America’s rich like to spend money. In fact, the top 10% are responsible for half of all consumer spending in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. And this holiday season, they are projected to spend even more than usual.
Of course, the wealthy do not do their holiday shopping at Walmart. Instead, they buy luxury items through specialty shops that the average American doesn’t even know exist. 24/7 Wall St. looked at some of the most expensive holiday gifts the wealthy buy one another.
According to the American Affluence Research Center, the rich will increase their spending this holiday season even more than they usually do. They will spend $23.5 billion on holiday gifts, an increase of 2.3% compared to last year. Spending among the average consumer, on the other hand, is expected to decrease.
The rich do not spend their money at the same places as the average consumers. Luxury gifts do not come from Target. They are purchased directly from top tier companies and are often available only in select cities. A Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega Grande Complications watch, for instance, is available only by special-order and only in New York or Geneva. Similarly, many high-end collections from designers such as Stefano Ricci are only available in a small number of stores in major cities, such as New York and Beverly Hills. This is doubly the case for airplanes, yachts and luxury automobiles.
One reason luxurious goods are so expensive is because they are less common. Only a few hundred luxurious sports cars, for example, are made for many models. Many of the finest cigars, wines and scotches are also produced in limited quantities. This rarity shortens supply, drives demand and ensures that the products are available only to a certain class of people.
To compile this list of the eleven holiday gifts Americans cannot afford, 24/7 Wall St. looked through the recommendations of Robb Report magazine, the self-ascribed “definitive authority on connoisseurship for ultra-affluent consumers,” and chose one of the most expensive items in eleven categories. We then looked at what it is that makes each item luxurious.