Low-Cost Cashmere: Is it Worth the Price?

Find out if retailers are sacrificing quality to give you bargains on luxury items.
3:00 | 12/03/13

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Transcript for Low-Cost Cashmere: Is it Worth the Price?
Keeping along those lines a little bit. Cashmere. It is no longer a luxury item out of reach for the budget-conscious. Major retailers are offering higher quality woolwear at lower prices. But does the cut in price that you outrate cashmere? Becky worley is giving us some sample. And lets us know if we're sacrificiing quality for savings. Reporter: It makes such a nice gift. But if you've been shopping this holiday season, you've noticed it's gotten a lot lower in price. Is the budget cashmere that different from the expensive cashmere? Cashmere. So luxurious. So soft. But so expensive. At least it used to always be expensive. Since 2007, the prices of cashmere have plummeted dramatically. You used to be only find cashmere for $300 or $400. Now, you can get it for as low as $50. Reporter: What gives? Why has the cashmere market gone soft? To unravel this mystery, we first need to know -- what is cashmere? Cashmere is from a very specific animal in a very specific part of an animal. It's from the underbelly of goats. Reporter: Up until about seven years ago, only the thinnest, longest belly hair from up near the float of the goats was exported. But when china relaxed exports, they stopped splitting hairs. Now, some of the cashmere products can be made from the throat, the belly, and from the nether regions of these goats. But does the budget cashmere have the same luxury qualities? To find out, I need to go shopping. In the store, you can't tell what part of the goat the sweaters are made from. But you do know the price. Expensive. Ooh-la-la. 258. Marked down to $154. Next, mid-range. 100 bucks at ann taylor. And rounding it out with a budget option, wow. 59 bucks. What do the experts think in should I expect to tell? I think less expensive cashmere has propensity to pill. You can see the weave on this one is a tight weave. I would say it's a little plusher. Reporter: Is cashmere finally a budget buy that feels like a luxury? Well, the only way to really find out is -- it's a feel test. We have a little game show. Let's see. Lara, you have $101. Should we start with the medium? Let's do the expensive one. Robin, you're the expensive one. 154. Don't -- this is the cheaper one. Okay. All right. Robin was right. That one is $154. But the $59 one is right here. Really? And -- yeah. And the mid-range, you can't tell. We all feel this one. Oh, yeah. That's like butter. Just when you thought you could afford cashmere -- it's $364, marked down from $550. Wow. If it's mid-range, it's not a big deal. But when you get into the -- then. I love when you do that. We asked our viewers to weigh in, as well, about the debate with this. We heard from a few. Caroline says, if it looks it, I'll wear it. I'll even wear a noncashmere looking sweater. And then, rich says, you always get what you pay for. We couldn't tell between the middle and the bottom. Maybe you know the top-top. But between the middle -- if you can't tell the difference, why are you paying more? You get what you pay for. What we're seeing, there are levels of cashmere. There's a middle ground now. I think if you get this result. Is that felt? It is now. So good. I think -- becky worley, ladies and gentlemen.

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