If you’ve got champagne tastes but a beer budget, you can now rent high-end accessories, clothing and electronics rather than buy them at full price. These six companies will outfit you in style—without emptying your bank account.
Car Rental—With a Twist
If you want the convenience of having a car but would prefer not to own one outright, check out Zipcar. It’s a flexible way to easily borrow a car when you need it and at a reasonable cost. Zipcar has a few plans, including its “occasional driving plan.” It costs $60 annually, and then you can borrow a car for $8.75 an hour during the week or $13.75 an hour on weekends. Gas, insurance and 180 free miles are included. You can even use your cell to find a Zipcar near you. (Get Zipcar coupons.)
Still undecided on whether to make the switch to an iPhone? Try one out for a few weeks using InTouch USA. It’s a nice way to give an iPhone a short-term trial without switching plans, buying a phone or going through any hassle whatsoever. It’s not cheap—you shell out $89 for a 10-day test, but it’s certainly way less pricey than breaking your contract only to decide that it’s not the phone for you.
On the members-only website Rent the Runway, customers can borrow elegant frocks from Proenza Schouler, Temperley London, Nina Ricci and others for up to 90 percent less than their retail cost. We spotted a Tracy Reese silver cable shift that retails for $848 but rents for $125, a playful Trina Turk coral bow-front sheath that sells for $258 but rents for $40 and a trendy Thakoon black bodice taffeta number that can be yours, briefly, for $100 instead of the $890 it would cost to buy it. Never again will you have to wear the same outfit twice. You keep the dress for four days and then return it. The company takes care of the dry cleaning and even minor damages, like if you dribble a bit of caviar or Dom Pérignon down the front. Not sure what outfit to choose? Rent the Runway even has stylists available for you to call before you place your order. (Get Rent the Runway coupons.)
Handbags, jewelry and even sunglasses are all yours for the (temporary) taking at Bag, Borrow or Steal, which was featured in Sex and the City 2. You decide the length of time you want to rent—the longer the time frame, the lower the weekly price. For example, a Chloe Paddington Handbag is $77 for a one-week rental but $574 for three months, which works out to around $48 per week. If you’re the type who has to have the latest, trendiest accessories at your fingertips, this is the site for you. (Save even more money on your next rental with these Bag, Borrow or Steal coupons.)
Cute Baby Clothing
San Francisco–based Plum would like you to think of it as “Netflix for baby clothes.” First, pick your plan (seven baby outfits a month for $49, four ensembles for $29 or two for $16) and then tell the company where you and your wee one live so they can factor in weather. The service will send you a mix of clothes from upscale brands, such as Petit Bateau and Tea Collection, each month to use and return every 30 days (free shipping included both ways). If something isn’t in perfect condition, you won’t be penalized, and anything that is in good—but not absolutely perfect—condition will be donated to foster parents.
Rent Everything—A to Zilok
At the “peer to peer” rental site Zilok, you can rent just about anything from other members of your community. From low-end items (power tools, jogging strollers, sewing machines and more) to high-end—for instance, you can borrow a sailboat for an overnight stay in beautiful Monterey, California—it’s no wonder Zilok has been called the “eBay for rentals.”
6 Rental Sites that Let You Enjoy High-End Goods for Less was provided by RetailMeNot.com and was orginally published under the title “New Lease on Life” by Andrea Pyros.