I think we can all agree that Netflix fundamentally changed the movie rental market. Netflix’s mail delivery and no late fee model lowered the price of rentals, enabled us to choose from more options and forced Blockbuster to re-engineer its entire business. Not bad for a decade’s worth of work. It begs the question — what else can be Netflixed?
Turns outs the winner is designer handbags and jewelry. For a fee as low as $5/month (with a commitment to a 12 month membership) bagborroworsteal.com allows its members to rent designer bags ranging in price from a hundred to several thousand dollars. Ladies (and I am pretty sure that the majority of their subscriber base is composed of ladies) can opt for weekly or monthly rentals and if they absolutely fall in love with a certain bag they can "steal" it (ie. buy it at a discounted price). Similar to Netflix, members keep a queue of bags and jewelry they want to borrow, a wish list and can shop their favorite styles at an "outlet store".
Sound crazy? It isn’t – over two hundred thousand people are interested each month.
– In April, 186K people went to bagborroworsteal.com (BBS) — a year-over-year increase of 265%
– The average BBS visitor spent an average of 6 minutes per visit compared to 3.5 minutes in April "˜06
– BBS visitors view more pages per visit compared to big brother Netflix
So can bagborroworsteal emerge as a change agent in the fashion industry to the same degree Netflix has changed movie rentals? It’s a long shot, but they certainly have established some real momentum and what appears to be a viable business.
I have provided more questions than answers in this article and I’m going to leave off with one more. What else can be Netflixed? The model is fascinating and the implications can overturn an entire industry — just ask Blockbuster. Please provide comments and ideas in the comment forum. Who knows – we might uncover the next great business plan.