Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Renting Jewelry Not Just for the Stars

Renting isn’t just for movie night anymore. These days, people are turning to rental companies, some of them online, for everything from high-end bridal jewelry and sparkling party-wear to designer bags, at a fraction of the cost of buying them.

A rental allows fashion-conscious customers to walk around with the latest item, without having to shell out for a designer piece that has the shelf life of a very ripe tomato. It also allows costumers with a limited budget to show up at an important event with a diamond necklace they could not otherwise afford. The opportunities for a diamond jewelry retailer with a dormant stock are clear.

Adornbrides.com and Borrowedbling.com are two such rental sites, the first offering fashionable bridal jewelry, and the second letting customers “shop like celebrities: see it…want it…borrow it!” They offer a wide range of jewelry and accessories, including hair clips, belts, sunglasses, bags and even jewel-encrusted sandals.

Bagborroworsteal.com is one of the first rental sites, originally launched as a designer handbag rental site. Presently they also offer scores of different types and styles of jewelry, including items with precious and semiprecious stones, from designers such as Charriol, Chanel and Gucci.

The standard procedure on the jewelry rental websites is that a customer signs up for a monthly fee and chooses which pieces they want to rent. Some sites, such as bagborroworsteal, have different membership plans at different costs.

This site allows the customer to choose from a category, such as Trendsetter, Princess, Diva, Couture and Guest, according to the price range in which they’re interested. Costs run from $9.95 per month to a yearly fee that amounts to about $5 per month. The higher priced memberships usually offer a wider range of jewelry.

The return procedure varies with each site, but it usually comes down to simply sealing the borrowed items in an envelope and shipping them back to the original location.

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