Breathing New Life Into an Old Bag

With regular use, even the most expensive designer bags will get stained and damaged and over time, your once glamorous bag starts to look as wrinkled and dull as a washed-up Hollywood starlet.  And when our purses go the way of Lindsay Lohan, they either end up exiled in the back of our closets or on the shelves at Goodwill.  But what if there was a way to rescue our beloved handbags and restore them to their previous glory?

Formerly known as Bag, Borrow and Steal, Avelle allows members to borrow designer handbags, sunglasses, watches and jewelry.  The service is perfect for when you want to wear something designer but don’t want to pay the exorbitant retail price.  But while the companies rental services are well known, it also offers handbag cleaning and restoration services for a reasonable fee. 

For just $99—far less than the cost of a new handbag—the company will clean the interior and exterior, recondition and polish the bag and straps, and deodorize the purse to give it that new handbag smell.  If you’re bag requires major cosmetic surgery, the fee is $175.  And if you need just a simple cleaning, you can purchase an express cleaning package for $45. 

Obviously, whether you decide to send your handbag to rehab depends on a) how much you paid for the bag, and b) how much you love it.  When my beloved Rebecca Minkoff MAB bag starts to lose her sparkle, I think the $99 service will be more than justified.  After all, a new MAB would cost me $550 retail or $299 on Gilt.  But if you’re talking about a bag that could be replaced for less than $200, then you might choose to replace a bag rather than repair it.  Unless you really adore the bag, of course.

In these lean economic times it makes more sense to have your handbags and your high heels repaired than replaced.  And it is surprising what a capable cobbler or restorer can do with your old beat up accessories.  So don’t send your beloved bag off to the Island of Broken Toys, send it to Avelle instead but don’t call it a comeback.


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  1. Sarah says:

    I just wanted to post a quick review about this company. After reading this post I decided to try out Avelle's refurbishment service. I sent the bag at the end of June and at the beginning of July confirmed with the company my desire for the $99 package. Three months later and I still do not have my bag. After talking with numerous (3 individuals on 3 occasions) contacts at the company and getting stories of, “we're almost done, it should be shipped this week,” I finally found out last week that my bag has not even been worked on yet. I am truly not mad, just disappointed and concerned. This is an expensive item with a fairly expensive service price associated with the cleaning. Although I have (obviously) not yet had my bag returned to me so I cannot comment on the quality of the cleaning, I would not recommend this service for anyone who expects a reasonable turn around schedule and honest customer service.

    September 13, 2010/Reply