15 Unreasonably Expensive Versions of Everyday Products
We'll stick to bargain shopping, thank you very much.
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For every simple, minimal product that we use all the time and probably don’t make an event out of buying, there’s a good chance there’s an extravagant, almost painfully costly version out there. Whether studded with gold or topped with caviar, these products will put a major dent in your funds if you’re not completely rolling in dough. Would you want these crazy expensive things even if you could afford them? That’s up to you. Plus, find out what happened when people stole these ridiculously expensive items.
Toothpaste certainly doesn’t seem like a very glamorous product. It’s something that you have to use every day for hygiene purposes, and you literally spit it out and wash it down the drain when you’re done using it. But you better believe there’s an absurdly expensive version that will make you wonder, “Why?” Specifically, Theodent 300. Before you really start shaking your fists, though, this product’s name is not indicative of its price; a tube costs $125, not $300. One of the reasons it’s so pricey is because of one of the ingredients, “Rennou,” a fluoride alternative that’s proprietary to the Theodent company. It’s supposed to strengthen enamel and is totally non-toxic, meaning you can swallow it without consequence. But, while this version is supposed to be the “extra-strength” version of Rennou-containing toothpaste, you can also get some for just $16.
Sure, vacuum cleaners are usually expensive, but this million-dollar, gold-plated vac, dropped in 2012 by retailer GoVacuum.com, is in a class of its own. Only 100 were made so it’s no longer available, but it was certainly a memorable venture, especially considering that its marketing campaign included a minute-and-a-half-long rap. “Gotta see it to believe it,” sings the ad, and, well, we agree. We’ve rounded up plenty of dependable vacuum cleaners that are notably not a million dollars; any of those might be better options if you’re in the market for a vacuum. Check out this Bissell cordless one for only a little over $200.
Ice cream sundae
You may think of Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs as “expensive” types of ice cream, but you could buy hundreds of grocery store cartfuls’ worth of those treats for the price of the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate sundae. This sundae, created by New York City’s famously luxurious restaurant Serendipity 3, costs a whopping $25,000. The frozen chocolate component of the dish is a blend of 28 different cocoas, 14 of which are some of the rarest, most expensive types in the world. The goblet it comes in is lined with edible gold—yes, that exists—and the whipped cream on top is dotted with some of the world’s most expensive chocolate truffle. You also get a gold spoon, worth $15,000, with which to eat it—that you get to keep afterwards! Not willing to splurge on this ice cream extravaganza? You can buy the primary (if least expensive) component, Serendipity’s famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate mix—for just $18. Not to mention, Serendipity recently started selling mini personal sundaes at retailers like Big Y and King’s Food Markets.
Sometimes it’s fun to splurge on a pair of shoes you really love, or for a special occasion. But think about the most expensive pair of shoes you’ve ever bought. They’re probably not that expensive in the greater scheme of shoe prices. For instance, take some of the shoes designed by Stuart Weitzman. He’s dreamed up some seriously pricey footwear specifically for celebrities to wear to award shows, but he’s also made some that actually go up for sale. And our favorite pair is this gorgeous pair of stilettos inspired by Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz ruby slippers. Bedecked with 642 separate rubies amounting to more than 120 carats, these shoes sold for 1.6 million dollars, from London’s famously expensive store Harrods, in 2003. Weitzman actually does make shoes that go for under a million dollars, though; this pair, for instance, costs a cool $398. Or you could just buy this comparable-looking pair for $30. Do you know which 15 cities are the most expensive in the United States?
If you’re someone who likes to go big or go home with your footwear, you’ll sadly have to mourn the ending of the ten-pair promo of $1,188 socks that the knitwear brand Falke held in 2014. Made of fabric from the hair of the Peruvian vicuña, an animal you’ve probably never even heard of, these were pretty much the ultimate cozy socks. But we’re certainly not too bummed we missed the opportunity to buy them—why spend over a grand on one of the things you can get on Amazon for less than a dollar? You’ll feel cozier knowing how little you spent on these adorable, cozy cat socks. They’re way cuter anyway!
It’s no secret that rare books are expensive, but some people have spent some seriously eye-popping amounts of money on books—and books that they may not even read, at that, because they’re old, fragile, and sometimes even written in outdated languages like Middle English. One such example is the Gutenberg Bible, the first version of the Bible to be printed on a printing press. There are only 48 copies of the original batch, from the mid–1450s. One of them, purchased for $5.4 million by the director of a Japanese book-selling company, was the most expensive book of all time at the time of its purchase in 1987. Of course, though, this is not a regular, functional version of an everyday object like some of these other expensive products; it’s more of a rare, collectible treasure. And if that’s what you’re looking for, you can actually get a facsimile on Amazon for only $91! Check out what else made the list of the most expensive books ever.
Ever wanted to toss around a 300-dollar Frisbee? Well, at one point, you could. It’s unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) been discontinued, but retailer Zontik did used to offer a leather version of what’s usually just a round slab of plastic. This flashy Frisbee was also equipped with “felt lining for finger comfort.” Seriously! It’s anyone’s guess why the product was discontinued—but maybe the seeming silliness of spending $305 on a Frisbee had something to do with it. Especially because you can get one for $5.50. Keep an eye out for these 16 things that are about to get way more expensive.
In late 2008, the men’s luxury brand Billionaire Couture debuted an umbrella, made with crocodile skin, that was worth $50,000. Considering that all an umbrella needs to do is keep water off of you and be sturdy enough not to be blown inside out, spending what might be a year’s salary on one seems…impractical. Maybe opt for this cute, durable umbrella with a cute crocodile design and a price tag of $33 instead. Get a look at the most expensive things you can buy at Costco.
Happy hour, this is not. In 2010, Australian brewery Nail Ale produced a limited batch of beer from water straight from an Antarctic iceberg. The batch contained only 30 bottles, and brewer John Stallwood auctioned them off to benefit the ocean conservation organization Sea Shepherd. The second bottle sold for a whopping $1,850; a Sydney doctor named Anthony Durrell was the buyer. This was more than double the price of the previous record-holder for the most expensive beer. Here’s hoping it was good!
You can get a pen—yes, a pen, which you can snag from a hotel room or get for free at many conventions and events—that costs $1,265 from Tiffany & Co. This fountain pen is made of sterling silver and brass, with an 18-karat gold “nib”…whatever that means. Meanwhile, on Amazon, you can get a box of 60 pens for five dollars. And you thought that pen was crazy? Hilariously, Tiffany & Co. has an entire section called “Everyday Objects,” where you can get glamorous, massively expensive versions of common household items, like a sterling silver paper clip bookmark, a sterling silver “tin” can, and a sterling silver ball of “yarn,” the latter of which is more than nine thousand dollars.
Foods, especially basic foods, provide great opportunities for pioneering chefs to put their own twists on them and dress them up. And that’s how we got this 169-dollar hot dog sold by a Seattle food truck. With a 2014 debut, this Japanese-inspired dog is topped with caviar, Teriyaki onions, foie gras, and shaved truffles, to name just a few things. And it is a full foot-long dog, so you’re getting your money’s worth in that respect, we guess? We can’t really knock this one because we’ve never tasted it—it could be so magically good that we’d happily hand over that much money for it. (It does sound pretty tasty, to be honest.) Curious about exactly why truffles are so expensive? Find out.
There are all sorts of fun, luxurious hand-made soaps out there, from ones made with nurturing ingredients like olive oil to ones formed into fun shapes. They’re easy to find at street markets or craft fairs. But a $2,800 bar of soap is a little more challenging to come by. This bar still contains olive oil—but its primary ingredient is gold dust. It also contains powdered diamonds, which the Lebanese manufacturers claim are actually not rough on the skin. It was originally made in 2014 as a gift for the First Lady of Qatar, and eventually went on sale in Qatar’s Al-Saboun City Center.
Now, a pillow is something that we can definitely justify spending a bit more money on—a good night’s sleep, after all, is pretty priceless! But a 57-thousand-dollar pillow seems…a little excessive. For this “Gold Edition” pillow from Van der Hilst, purchasers need to undergo a scan of their head and neck, and then the pillow is 3D-printed—seriously—to match their specific contours. Oh yeah, and it has a cover made out of 24-karat gold fabric and a massive sapphire embedded in the zipper. Pretty extravagant for something you only use while sleeping. This $24 two-pack of microfiber quilted pillows is a little more our speed. Here’s a reason to get up off that pillow early—did you know there are some things that are cheaper before noon?
And you thought Yankee Candles were expensive! Just like it seems weird to have absurdly expensive toothpaste, which is just going to get spit into a sink, it also seems odd to have a ridiculously expensive candle that’s just going to burn away into nothing. But when you learn that the most expensive candle ever was designed to celebrate a British royal milestone, it makes a bit more sense. A candle costing 750 British pounds—approximately 968 U.S. dollars—was designed by the British candle company Owen Drew to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Its smell was supposed to evoke the aromas of the various flowers and scents being used at the wedding, including the Duchess of Sussex’s favorite flower, the peony. But they were a very limited edition, with only 12 available. But for a much more reasonable $44, you can buy one of the candles that the Duchess herself burned before her wedding. This just goes to show that there are some surprisingly frugal habits of the royal family.
And you thought you’d seen everything. Yes, you can buy a 17-thousand-dollar pacifier, made of 14-carat white gold and garnished with 278 diamonds. You can also personalize it with your little bundle of joy’s name, birthday, and/or birth weight. Perhaps the best thing about this pricey pacifier is that it’s for sale on the site aBaby, whose tagline insists that it’s “the smart choice for proud parents.” Are you…sure about that? Maybe buy this $6 pacifier instead—will baby really know the difference?!—and save that dough for your kid’s college fund. Next, see if you can guess which of these very similar items is reasonably priced—and which is crazy expensive.