Are you a buyer or a renter? Nope, not real estate, luxury goods. As Millennials and Gen Zers come of age and purchasing power, the traditional sales model may become obsolete, or at least challenged. The world continues to become more and more fast paced, and many businesses have adapted to meet the new demands that have emerged from this new era of consumers. From music streaming to ride sharing, more people are turning to rental alternatives for goods and services.
There are many reasons for the rise of the rental. It’s definitely a more sustainable model, as it lowers production costs and waste. As public awareness of the harm of environmentally unfriendly business practices have increased, public desire to consume smartly has risen. Additionally, rental options allow for those outside the typical clientele of the designer market to join in the fun. Renting offers the experience of having something-without the actual ownership.
On top of that, with the ever-increasing emigration of young people from suburbia to urban areas, living and storage space continues to shrink. For many, the option to rent, stream, and share is not just a feasible addition to the consumer market, but a necessity in a world with little spare space to store goods. We’ve seen just how popular this option has become, with the fashion rental business Rent The Runway dominating in the attire space.
So, where does that leave the world of luxury handbags? Of course, this is slightly different than shopping pre-owned, where the end game is a permanent member in your wardrobe. This concept is not wholly new to the world of designer bags—Bag Borrow or Steal has been around since 2004. But it still begs the question: would you rent your Birkin or Chanel bag? It’s certainly an option. Or, perhaps, you might rent the latest bag on trend, while owning a few staple pieces.
We talk often about storage and space-saving options for your favorite bags, such as nesting. Is renting a viable alternative? On the flip side, how do you feel about loaning your own bags out to others, a la the Airbnb model? It’s definitely a new way to look at your handbag as an investment. In doing so, you’d be able to make money off of the purses you aren’t currently using, turning a profit and freeing up space. Of course, there is the concern of the bag’s condition upon return.
So what do you think? Would you rent a bag? If so, what types of bags are you willing to rent versus buying? And how do you feel about loaning your unused bags to others for profit? Let us know in the comments!