The world's most expensive vacuum cleaner has gone on sale, and is a snip at just £800,000. It begs the question of whether the company behind it could possibly be serious about selling such an odd item, and whether there's a market for a cleaner that costs more than a five-bedroom house in central Bristol.
The cleaner itself is made by GoVacuum. Only 100 of them will be produced - and each has a limited edition serial number. The cleaner has actually been on the market for three years - and when it was launched the company's Vice President of sales and marketing said: "This isn't a joke, a fake product or publicity stunt as many people have thought. Six months ago I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and was blinded by golden light in my half-asleep daze, I thought why is there not a gold vacuum for sale?"
The funny side
However serious the company was about the product, it's fair to say that this seriousness is not shared by all its stockists. The cleaner is part of the 'WTF' range from Firebox, and the listing is suitably tongue-in-cheek. It says the item is "Ideal for red carpets, yacht decks and stretch limousine interiors" and that it is: "Perfect for picking up loose bundles of cash, stocks and bonds or any leftover blood-diamonds that might be lying about."
It adds that the shiny 24kt gold plating means that it probably needs its own cleaner. And the first line under 'more information' is that "This is a really, really, really, really expensive vacuum cleaner." The small print from the manufacturer makes it crystal clear that the gold does nothing for the performance of the machine - it's just there to make it look pretty.
%VIRTUAL-ArticleSidebar-shopping-guide% Will anyone buy it?
It's impossible to imaging who would buy it. After-all if you have $1 million to spend on a vacuum cleaner, you'd also have an army of servants, so you're never likely to use it - or even to see it.
Depressingly, this isn't actually the most ridiculous gold-plated item you can buy - although it is one of the most expensive. Five of the oddest are:
The Gold Plated Beefeater Barbecue Grill went on sale in 2008 for $164,000. It was made for the Sydney Home Show
The gold plated Lamborghini Aventador went up for sale in 2012. The car had been covered in gold foil, and the asking price was $550,000
A gold plated X-Box One was on sale in Harrods in 2013 for £6,000
In 2010 a Japanese company, Inax, started selling a range of gold plated toilets - priced at between $20,000 and $40,000
LG produced a gold plated 71-inch TV with a gold cinema sound system for $132,000 - back in 2007 at the peak of the bubble
But what do you think? Are these products a bit of fun, sensible options for the oligarch who has everything, or a depressing sign of what is becoming of humanity?
World's most expensive vacuum cleaner, yours for £800k
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