The Borrowed Babes' Guide: Bag Borrow or Steal
Our How To Series Continues with one of the OG's of Rental and Borrowing Services:
Bag Borrow or Steal
If you don't know about Bag Borrow or Steal, go back and watch Sex and the City the movie and get your beginners education. And then come back here. :-) Kidding...I'll give you the rundown you need to navigate with ease, but I love the mention in that movie because it gave them street cred at the time when people were still being super weird about rental services. (Like seriously...I'm talking handbags. I'm not condoning rental underwear here. TRUST me, people used to say the weirdest things when I first starting using RTR. As if I was stealing dirty boxers off of homeless men in the subway. It's not. Move on with the weirdness.)
About Bag Borrow Steal
Bag Borrow or Steal is a website where you can browse the BEST selection of designer handbags, clutches, totes, and a few accessories without being a full on gazillionaire to actually make a purchase. The items they feature are available for purchase at discounted prices OR you can opt to simply rent them for a month, or rent them for however long you'd like to keep them, and then return. They have all the brands you normally can't afford or RATHER choose not to spend that large sum of money on one single handbag at a time. Like YSL, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Balenciaga, Burberry, Celine & Givenchy. JUST. TO. NAME. A. FEW.
Seriously, the list is ridiculous.
They've also added a consignment aspect to the site where you can sell your designer bags to them or buy gently used bags from their site. (I personally have not used this option even though I'm seriously toying with the idea of selling my one of a kind limited edition GUCCI...but have yet to make that call so if and when I do I'll update this post, but for now. This is all you'll hear from me about that service.)
What is Bag Borrow or Steal?
Bag Borrow or Steal is accessible luxury on a budget. They are the original and best website on the internet for high quality, luxury handbag and accessory rentals. (Biggest selection available by far.) Savvy Fashionistas across the country use this service even if your BFF won't admit to it. Instead of having to search high and low for the "It" bags you see on IG, start with a search on Bag Borrow or Steal.
There are now several sites who also rent handbags and luxury items in addition to designer clothing, but Bag Borrow or Steal is the OG of this type of service. My new favorite to browse for handbags to rent right now is Designer Share, so check them out in addition to Bag Borrow or Steal.
Where Can I Access Bag Borrow or Steal?
Shop anytime, anywhere you have cell data or internet access! Bag Borrow or Steal does not have an app you can download, YET, so for now just save this link on your browser for easy shopping access.
When to Rent from Bag Borrow or Steal?
There is never a bad time to borrow a highly coveted handbag from BBS. Much like I borrow clothing for everyday wear you can borrow a bag to use everyday for work, school and shopping. Personally, I look for reasons to rent a stylish, unique handbag to either add some sass to vacation ensembles or just jazz up a Girls Night Out ensemble, but you do you, boo!
I highly suggest you sign up for the Bag Borrow or Steal email list. They will keep you informed of brand specials, upcoming sales, and the latest designer handbags that have been added to the site so that you may have the option of deciding when to rent based on when they are having a sale on the bag you're looking to borrow. (But be warned...that doesn't always work out the way you want so keep reading for more details on how to do your best borrowing with BBS.)
How Does it Work?
Using Bag Borrow or Steal is super simple...but like any online shopping endeavor...especially rentals...it's important to do your homework. Dig through their site by brands, sizes, price points, etc. By shopping when you are not ready to buy, you can learn how to better navigate the site without a sense of urgency and discover designers, colors, and styles you never knew existed. (I do this fairly often when I can't sleep. It's far better than counting sheep...but it may not help you sleep so this option is up to you and your mood without sleep. This trick is also how I discovered my love for Celine bags and I often dream about owning my own because I'm a weirdo who loves bags. Whatever...I own my quirks.)
Most handbags and accessories are available to be rented in one-month periods. If you're still enjoying it when the time is up, simply keep it for longer - they'll renew the rental automatically!
The Lowdown from the Bag Borrow Steal Site
Every rental arrives in pristine condition (they're cleaned professionally when returned each and every time).
Bag Borrow or Steal offer free shipping and free returns.
If you see an accessory you like and it's labeled "Available", then it is! If it says "On Loan", you'll have to wait a bit.
When you borrow a bag, you can keep tabs on your end dates and what you've borrowed with your borrowing history.
The customer service team will send you an email alert to help you remember when your rental is due.
Love the item!? Keep renting it for as long as you wish. Just remember, rental items are not eligible for purchase.
For full How to Borrow information directly from Bag Borrow or Steal, click here.
For even more in depth information such as the credit check process (yes, they check your credit...sorry folks...they rent super swanky items so they need to know you're good to go), what to do if you damage something, shipping information (because most of the items require signature upon delivery), and wish listing items click here.
Things to Know about Bag Borrow or Steal
1) They run a credit check. (Mentioned above...just because you don't want to drop the money to own it doesn't mean every creeper on the block can rent a Goyard.)
2) They do not offer insurance on damages. Aka - Your break it REAL BAD, you buy it. (They cover minor things like your everyday dust from carrying your bag back and forth to work, etc. BUT if you tear the handle off your Balenciaga, well baby...you're in trouble.)
3) Many of the high value rentals require a signature upon delivery so you have to be home to sign for it. (Or ship it to work if you have that option. Or ship it to a friend who works at home. Or hire a home delivery representative to intercept packages, sign, and hide from husband! This should be a job, right? SERIOUSLY. We all need a package elf to intercept and place in locations that make it seem the $5k that just showed up on your arm has been around for decades.)
Inside Tips to Using Bag Borrow or Steal
1) Timing, Timing, Luck & Timing
This is something my husband tells me in life all the time. The saying basically means timing is important. (He mostly uses it in discussions far more serious than tote rental services, BUT HELLER...renting that limited edition Dolce is serious business in my world) In the BBS world, timing is one of the most crucial aspects in renting your dream bag. You may fall in love with the latest Miu Miu bag on a Monday and on Tuesday you have to settle for Tory because that Miu Miu is rented by someone else. Which puts it at least another month away from coming home to your closet. And that time frame is generally going to be closer to 6-7 weeks by the time it's shipped, returned, cleaned, and put back into online stock. AND THAT'S IF AND ONLY IF THE RENTER ONLY KEEPS IT ONE MONTH. Remember...you can keep bags longer than a month if you keep paying for it.
2) Use Referral Codes
I loved my Saint Laurent tote so much I decided to keep it longer than a month...however...even if you are just renting this bag temporarily, dropping that much money two months in a row is still a FAT chunk of change. For that kind of green, you could have saved enough to be halfway to owning your own YSL! Hence, I recommend using referral codes from bloggers and/or signing up for BBS's emails. They have flash sales, run holiday events, and feature special deals ALL THE TIME so you never know when your normal $300 rental may only be $100 for a month. So keep your eyes open. (That's how I scored such a great deal on my last rental.)
3) Borrow Bags you Wouldn't Own and Use Long Term
As much as it goes against my recent borrow (which was a Saint Laurent Small Sac de Jour, which in my mind would be a fab bag to own one day), I try to rent bags that realistically could be considered more of a statement bag and less of a long term investment piece. If you want to own a Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote...don't rent that. Start saving your coins to buy one. BUT if you're going away for a Girls Weekend and want to rent the Alexander McQueen Skull Box Clutch, do that! The skull box clutch (pictured below) although amazing and unique is probably not something you'll still use 12 years from now. That LV Neverfull though...it will legit be Neverfull 12 years down the road. (Pun intended.)
My Experience with Bag Borrow or Steal
My Favorite Rentals to Date
Clearly, I have a thing for Saint Laurent so my two favorite rentals are listed below. My photoshoot with the awesome Kelly Martucci with said bag is pictured above. I am eyeing a few others that I'd love to rent in the future but need a great reason to add them to my cart. Anyone want to invite me someplace super stellar that warrants a snazzy bag borrow?!
The Borrowed Babes Super Secret Inside Info to Bag Borrow or Steal
What's the Secret to Scoring the Best Bag on Bag Borrow Steal?
Shop Reward Style (no really)
Much like extreme couponing, Black Friday and New Year's Day at Dillard's, research and be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase when you see it is available and on sale. If you don't, you'll miss out.
And just like your favorite bloggers do, hit the like button all over IG feeds when you see pictures of brands, colors, and styles you love. By utilizing the information sent to you from the LTK.it app, you can easily search BBS by specific bag name. This is an incredibly easy way to recreate the outfits of the most fashionable and coveted closets across the country for a fraction of the cost.
Have you used Bag Borrow or Steal before? What helpful tips did you find that helped you maximize your borrows? Let me know in the comments below and I'll update the post with your tips and tricks!
To save money on your next rental, click here and use The Borrowed Babes code.
Updated April 2, 2018: This post was featured by Independent Fashion Blogger's LALM!
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