forgo that and make ice cubes at home for free.
You can spend $4 for a 24-pack of No. 2 pencils — or you can spend $275 for one of the Graf Von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencils. The pricey writing instrument features an integrated sharpener and a replaceable eraser under the cap.
You could buy 33 tubes of Crest toothpaste for the same price as one tube of Theodent 300 toothpaste. The clinical-strength, fluoride-free “luxury toothpaste” is made from a component of cacao and promises that its “activity can be felt after your very first brush.”
Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede luxury candle retails for $525 and boasts a burn time of 220 hours. So, if you break it down, you’re paying $2.39 per hour of fragrance.
You can literally flush money down the toilet by purchasing the Neorest 750H Dual Flush Toilet, which costs nearly $17,000. It does come with some fancy bells and whistles that almost justify the insane price tag, however: It’s self-cleaning and also features a heated seat, deodorizer and warm water sprays.
Litter Box: $549
A $549 litter box seems like a steal compared to a $17,000 human toilet — but it’s still a very expensive litter box. The Litter-Robot 3 Connect is a Wi-Fi enabled, self-cleaning litter box that allows you to monitor your cat’s litter box via an iPhone app.
If you think Starbucks is overpriced, you’re in for a jolt. Kopi luwak coffee might be the most expensive coffee you can get — and it’s made from animal droppings, specifically those of the civet. A standard-sized bag (16 ounces) of this nontraditional coffee will set you back $399.
Board Game: $3,912
You can buy a traditional Scrabble set for less than $20 or you could buy a leather-inlaid Scrabble set for $3,912. The customizable set by Geoffrey Parker features leather detailing, silver or gold embossing, leather-bound letter racks and bridle-hide letters.
Buying La Mer is probably the closest you can get to spreading money all over your face. The brand’s signature Moisturizing Soft Cream — made with its patented Miracle Broth — costs $570 for a 3.4-ounce jar.
Stationary Bike: $1,445
The Peloton is more a status symbol than a piece of exercise equipment at this point, with a retail price of $1,445 for its “basic package” that includes the bike itself and delivery. It does not, however, include access to the classes — you need to pay an extra $44 a month for that.
Laundry Detergent: $45
What does $45 laundry detergent smell like? According to Le Lebo, “notes of cardamom, iris, violet, sandalwood, papyrus, cedar, and leather.” Expensive!
Bottle Opener: $45
This bottle opener might be too chic to use to crack open a Bud Light. The RBT bottle opener features a sleek black and gold hexagonal design and a wide base for ease of opening your favorite bottle cap-topped limited edition craft beer.
If you spring for a bottle of the Macallan Master Decanter Series M whiskey, you’d better savor every sip. This single malt whiskey, which was aged for up to 73 years, sells for $11,999.99.
Espresso Machine: $2,800
The Breville Oracle Touch costs over 100 times what a standard 12-cup coffeemaker costs, though it’s also about 100 times fancier. The fully automated espresso machine can make custom espressos, long blacks, lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos with adjustable coffee strength, milk texture and temperature to suit your tastes.
For $13, you can get a Gillette ProGlide razor with two blade refills; for $100,000 you can get the Zafirro Iridium razor, which boasts that it was designed by experts in the fields of rocket engine manufacturing, nanotechnology and particle physics. It’s the first razor to be made with sapphire blades, and it also features a handle centerpiece made from 99.95% pure iridium and platinum hexagonal screws.
A good blender isn’t cheap — it can set you back around $100. But at $649.95, the cost of a Vitamix Ascent Series A3500 seems a little extreme. What do you get for the cost? Five program settings — for smoothies, hot soups, dips and spreads, frozen desserts and self-cleaning — that automatically adjust to the container size you’ve selected and your recipe, and stop the blender when complete, which does sound pretty cool. Or, you can just click “blend” on a standard blender and keep an eye on your mixture until it looks ready.
Hand Soap: $40
You’ve probably seen Aesop’s signature hand soap bottles in plenty of photos of bathrooms on Pinterest and Instagram, but you might not know how much this photo-worthy bathroom staple costs — $40 for a single bottle.
It’s true that a cast-iron skillet is a kitchen staple, but you can get a highly rated one from Target for just $23. Meanwhile, the Le Creuset version will set you back $220.
Getting a good night’s sleep is said to be priceless, but the cost of this flat sheet might challenge that. The SFERRA Giza 45 Seta flat sheet is “crafted with the world’s finest and rarest Egyptian cotton” and retails for $1,915 for a king-size sheet. That’s just for the flat sheet — if you add a king-size fitted sheet, that’s an extra $1,834, and it’s an extra $550 for two standard-size pillowcase.
Bath Towel: $275
While it’s nice to have a soft bath towel, for the most part, a towel is something you use quickly to dry off before getting ready for the rest of the day. But if you have money to blow, you can spend $275 on the Abyss Oxford bath sheet, which is made from 100% extra-long-staple Egyptian cotton.
Most fine fragrances are expensive, but Chanel’s N°5 Parfum Grand Extrait is on another level with a price tag of $3,500 for 7.6 fluid ounces. What makes this perfume so pricey is actually the bottle, which is hand-sealed by baudruchage, a process that involves covering the neck of the bottle with a fine membrane, which is held in place by a strand of pearl-cotton thread and then sealed with a wax stamp.
Mason Pearson is the creme de la creme of brush brands, and with a sticker price of $275, you’d hope that it could magically style your hair for you. Alas, it’s just a very expensive hairbrush made from boar bristles and nylon tufts, though it does claim to smooth and sleek hair better than other brushes.
You can now pay $685 to buy brand new sneakers that look like they’ve been worn for years. Golden Goose’s sneakers are known for their “vintage finish,” which means they’re complete with scuff marks and dirty soles.
You can still buy a toothbrush for under $1 these days, or you could spend $379.96 for a Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 Series toothbrush. The toothbrush uses sensors to “perfect your technique” and comes with five different modes and three different intensities.
Slipsilk silk pillowcases are actually a steal compared to the SFERRA Giza 45 pillowcases, but they’ll still set you back $220 for a pair of king-size pillowcases. Meanwhile, you can find comparable pillowcases on Amazon for less than $60.
Speaking of expensive bedding, Stearns & Foster’s Lux Estate Cassatt 16-Inch Luxury Ultra Plush Euro Pillow Top Mattress might just be one of the priciest mattresses on the market, with a retail price of $3,599 for a king. The mattress features Indulge HD Memory Foam, a high-density innerspring design, a top layer of moisture-wicking fibers and an AirVent system.
Chef’s Knife: $250
There’s no doubt that a chef’s knife is a kitchen necessity for novice and advanced home cooks alike. That being said you don’t need to spend $250 for a good one, which is how much The Shun Premier 8-inch Chef’s Knife retails for.
Some people are very serious about their grilling, but not everyone is — or should be — willing to pay nearly $3,000 for a barbecue. The Kamado Joe Pro Joe 24-Inch Ceramic Kamado Grill promises to “infuse rich, smoky flavor to just about any food” for a price tag of $2,999.
Throw Blanket: $250
There’s nothing quite like wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket on a cool day — but if you want that blanket to be the Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Covered in Prayer throw, that will cost you $250. On the plus side, Barefoot Dreams is giving a percentage of the proceeds from sales of this blanket to The Wunder Project, a charity that benefits the doctors and researchers developing a cure for colon cancer.
It’s unclear why one would need an entire wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese at their home, but if you do, that will set you back $2,999.95, courtesy of Williams Sonoma.
It would take an incredibly distinguished palate to justify spending $30,000 on a single bottle of wine — the cost for a 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend.
Baby care items are a huge business, and some items are just unnecessarily overpriced. Take, for example, the Silver Cross Balmoral Hand-Crafted Pram Stroller, which sells for $4,499. The handmade stroller features a chrome chassis, hand-stitched fabrics and hand-painted detailing.
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Prices listed are the full retail price and are accurate as of Feb. 28, 2023.
Photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the images may not reflect the products listed in this article.
Laura Beck contributed to the reporting of this article.