Hmm. On the topic of things with no "inherent" value, I wonder what would happen to "precious" items such as gold. (Or, for my purposes, what would be "realistic" enough to pass the "willful suspension of disbelief" for my players, and at the same time be interesting enough for game-play.)
In the short term, I could see the argument that gold is of little use -- you can't eat it, you can't really do anything USEFUL with it -- but you might still value it because of the shared PERCEPTION that gold is worth something -- in other words, the faith that you will find someone else that you can trade this gold with to get something that you need, and it has enough value per its weight to be worth more than various other "trade items" you could hoard for bartering purposes.
If Jacksonville hasn't fallen yet, then I think there could be a perception that the Apocalypse is something temporary. People are still flying out to the Citizen Relocation Zone, the President is still in charge (from Colorado), and we'll get a handle on this. Thus you might find the trader who has lucked into getting a whole bunch of MREs who might reason that he's going to have an easier time transporting that gold jewelry and pawning it off later, convincing himself that he's getting a really good deal (he knows what gold "should" be worth, and in pre-Apocalypse terms he's charging you handsomely for those MREs).
Once Jacksonville falls, and for most of the remainder of War of the Dead, gold might not have quite as much value (although perhaps such luxury items might have some trade value for the same reasons in places such as Sanctuary -- for while they last).
And then, in World of the Dead, perhaps gold might find some value again. I'm not really sure on what basis gold HAS any real value other than just its rarity and that we've gotten this traditional, ingrained idea that "diamonds and gold and other shiny natural things are worth a lot," and as long as everyone believes that, and there's someone else to trade with ... it IS worth a lot for that fact alone.
I guess my interest in this is just so that when there's looting/scavenging to be done, there might be some items that are worth considering to load up on (but you can only carry so much, what with carry-capacity, space in your vehicle, etc.). Do you just focus on food, water, and ammunition? Or do you have enough faith that you'll run into some civilized fellow survivors down the line that some of these other compact "luxury" items might be valuable for trade purposes?
For reasons such as this, I've made some ballpark estimates on how much stuff can be loaded into a vehicle. I've arbitrarily declared (since I have *NO* idea what would be realistic, but I'm betting that my players don't, either) that about 300 lbs of gear -- using the Savage Worlds somewhat abstract-at-times estimate of "pounds" to cover both bulk and weight for capacity purposes -- can be carried in lieu of one passenger. I estimate that the average trunk of a car can hold about 300 lbs of bulk/gear (as long as it's big enough that someone could be stashed in the trunk, so, hey, we're consistent
For pickup beds and SUVs and such, capacity is based on how many passengers you could alternately put back there instead of extra cargo.
Latching a trailer onto the back of your vehicle is going to penalize your vehicle handling (Driving checks) AND cut into miles-per-gallon. So, even if you've got an SUV, there still might be some element of decision-making when the heroes load up on goods.
I've made a bunch of vehicle cards with estimated MPG, "cargo space," fuel capacity, range, and some arbitrary handling values for my campaign to serve as a starting base, as well as translating vehicle SW speeds into MPH, so I don't have to decide this on the fly -- particularly useful if someone plays the "Hot Wheels" Adventure Card. I've also come up with some abstract rules for handling large "caches" of equipment -- enough stuff that it's too bulky for a single person to carry, and would likely fill up a trunk or more -- so that it isn't necessary to have a complete inventory of EVERY LAST PIECE of camping gear, tools, etc., that the group acquires while quickly raiding a site and grabbing everything that isn't nailed down, to sort through it all later. I might post those to my site sometime, after I've done a little more playtesting.
"Luxury goods," therefore, might cover a bunch of items without any necessary inherent value; they take up vehicle space, but might have some trade value if you reach a large settlement of survivors, if someone makes a good enough Streetwise roll to find an interested party.