Recently, Vlad was interviewed by USA Today about our take on the designer handbag rental websites. While the idea seems great, it is something we realize that does not appeal to our readers and our members. The fact of the matter is, handbag aficionados want to own their bags first and have them as part of a growing collection. Thank you again to Maria for the interview!
“Our ladies are just too picky “” they’re collectors, and they want the sensation of owning the bags,” say Vlad and Meaghan of Fort Lauderdale, co-founders of PurseBlog.com. “Many are repelled by the idea of another woman’s fingerprints or stains or germs.”
Read the entire article at USA Today or
Can’t afford that high-end handbag? Just rent it
You can rent a car and rent a DVD “” but rent a handbag?
Thanks to the Internet and Americans’ infatuation with high-end designer handbags, rent-a-bag is a concept that a growing number of women are embracing.
MORE: Get a handle on handbag rental websites
Because who really has closet space for scores of handbags? Why spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a bag that might languish in the closet after one season? How do you get the next “It” bag for a special occasion?
Today there are two websites operating in the USA “” BagBorrowOrSteal.com and FromBagsToRiches.com “” plus at least three in Britain, one in Germany, one in Australia and one in Canada. Although neither U.S. site will say exactly how many, the sites are believed to be renting thousands of bags a month to women all over the country.
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“It’s a great idea,” says Jennifer MacNeish, 42, of Melrose, Mass., who has rented dozens of bags in the past year from BBOS. “You can spend a lot of money buying handbags, and no matter how fabulous the bag, a month later you want the next one.”
The two sites are differ in some details: BBOS, for instance, has a vintage-bag curator who buys expensive designer bags, such as an HermÃ¨s Crocodile Birkin bag available to rent for up to $6,010 a month (to get a new one you have to join a years-long waiting list). FromBagsToRiches also operates a related consignment site, called BagBanco.com, where women can sell their used handbags and get back up to 80% of the sale.
“Women feel empowered” by toting designer brands, says Samuel Mangiere, chairman of FBTR. “It’s not about ownership, it’s about the experience of having a designer bag for even a brief period of time.”
The media coverage has been widespread and laudatory. But some bag blogs, such as PurseBlog.com and BagSnob.com, are not keen on the concept. Among other things, bloggers worry about hygiene, although the sites say bags are routinely cleaned.
“Our ladies are just too picky “” they’re collectors, and they want the sensation of owning the bags,” say Vlad Dusil and Meaghan Mahoney of Fort Lauderdale, co-founders of ThePurseBlog.com. “Many are repelled by the idea of another woman’s fingerprints or stains or germs.”
The sites generally work like this: Browse the bags online, ranging from costly Chanel to more affordable Coach. Click on one (or more) you want to borrow, choose rental by week or by month, and it ships that day or the next. Keep it as long as you like; your credit card will be charged for each extra week or month. After renting, if you want the bag you can buy it, usually at a discount from retail price. Otherwise, send it back and get another one.
“People are trying to replicate celebrity culture “” it’s this idea that I can have the bag of the moment for the moment,” says fashion journalist Lesley Scott, who blogs at FashionTribes.com.
Indeed, many women feel guilty about or bored with their bag collections and hate the clutter in their closets, Smith says. “This is a great way for them to enjoy more luxury and still feel good about it.”