The Most Expensive Gift at 12 American Retailers

Buying all the goodies sung about in the holiday classic The Twelve Days of Christmas will cost $23,439 this year. But what if you want to be an extra-generous Santa in 2010 and buy, say, the most expensive item for sale at each of 12 popular U.S. retailers? Well, according to an unscientific survey by 24/7 Wall St, that would set you back nearly $15 million (thanks mainly to a visit to Tiffany).

Although this will be a tough holiday season for millions of Americans still caught in the recession's clutches, no matter how bad the economy is some people always have a good year. The most fortunate of those have spent their entire lives having one good year after another. And they can afford to splurge.

With that in mind, 24/7 Wall St visited a number of stores and interviewed store managers at large retailers to find their most expensive gifts. Some of the stores, like Tiffany, count the superrich among their regular customers. Others, such as Radio Shack, cater to the middle class. Many of the merchants on this list have customer groups that overlap, and some sell nothing that costs more than a few hundred dollars. But here (in ascending order of cost) is what you'll find on the top shelves of this all-American dozen.

Power Wheels Black Hybrid Escalade12) TOYS 'R' US
Category: Toy Store
Item: Power Wheels Black Hybrid Escalade
Cost: $379.99

Built to mimic the look of the expensive SUV, the Power Wheels Black Hybrid Escalade, is one expensive toy. Complex in its design and finish as a functioning minicar, the Power Wheels Escalade is priced at $379.99, and in-store assembly will add $25 to its sticker.

Michael Jordan leather jacket11) NIKETOWN
Jordan Leather Jacket

Although the flagship Nike store has a wide range of pricey shoes, including the $400 Mercurial Vapor soccer cleats, its most expensive item is the Michael Jordan leather jacket, which currently costs $500. On the more modest side are Niketown's wristbands, which sell for $6.

Rollins Men's Leather Jacket 10) ABERCROMIE & FITCH
Specialty Retail Chain
Rollins Men's Leather Jacket

Abercrombie & Fitch has maintained a certain level of popularity for a number of years by selling moderately priced clothes to youthful customers. The company does feature a more upscale side, however, as illustrated by its $600 Rollins leather jacket for men.

iPhone 4 9) RADIOSHACK
Discount Consumer Electronics
iPhone 4

RadioShack is usually better-suited for people looking to buy small electronic products than luxury items. This may be slowly changing, however, as the stores start offering more expensive goods. Currently, the costliest item is the 32-GB iPhone 4, priced at $700.

Specialty Consumer Electronics
Mac Pro

Speaking of Apple, the most expensive item in the tech icon's ever-popular Apple Store is the dual 2.4-GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Westmere" Mac Pro, priced at $3,499. Customers can improve this powerhouse's specs by adding to its memory and graphics, which plumps up its price even more.

SunBrite TV 55 7) BEST BUY
Consumer Electronics
SunBrite TV 55-Inch Outdoor LCD HDTV

Although it's not Best Buy's largest TV, the SunBrite TV 55-Inch Outdoor LCD HDTV is both its most expensive TV and costliest item overall. The 1080p, 120-Hz set has an extremely high picture quality. It sports a water-resistant design that protects against rain, dirt and insects, for customers who wish to watch Animal Planet while surrounded by nature.

Ralph Lauren alligator bag 6) RALPH LAUREN
Branded Retail
Alligator Bag

Ralph Lauren is a classic brand that often likes to dip its toes in ultra-luxury. That's apparent in the company's pricey accessories, which include a $20,000 alligator bag. The reason for this lofty price: Alligator leather is far less common than other types, and it requires a more involved development process.

Department Store Chain
Golden Sable Fur Coat

One of Macy's most posh in-store shops is "The Fur Vault," the department store's section for animal pelt products. The most notable item there is a golden sable fur coat (photo unavailable -- but trust us, it's a beauty), priced at just under $40,000. An extremely high price for extremely high-quality fur.

diamond ring 4) COSTCO
Big Box Retail Chain
5.11-carat diamond ring

Costco is known for bulk and bargains. As a result, it may be surprising to hear that the store features a 5.11-carat diamond ring that costs nearly $200,000. The solitaire ring is on display in Costco's New York City store. However, information on its availability can be found online.

The Big Piano 3) FAO SCHWARZ
Specialty Toys
The Big Piano

Taking the toy market toward extreme extravagance is FAO Schwarz. Many people recognize it from the 1988 film Big, and the store still features a giant floor piano, like the one that plays a prominent role in the film. Today's piano, which is actually bigger than the one in Big, can be purchased for a whopping $250,000, due to its size and technical sophistication.

Breguet Double Tourbillon 2) TOURNEAU
Luxury Watch Retailer
Breguet Double Tourbillon

Although overall watch sales have dropped during the last few years, sales of luxury watches have remained consistent. That's good news for stores like Tourneau, which reap big bucks by selling luxo-watches such as the Double Tourbillon, which is made by Breguet. This complex timepiece is Tourneau's most expensive, featuring a clock-stopping price of $402,000.

Tiffany Majestic necklace1) TIFFANY
Luxury Jewelry Retail
The Tiffany Majestic necklace

Tiffany is, of course, chock-full with a number of dearly priced items. The most impressive is the Tiffany Majestic necklace, which costs $12 million (yes, million). This piece comprises over 300 stones and features a 30.31-carat diamond. It's not Tiffany's most valuable item, however. That honor belongs to the legendary 184-carat Tiffany Yellow Diamond. The store puts its value as "priceless."

Also See: Beer-Budget Gifts from High-End Brands

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Nishu Kakkar

Nice post.
I was googling for most expensive gifts for billionaires and came across the latest post detailing 25 most expensive gifts that only rich can ink deal with. Thought your readers might be interested in getting fresh gift ideas to impress their millionaire friends. Here is the list:

December 07 2011 at 5:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Once again AOL gives us a list of "stuff" gee thanks, I'm sure a multi million dollar home, or a boat, or .... are also expensive gifts. Gimme a break.

December 13 2010 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Diamonds are a JOKE!!!

December 13 2010 at 8:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to laugh so hard at all of the peole commenting on the wasted cash for products in this story. But statistics show that 85% of all of you who can least aford these items have gone into debt this and most christmases. Which is more crazy than some rich fool paying cash for an expensive give just for the hell of it. Just think of those gifts you purchased in the last few weeks for all the family friends and a few co workers that you talk behind thier backs about. Cha ching put it on the master card no make that visa this one master is Maxed out. Over the next 10 years you you pay the minumin payments and look at your bill what those inexpensive gifts are going to cost you. So many people in the comment areas critize our goverment for building debt when in fack 85% of americans poor and middle class have more debt than they will ever pay off. Debt free for 10 years now I will never have another debt in my life. Live within your means pay cash or do not buy. That home, jet ski,new car, obsesive amout of make up,

December 12 2010 at 12:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kevin's comment

Good comment. As Dave Ramsey says...That's like you and me buying a happy meal. LOL!!!

December 13 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Learn to spell. It would make you appear a lot smarter.

December 13 2010 at 10:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
james duncan

Think of all of the people you could help for 20K not to mention 12 million

December 12 2010 at 11:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I don't know about you but If I spent $200K on a ring that didnt have a Tiffanys stamp on it my wife would be upset. WTF is Costco thinking? Yea I have seen the $12,000 Piaget watches in the case. But nobody ever buys them they just send it to the next store as a museuem pc. Whoever spends 200K on a ring he better have bought some serious furs from Neiman Marcus to hide the ring in if he thinks hes going to get over on somebody. BTW diamonds aren't rare De Beers makes them rare based on supply and demand and a whole color clarity scheme but they are not that uncommon. But any guy who has the money for a 200k ring clearly would know that it would be much better to buy a fast car and get your "rocks off" that way then to buy a ring from Costco for some old bag with a skirt on. 200k will buy a fast car which will get you alot of skirt!

December 12 2010 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to labellefille1's comment

LOL! I needed a good one. thanks

December 12 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alligator bag for 20k ??? BAAAHAHAHHAHAA. The leather market for gator leather has TANKED. I know people that have had their CAR SEATS done it gator leather. More money than cowhide ? yes. 20K for a purse ??? if they sell any all i can say is stupid is, is stupid does....... if gator leather has magically gone up that much, then i need to swith some investments. You can raise a gator to hide size in 2-3 years

December 11 2010 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All for people with more money than brains. Who buys this stuff????

December 11 2010 at 10:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The people who buy these things do so only so they can brag and show off how rich they are. They have no sense of vallue for money paid. I have a Daniel Mink wrist watch that is good looking and acurate. My son bought it for me fourteen years ago and all I have had to do is replace the band twice and purchace a new battery every two years. It keeps accurate time, looks good and I believe he paid less than Two Hundred Dollars U.S. for it. A twenty thousand dollar purse? You have to be out of your mind or just love showing off to sales clerks.

December 11 2010 at 10:08 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Where are the spinners, excessive chrome, license plate that says Escalade or is it Es Ca La DAY, crown air freshner AND the blairing stereo on that kiddy Escalade?

December 11 2010 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply