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Author Topic: What's the difference between luxury and quality?  (Read 1656 times)
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tamo42
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« on: 2011 May 19, 01:49:18 pm »

This post is a question to the group that came to mind after reading the updates to the Acura NSX thread. What is the difference between luxury and quality?

To me, they are both expensive, but quality has some justification for its higher price where luxury is just for the enjoyment of it. Ask anyone, I'm cheap. But I do buy expensive items. I wear vibram five fingers. I have a tempurpedic mattress. These are both expensive within their categories (shoes and mattresses), but their lifecycle value is very high. They last a long time. In economics terms, their marginal costs are low.

Luxury items on the other hand are expensive because of the psychological satisfaction obtained from their purchase or use. $3,000 purses do not really accomplish the primary function of purses any more than $3 purses do. They both hold stuff. Maybe the $3,000 purse will last longer, I don't really know. I am not an expert in purses. But I think it is safe to assume that it won't last 1,000 times longer. The expensive purse does however seem to give the user an immense amount of pyschological satisfaction. That's really what is being for.

So what's your take on luxury vs quality? Is luxury worth the price?
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badon
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« Reply #1 on: 2011 May 19, 02:01:07 pm »

Very often luxury and quality are combined, or at least can't be differentiated. For example, Tempurpedic mattresses are arguably a luxury compared to just-as-good generic brands, or adequately good others.

I think luxury is in the eye of the beholder though. I've seen $10,000 guitars that are so weighed down by finery that they sound worse than a top end $3000 guitar Smiley
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tamo42
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« Reply #2 on: 2011 May 19, 02:38:06 pm »

Yeah, they are definitely intertwined. The tempurpedic has a better value for me because I sleep better on it compared to regular mattresses. Of course, this is a subjective evaluation.
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Neal McSpadden
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« Reply #3 on: 2011 May 19, 09:09:47 pm »

The difference is their perceived value in our current state of mind. Both are subjective and relative, and there could be no difference at times. Just my 2 yuan.
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tamo42
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« Reply #4 on: 2011 May 19, 09:26:42 pm »

Just my 2 yuan.

This might be a first!
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« Reply #5 on: 2011 May 20, 02:57:49 pm »

Coke usually tastes better than Pepsi when you tell someone it is "coke." It is explained that people have psychological imagery that causes them to be "excited" when they are drinking a coke. When you don't tell a person a coke is a coke then it is a 50/50 split between coke and pepsi.

http://www.60secondmarketer.com/60SecondArticles/Branding/cokevs.pepsitast.html
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« Reply #6 on: 2011 May 20, 04:26:48 pm »

I think of the term “luxury” as being applied to items or enjoyments that we don’t really need for survival (food, shelter, clothing), kind of the “extras” or perks of life.  Things we buy if we have disposable income.  I think jewelry, I think "luxury cruise", etc.

Quality, I associate with how well something is made, or how well something is written.  I think of it more of a measure of how good something is, and how much care was taken to produce it.
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« Reply #7 on: 2011 May 20, 06:39:40 pm »

That makes sense to me. If it's possible to divide between practical function and "chrome", then there you have your distinction between luxury and quality.
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Founder of the Coin Compendium (forum, blogs, calendar, images, donate, contribute).
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