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Shopping For Experiences

This article was written by in Consumer. 4 comments.

According to CNN, the new luxury gift this year is an experience. Rather than treating loved ones to clothing or electronics, the new trend is supposedly providing them with an experience and the memories associated with it.

If you ask the people who sell these gifts, they will tell you it’s an escalating trend. I don’t know about his trend. No one in my social circle can afford a private performance by Elton John at $1.5 million. For that money, they do let you keep his red baby grand piano after the performance, so at least you get to retain more than just the memory.

I assume that the gift of Elton John may not be the first choice on everyone’s list, but other experiences people could share are the likes of hot-air balloon rides, sky diving, a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant, taking a flight into space.

I shouldn’t be upset that I can’t afford this type of lifestyle. It is driven by aging baby boomers who have a large amount of disposable income. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $738.11 this holiday season. That’s pretty close to the amount I’ll be spending on surgery.

Updated February 7, 2012 and originally published November 10, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar mmb

What do you have against hot air balloon rides or sky diving? You don’t exactly need infinite disposable income to enjoy those. Sure there are cheaper excursions that may be just as enjoyable for you but having been up on a hot air balloon and jumped out of a plane I gotta tell you, it’s a lot of fun. And it’s not that expensive if you are willing to sacrifice a few other day to day to things that you take for granted. When I went on my first sky diving jump I was working my way through college and financially supporting my parents. It was a choice between eating real food & going out with friends every now & then or going for the experience & living on 10 cent paks of Top Ramen noodles for months. I chose Top Ramen. The private Elton John performance may be unattainable to many but some of the other stuff comes down to priorities. It’s not a question of means so much as a question of how badly you want it.

avatar Luke Landes

I don’t have any problem with the idea of giving an experience rather than an object. In fact, I think it’s a great idea for the most part. I do observe that it’s creating or popularizing a “new” market and there will be individuals, like there are always, who go overboard because they can, and some who go overboard even though they can’t.

Oh, but I’m not a fan of hot-air balloons. Fine for other people, but… those things go kind of high up in the air.