Would you spend $6500 on this robotic handbag to help you save money? Sure it lights up, vibrates, has GPS tracking and its exterior looks like a face – but is it worth the same amount or more than a Chanel or Louis Vuitton?
Launched by financial product comparison website creditcardfinder.com.au, the iBag2 is the next step from the 2004 prototype ibag and is meant to monitor impulsive spending and avoid buyer’s remorse at stores where you’re prone to splash cash.
Designed by an all-female-led team of engineers from Ireland, the revamped robotic handbag was launched in New York this week and will sell for about $US5000.
At this stage creditcardfinder.com.au is just “gauging interest” on sales and orders in Australia, raising questions as to whether the marketing of the bag is a stunt at this stage.
The main benefit of the bag, which arrives in Sydney next week, is that it uses GPS tracking to shoppers avoid stores where they might drop a lot of money. It does not link transactions to bank accounts.
It does this by using all the bells and whistles to stop you from spending in those high-and-low fashion stores, but the key questions are; would you really want it to? And can you afford it in the first place?
I suppose that comes down to personal choice and how good or bad you are with controlling your spending habits.
Personally, the thought of wearing the bag is enough to turn me off spending. And it’s not because of the face on the front of it – the design can be customised.
I’d be too scared of it lighting up and putting me in the spotlight as a troubled shopaholic – that’s between me and me.
Indeed on a more positive note, it might mean I receive better customer service if sales staff recognise me as a spender.
But let’s face it, this ibag2 will be good for some people who don’t mind the control aspect, however because of the expensive price tag, those who actually need it, might not be able to afford it.
Still if you have a teen who’s a shopaholic, it’s once way to track their spending and their movements at the same time.
So what does the ibag do?
The bag uses vibrations and flashing lights to get the shopper’s attention and to stop them from making impulse buys.
It also self-locks as the owner nears a pre-programmed danger zone or during their most vulnerable spending moment. (Imagine being locked out of your own bag – what if your car keys are in there!)
The iBag2 features five components:
A timer connected to electromagnets lock the bag according to your most vulnerable spending moments;
LED lights and vibrations go off each time your wallet is taken out as a reminder of spending goals;
GPS tracking that warns you via amber lights and vibration when you are nearing one of your pre-programmed vulnerable spending zones;
A locking function that turns on if you proceed to enter your danger zone;
A bluetooth tracker Tile that will alert your phone through an app if the bag is a certain distance away from you.
The iBag2 also comes with a fast charging power pack.
Why some Australian shoppers might need it?
We know that credit cardholders have amassed $52.22 billion in debt, according to the latest Reserve Bank data analysed by creditcardfinder.com.au.
Research commissioned by credit card finder, surveying 1,078 Australians in April-May 2016, found that Australia’s credit card habits have worsened.
The survey also found 79 per cent of credit cardholders make unplanned purchases each month and 23 per cent of respondents admitted to not paying off their balance in full each month.
Bessie Hassan, spokeswoman at creditcardfinder.com.au, says the “figures reveal that some Australian cardholders need to adjust their shopping habits which could be achieved through an extreme solution like the iBag2 to kickstart a spending detox.”
Research also shows that Australian women are less likely to pay off their credit card balance each month than men, while Gen Y are the most likely generation to have a credit card debt out of age groups.