Can't afford a luxury bag? Rent one

Can't afford a luxury bag? Rent one

SINGAPORE - Women cough up $50 a week to carry the coveted Louis Vuitton Monogram Eva Clutch.

For $200, they can tote around the Chanel classic flap bag for a week. It has a retail price of more than $7,500.

Bags No Enough, one of at least six bag rental outfits in Singapore, leases out such luxury bags.

Shirley Chan, 47, owner of Bags No Enough, says that she is seeing more demand these days.

She and owners of bag-rental companies thatbagiwant.com and bagkingdom.com say that they have seen between 10 and 15 per cent growth in their business over the last two years.

Madam Chan sees 300 to 500 transactions a month, renting out the 200 bags from Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton in her collection.

"Branded bags are very expensive. Some people also prefer to have a few bags for different occasions and one bag is not enough for them. So renting is a better alternative to buying," she explains.

Bag-rental website thatbagiwant.com, launched in 2008 by Tan Ho Ching, sees about 200 new rentals a month from his collection of 500 bags from high-end brands like Chanel and Hermes, to lower-end ones like Longchamp.

His website has 23,000 members, of whom 2,000 are actively renting bags.

There are some who have been renting his bags almost every week for the past five years.

Mr Tan, 43, who used to be in the police force, has seen about a 15 per cent growth in membership in the last two years.

Serene Lee, 49, who owns bagkingdom.com, is also expecting her business to grow and plans to expand her current collection of 50 bags.

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