25 Most Ridiculous Items Sold at Luxury Retailers


View as:

Hippopotamus Sofa, Hammacher Schlemmer
Photo credit: Courtesy of hammacher.com

Even a site called Cheapism isn't immune to the appeal of the finer things in life, whether it's a true extravagance or splurging a little on everyday items. Still, there are some head-scratching luxury items we would never buy even with billions in the bank.
Leather-Wrapped Rock, Nordstrom
Photo credit: Courtesy of nordstrom.com

Nordstrom was roundly panned in 2016 for selling a rock in a leather pouch for a cool $85. "A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It's up to you," the product description read. Predictably, it was mocked widely, but the joke is on us -- it still sold out. And looks like a smoking bargain compared with Hermes' $840 rock paperweight.
Amethyst Water Bottle, Goop
Photo credit: Courtesy of shop.goop.com

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop has been mocked incessantly for its high-priced new-age products. Case in point: An $84 water bottle with an amethyst plunked in the middle "to infuse water with positive energy." Sadly, it's sold out, but don't worry: There's a clear quartz bottle in stock, and it's only $80! Score.
Gold Dumbbells, Moda Operandi
Photo credit: Courtesy of hockdesign.com

These $125,000 gold dumbbells by Hock Design are "an opulent workout accessory, investment, and truly modern objet d'art for the home." Just try not to sweat on them too much: Each German-made dumbbell contains 2,000 grams of 18-karat gold and has handles made from rare Grenadilla wood. They're sold out.
Balenciaga Shopper Tote Bag, Barney's
Photo credit: Courtesy of barneys.com

To some, this out-of-stock $2,000 Balenciaga bag may simply look like a luxe leather tote. To anyone with a passing familiarity with flat-packed furniture, it looks suspiciously similar to Ikea's iconic blue shopping bag, which is made from recyclable plastic and costs just over a buck. "Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag," Ikea said in response.
Sterling Silver Ball of Yarn, Tiffany's
Photo credit: Courtesy of tiffany.com

Haven't we all yearned for a sterling silver ball of yarn? Perhaps the most head-scratching item in Tiffany's "Everyday Objects" collection, which features such things as a sterling silver coffee can and crazy straw, the textured silver yarn is handcrafted by store artisans in New York. And -- rejoice! -- it's still available for a cool $9,000.
Gold-Plated Staples, Oooms
Photo credit: Courtesy of oooms.nl

If you're the boss (or just want to look like one, despite the eye rolls of coworkers) this set of 14-karat gold-plated staples is for you. "The overly bland corporate environment can use any type of excitement boost that it can get," the product description enthuses. Two dozen staples sets you back about $72, or $3 each.
Gold-Plated Slinky, Neiman Marcus
Photo credit: Courtesy of neimanmarcus.com

On the subject of things that have no business being gold, Neiman Marcus would love to sell you this 14-karat gold-plated brass Slinky for $150. Of course, it comes with a collector's case, but good luck wedging it back inside after the kid twists and kinks it into oblivion.
Gucci Sock Sandal, Nordstrom
Photo credit: Courtesy of nordstrom.com

The second-most ridiculous thing ever sold at Nordstrom, after the rock: Probably these Gucci sock sandals, perfect for anyone who dreams of looking like a Barbie doll. Despite selling for $1,200 and being lambasted online, the sock sandal did indeed sell out. Fashion faux pas just makes the rich look edgy.
Tranquility Pod, Hammacher Schlemmer
Photo credit: Courtesy of hammacher.com

Maybe Frank Costanza could have found a little more serenity if he'd used this $30,000 "tranquility pod," which uses soothing sounds, lights and vibration to force users to relax. The fiberglass exterior supposedly blocks most noise, a four-speaker sound system integrates with smartphones, and a pulse sensor adjusts 50 LEDs automatically. Sadly, the Serenity Cat Pod is no longer available after the collapse of SkyMall.
Luxury Wrapping Paper, Hermes
Photo credit: Courtesy of hermes.com

If you think gift bags and tissue paper are expensive, you haven't seen anything. For $200, Hermes will bestow the gift of a dozen sheets of designer wrapping paper in a half-dozen colors and patterns. It can even be used to "cover books or upholster small furniture," the product page suggests. Hmmmmm.
Red Logo Brick, Supreme
Photo credit: Courtesy of supremenewyork.com

Supreme, a skate and fashion brand, pushed the envelope by selling a red clay brick stamped with its logo for $30. Incredibly, the bricks sold out quickly. As if that's not enough, eBay sellers snapped them up and started selling them for more than $1,000 (though some now go for a bargain $200 -- still more than 300 times the cost of a plain, non-branded brick).
Prada Paperclip, Barney's
Photo credit: Courtesy of barneys.com

To be fair, this $170 logo-embossed, sterling silver Prada paperclip is meant to function as a money clip. But given that it's little bigger than a regular paperclip -- and costs more than 100 times the price of a box -- Twitter had a field day. (To go with those gold-plated staples, Barney's has has its own $995 gold paperclip.)
Crystalline Stardust Memory Stick, Swarovski
Photo credit: Courtesy of swarovski.com

USB flash drives aren't usually high on the bling list, but that didn't stop Swarovski from selling a 8GB memory stick with 550 crystals for $69. That might not seem so bad, but you can nab 10 flash drives of the same size from Walmart for $45.
Handbag Raincoat, Chanel
Photo credit: Courtesy of chanel.com

A glaring sign a purse is too expensive: It needs a special raincoat. A glaring sign the purse's raincoat is too expensive: It's $650 at Chanel. Made of PVC, grosgrain, calfskin, and silver studs, this handbag raincoat features plenty of Chanel logos to signal there's something equally ridiculous underneath.
Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans, Nordstrom
Photo credit: Courtesy of nordstrom.com

Nordstrom strikes again, taking distressed denim to a wholly unnecessary level. Barracuda's sold-out jeans have "seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you're not afraid to get down and dirty," the product description reads. Forbes called the $425 jeans a "let them eat cake" moment, with other critics saying they made a mockery of real working-class people.
Canine Passive Solar Condominium, Hammacher Schlemmer
Photo credit: Courtesy of hammacher.com

Perfect for the dog-owning architecture buff with too much cash, this $3,700 doghouse (er, condominium) is designed to pamper a pup by staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, all while "evoking the passive homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright." It includes a memory foam pet pillow, stainless-steel food and water bowls, and a customized sign with the dog's name.
Mariko Sphere Ice Balls, Glace Luxury Ice
Photo credit: Courtesy of glaceice.net

Luxury ice? Indeed. The regular cubes us poor schmucks depend on "may contain upwards of 150 impurities and carcinogens, resulting in poor tasting and potentially unhealthy ice," Glace warns. Mariko ice spheres are "the most mathematically efficient way to cool your drink," the company says. Fifty will set you back a cool $325, or $6.50 each. Brrr.
Christopher Kane Cable Tie Bracelets, Farfetch
Photo credit: Courtesy of farfetch.com

Duct tape had its fashion moment, so why not zip ties? A few years ago, Scottish designer Christopher Kane plastered the runway with models wearing them looped around their wrists, through their hair, and on their clothes. Three of the "offbeat" ties went for $30. They're sold out, but the look is still available in packs of 20 from Home Depot for $2.50.
Jump Rope Christopher, Louis Vuitton
Photo credit: Courtesy of louisvuitton.com

The next time you feel the urge to trip over a jump rope, make it an insanely expensive one. Louis Vuitton would love to sell you its logo-embossed $545 version (named "Christopher" for some reason) as "a fashionable new spin on this workout essential." With a leather strand and handles "covered with dark, masculine Monogram Eclipse canvas, the new Christopher jump rope goes everywhere." There's also "James," a ping-pong set for $2,210.
Sterling Silver Building Bricks, Tiffany's
Photo credit: Courtesy of tiffany.com

Perhaps the experience of stepping on building brick toys is less painful when they're made of sterling silver and walnut and cost $1,500. Tiffany sells 10 whole pieces for that price, and it's a deal; a gold Lego brick sold at auction in 2012 for more than $11,000.
Vasari Clutch, Jil Sander
Photo credit: Courtesy of jilsander.com

In 2012, German designer Jil Sander turned heads by sending models down the runway with what looked suspiciously like brown paper lunch bags. The bags, made with coated paper and metal vents, went up for sale on her website, where they were snapped up for $290. A black leather version retailed for more than $600.
Theodent 300 Toothpaste, Theodent
Photo credit: Courtesy of theodent.com

If what comes to mind when someone says "expensive toothpaste" is Sensodyne or Tom's of Maine, these brands cost chump change compared with Theodent 300, which is $100 a tube. This whitening crystal mint flavor contains a high dose of Rennou, the company's proprietary blend of minerals and an extract derived from cocoa beans that aims to strengthen enamel. Of course, if the toothpaste savings account is running low, the company's classic toothpaste is just $12.
Vetements DHL Cut-up Tee, Nordstrom
Photo credit: Courtesy of nordstrom.com

Oh, Nordstrom. The store's final entry on this list is a boxy, slightly deconstructed T-shirt by French design collective Vetements bearing the logo of shipping company DHL. It will cost $660 to look like the delivery guy ($730 for the polo). This is not Vetements' first DHL-inspired look; the designer sent a canary-yellow logo T-shirt down the runway in Paris in 2015, bringing "anti-fashion back to fashion," The Guardian said. (To make an anti-fashion statement for less, snag a non-designer DHL shirt on eBay for less than $20.)
SMEG Dolce & Gabbana Toaster, Williams & Sonoma
Photo credit: Courtesy of williams-sonoma.com

A Sicilian-inspired collaboration between SMEG and Dolce & Gabbana produces a $600 toaster with two slots, six browning levels, knob controls, and a removable crumb tray -- in other words, nothing missing from toasters that run less than $30 on Amazon.
Hippopotamus Sofa, Hammacher Schlemmer
Photo credit: Courtesy of hammacher.com

You have to wonder how many giant, $95,000 hippopotamus-shaped sofas Hammacher Schlemmer has sold. (No, really -- please tell us.) Made of steel, full-grain leather, and polyurethane, the sofa requires 400 hours to craft and "provides a reliable place to read or entertain guests while paying tribute to the animal ancient cultures revered for its intrepidity, tenacity, and bravery." While money can indeed buy a hippo sofa, it still can't buy good taste.

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.