Still shopping for the holidays? You have about 8 hours left to hit the malls and fight the crowds. And just because the average American will spend $518 this year on presents, doesn’t mean you cant buy your lucky and spoiled loved ones gifts that truly bust the bank.
If you’re in the market for something a bit fancier this year, check out the most expensive Christmas gifts in the world available this year.
From “cheapest” to “OMG,” check out these pricy picks from CBSMoneyWatch.com:
Hammacher Schlemmer Three-Wheeled Scooter
Hammacher Schlemmer put this engine-powered, two-person buggy on the cover of its November 22 “Last Chance” catalog — one of eight holiday books the retailer mails in all — and sold one the first week of December. The scooter gets about 100 miles to a 1.5-gallon tank, has seatbelts, turn signals and independent all-wheel suspension, and comes in a choice of blue, green, red and yellow. Not surprisingly, an appearance on a catalog cover can be a sales booster: Last year Hammacher Schlemmer sold four $15,000 rocking horses after one appeared on a November catalog. “You see it and you fall in love with it,” says director of merchandising Robert Bohlin.
Bonzini Babyfoot Barbie Foosball Table
You wouldn’t think the Barbie-loving demographic and the foosball-loving demographic would converge. But FAO Schwarz says buyers have snapped up this girly iteration of the dive bar staple. The table is tricked out in hot pink, with uniformed Barbie dolls substituting for the usual male soccer players — which may explain the appeal.
2011 Neiman Marcus Edition Camaro
You can buy this 2SS-model convertible muscle car at a Chevrolet dealer for about $40,000. That didn’t keep Dallas-based Neiman Marcus from selling all 100 of its specially commissioned Camaros at nearly double that — in three minutes. The car, with a V8 engine, a bordeaux exterior and an exclusive amber leather interior, is the priciest offering that has sold from this year’s Christmas Book. But Neiman Marcus has also sold one $17,500 Leica M9 camera, two $6,000 ukuleles and four $4,500 electric tricycles from fashion designer Tory Burch. (As with all the retailers we spoke with, the company would not release specific customer information.) The $1.5 million swimming pool sculpture installation is still up for grabs.
iPhone 4 Diamond Rose
Here’s a way to blow your extended Bush-era estate tax cut. From Stuart Hughes, a British maker of over-the-top gadgets — think platinum laptops and 24-karat gold televisions — “the world’s most expensive iPhone” has a rose-gold casing inlaid with 500 diamonds. Its navigation button is set with a 7.4-carat pink diamond. It’s available for purchase online at StuartHughes.com. In October the Internet was buzzing with the news that Australian mining mogul Tony Sage had snapped up the phone. But that was a rumor. “I had the first option to buy the phone and politely said no!” Sage says. He doesn’t need one, since he’s already bought a Stuart Hughes gold Blackberry. “It’s my main phone,” he says, adding: “It gets a lot of attention where ever I go.” Also getting attention, thanks to the $8 million iPhone, is Hughes’s less expensive site, Goldstriker International, which sells Swarovski-crystal versions in the four-figure range. Says Hughes, “The big guys with all the money, they give them out like sweets.”
Tiffany Majestic Necklace
A stratospherically priced item can influence the perceived value of the merchandise surrounding it, says Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and author of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.” The retailer’s goal, Ariely says, “is to reframe what we think is a reasonable price. If we don’t know what something is worth, we compare its relative value to other things like it” — which is how a $2,000 bottle on a wine list can make the $200 choice seem like a bargain. Fantasy merchandise also appeals to our inner snob. “You get the sense that this catalog is being sent to lots of wealthy people,” Ariely says, “and you think of yourself in that world.” If you can’t swing the diamond necklace on the cover of the Tiffany jewelry catalog, you can still get into the club with the $175 sterling silver necklace on page 21.