The "first national network of suitcase rental" is called Bag4Days.
The concept already exists in countries like Japan, Brazil or the USA. Now it comes to Portugal by the hand of Bag4Days, a portuguese company from the district of Braga, created in late June. The project, supported by the University of Minho, allows you to rent high-quality travel bags in a "safe, durable and sanitized" way.
For now, there are 15 bags available for rental, of different sizes and models, but always from Samsonite and Delsey Paris, with whom the company has "exclusive partnerships." Prices range from 4 Eur to 8 Eur per day, with a minimum rental duration of four days and a maximum of six months. The value includes sending and collecting the bag in mainland Portugal ("for now we don't make shipments to Azores and Madeira, but we are working on that issue in order to overcome it on the short-term", states Ruben Marques in an interview with Fugas).
It is also necessary to pay a deposit fee of 20 €, which is returned after the final collection of the bag, and the company "takes on small damages, such as any broken wheel or damaged handle."
The advantages of renting instead of buying are many, defends the mentor of the project. "The most important are the savings, freeing up money to spend in enjoying the journey and not the acquisition of a suitcase," enumerates the former University of Minho student, recalling that the market price of this type of luggage is around 400 €.
Then, it allows to "free up some space at home, otherwise occupied by bags that are mostly stored in the closet, collecting dust and fungi", the "convenience of receiving the bag at home without any additional cost," the "online and telephone support 24 hours a day, in order to solve any eventuality with the suitcase" or the "possibility to choose the most appropriate bag size" for each trip.
The idea of creating Bag4Days, Ruben says, has emerged last summer. Ruben used to ask his brother to borrow him a suitcase, but the holiday schedules overlapped and he eventually "got one at a retail store". "When I returned home I realized I had been robbed and some valuables had been taken. You get what you pay for", he recalls. "Purchasing a quality bag would have avoided [the incident], but would force me to spend a lot of money." Thus the idea of renting a suitcase was born and, shortly after, Bag4Days.
In addition to the rental of new suitcases, it is also possible to deposit or sublet the ones you might already have at home. As for the deposit service, the company collects the suitcase, makes an assessment of its physical state, photographs and proceeds to cleaning and sealing "to prevent dust accumulation and fungi." "The report, along with the photos, are sent to the customer, and when it needs the bag, it's enough to warn us with a minimum of three working days in advance. The bag will be delivered to the corresponding address in the requested date", he indicates.
In the case of bag sublet, it must "meet the necessary requirements to be Bag4Days bags" and are sublet "on a low cost basis." Then, "the value of each rental is distributed between our company and the owner of the suitcase according to the agreement signed between both."