The exclusivity tax

Chanel Marketplace reports on the escalating prices of high-end consumer goods – specifically, handbags. The cost of a classic Chanel handbag was under $1,000 in the mid-1980s. If you adjust that for inflation, the cost should be around $2,000 today. However, a comparable bag in 2014 runs in excess of $4,000.

Analysts call it an exclusivity tax. Not only do I want this bag – but I also really don’t want you to have it.

The “exclusivity” mindset reaches down even into how the bags are displayed in stores. At Chanel’s Madison Avenue boutique, the bags are on pedestals, like works of art. As NYU professor Thomas Serdari says, it is intimidating. But it is meant to be.