Try it On: Upscale and Online

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are starting 2018 with good health and optimism. I, for one, am eager to share with you some ideas and projects that caught my eye during the busy weeks just past.

I was intrigued to read about the growing sharing economy that’s happening in the luxury marketplace. Certainly, for many years, people have been able to “borrow” (i.e., lease/rent) a bit of short-term luxury – from evening wear and automobiles to works of art and estate properties. Now, according to the CNBC article, those opportunities are developing a broader online presence and, slowly, a greater acceptance.

Bolstered by the Airbnb model, in which travelers stay in privately owned properties rather than commercial hotels – and by the growing confidence in online transactions – new platforms are emerging to offer a dazzling array of luxury goods. Want to “test drive” a Rolex or, for that matter, let someone else try your Patek Philippe for a few weeks? Willing to let someone else sit behind the wheel of your Porsche or pilot the Beechcraft? The new online sharing economy may be just the solution.

The models are just taking shape but, in general, it seems that there will be fixed monthly fees and a growing catalogue of options. The Swiss company, TEND, set to launch in late 2018, calls it “co-ownership of precious unique assets” that yields a return on investment.

It will certainly be fascinating to keep an eye on this growing trend.