The fashion rental industry is growing and thriving. In fact, renting a designer handbag is becoming more popular than ever. It's a way for fashionistas to try out different brands and styles without buying them first. If you love designer bags but aren't sure if you're ready to purchase one, then renting may be a good option for you.
However, you want to be sure you are being financially savvy if you do go this route. So, let's get into whether you should rent or buy a bag, and the companies that offer designer bag rentals.
Should you rent a designer bag or buy one?
Your decision to rent or buy will depend mainly on why you want the bag and if you have the money to buy it outright. Designer bags have high quality and high desirability. So, if you intend to own and use the bag for a while, your cost per wear may be lower than renting a designer bag.
On the other hand, renting a designer bag is an excellent way for you to try different styles. It also gives you the opportunity to assess how much you like the bag before buying it for long-term use. And lastly, you get to wear the latest trends and save money by resisting the urge to accumulate a closet full of items you rarely use.
If you decide on renting a designer bag, you should consider only doing it occasionally to be budget-friendly. Unless it makes sense for your lifestyle, renting gets really expensive if you do it all the time. If you do the math, renting a bag at $50 per month for a year will cost you $600. That's enough to buy you a designer piece you can keep long-term.
Keep in mind that there are tons of well-priced designer handbags on the pre-owned market as well.
Where to rent designer bags
Here are popular sites that rent luxury bags. Shop around to find the perfect handbag rental for you.
1. Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is a fashion retailer that offers clothing, accessories, and handbag rentals. The company carries thousands of styles, including Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, and Diane von Furstenberg. In addition, there’s always an option to buy while you’re looking through their rental inventory. Or you can try your luck in the “Clearance” section.
How Rent the Runway works
Check out items on the Rent the Runway site. Select a delivery date and time frame for your rental. You can choose between four or eight days. And then, you’ll receive and return your items via shipping or through a drop-off or physical location.
Rent the Runway costs
The prices for bag rentals vary. Prices start from $7 to $250. The membership plans include insurance. And for one-time rentals, there’s a $5 insurance fee to cover minor stains and damage. But if you damage the item beyond repair or lose it, they will charge you the item’s retail price.
Rent the Runway offers membership plans starting at $89 per month. The plan you choose determines your access to certain closets and the number of items you can borrow. But as long as you’re a member, you can keep your designer bag rental for as long as you want.
2. Bag Borrow or Steal
Bag Borrow or Steal is probably the most popular site to rent luxury bags. The company has been around since 2004 and served as a portal for fashion lovers to get their hands on coveted brands like Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. The brand was introduced to fashionistas through the Sex and the City movie, where Jennifer Hudson carried designer bags on rental.
The site has a “Buy Collection” where you can buy pre-loved styles or vintage pieces. And if you’re considering selling your designer items, you can sell the pieces outright or consign them.
How Bag Borrow or Steal works
Browse the site’s handbags inventory. There are no membership plans. You can borrow items for 30 days, the dates can’t be shortened, but renewal is unlimited as long as your account is in good standing. Note that the company performs credit checks for all transactions, whether you’re buying or borrowing.
Costs of Bag Borrow or Steal
Prices start from $35 for a Tory Burch handbag to $600 for a Chanel Maxi Double Flap Bag. The prices include rental and standard shipping. Unfortunately, Bag Borrow or Steal does not offer damage insurance, so keep that in mind when renting a designer bag from them.
According to their FAQ page, normal wear and tear are acceptable, but if you damage the item beyond repair, you will be responsible for the full retail price of the item, and it will be returned to you once it’s paid.
ArmGem is a designer bag rental company based in Denver, Colorado. The company is looking to serve savvy clients who want to keep up with the latest trends without the full retail cost. In keeping with their word, ArmGem carries a relatively small but impressive selection of high-end bags, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci for rent.
How ArmGem works
Renting a designer bag with ArmGem is simple. Browse their collection of authentic designer handbags and complete the check-out process. And voila! You’ll receive your item in the mail.
All handbags can be rented for a minimum of one month. To return your handbag rental, you need to email Customer Service five days before the expiry date to request a return shipping label. Or else renewal is automatic. And for your first rental, you’ll have to go through a one-time credit check.
Cost of renting a designer bag from ArmGem
The rental prices range from $50 to $500. The prices include complimentary standard shipping for amounts exceeding $100. If your rental fee is less than $100, you’ll have to pay additional shipping costs.
If you lose or damage your rental item, ArmGem will charge you for the cost of repairs. But if the damage is beyond repair, you’ll be charged with the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the designer handbag.
4. Bag Romance
Bag Romance is another online site where you can rent luxury bags. The company, formerly known as Supursetyle, was founded in 2015. They offer a great selection of popular and trendy pieces, including Chanel, Balenciaga, and Jimmy Choo.
How Bag Romance works
Explore the collection and select a bag to rent. Then, register to become a member. Next, follow the checkout process. And then, choose a delivery and return date. You can rent items for seven or 30 days.
Renting a designer bag from Bag Romance may require a credit check or a background check and a security deposit to borrow certain items. For instance, a Boy Chanel Black Lambskin with Gold will cost you $350 to rent, plus a $500 security deposit.
Bag Romance costs
You can rent luxury bags at Bag Romance for $140 to $600. The prices vary depending on the label and time frame you choose. They have flat-rate shipping of $25, but it’s free for rentals over $150.
Bag Romance does not offer damage insurance. So, if you lose or return a handbag damaged beyond normal wear and tear, you will be charged for the cost of repairing or replacing the item up to its MSRP value.
Bagtropolis offers customers a way to buy, layaway, and rent pre-owned designer handbags. Their designer handbag inventory includes Chanel, Balenciaga, Celine, Chloe, Christian Dior, Prada, Fendi, Coach, Tods, and more.
How Bagtropolis works
Join for free and browse beautiful bags from their inventory. After you find your dream purse follow the check-out instructions and they will ship you the bag. Enjoy it for a month, or rent longer if you want, and return it when you're done.
To rent luxury bags, you must sign up for their Exclusive Rental Club and pay the $199 new member fee. The membership fee is currently $99 per month, which allows you to borrow one bag a month. Or you can choose to keep the one you have for as long as you’re a member.
With Bagtropolis, you're automatically covered at no additional charge for mild repairable wear and tear. However, if you lose or return a bag that’s irreparable, you are responsible for the full retail price of the same or similar bag.
What about “rent to own designer handbags?”
If you’re not sold on the idea of renting a designer bag, and you’d rather own it. A “rent to own” option might be the answer. With rent to own, you agree to rent a product with an option to buy. And then, you pay the monthly rental payments.
If you decide not to keep it, you return the item. But if you choose to buy the item, keep making payments until you’ve paid it in full. Your agreement will set the purchase price of the designer handbag and the duration of your payment period in case you decide to buy it.
Some of the online retailers mentioned above also offer the option to rent to own designer handbags.
Places that offer payment plans for designer handbags
Did you find a bag that you must have? These companies offer payment plans on designer handbags so you can add that luxury purse to your collection!
Luxe DH is an online retailer based in South Florida. They sell pre-owned luxury handbags and accessories. Luxe DH carries an impressive collection, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermes. An excellent option for fashion lovers looking for affordable luxury items to buy.
You can finance your purchase over three, six, or twelve months - however, we are not huge fans of the buy now pay later option. Alternatively, you can choose to do a layaway option.
Fashionphile was the first ultra-luxury re-selling brand. It was founded in 1999 and became one of the top resellers of pre-owned luxury. It’s also the exclusive reCommerce partner of Neiman Marcus. With Fashionphile Reserve luxury layaway, you can buy an item using installments payments.
So you can have that must-have bag now even if you don't yet have all the funds available. You have 60 days to pay off the balance, where you can pay as many times as you need with no added interest. You will receive the item when you pay off the entire balance.
Keep in mind that if you cancel your installments, you will be charged 10% which is taken out of your refund. Rent to own designer handbags can help you get a bag easier but it's always better to save for it instead and buy it outright.
How not to let designer handbags impact your financial goals
We all love to be fashionable, but it's very important not to let designer handbags impact your financial goals. Renting a designer bag or buying one you can't afford is devastating to your finances and can also make you rack up expensive debt fast.
It's essential that you budget and save for a bag and not charge up credit cards to get one. So, here are a few ways you can save for a beautiful handbag:
1. Cut other expenses to save for a designer bag
An easy way to save more towards renting a bag is to find other ways to cut expenses. For instance, have coffee at home instead of getting that latte every day. Or pack your lunch instead of eating out. You can even cut cable, or cancel subscriptions to help towards getting your dream bag.
2. Find ways to earn more money
Another option to save towards a designer bag rental is to earn more money. Starting a side hustle, getting a part-time job, or even asking for a raise (if you are due one) can increase your income fast. In fact, some side-hustles can bring in hundreds to thousands of dollars a month!
3. Try a money-savings challenge
A fun and fast way to save money for a bag is to start a money-savings challenge. There are many different types of challenges to choose from. For instance, the 52-week challenge has you save a specific amount every week and you will save $1,378 in just a year!
That's enough to buy a designer bag without having to rent to own! Finding ways to save for a bag whether you decide to rent or purchase one is essential to staying on track with your financial goals!
Is renting a designer bag better for your budget?
Renting a designer bag offers fashion lovers a way to stay in style without breaking the budget. As long as it makes sense with your lifestyle, designer bag rentals can save money. And you can still keep up with trends.
It's okay to treat yourself and splurge now and then on a designer handbag, but don’t go into debt for the sake of fashion. Instead, be sure you can afford your splurges and that you’re keeping your financial goals in mind. Learn how to create a budget so you can stay on track with your goals while still rewarding yourself!