Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Companies tap into trend of leasing luxury

Ever want to borrow the latest Fendi bag for a month or drive around in a bright yellow Lamborghini for a day?

A number of companies are tapping into consumers' penchant for leasing luxury. They're targeting both the affluent who don't want to hold on to anything for long and those less monied folks who want to get a taste of the lifestyles of the rich.

Seattle-based online service Bag Borrow or Steal allows customers to borrow designer handbags through a monthly membership fee. New York-based Gotham Dream Cars LLC will deliver exotic cars like a Lamborghini Gallardo to customers' doorsteps for a rental fee ranging from $595 to $1,950 per day.

Golf manufacturer Callaway Golf Co. is making it easier for customers to trade in old golf clubs and get discounts on new ones at 4,000 golf stores and pro shops nationwide. The retailers get reimbursed for the price difference, and Callaway resells the old clubs on a Web site called callawaygolfpreowned.com.

Then there's Portero, a two-year-old online luxury exchange site that sells secondhand high-end electronics, fashion, jewelry, art, cars and home items. It now has 8,000 buyers and 6,000 sellers registered.

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