FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Can't Afford That New Luxury Purse? Then Rent It!

Blame Paris Hilton... Demand for luxury handbags and accessories from such pricey designers as Coach, Louis Vuitton or Gucci has never been higher. But the number of women interested in these products far outstrips the number who can actually afford to buy them. How, then, to bring such luxury goods to the masses?

A web-based membership program called Bag Borrow or Steal may have the answer. It applies subscription principles from online retailers like Netflix to rent expensive handbags to its status-conscious members. For as little as $19.95 per month (plus $9.95 when returning a bag), members can "borrow" a designer handbag that would cost hundreds of dollars otherwise. Members can return the bag whenever they like, or "steal" (i.e. keep) it if they really like it. Another benefit to Bag Borrow or Steal is that it ensures its members are kept up to date with the latest styles.

The Internet makes subscription services such as this possible, keeping costs to a minimum while ensuring the widest reach. It's also a way for businesses to satisfy the insatiable demand for upscale merchandise that would normally be beyond the price range of most consumers.

Source: Springwise