Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Expensive Things I Will NOT be Buying

You know the old saying, "Good things aren't cheap, cheap things aren't good"? I'm not saying I think it is 100% true, but sometimes I think you do get what you pay for and I'm all for spending money on things that are worth it. But certain things really aren't worth it, as far as I'm concerned.
Often they are "status symbol" kinds of things. For a while, Burberry items were my pet peeve, because they are so ridiculously expensive and instantly recognizable. Their stuff may be very good in terms of quality, but their prices are still often way out of line even in relation to other high-end brands. For instance, these $300 pajamas. Are they really so much better than any other pajamas? Yes, they have that distinctive plaid, but they are still just pajamas! And what good are they as a status symbol if you can't wear them to your Junior League meetings? Of course it could be that the pajamas are at a premium because they are the last remaining Burberry item that isn't yet available as a cheapo counterfeit version on Canal Street!



Then there are items that are sheer folly. Why would anyone spend $245 on MBT shoes when they could write the words "I am a moron with money to burn" on their forehead for no more than the price of a Sharpie marker?
In case you are not familiar with the purported benefits of this attractive footwear, the concept is that the Masai people of Africa don't have cellulite because they walk barefoot over uneven surfaces, and that by replicating the effect of that rocky terrain, these shoes will make your cellulite melt away. Ohhh-kaaay! Forget status symbols, these are a stupidity symbol.

One final jaw-dropping example of this year's gift for the person who has everything:
Despite my complete willingness to pay $400 for a pair of Gucci shoes, I will not be buying the $70 Gucci Ice Cube Trays. It's not that I don't understand the appeal of fun ice cubes. In fact, I bought a similar set of ice cube trays at a shop in my neighborhood, and I got all 26 letters of the alphabet for $69 less. Even if I wanted an equal number of Gs, I could have done it for only $20... though I might have had trouble getting all the trays into my freezer at once.

33 comments:

Seattle Simplicity said...

Hilarious! This is a great post. I wonder how many hollywood celebrities wil be getting Gucci ice cube trays in their stockings this Christmas? I just discovered your blog and I love it. I've added you to my links on Seattle Simplicity. Keep up the great posts!

ncnblog said...

if you ever see me pay 70 bucks for ice cube trays, do one of two things...first, laugh out loud at me, and second, shoot me. I give you permission to shoot me, dead on, if you ever see me with 70 dollar ice trays. Heck, if you see me with 20 dollar ice trays, you can whack me in the back with a stick...
some people have more money than they deserve...
love the post,
keep it up,
ncnblog.com

Anonymous said...

You just don't know a good value when you see it, do you? ;)

Cap said...

I'll take the semi-hot lady in the $300 pajamas.

just kidding.

You know, I've never heard of Neiman Marcus before. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

The ice cube trays are ridiculous. The pajamas are not worth it. But the MBT shoes actually work, and allow the wearer to walk farther with less fatigue.

Anonymous said...

The shoes are really retarded! Who would want to buy dork-shoes?! I think the pajamas look cool, but who would want to buy $300 pajamas?!!! I REALLY like the Gucci ice trays...but...I don't think they are worth $70 bucks.

FrugalBabe said...

Could the fact that the Masai don't have cellulite have anything to do with the fact that they walk all day and don't eat french fries? Hmmm...
Those pajamas crack me up. I've seen lots that look just like them at my local thrift store for $4.

Anonymous said...

Your comment on the MBT shoes are due to advertising gimmicks in the US. They were originally created to help people with walking problems, poor circulation, etc. As I heard, they were used in the UK first and magazines started publishing how these shoes reduced cellulite. I have always had circulation problems, so I once thought about buying the shoes but the price was too much (maybe I will change my mind if the problem gets more serious).

Anonymous said...

Great spot, but the shoes really do ease back, leg, foort and knee pain. Don't knock until you've tried it or better yet until you get older and have ailments that require you to seek semi-expensive relief.

Anonymous said...

I got my MBTs based on an orthopedic doctor's recco. I've never been so happy - I wear them ALL THE TIME because my hip pain has gone away for good. It's worth the $210(on ebay - $40 less than in stores) I paid and I wear them so often, I haven't bought any other shoes this year.

i think these shoes fall into the "Good things" category. The last pair I had lasted for 15 months! Better than $100 Nike's any day.

Anonymous said...

If you want to buy MBT shoes online, just like going to a shoe store it is very important that you are fitted correctly with the MBT. Ideally you want some room for your toes since the construction of the MBT shoe is exaggerating your toe-off movement. At the same time you want both of your feet to be securely locked into your MBT shoes.

Since the function of the MBT is to enhance and smoothen transition within your entire foot-strike activity, this causes more movement (and need for precise fitting) than in most regular shoes.

If you are interested in trying MBTs, but have nowhere to go to try them on, the first challenge is to get an accurate measurement of your feet in "European Size" and always use this as your standard for fitting MBTs. For accuracy it is always best to use the sizing of the country of origin (MBT's are engineered and were developed in Switzerland).

So how can you get your correct fit if you are not able to visit a shoe store? How can you prepare yourself to buy MBTs online? Very simple -- www.FeetFirstFitness.com outlines some very basic but excellent online MBT fitting techniques that guarantee you will be fitted with the MBT as professionally as is possible (prior to actually trying on the shoe).

Anonymous said...

These trays are AWFUL. Gucci charged my mother $90.00 because she got them for me as a gag present and you cannot even get the ice out. It’s such a joke. And their so-called return policy prohibits me from returning them in any way because I used them. Apparently, GUCCI failed to test the effectiveness of their own product and has no problem sticking it to my mother for $90.00 because of their failure.

Anonymous said...

You are one savvy lady. I love your site. However, I must disagree on your opinion of MBT shoes. 20 yrs ago I was a karate blackbelt and runner. Since then I've had 2 lower back surgeries (4 herniated discs in my lower spine and 2 in my neck) plus knee problems. I can't tell you enough how much wearing these shoes has helped me. I'm now eying my next (3rd) pair!

Madame X said...

Well, those MBT shoes certainly have their fans! I haven't tried them myself, so I can't comment on their actual comfort or effectiveness, but I'll stand by my personal opinion that they are ugly, expensive, and are marketed with some completely ridiculous claims!

Anonymous said...

You obviously haven't tried or needed MBT shoes. They are just what they claim to be! I've had lower back and hip pain for years when walking; yet, never since I've put on my MBT. Don't criticize until you try!

Anonymous said...

Just bought my first pair of MBT's 2 days ago because of a stress fracture on my 3rd & 4th Metatarsals and I do have to say my feet feel great! I weigh 317 lbs and needless to say I have a lot of feet, leg and low back pain and just in the 2 days I have had these shoes, I FEEL GREAT!!! I feel like walking a marathon! My legs feel like jello when I take them off due to the workout I am recieving from them! I LOVE THEM and want all my friends and loved ones to experience a pair too! They are worth every PENNY!

Anonymous said...

Gotta side with the MBT fans! I recently bought my second pair although I refuse to pay more than $170 for a pair (shopping around online pays off). The cheaper you find them, the uglier they are though! I only wear mine when I will be walking long distances (3 or more miles) because they are ugly and I just don't see the same benefits on quick walks. If you are interested just because of cellulite - don't bother, I don't see those cellulite reduction claims as valid - they are great for improving posture, toning and strengthing muscles and easing joint pains!

savingmoney-jeanne said...

Oh geeeezzz... $70 for ice cube trays??? And even worse, $300 for something that you're just going to sleep in? LOL. Wow.

Hey! I have a bridge to sell... now how do I find those people buying the ice cube trays and the PJs???

Leslie F. Miller said...

As a new owner of MBTs, I would rather take my chances than your advice. I've had a herniated disk for several months and am wearing these at the suggestion of several friends who have found relief with them.

I wonder if anyone else sees the irony that you'd be willing to pay $400—a full $145 more than I paid for my MBTs—to have a pair of status-heavy/comfort-light Gucci shoes.

Ishtar said...

$70 for Gucci ice cube trays? Oh no, something is wrong with this image.

Peachy said...

Both our names start with G and the ice cubes would be a riot...but not for $70. I'd buy them for $7. Any knockoff ones yet? like the O with a line? or "C-"

Anonymous said...

I'd have to disagree with the MBT shoe comments. I bought my pair since I am on my feet at work for 10-12 hours a day and they have been worth every cent (although I was lucky enough to get them for $140 rather than the outrageous $250). Promoting them for reduction of cellulite is a bit of a farce. And yes, the Masai are likely to have such svelte figures because their diet consists primarily of sheep's milk and cow's blood and they walk all day tending their livestock. Go figure. Still love my sneakers though.....

Anonymous said...

I'm another one in the "don't knock it till you try it" category for MBT shoes. I'm a ballet dancer who broke the ball of my foot in 2003 and my foot has never been the same since. I spent years in and out of physical therapy and trying every brand of comfortable shoes out there. I was also reluctant about the price of MBT's but bought a pair on sale and after a few days of an awkward "breaking in" period where you feel like you're going to fall on your head I was completely sold. I've worn them literally every day since. Yes they are dorky and not that attractive, but I honestly don't care. My feet feel great, I'm not paying for physical therapy any more, and the shoes definitely force you to use your core muscles (and legs) more because of the unstable surface which is always a plus in my book. It's like Pilates class in a shoe. I'll have to get back to you on the cellulite claim, but as with any shoes...you won't do anything for cellulite if you're not out walking or doing some form of exercise regularly.

Anonymous said...

MBT shoes were developed for medical / orthopedic purposes, and for that I highly recommend them. I have a sciatic condition from a herniated disc that makes my legs easily fatigued and difficult to move because of swelling and pressure compressing a cluster of nerves. This doesn't happen to me when I'm walking in my MBT shoes. But in any other shoes, taking a walk is embarassingly slow and unbarably uncomfortable. In my MBT shoes, I can be very physically active without stressing my herniated disc, and without feeling pain or experiencing physical limitation.


As for the cellulite/diet-beauty industry marketing angle, a healthy diet and regular exercise are the only way to be fit. Anything that sounds too easy to work probably doesn't.


Probably people with no orthopedic or medical needs could probably do without the $400 shoes, but for certain foot and back problems, they are well worth the expense.

Anonymous said...

MBT Knock Off? Fake MBT? MBT Counterfeit?

What really happened is that in 2007 MBT was taken over by new owners who are just in it for a quick buck:

1. They moved MBT production from its state-of-the-art facility in Korea to a sub par but much less expensive facility in China.

2. They reduced the quality control and production costs, but increased the price to the end user.

3. Many of these "new MBTs", unlike the Korean original that lasted for years, wear down usually after only a couple or a few months.

4. For this problem a program was created called "MBT resoling and repair" that requires even more costs for the end user.

5. What really happened was that the new owners actually quite simply knocked off the original MBT themselves.

6. Albeit, the new owners have spent at least some of their new dollars on advertising in order to draw the end user into this cycle

Anonymous said...

Another MBT fan here...for me, they are absolutely worth it, and I am otherwise a pretty simple, cost-savvy, penny-pinching sort of girl!(or I wouldn't be here) I think that the anti-cellulite claim is probably hype, but they are great shoes.

Anonymous said...

One of the things you've got to love about the internet is the ability for you to publish a point of view without actually trying out a product. If you'd need MBT's you'd be looking at this a different way. Glad you don't need 'em. By the way, they're great and have finally relieved me of excruciating pain. But what do you know?

Anonymous said...

MBT's. I would agree buying any shoe for cellulite is stupid. I didn't even know these were being peddled for that until recently.

However, I love these shoes for my joint problems. I stand on my feet all day and these are the only shoes that don't have my ankles and feet killing me when I get off. They are wonderful for my joint problems, but like anything, they are probably not for anyone.

So please don't look at all MBT wearers as stupid idiots trying to get rid of cellulite, they really do have other benefits. And I never pay full price, you can always buy them cheaper if you look.

Anonymous said...

I own at least 8 pairs of mbt's and I am very picky with shoes and the ones I have are not ugly. But then again if all u wear are stilletos and high heels then yes u will not find that in mbt's but they are amazingly comfortable and my legs are toned and shapely and I have no lower back pain anymore and believe me when I tell u my mbt's are so cute I get compliments on them a lot. I agree some styles are ugly but they have come out with some very stylish mbt's lately and of course I have them, I especially love the maryjanes. Don't knock them til u try them, I do agree with the other stuff u mentioned tho. But you will find many many mbt fans out there who swear by them BUT there are a lot of knock offs so u have to know where to buy them.

Anonymous said...

I think it's irresponsible and shows your lack of reason to bash MBT shoes. I too have back and foot problems, and these are a godsent. You're basically a movie reviewer that doesn't step into the theater and writes your review based on the movie poster our front. Opinions are formed by weighing facts, where the only thing that is tipping the scales here is your ego and need for attention.

ParisGirl111 said...

Those Gucci ice trays are rediculous. haha I would have to say I like comfy pjs, but I am not willing to spend that much for PJs. Just give me some soft cotton from VS Secret!

BG said...

MBT SHOES ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY - although you can get them online for at LEAST 50% off.

I've been wearing them for 5 years and they are AMAZING -- forget about cellulite and weight loss, etc - they are the BEST SHOES - your POSTURE is perfect, your legs and butt are working out (because you are balancing as you walk) whenever you move!! I had PAIN in the bottoms of my feet after 20 minutes of walking or exercising -- NO MORE -- there are 15 layers in the soles, the CUSHIONING is PERFECT. My girlfriends have to THREATEN ME to get me out of my MBT's!!!

I started with the sandals 5 years ago in May, and in October I finally gave in and bought the sneakers. When I do wear regular sneakers I can feel the difference.

Tiffany said...

I agree being against the clown suit and matching shoes! But the Ice tray is a must have! LOL!

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