"It's rented," Hudson says. "Bag Borrow or Steal? It's like Netflix for purses."
Those words sent thousands of women scrambling for their laptops. Designer handbags for a fraction of the cost? And you can get a new one whenever you want?
It sounded too good to be true. But nearly four years later, the rental market for designer goods has gotten even better.
"We're trying to make it a lot easier for the customer to have access to items she might not otherwise have access to or be able to afford," says Tiffany Ullian, fashion director for the Seattle-based Bag Borrow or Steal.
The company has eliminated its membership fee and no longer adds an extra charge for insurance or standard shipping. It's also rebranding itself with a focus on luxury labels. Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci are its three biggest renters, and it recently added designs by Alexander McQueen and Celine.
"We just brought them on, and we can't keep them on the shelves," Ullian says, adding that Bag Borrow or Steal averages between 800 and 1,000 new customers every month.
Here's a look at a few of the top rental sites:
Bag Borrow or Steal
What it offers:Handbags, jewelry, watches and sunglasses for rent; pre-owned handbags for sale; handbag cleaning and repair services. The site will also buy your gently used designer bag.
Insurance:Free; covers cleaning and damage but not loss or theft.
Loan periods:One week, one month or three months.
Extras:Waiting list for popular items, gift cards, loyalty reward program (points from every dollar you spend earn you discounts on future rentals), referral program ($50 toward a rental when your friend rents her first item).
Rent the Runway
What it offers:Dresses, jewelry and handbags for rent; wraps, shoes, intimates, shapewear (including Spanx) and beauty products for sale.
Shipping:$9.95, free return shipping.
Insurance:$5, does not include "significant damage," loss or theft.
Loan periods:Four days or eight days.
Extras:Easy-to-search categories organized by event, such as cocktail party, date and professional wear; online chats with personal stylists; free second sizes shipped with your order; $50 off for first-time customers; referral program (you and a friend each get $20 credit when she rents her first item); retail reward program ($20 credit when you buy from one of the site's designers); gift cards.
Other finds (four days):Oscar de la Renta rose motif earrings, $25 ($175, retail); Kate Spade Little Shyla clutch, $40 ($298, retail).
Rent Me a Handbag
What it offers:Women's clothing, shoes and handbags for rent; outlet store sells men's and women's shoes and clothes, handbags, briefcases, wallets, beauty and fragrance products, children's and baby items, housewares and electronics.
Membership:$9.95 for one month to $99.95 for one year.
Shipping:Free for members; $10.95 for nonmembers.
Insurance:$15 optional insurance for excessive wear; does not cover damage, loss or theft.
Loan periods:One week or one month.
Extras: Layaway plans available.
Other finds (per week): Fendi python and jewel clutch, $90 members/$113 nonmembers ($2,260 retail); Marchesa black silk dress, $67 members/$74 nonmembers ($740, retail).
Happily Ever Borrowed
What it offers:Bridal belts, sashes, headbands, tiaras, hairpins, combs, veils and jewelry.
Membership:No membership required.
Shipping:Varies by location; free return shipping.
Insurance:$5, does not cover "irreparable damage," loss or theft.
Loan period:Five days.
Extras:"Send Before You Spend" box of three accessories to try at your dress fitting, hair salon or at home for $50, plus a $25 coupon toward your wedding-day rental; gift cards; special orders.
Other finds:Georgina grosgrain belt with crystal and metal beading, $36 ($180, retail); Lady Catherine Swarovski crystal chandelier earrings, $35 ($250, retail).
Source : http://www.cleveland.com/style/index.ssf/2012/09/where_to_rent_designer_handbag.html