I recently heard that a high-end pair of sunglasses now runs as high as $4000, and I had to wonder whether any pair of sunglasses can be worth that much. There are a couple of factors to consider here:
1. People who pay $4000 for a pair of sunglasses are not simply paying for a device to keep the sun out of their eyes. You could get that type of device for $5 at a convenience store. Instead, purchasers of high-end sunglasses are paying for (1) a fashion accessory, (2) an image, and (3) the attention that a person gets from wearing a pair of sunglasses that costs $4000.
2. Some people can afford to burn $4000 (or spend it on a pair of sunglasses). This high dollar figure for a pair of sunglasses is shocking to most of us because $4000 is a lot of money for most of us. But it is not a lot of money for everyone. There are people with large amounts of disposable cash and/or a willingness to run up a lot of debt, who do not think twice about spending an outrageous amount of money on an accessory.
Given these factors, my answer is: Yes, for some people a pair of sunglasses can be worth $4000. But those of you who are buying extravagant sunglasses are not off the hook yet. Consider one more issue:
As with all purchasing decisions, when spending $4000 on sunglasses you must ask yourself whether there is any other expenditures of an equal amount that could give you more pleasure than the sunglasses. I think the answer is a strong “yes” here. For $4000 you could buy a vacation that would be more memorable than a pair of sunglasses. Or you could give the money to someone who values money more than you do.
For some people, a pair of sunglasses can be worth $4000, but that doesn’t mean those people should buy the sunglasses. There are too many better options out there.