Did You Rent Those Diamonds?

  1. Where Did You Rent Those Diamonds?
    Sites Lease Rings, Necklaces; Getting Pearls Via UPS
    August 9, 2007; Page D3

    A calendar full of fancy social events can put a dent in anyone's bank account. As a result, a number of companies have sprung up to rent everything from dresses to diamond earrings.

    To see if renting jewelry was cost-effective as well as useful, we checked out four national online companies. We loved the ability to augment our meager jewelry collection with many stunning pieces. But in some cases, the services were expensive and required longer-term commitments than we wanted to make.

    It may be aimed at brides, but Adornbrides.com's tasteful jewelry selection would work for any occasion. After making our selection based on a picture and a brief write-up that included diamond sizes, we agreed to lease for $90 a pair of single-strand drop earrings worth $2,200. (We got to keep them for two days. After that, the site charges a late fee.)

    After filling out information like the date of the event, we were billed $22.50, 25% of the rental fee, with the remaining 75% and the $33.50 shipping fee to be billed upon return of the earrings. (All of the sites bill your credit card if an item isn't returned or comes back damaged.)

    Within hours, we received an email from the founder, who wanted to reassure us that despite a holiday falling midweek, we could still expect a Friday delivery for our Saturday event.

    As promised, the earrings arrived that day, and returning them two days later proved just as easy, since an addressed, prestamped envelope was provided. We just wished we could have kept them for a little longer.

    Borrowedbling.com lends out primarily costume jewelry. Customers sign up for one of three membership plans. There's no extra charge for each individual piece. For $29.95 a month, a deal cheekily called the Countess, we could borrow as many as two items at a time, while serious jewelry addicts can sign up to be a Movie Star for $99.95 a month and lease as many as three items. The higher-priced memberships also provides access to a wider selection of items.

    Joining was simple enough, though we weren't thrilled that we had to disclose our birth date and the last four digits of our Social Security number. Once we filled out all that with an assist from the helpful Service Desk, we were able to start borrowing immediately and settled on a pair of amethyst studs and a sparkly pink cocktail ring. We had wanted different pieces but were told we had to upgrade to Duchess ($49.95).

    Three days later, the promised items arrived with a handy return envelope. While the service was a breeze to use, we were annoyed that we couldn't cancel our membership until three months later.

    One of the first and most well-known of rental sites, Bagborroworsteal.com is for the true fashionista. Originally created to give women their designer handbag fix, the company added jewelry rentals in 2006. Like some of the other Web sites, Bagborroworsteal.com has three membership plans, from $9.95 per month to a yearly fee amounting to $5 per month. On top of that was a rental fee for each item, which the Web site handily broke down into five categories cutely labeled Trendsetter, Princess, Diva, Couture and Guest.

    We rented Lori Bonn Trafalgar leaf earrings and a Kenneth Jay Lane silver-and-crystal ring, for $8 per week each. That was on top of the $9.95 a month membership we paid.

    The selection of designer jewels in precious and semiprecious stones on this site appeals to most every taste. And signing up, which required basic information like a shipping address, took less than two minutes. Borrowing was just as effortless. After selecting an item based on a picture and a short description, we just had to click Borrow.

    Unfortunately, the return process could be made simpler; unlike other sites, we had to print out our own return label or email customer service for one to be mailed out when we were ready to send the jewelry back.

    Imoveritonline.com also features three membership plans, starting at $29.99 per month, which permits users to rent two items at a time, and an unlimited number of orders can be placed each month. We liked that the variety of costume and semiprecious-stone pieces appealed to a broad range of tastes and could be rented for however long we wanted. Shopping proved just as easy; we clicked on the desired piece and the item was placed on our wish list.

    Ready to rent? A click moved the jewelry into our jewelry box.

    Within a handful of days, the coral bracelet and gold dangling earrings we selected based on images and a super-brief description arrived via UPS with handy return envelopes. Just one issue we had with the service: the three-month minimum commitment.
  2. Wow, I had never even heard of this...
  3. I don't believe in it, i am the same with the bag version of it too. the amount of money it costs you, you might as well own one good piece of jewelery and its your to keep. then again i have a different perspective to other people, i don't really agree with renting anything if you don't have to. I myself have never (yet) rented a place to live, although one day i might be forced too i hate the situation when i can have something of my own.
  4. I saw this article today, too! Very interesting read! Thanks for posting!
  5. I agree with Manolo.. I'd rather just buy, it seems kinda like a rip.