Tips & Advice

3 Tips for Selling Custom Bags Online

August 23, 2019

So, you’ve designed and manufactured a custom bag. Congratulations! You’re on your way to establishing an enjoyable and creative business. To make it profitable and sustainable, you’ll also need to start selling your bags! The internet is perhaps the greatest marketing and sales space for today’s entrepreneurs and is a great platform to bring your bags to a wide audience. In this post, we share our top three tips for selling your custom bags online.

How to Sell your Bags Online

Join an Online Marketplace

Our first tip is to join established online marketplaces, like Etsy or Amazon Handmade. These popular sites are a great place to list and sell your custom bags because they come with an established audience seeking handcrafted, artistic and fashionable products. Online marketplaces will instantly expand your reach to a global audience and buyers trust these sites. Lastly, it’s easy! The infrastructure is built right in, from searching for products to the checkout process. 

Etsy, for example, has a global reach and focus on handcrafted, vintage and custom products. You can also feel good about posting your bags on the site. Etsy has a mission to “keep commerce human” and aims to foster a community that focuses on people, connection, sustainability and creativity. Another great thing about Etsy is that it brings your potential customers into the conversation. Shoppers can ask questions about your products and also leave positive reviews, enabling you to directly engage with your buyers.

Amazon Handmade is another popular option available by invite-only. You need to apply to the community before you can begin selling your custom bags. The result is that your products are listed for sale among only the highest quality goods and discerning buyers. 

Set up an E-Commerce Store

Our second tip is to set up an e-commerce store, either instead of or in addition to an online marketplace like Etsy. You can use a number of intuitive content management system (CMS) platforms, such as Squarespace or Wix, to create your own site and store and build your brand. One of the benefits of doing it this way is that you have ownership and control over the look and feel of the site and you don’t need to purchase a selling plan or pay a transaction fee. You’ll keep what you make from each sale, which is especially important as the marketplace tends to change throughout the year. 

Another benefit is that you’ll have access to your customer’s information so that you can build email lists for future marketing efforts or targeted promotions based on specific types of purchases. 

Even if you lack web development skills, most e-commerce platforms make it easy to build a site. Squarespace, for example, is an all-in-one platform that gives you a suite of helpful tools to run a successful custom bag business. You can use a number of striking templates to begin your site. Try searching “custom bags” to see some of the suggested designs for retail businesses like yours. In addition, Squarespace provides robust marketing tools to help you engage with your audience. 

Another option is Wix, a popular drag-and-drop website builder that offers two ways to get started: to receive a free website design via “Wix Artificial Design Intelligence” or a to take a more DIY approach via the Wix Editor. Like Squarespace, Wix offers robust tools to help you grow your business, including apps and services to send marketing emails and improve search engine optimisation (SEO).

Get Set up on Social  

 No matter where you plan to sell your bags, social media is an effective way to build awareness and generate interest. Our tip is to take the time to shoot professional, eye-catching product photos for use on visually-driven social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Consider asking a friend or colleague who has photography experience and equipment. If you do shoot it yourself, follow a few general best practices, like:

  • Use a white background to display your bags. This could be as simple as purchasing a piece of poster board.
  • Experiment with lighting. Seek a room with windows next to a wall. The closer your bag is to the window, the softer the light will be.
  • Consider working with a friend who can “model” the bag. This is a good way to show the true size of the bag, in relation to the model.

There are plenty of other resources and tips for setting up DIY photo shoots, like this one from Big Commerce. Once you have good photos, establish and consistently use hashtags to help your products get in front of the right people. For example, check out #custombag on Instagram. Also look for influencers – credible individuals with large followings who can “influence” potential buyers with their reach.

Really, the key to selling your custom bags will be exposure. Get your bags listed in as many places as possible, but do your due diligence to make sure the sites are reputable and safe. Reach out to other creators to see if there are any in-kind opportunities to promote one another’s work. You could also do some research to see who writes about fashion and art, and offer to send that person a few samples in the hopes they would like to share your story. 

Whether or not we manufactured your custom bag, we’d love to hear from you and share a few more tips on how to sell your bags online. We’ve got a few other ideas and examples we’d love to divulge. Please get in touch with us today and together we’ll get your sales in the bag!