The Pros and Cons of Bag Borrow or Steal

Lately I've been obsessed with the exquisite accessories collections available for rental at Bag Borrow or Steal. For those of you unfamiliar with this website, Bag Borrow or Steal lets fashionistas on a budget experience the thrill of wearing real designer items and luxury brands by renting these items out on a weekly or monthly basis. You can rent more than one item at once, and if you happen to fall in love with a rental, you also have the "steal it" option: inquire about the purchase price - which is determined according to the brand, age, and wear and tear - and buy it for keeps. Bag Borrow or Steal hit a high point with a cameo in Sex and the City: Carrie's fashion-obsessed personal assistant, Louise (played by Jennifer Hudson), swears by the website and rents Louis Vuitton purses, all the while struggling to make rent on a one-bedroom apartment that she shares with three other girls.

At first it seems like a great concept, right? I mean, Bag Borrow or Steal seems too good to be true: it opens the wardrobe options of the average gal right up and gives her a bewildering variety of designer goodies and It bags that only socialites and heiresses can dream of. The more closely I looked at Bag Borrow or Steal, though, the more I had my doubts. Is it as great a deal as it claims to be?

If you're a gal concerned with keeping up with the latest trends and you covet the new It bags that come out every spring and fall, then Bag Borrow or Steal is perfect for you. As the website points out, one of the advantages for trendy chicas is that you can wear the hottest looks without accumulating a closetful of outdated items come next season, therefore saving loads of money. Now, does anyone else spot the faulty logic behind this reasoning? If you're in the financial position to accumulate a closetful of trendy designer accessories in the first place, you wouldn't need the services of Bag Borrow or Steal unless you'd been hit by a sudden case of consumer's guilt.

Bag Borrow or Steal is also a great option for those considering dropping serious dough on a designer purse. Maybe you're unsure of how the bag will fit into your lifestyle: Will it be big enough to lug around all the "essentials"? Will it be too big and cumbersome when you go window-shopping on the weekend with the girls? Renting for a week or so lets you test-drive the bag and see how it fits into your lifestyle without serious commitment.

However, I personally think Bag Borrow or Steal would be a rip-off for gals like me: girls with relatively classic taste who don't care about what's trendy and instead look for things they'll love, even when the fashion editors say it's so last-season. Renting gives you the instant gratification of wearing a classic Chanel flap bag, but the price of the rental doesn't go toward the purchase price if you decide to "steal" the bag. Also, depending on the designer, even renting can cost a pretty penny. The droolworthy Chanel purses cost $480 per month to rent, and in the end that money doesn't even go toward owning the bag! If you're going to pay that much to just wear a purse for a month, maybe it's time to consider buying a less expensive purse with that money instead. Trust me, if your budget is $480, there are a lot of really nice options out there.

In the meantime, I'll continue to unabashedly ogle the accessories on the website and forge onward with my shopping sabbatical. Hopefully I'll realize my dream of owning a Chanel purse in September.


  1. Totally agree with you on this one. At first I felt really excited about the idea, but I don't think I can afford to drop the money to even rent anything on this site worth grabbing. However, it could still be useful if you want a lower-end bag, such as Coach?

  2. Every woman I've ever talked with about renting a purse laughs at the thought. Not only is it a rip off, who'd want to carry a purse someone you don't know used before you?

    The Sex & The City Movie slammed the idea of renting. Carrie Bradshaw made several comments about "owning" vs "renting," and I agree. It's MUCH better to own your own classic designer purse, even if it means saving your money and waiting to get it.

    Renting is NOT cost effective. It just doesn't make sense at all!

  3. To Bag Lover: Like I said before, this site's services might be useful if you want to test-drive a bag before you buy it just to see how it fits into your lifestyle, whether it can carry all your daily essentials, how it feels on your shoulder, etc. I personally prefer to buy rather than rent unless I'm unsure as to whether I really want the bag.

    To Jordana: Yeah, it might be worth it for something mid-priced like a Coach bag! I think those start at $15 a week or something. It'd be worth it to test-drive the bag for a week for $15.


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