Road Test: Renting an "It" Bag Via Bag, Borrow or Steal

01/19/2007 at 12:14 PM ET

I may have been able to afford Ashlee Simpson’s Free People tunic, but her $1700 quilted Balenciaga purse is a whole different story. But thanks to Bag, Borrow or Steal, I was able to rent that exact bag for a week during the holidays. Here’s how it works: There are hundreds of designer bags and fine jewelry to choose from for weekly or monthly rentals. You can become a member for $5 a month, which gives you steep discounts on the four levels of rentals: Couture, Diva, Princess, or Trendsetter — member rentals range from $6 a week to $275 a month. When carrying my “borrowed” Balenciaga, I was convinced that everything I wore looked better, and despite my paranoia that I was going to irrepairably damage the bag, it came through without a scratch. Best of all, I was only out $80, which is a lot easier to swallow than $1700. Next up on my list is the buttery-soft Chanel tote that I have been lusting after. Note of caution: you can’t pre-reserve so leave yourself a little time cushion to get in your bag if you need it for a special occasion. The hottest “It Bags” can be waitlisted for several weeks. Even with a little lag time, why buy when you can rent? — Melissa Liebling-Goldberg

See more of Melissa’s webshopping picks in the new issue of PEOPLE’s StyleWatch, on sale now.

Photo: Courtesy of Bag, Borrow or Steal

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Showing 18 comments

Lauren on

This is a ridiculous idea. If you can’t afford it don’t try to wear it. And heaven forbid you lose the thing or it gets stolen what happens then. Just save your pennies and buy yourself a coach or Doone & Bourke from Macy’s or Bloomingdales, their high end bags but not insanely priced.

Sarah on

I love the site and the concept. I have a bunch of nice bags, but I really only want to spend a lot of money on the classics. For the trendier pieces, it’s the perfect way to have them for the season, without breaking the bank. Then, I just trade them in…

C on

Why even waste your money renting one of these bags, so someone in the mall, at work, or picking up the kids from school happens to notice you’re carrying a $1700 handbag? Puhleeze!!!! Maybe my friends and I just aren’t that shallow that we care about each other’s handbags. Target and H&M sell cute ones for a fraction of the cost and they can be tossed or donated once they go out of style.

Charla Dickenson on

I guess not wasting money is a good thing. This concept kind of baffles me though, in the sense that my hubby and I like to rent things that matter, like our APARTMENT. You know I’m a girlie girl and I like my purses. I’m not some out of touch preechy type who doesn’t know the fun aof shopping. I have been lucky to travel and live all over Africa, Europe and North America and a lot of my clothes and accessories come from all my travels. I really do, as a small part of the big picture, enjoy fashion. But I spend well and find what others would call crazy bargain prices for gorgeous fashions. I’m just instantly turned off by anything that is overly or INSANELY priced. When I think of women who are into all this designer stuff it relly reminds me of Cinderella’s ugly step sisters. In this world there are all these incredible natural beauties, and I mean really socially gorgeous people, and they don’t have anything designer but they dress impecably, on a respectful budget, and they turn heads like nothing else. They are true fashion icons. I just can’t imagine feeling that a super-expensive purse would make me look or feel good. I don’t think a big price tag and designer labels has anything to do with true and stunning fashion. If you really feel you need a designer big bucks purse this is a somewhat less ridiculous option than buying it. For those who do want it I think they need to take a break from shopping and do some introspection and ask hmmmm … am I overcompensating for something?

j on

i think it’s a genius idea!! however i prefer to actually buy these bags on my own. if you can afford it and it’s what you like i say go for it. we all have our own ‘things’–be it handbags, shoes, travel, good food and wine, or all of the above!!! ;)

Janelle Smith on

I agree Sarah. LOVE this company! Saw them on Rachel Ray. What a great idea!

Kristen on

I would rent a car, but not a purse. If I can’t afford it, I can always get a knock off, or a bag similar to it,that
looks just as nice.

Jackson on

Well, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of. I’ve heard of a lot of Rent-to-Own stuff but never purses, etc. I’ll just save my money and buy one of my own!

AB on

I think the idea is lame. If people can’t afford the bag, why should they have it? I hate the sense of entitlement that people feel towards things like this. Why is it so wrong that it’s “exclusive” to certain people who have the money to burn. Buy something that is cute within your price range!

This site is an accetable “scam” as well. Saving your own money for awhile is, in my opinion, more cost effective than spending $275/month for any kind of half way decent bag.

j on

to those who buy knock offs: DON’T and instead educate yourselves on the subject: it supports terrorism and child labor!!!!!!!!
why would you even WANT something fake anyway?! save for the real deal or do w/out.

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