There’s no shortage of shopping tips for average buyers with ordinary incomes, but what about wealthy people in the market for luxury goods? They don’t need tips because, for them, money is no object, right?
Not so fast.
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Wealthy people, particularly self-made millionaires, tend to be at least as frugal as average earners on tight budgets. Here’s how they can get the most for their money on big purchases in 2024.
Don’t Just Buy Expensive Stuff — Invest In Heirloom-Quality Craftsmanship
Independent jeweler Daphna Simon studied at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and learned goldsmithing from a distinguished Israeli artisan before founding her own company, Daphna Simon Jewelry, in 2007.
Her trademark nature-inspired jewelry is expensive because it isn’t cheap — and that’s why her customers are willing to pay a premium for it. In 2024, people of means should follow their lead and pay top dollar only for elite quality. Shelling out big bucks for an empty brand name, a trending fad or a clever marketing scheme is a recipe for an expensive dose of buyer’s remorse.
“Understanding the craftsmanship and story behind each piece is the key to getting the most value when purchasing luxury items,” said Simon. “For instance, in the world of fine jewelry, selecting items that showcase intricate handiwork and unique design elements ensures exclusivity and guarantees that the piece retains its value over time. It’s about investing in art that can be worn, appreciated and passed down through generations.”
Research the Maker as Thoroughly as the Product
Simon’s impressive pedigree offers a window into her skill and commitment to her craft — all of which comes out in her work. If you’re planning to buy something pricey in 2024, take the time to conduct the same research on its maker.
“For those looking to invest in luxury items, my advice is to look beyond the brand name and delve into the creator’s heritage, craftsmanship and ethical practices,” said Simon. “These factors contribute to the item’s value, significance and longevity.”
Your research will do more than ensure you get the perfect bespoke piece. It will also help you avoid the many counterfeits that plague the luxury merchandise world, courtesy of fraudsters who hope you’ll skip the due diligence phase of the purchasing process.
“Ensure the item you’re purchasing is authentic,” said Vitaliy Vinogradov, interior designer and project manager at Modern Place. “This is especially important when buying from online retailers or secondhand shops. Always ask for proof of authenticity and consider having the item appraised.”
Do What Regular People Do: Take Every Opportunity To Save Money
Whether your budget is $100 or $100,000, the goal is the same — save as much money as possible. For example, Simon gives her customers 10% off if they sign up for emails. That knocks $750 off a $7,500, 18-karat rose gold dragon ring from her site — and you could reap even more by looking for savings beyond the merchant.
Regular people use apps that pay them back with every purchase — and there’s no reason the aristocracy shouldn’t, too.
“When shopping for luxury items, make sure you’re using a cash-back site whenever possible,” said Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback. “If you’re not using a cash-back website, you’re essentially leaving free money on the table. Plus, luxury purchases are typically quite pricey, so securing a percentage of your money back on the purchase can really add up.”
She gave a current offer from Estee Lauder as an example. The cosmetics company is offering 10% off for purchases over $100 made through TopCashback.
Then, there’s the oldest money-saving trick in the book.
“Wait for sales,” said Vinogradov. “Even luxury retailers have sales, and if you’re not in a rush to buy, waiting for these sales can result in significant savings.”
Keep Resale Value in Mind When Buying
Affluent people have a unique opportunity to buy things that double as stores of value for their wealth. That’s because rare and expensive things can see their prices rise over time while their lower-end counterparts plunge in value.
For example, it’s common knowledge that cars start shedding value at the moment of purchase and continue to depreciate indefinitely. But according to Progressive, Ferraris are different — they tend to gain value over time. The famous Italian automaker produces fewer than 10,000 of its elite prestige sports cars per year, which makes them exclusive and expensive even as they age — and cars are not the only example.
“Some luxury items, like designer handbags or watches, can actually appreciate in value over time,” said Vinogradov. “If you’re considering such an investment, think about its potential resale value.”
Ignore Trends — Except Those Worth Following
One of the most successful value-retention strategies is to buy classic, not trendy.
“Trends come and go, but classic pieces never go out of style,” said Vinogradov. “Investing in timeless items ensures that your purchase will remain relevant and valuable for years to come.”
But some trends have enough staying power to be worth heeding.
“In 2024, we are seeing a shift toward sustainable luxury,” said Simon. “Discerning buyers are increasingly looking for pieces that are not only exquisite but also ethically sourced and produced. This shift is not just a trend, but a movement toward conscious consumerism in the luxury market.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Affording Luxury in 2024: Top 5 Tips for High-End Spending
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