How Rich Do These Magazine Editors Think We Are?

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The holidays are upon us, which means newsstands are filled with publications pushing luxury goods in the form of “gift guides.” Tallying up the total cost of these guides from major magazines, the consensus is this: Magazine editors think you are rich. So rich. So. So. Rich. Yet Gallup reports that the average American expects to spend $786 on holiday gifts this year, which means they can afford about two-and-a-third of a gift from this month’s InStyle guide — never mind the 28 separate “price on request items” that Vogue recommends for all the people on your shopping list.

The Cut stubbornly tracked down unlisted price tags (when companies would share them, which was not as often as you would think) and crunched all the numbers, so click through to see the financial analysis of this year’s magazine gift guides, including the nominations for most ridiculous gifts (don’t worry, we included ourselves too). A blinged-out KitchenAid mixer! A 48-karat-gold-plated Xbox! A Virgin Galactic space-shuttle flight, available for $250,000 per seat!

T

Total: $1,709,568.00* Average: 40,704.00 per gift Most Expensive: VeryFirstTo’s trip to dine at every Michelin-three-star restaurant in the world, $275,000 (includes reservations, flights, and hotels; meals not included) Cheapest: Russ & Daughters Gaspe Smoked Salmon, $38 per pound Most Ridiculous: Porsche Ice-Force driving camp in northern Finland, where “expert instructors will teach you how to master an obstacle course at temperatures as low as 30 below,” $6,500 for five days   *not including 2 items for which prices were unavailable   Photo: Shutterstock.com

WSJ. Magazine

Total: $719,654.35* Average: $6,602.33 per gift Most Expensive: Van Cleef & Arpels diamond, garnet, tourmaline, and onyx earrings, price upon request Cheapest: Landbrot Bakery & Bar Cakes, $3.80-$5.90 Most Ridiculous: Tiffany and Co. Cocktail Shaker, $2,500   *not including three items for which prices were unavailable

Vogue

Total: $389,442.00* Average: $5,812.57 per gift Most Expensive: Virgin Galactic Suborbital Spaceflight, $250,000 Cheapest: Anthropologie Palace Trellis Glass, $12 Most Ridiculous: Jay Nelson Custom Toyota Camper, which, it turns out, is not actually for sale     *not including eleven items for which prices were unavailable

Harper’s Bazaar

Total: $241,598.87* Average: $3,716.90 per gift Most Expensive: Nam Cho Earrings, $157,000 Cheapest: Dominique Ansel Bakery Lychee-Coconut Pavlovas, $6 Most Ridiculous: “Poetry by Derek Lam” Wine, $210   *not including one item for which price was unavailable

Elle

Total: $205,100.00* Average: $2,412.96 per gift Most Expensive: Vinsja Jewels Diamond and Platinum Necklace, price upon request Cheapest: Rocket Tea Infuser, $7 Most Ridiculous: 24-Karat Gold-Plated Xbox 360, $4,995   *not including seven items for which prices were unavailable

W

Total: $86,486.00 Average: $6,652.77 per gift Most Expensive: Audemars Piguet Watch, $29,400 Cheapest: Iomoi Personalized Stationary, $78 for a set of 20 Most Ridiculous: The fact the most expensive item on W market editor Karla Martinez de Salas’s gift guide is one for herself (“With a watch like this, I would never be late — I swear!”)  

InStyle

Total: $94,139 Average: $333.83 per gift Most Expensive: Hermès Men’s Steel Watch with Alligator Strap, $7,500 Cheapest: Mustache Pens, $3 Most Ridiculous: KitchenAid Stand Mixer with Crystals, from $1799

New York

Total: $42,993.10 Average: $263.76 per gift Most Expensive: Cindy Sherman Madame de Pompadour Tea-Service Set, $7,000 Cheapest: Walkers Crisps, $1.25 Most Ridiculous: Tod’s Suede Gommini Slippers (in sizes newborn to 12 months), $145

How Rich Do These Magazine Editors Think We Are?