10 Expensive Things That Look Cheap

By Paul Michael on 21 January 2015 0 comments

The intrepid Wise Bread reader can find a wealth of articles about how to find cheap things that look expensive. But what about the opposite? Want to know what to avoid, or just have a good laugh at how some people throw away their hard-earned money? Then read on for this list of 10 expensive things that look cheap.

1. Kanye West's $120 Plain White T-Shirt

That's not a pack of 10 t-shirts for $120. It's not a t-shirt personally worn and autographed by the singer who places himself on the highest of pedestals. It's just a plain white t-shirt that he launched in collaboration with the high-end brand A.P.C. From a distance, it looks like a cheap white t-shirt. Up close, it looks exactly the same. You will have to go to great lengths to tell people just how much you paid for it, if you can find one. Yes, they sold out almost immediately, proving some people do have way more money than sense.

2. Prada Camouflage Saffiano Tote — Just $2495!

One look at this monstrosity from Prada and you have to wonder what they were thinking. It's made of real leather, but looks like it's made of plastic. If it weren't for the Prada label, you'd have absolutely no idea it was made by a high-end purse maker, and the design is nothing special. What's worse is the camouflage pattern, which brings any sense of formality crashing to the ground. Once again, people with money to burn ensured this thing sold out. They are currently changing hands on eBay for $2,600. You'd be better off going to Wal-Mart and getting something for under $20; it might even look a lot better.

3. The $50,000 Diamond-Encrusted Bluetooth Headset

Say what you want about Bluetooth headsets (personally, I think they do a great job of making you look tacky), they are usually fairly inexpensive, and for the most part look discreet. Not so with the Plantronics Discovery 925 Diamond-Encrusted Headset, coming in at $50,000. It looks like one of those berets you get from a dollar store, and yet if you bought one you'd be constantly cradling it to make sure your investment hadn't fallen out of your ear. It's a complete waste of money for even someone obsessed with gold, like Donald Trump (and it looks as tacky as one of his gold toilets).

4. The Breitling Bentley Flying B Watch — $189,900

The problem with anything diamond-encrusted is that you can get the same effect using cheap glass and crystal, and plenty of people have done just that, spending only a few bucks on watches covered in sparkle. So when Breitling released a watch that looked like a $25 special from Kohl's, but asked for the same amount of money that newlyweds spend on their first home, you'd think it would have tanked. Well, they sold out, too. You can now find used ones for a steal, at just $66,450, but it will look like you spent a whole lot less. Keep the receipt if you want to convince people how much of a connoisseur you really are!

5. The $32,000 Moynat Bicycle and Trunk

Forgive me for being ignorant, but I know several brands of bicycle and I have never heard of Moynat. But perhaps it's only for those in the know, because this bike (single gear by the way) will set you back over $32,000. It does come with a nice little trunk, filled with picnic items, but at that price you won't have a lot leftover for food. And better still, the whole thing looks like a low-end bike you'd get at Target or Walmart.

6. The Swarovski $1500 Crystal Catflap

Perhaps you think this looks like a great way to spend $1,500, but this catflap looks like a Bedazzler project done by a fifth grader. It's studded with over 1,000 of the finest Swarovski crystals, but thankfully it doesn't ooze the kind of style that you're paying for. The fact that it's close to the floor, letting your cat (who couldn't care less) go in and out on the muddiest of days, is neither here nor there. If you want to show off (your bad spending habits), this is a great place to start.

7. Moonbeam, the $1,499 Rocking Horse

Imagine the look on your kid's face when you tell them you blew the entire Christmas and birthday budget for them for the next five years on a rocking horse. And not just any rocking horse, but one that looks like it was painted in a hurry by a kid younger than them. The blurb on the website waxes lyrical about handcrafted quality, and the "non-traditional" painted finish. I'm not one for being super traditional myself, but I do like the tradition of a rocking horse that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

8. Anthropologie's $98 Toilet Brush

If I was going to spend almost three figures on a toilet brush, I'd want it to be some kind of light saber, with sound effects and the power to melt away the nastiest of bathroom issues. The toilet brush from Anthropologie looks like something you find at the dollar store. It's handmade in Sweden, but if you want to impress your friends when they come over, leave the price tag on it. They may not realize you have a Swedish work of art to clean the bowl.

9. A Gold-Plated iPhone 6 for $7,300

You can buy imitation gold cases for around $20 on eBay. Not many people do though, because they look tacky and gaudy. Thankfully, if you want to prove to the world that you know real style, you can drop $7,300 on a case made of 24k gold. The big question here is… do you then need a case to protect your case? This doesn't seem to be an idea that's been thought through.

10. The $70,000 Pop Art Teddy Bear Piggy Bank

Clearly inspired by the work of Jeff Koons, this Asprey piggy bank will leave your actual bank account empty. At 16 inches high, and made from sterling silver, it's not small… but neither is the price tag. However, you may need to have your head examined after purchasing something that looks like it cost $10 from a thrift store.

Do you know of expensive gifts or products that look really cheap and tacky? Leave your best examples in the comments.

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