Someone recently asked me what I thought of the site: BagBorroworSteal.com. Bag, Borrow, or Steal (also called Avelle) is a rental service for luxury goods. You can “borrow” (rent) things like Chanel sunglasses, diamond watches, and Gucci bags by the week or even the month.
I’m a big fan of renting certain big-ticket items rather than buying. For instance, if you must have an SUV because you take 2 week vacations in rough terrain, why not buy a much cheaper car and rent the SUV for 2 weeks? Or you can rent an HD-flat screen for your Super Bowl party instead of using the party as an excuse to buy.
On the one hand, I find myself liking the idea (not for me, I’m a low-maintenance girl, but in general). It saves you from having a closet full of clothes. It means you’ll get to have things–for a short period–that you’d otherwise never be able to afford. It’s like a special once-a-year dinner or renting a cabin by the shore.
But on the other hand, I also find myself asking whether there’s any good reason for one to do it. Unless you’re already spending a lot of money on buying these goods news, this is still going to cost you. Renting this lovely Gucci clutch costs $60.00/week or $175.00/month if you’re a member and $66.00/week or $191.00/month if you’re not. Plus, only 50% of what you pay would be applied toward purchasing it if you decide to “steal” it.
As a habit, it’s a very expensive one and it creates the impression that you have a lot more than you do. Those impressions don’t hold up well over time. And while it lets you enjoy a higher lifestyle, constantly using the service accustoms you to that lifestyle and may lead you to spend outside your means in other ways. If you need to create a good impression, it would probably be more worthwhile to spend that money on quality clothes.
There’s also the issue of wear-and-tear. The company asks that you treat their items with a little TLC–obviously if they want to make any money off it, they’ll have to keep things looking nice. They write “We understand that there will be everyday wear and tear and there is no additional fee assessed in these instances. However, if the item is abused, broken beyond everyday wear and tear or lost, your account will be charged a reasonable repair or replacement fee. Some items, however, are not easily replaceable and a fee, up to full retail replacement, may be charged.” As a person who sits on her sunglasses every few years, I know right away this is not for me (that’s why I buy cheap sunglasses!).
I’ve been trying to come up with an event where it might be worth my while to rent a $4k watch for $100/week, carry a Luis Vitton bag (only $165/week), and wear Chanel sunglasses (only $48/week). The best reasons I could come up with rent accessories would be either if I was going to an event and wanted something nice to go with my outfit (like a nice bracelet) but didn’t want to buy anything or if I felt like dressing up for kicks and had a budget for it. Every other reason had to do with social climbing or otherwise trying to make people believe I was something I’m not.
But maybe I’m not very creative when it comes to accessories. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, whether it’d be something worthwhile to you, whether there might be a few events were you could see renting nicer accessories, or whether you just can’t see a point to it.