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

Elda on

No, no and no!!!

KT fr Cda on

Personally, if you spend that much money on a purse, then I’d really like to know how can you pay for that and your mortgage/rent, bills etc. Do you not have kids? Only people that are rich if you ask me. That is a ridiculous amount to spend on a purse. They get marked or scratched so easily. Who would want to rent something that is used. Did you know that purses are a very germy thing that can make you very sick? Cause most woman put their purses on the bathroom floor or the carseat or on the floor of a car, and then go to a restaurant and then put it on the table. Gross but true. How many of you put your purses on the counter. Makes you wonder where did the person put that purse b4 you got it??I rather spend $15 for a purse and spend the rest on my bills and then have the money left over to spend on my kids. You all can defend yourselves and say owning a $1700 purse is worth it. You can say all that you want but you won’t change my mind. That is a waste of money.

Kristen on

Well J, you can just keep your opinion’s to yourself.
If I’m not there watching who put my bag together, than it’s none of my business, and can buy what I want. Second,
you don’t even know where all the real ones all come from
so spare me with the dramatics.

Caty on

concerning the fact that you could support child labor by buying knock offs, please be aware of the fact that almost every multinational company in the us (clothing, sportswear, footwear) is selling products that have been manufactured in poor countries. so next time you put on your tennis shoes (not necessarily your knock off purse) remember that a small child was paid 50 cents to make it.

KC on

This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a long time, and people who keep saying it’s the best thing (Elisabeth Hasselback “The View”) are silly!Buy the time you pay you all the membership fee you can buy a nice purse If you can’t afford the a bag that usually means:

You don’t need it
You are not a Celeb and therfore you can’t act like one
Save your money and buy it yourself ( yeah a season late but if you want it, then it won’t matter)
Wait for a really good sale

Why would I want someone elses purse ( that I have to give back anyway), even worse they have jewlery on the site now?Why on earth do I want some random ladies pierced?earrings? GROSS!

SD on

I can not believe some of this absolute IGNORANCE that I am reading. Knock off’s are made by children who work more than you will your entire life. Children who have nothing, give everything, and still come out with nothing. I am absolutely disgusted by the amount of people out there who do not educate themselves, nor do they care about the human race. Put that money towards a donation to a school that can feed a child or allow them to attend. What is our world coming to?… sad

Alexandra on

It’s not just knockoffs that are made by impoverished children, it’s virtually everything. Unless a designer is explicit to the market that they are an ethical manufacturer of goods, you can bet that they’re taking unfair advantage of people who desperately need the money.

Want a great bag? Sew it yourself. It’s not complicated, and it’s infinitely more satisfying.

Kristin on

I have used Bag, Borrow, or Steal a couple of times and thought it was great (a great way to have a bag coordinate with an outfit for a special occasion/vacation for little money)…until I was on vacation and had my purse and wallet stolen from my rental car while I was unloading my luggage at a hotel! Bag, Borrow, or Steal’s optional insurance only covers wear and damage, not loss or theft. This was the first time I ever had anything stolen (of course) and their policy is for the customer to pay for replacement. Right now I am in the midst of talking to my insurance company to see if they will cover part of the costs. Basically, I still think the concept is a good idea for those who like handbags/jewelry and want to be able to have different looks and don’t care about owning the items. Just be aware that they hold the customer responsible for payment if the rented items are lost or stolen.

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