Friday, April 24, 2009

If you are rich, you can get in on the hot bargains

"If you have to ask the price, you, can't afford it". --Attributed to J.P. Morgan, when asked about the cost of maintaining a yacht.
Welcome once again to another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. Today we have a story about the 2009 Luxury Living Expo where they seem to be having a bit of a fire sale. According to the Chicago Tribune, which is reporting on "Luxury expo stays upbeat despite hard times," they have the attitude of "economy be damned, the 2009 Luxury Living Expo is on this weekend, and the deals you'll find along Luxury Lane at the suburb's convention center are nothing short of...amazing?" Now, keep in mind, that the Luxury Living Expo is something that "caters to the sophisticated lifestyles and high expectations of the world’s most wealthy, discerning clientele" (from their website).

For starters, let's see who are some of the fine exhibitors at the event:

  • House of Windsor , interior design consultants. Because nothing says fine breeding and excellent taste than hiring a specialist "in fine European design for high-end residential homes" like House of Windsor. In other words, they are not coming to my shack anytime soon.
  • Playa de las Palmas, a fancy Costa Rican retirement and residential destination. In other words, the place to build your place away from home.
  • Of course, to get to Costa Rica, you may need a plane. Heaven forbid you fly commercial aircraft. So, not to worry, for Priester Aviation is here to provide all your charter plane needs. Remember that Priester "is an ideal means to get where you need to go in the luxury you deserve." And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Make note that giving up your private jet is for wusses. Hmm, by the way, I noticed Cessna was not on the exhibitor list. I wonder why.
  • And are you having an excess of Benjamins? Kind of short on things to light up with hundred dollar bills? Fear not, you can find excellent cigars from the Tesa Cigar Company.
  • At least, the rich still drink, or so seems to think City Beverage of Chicago, who is present at the expo. They may not be able to afford the private aircrafts, but it is good to know they can still drink a Budweiser like the rest of us. Take a look at their brands list. Not a single high end liquor in the bunch, but you can also find your malt liquor. If these rich people want their Dom Perignon, they have to go someplace else. Apparently, it is not for sale here. Personally, I am more of a Veuve Clicquot person when it comes to my champagne, but I don't see that brand represented here either.
And that was just a small sampling of the fine exhibitors you will find at the luxury expo. Now, you may be wondering what kind of deals can you get this weekend only. Well, wonder no more. Here are some hot deals, according to the Chicago Tribune:

  • "A diamond-encrusted platinum watch that would make Kanye West blush is marked down from $60,000 to $22,000."
  • "There's a gently-used, cherry red Ferrari for a mere $229,000."
  • "Leon Simons, New Jersey-based jewelry dealer, has Rolex and Versace watches going for the price of a Honda Civic, but they used to cost as much as a BMW." You got that? watches are no longer in the range of a BMW; they are just in the range of a Honda Civic. How the mighty have fallen. The humanity!
  • And if you don't like Priester Aviation's rates, maybe you prefer to rent your plane by the hour with Marquis Jet. According to the newspaper, "John McCormick of Marquis Jet can get customers a private jet for 25 hours for as low as $132,000." And Marquis even offers the Marquis Jet Card which can give you "access to thousands of airports in North America, Europe and beyond" (remember that trip to Costa Rica?), "Choice of up to 10 aircraft types," and "The option to exchange your jet for a smaller or larger cabin depending on your needs (subject to availability)." That first jet not big enough for you? They can get you a bigger one. Because "the last thing most people want to deal with is O'Hare, but that's what separates the haves from the havenots, even when it seems everyone has less." Heaven help you if you have to take a flight out of O'Hare. I know. I have flown out of O'Hare. It is a nightmare.
At the end of the day, some of the prices may seem absurd to us mere peons. But remember, this is geared to the high end consumer. Sure, it is the high end consumer who has to look for bargains in his luxury automotive needs, for instance, but high end nonetheless. You can tell the economy is bad alright when the rich have to go bargain shopping for their jewelry and private jet needs.

Oh well, there's always Big Lots for the rest of us.

No comments: