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The first two chapters of Trading Up mainly describe what a New Luxury is and who the people that use them are. New Luxury goods are those products and services that are higher in quality and cost than similar products and services that are of lesser quality. These products are not so expensive that the average consumer cannot purchase it. Trading up refers to people who forgo a lesser product for a better product (a New Luxury good or service). New Luxury consumers are often of middle to upper income and tend to be highly selective. In exchange for being able to trade up on one product they often choose to trade down on other products. They feel that certain products are more important then other products, which is how they decide when to trade up or down. These customers also include, but are not limited to, people who have a large disposable income, few expense, single people, and divorced people. Women also contribute a large amount for New Luxury items. These consumers also tend to be well educated and feel they have earned the right to spend their hard earned money on more luxurious things.
Chapter 10 discusses one of these New Luxury products that people are choosing to trade up for. The item, vodka, seemed to be a dwindling commodity before it became a New Luxury. People were buying less and less of the product until Absolut, and then Belvedere, reinvented it.
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Overall, I found the book very fascinating. I enjoyed learning the reasoning behind people’s actions. I personally do not relate very much because I choose to remain within my means. But perhaps that will change as I get older and begin earning a larger income. Perhaps I will trade up once in a while, but to balance it out I would probably also trade down on other items. Reading Trading Up and the article I found that they have somewhat conflicting information. Perhaps the numbers used for one are based on store sales and the other on on-premises sales. Or perhaps I am just focusing on it too much. It probably is true that people are trading up, but which products they choose to trade up for differ from person to person.