> There's no quality difference between a $5000 LV handbag and a good $100 one exception fashion, trends and branding
While I understand and perhaps agree with your larger point, I have to disagree with this claim. LV stuff is expensive, yes, but the product is very good quality, and comes with what is essentially a lifetime warranty.
Yes, LV is several times the price it "should" be. Problem is that everything else is also several times the price it "should" be. In the larger context, I don't really think LV is particularly bad value, or that the sale price/actual cost multiplier is that much different.
And there is simply no such thing as a good handbag for $100, for pretty much any definition of "good" (substitute briefcase if you are male). To sell at $100, the manufacturing cost of a handbag would have to be maybe $10 or $20 max - whatever you think about LV you cannot possibly claim they cost only $10 to make.
I don't want to sound like an asshole but the brands you mention are all "deep budget" brands and have no design credibility whatsoever. The idea of a professional woman bringing a Jansport bag to the office is totally unthinkable. They are not even remotely comparable to an LV handbag.
The link you quote is to a tote, which is suitable for perhaps taking stuff to the beach. You will not find any professional women coming to the office with this bag, unless it's filled with gym gear or something.
So you pay 10x more for design credibility, rather than something that actually affects the quality or utility of the item?
The idea of a professional woman bringing a Jansport bag to the office is totally unthinkable.
Again, you are comparing the items on intangible benefits which are clearly little more than an emotional feeling telling you that brand A is inherently better than brand B (regardless of the actual item in question).
Promoting an item that is 10x more expensive than another based solely on intangible properties like it has design credibility or it's from an in-fasion brand and that using anything else is simply unthinkable is no better than having me pay 10x more on a game than the average player does.
I, for one, find telling me that I have to buy a certain brand or design that's currently in fashion because not doing so would be unthinkable or I would lack some kind of credibility or the items just don't compare (even though the items actual tangible properties are not even discussed) as exploitative when these items cost so much more than the tangibly-comparable items.