• Dave Kinzer

Mindboggling Products You Don't Need

Every now and then, a new product comes on the market that boggles my mind.


I’m not talking about products like a candle that smells like a new Macbook, a Nicholas Cage pillowcase, a sleeping bag shaped like a taco, or a Gremlin chia pet. I won’t hold it against you if any of those appeal to you. All of these products will only set you back around $25 or so, and they’re kind of fun.


Well, I’m not sure if the pillowcase with a giant picture of Nicholas Cage is fun, but you get the idea.


I’m talking about products that are so expensive I have a hard time determining why anyone would buy them.


For instance, did you hear about the pair of shoes rapper Lil Nas X launched in March? He and a New York company, MSCHF, altered 666 pairs of Nike Air Max 97s by adding several decorative features with red ink. They also inserted one drop of human blood into the air bubble in the sole of each shoe. The blood was “donated” by the creative team.


The cost for these shoes? $1,018. According to an article on CNN.com, all 666 pairs of shoes sold out in less than a minute.


Madness.


Another mindboggling new product announced recently is GMC’s Hummer EV Pickup. It is being advertised as an all-electric supertruck.


It does have some pretty cool features: three motors (in one Hummer!), over 11,000 lb-ft of torque, over 300 miles of range before it needs to be recharged, and transparent sky panels. It will also go from 0-60 in approximately three seconds.


Impressive! So why am I describing the new Hummer as mindboggling? The price.


The most expensive model, the EV Edition 1, costs $112,595! And that does not include tax, title, license, and/or various other dealer fees, so you can probably tack on another nine or ten thousand dollars.


Instead of buying the Hummer, you could do some shopping: there are several models of brand new pickup trucks that could be purchased for around $40,000-$50,000.


What else could you buy with that kind of money? How about a house?


Indeed, a quick search on Zillow.com revealed 202 houses for sale in Springfield priced at $112,595 or below.


Now, if you want this new and fancy Hummer, I’ve got bad news for you- they are all already spoken for. In other words, a vehicle that costs more than some houses has sold out.


That’s crazy.


You may be thinking, “Sure, that’s a ridiculous amount to spend on a vehicle, but I would never buy one. Those are for the super-rich.”


I’d mostly agree with you.


But are there other expensive products that you don’t really need that tempt you? Like gigantic TVs, or fancy cell phones, maybe?


The most expensive phone I could find is the Xperia PRO made by Sony. It retails for $2,498.

Apple and Samsung don’t have phones that expensive, but they both have phones that sell for over $1,000.


No doubt all of these phones are nice. They’ll have the top of the line cameras, 5G connectivity, they’ll be water-resistant, etc. Basically, whatever cell phone feature you’re looking for, they’ll have it.



But do you need it? Do you need the best cell phone camera in the world? If you make your living as a photographer or social media expert, you probably do.


But for most people who just end up making videos of their cats, probably not.


You could still get a very nice cell phone for hundreds of dollars less. In fact, according to ConsumerReports.org, the best budget smartphone sells for $299. It’s the OnePlus Nord N10 5G phone.


Never heard of it? Me either. But Consumer Reports awarded it an excellent rating for performance, so for the vast majority of consumers, it would probably work just fine.


And if you’re dead-set on getting an iPhone, that’s okay too. Just ask yourself if you really need the newest and most expensive version out there. There are plenty of other iPhone models available that get good reviews and will save you hundreds of dollars.


So before you make your next major purchase, really consider the features that you have to have, and the features that you don’t really need for whatever product you’re considering. Many times, you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars by buying the product in the middle tier, rather than the newest and fanciest version.

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