Rent-a-Bling: It’s the Experience that Counts

The train ride from Kitzbuhel to Graz takes about four and a half hours, so I had plenty fo time to relax.  I really looked forward to this time, to write some of my stories, stretch out, and enjoy a nice lunch.  I first entered the train too far down, and in the second class there were compartments filled with smokers and people sleeping all across the seats. I walked back towing my suitcase to the first class section, that’s where I could have my own little world without smokers or crowds, and it’s right next to the restaurant car.

In a copy of Newsweek that I brought along, I read a story by Jessica Ramirez about a scheme modeled after Netflix. The idea is that you can rent jewelry and expensive handbags instead of buying them.  People like Nicole Cross, of Evansville, IN, who wants to look sharp in $600 14 kt gold earrings can instead pay $20 a week and wear them. This ‘Netflix’ approach is also being used for expensive sports cars: $30,000 a year and you can borrow a Ferrari 360 Spider and nine other exotic cars for 56 days a year.

There’s also a company called “Bag Borrow or Steal,” which offers Coach and Gucci handbags you an rent and then send back for a different model. “It used to be that how many toys you could own was a measure of your success. These days it’s about collecting experiences,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, a market research firm.