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IfOnly Review: Shopping For Carefully Curated, Cripplingly Expensive Experiences

By TK Burton | Miscellaneous | April 14, 2016 |

By TK Burton | Miscellaneous | April 14, 2016 |

Having had some success with Kristy’s reviews of shopping with places like Level Up, Stitch Fix, and Try The World, I figured I’d add my own review to the fold. Going at it from a different angle, I thought I’d take a look at IfOnly, a marketplace that sells and auctions “experiences”.

How It Works

IfOnly markets itself as “a marketplace for incredible experiences. From unique everyday offerings with local experts to once-in-a-lifetime connections with lauded luminaries, IfOnly provides access to a curated selection of extraordinary experiences”. But let’s not judge it too quickly. A lengthy perusal of their website (which you have to sign up for to receive access) showed me some remarkable opportunities and experiences for sale. It’s all categorized in a number of ways — you can choose from your type of experience (everything from “Culinary” to “Artisan” to “Fashion Design”), or you can check out experiences for “Kids & Families” or “Groups”, or you can choose by price point. There’s a vast variety of options.

So I started on the front page, with their “Featured Experiences”, to see if there was anything that would appeal to me.

Um. OK, that’s not… really in my wheelhouse. And really out of my price range. And isn’t this just paying $1000 to take a picture with someone?

Let’s try something a bit more affordable.

Well, that’s not really what I had in mind. I guess… for the Lena Dunham enthusiasts? Who get a lot of voicemail messages? Considering that I a) don’t watch Girls, and b) get about three voicemails a week, this just doesn’t seem for me.

Next option:

OK. I mean, I like football and I like jeans. I’m not sure why I’d want to merge them together in quite this fashion. Especially for $2,500. Hm. OK, maybe the next one will—

Alright, I’m not 100% certain that IfOnly isn’t fucking with me.

Let’s try the “Kids & Families” section instead.

Ooookay, I’m sure my son would love this but that’s also like eight months worth of daycare.

Behind the scenes with a sick and possibly irritable hippo, otherwise known as one of the most dangerous animals on the planet? Maybe I’ll just take my kid to my wife’s veterinary hospital to pet a sick puppy.

OK, this isn’t really working out. Let’s take a look at the “Film & TV” section. That’s a little more in our ballpark, no?

Ooh, for a cool grand will she lecture me on vaccinating my kids?!

DUDE! I love you on Twitter! What? No, I’ve never heard any of your music.

OK, this isn’t really working. Let’s, uh, try for the price range section. I’ll go with the cheapest option, which is under $250.

Nope, uh uh, I’m not saying a mothefucking word about that.

Yeah, just a heads up? Pretty much any bike shop will do this for you.

Five HOURS? That’s… wait, no, I’d absolutely pay for that. OK, IfOnly, you found my sweet spot.

OK, so clearly this kind of first world, GOOP-y nonsense isn’t for me. BUT. I will also say that much of this was in good fun, because the truth is that IfOnly’s “experiences”, while often exorbitantly priced, are not all super expensive. You have to dig, but there’s some neat stuff in there if you’re in NYC or LA and looking for something unique. And, in truth, a portion of their proceeds goes to some pretty charitable causes. So I shan’t judge them too harshly.

Except for that falconry thing. What the fuck, man.