Are you looking to sell purses and handbags online? If yes, there’s no better time than now to get started, with website builders and social media making it easier than ever to get online and start selling. Especially since the global purse and handbag market trajectory is only going one way – up. By 2028, it’s projected to reach $78.46 billion* – up from just $49.63 billion in 2021.
Selling purses online is a great idea, but it can also seem difficult without the right guidance. And figuring out the what, why, and how of setting up an online store to sell purses can chew up a lot of time and money.
That’s why we’ve broken down the process, with all the steps you should take in order to sell purses and handbags online. Let’s get started!
Purses and handbags come in different shapes and sizes. It’s better to pick a specific type of purse or handbag to sell, instead of targeting the entire market, which means some solid niche research will come in handy.
Some of the purse and handbag niches you can look to focus on – and their target demographics – include:
- Luxury designer bags: high-end, premium-quality handbags created by renowned fashion designers and luxury brands (such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Hermès). These bags feature distinctive designs, premium materials, and impeccable craftsmanship, and target:
- Affluent individuals with lots of disposable income.
- Professionals in high-status roles who value prestige and brand recognition.
- Individuals who consider luxury fashion an investment.
- Vintage collections: classic handbags (like those from Dior Vintage, Fendi Vintage, and Chanel Vintage) encompass a variety of styles from decades gone by, and appeal to customers who appreciate timeless designs and unique pieces with historical value. These include:
- Collectors and fashion enthusiasts who value nostalgia and history.
- People who want to stand out with unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
- Sustainable fashion advocates looking for pre-owned options.
- Eco-friendly options: these purses and handbags (like those from Matt & Nat, Stella McCartney, and Reformation) cater to environmentally conscious consumers. These customers, who prioritize sustainable materials, ethical production practices, and minimal environmental impact, include:
- Millennials and Gen Z consumers who align their purchases with their values.
- Eco-conscious customers who support brands committed to ethical and sustainable practices.
- Trendy everyday styles: these are practical, stylish handbags suitable for everyday use. These brands, like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Coach, utilize versatile designs and a wealth of colors and patterns. They target:
- Working professionals seeking functional yet fashionable bags for daily use.
- Fashion-forward teenagers and young adults looking for trendy accessories.
- Busy individuals who need bags that can transition from day to night.
Here are some research techniques and tools you can use to pin down what kind of purses your new business should be selling:
- Marketplace Analysis: Check out the biggest online marketplace websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba to see what’s trending.
- Keyword Research: Tools such as Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest and KeywordTool can help you get a sense of search queries people use when looking for purses online.
- Google Trends: Use Google Trends to analyze patterns with regard to the demand for different types of purses and bags.
Okay, so you did some research and have some idea on what type of purses or handbags you’re going to sell. Now, it’s time to see how to stock up your inventory.
Design Your Own
If you have a good eye for design, you might want to consider designing your own purses. Print-on-demand services (such as Printful) allow you to design purses and handbags. Moreover, these services also let you white-label purses and bags with your own designs.
Purchasing purses in bulk from a manufacturer or wholesaler is a conventional way to fill up your stock. Directory websites such as Alibaba, ThomasNet, and Kompass can help you find suppliers for the types of purses you want to sell online.
However, you’ll need some upfront investment. Plus, it can be tricky to find the right suppliers to work with. So make sure to evaluate them on seller ratings and reviews, request product samples, and schedule in-person meetings, if possible.
With dropshipping, you can focus on selling purses online – without purchasing them from a supplier. This is because dropshipping suppliers can ship purses directly to customers when they make a purchase. You can use platforms such as SaleHoo and Oberlo to find reliable dropshippers.
Working with dropshippers relieves you from holding and managing inventory – although your control over product operations, quality, and shipping will be seriously limited.
It’s important to take branding seriously right from the beginning, especially for fashion items such as purses and handbags. The bigger your brand, the more you’ll be able to charge for your purses. Take advantage of the following tips to get started on the right foot when building your brand online.
- Think of a memorable domain name and design a logo that makes your brand easily recognizable to buyers.
- Pay attention to the color scheme and fonts to be used in all your marketing materials, including your website and social media.
- Your brand’s writing style, tone, and voice should match the personality that you’re trying to create in the minds of your audience.
Another consideration to make when building your purse and handbag brand? Appealing to growing generational demands for eco-conscious companies and sustainable products.
In recent years, the fashion industry has witnessed a big shift towards sustainability and ethics. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchases, and want purses and handbags that align with their values, harness ethical marketing principles, and utilize recycled materials. Alongside your products themselves, you may want to consider sustainable packaging or making your website itself more eco-friendly.
When building an ethical purse and handbag brand, content marketing can help. See our top tips below, in step 9’s “Invest in Marketing” section, for some inspo.
Another important decision in your journey is which avenue(s) you’ll use to sell purses online. You can pick from the following options.
A social media platform is what most people think of first when it comes to selling purses and handbags, and rightly so! It’s easy to start selling on a platform such as Facebook. However, it may not be so simple – or may be insufficient – once your business grows to a certain level, and you’ll need to consider other channels down the line to expand your customer reach.
A more professional way to sell purses online is to register as a seller on one or more of the internet’s large online marketplaces. These include Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. These marketplaces provide you with straightforward selling tools and a steady stream of customers, but take a cut from your sales to compensate for these benefits.
What’s more, the rise of platforms like Poshmark and Depop – which combine principles from both online marketplaces and social commerce – are further changing how customers buy and sell fashion items online.
These peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce platforms enable consumers looking for new or pre-owned purses and handbags to connect directly with potential buyers, creating a more interactive and personalized shopping experience.
Sellers can create listings with detailed descriptions, photos, and prices, and buyers can browse and purchase items within the platform. This direct interaction removes the need for intermediaries, such as traditional retailers or third-party marketplaces, and enables a more direct and transparent exchange – which, if your business can tap into it, means another revenue stream.
Your Own Online Store
Building your own online store to sell purses can be slightly more challenging than the other options we’ve listed above. However, it makes the most sense in the long term. Creating an ecommerce website (with a platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Wix) allows you to build your brand and control the profits, given that you’re willing to put in the work required to build a customer base from scratch.
Once you’ve figured out where you’re going to be selling purses online, it’s time to prepare the content that you’ll need to add about your purses. This mainly consists of the photos and descriptions – let’s take a closer look:
Adding eye-catching photos of your purses will go a long way in persuading your buyers. Think about it – they can’t touch or feel the fabric of the purses. The only option they have is to assess them are from the product photos – so it makes sense to make them good!
Experiment, too, with lifestyle photos – shots of people modeling your bags while out and about. By showcasing your purses and handbags in a range of different settings and scenarios, you encourage potential customers to visualize those bags on themselves as they go about the daily rhythms and routines of their life.
That’s why we highly recommend uploading several, high-quality photos when listing your purses online.
Product copywriting is both an art and a science. You’re not selling a physical object, but promising an experience. That’s why research is so important. It tells you what your customers want, so you can speak to their needs when writing the product copy.
In addition, your product descriptions should provide as much factual detail about your purses as possible. These details will include specifications, benefits, features, FAQs, and so on.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) – which presents the real world, albeit with an extra layer of superimposed content over it (think Pokemon Go) – is finding an ever-growing list of applications. And fashion retail is one.
Brands like L’Oreal and ASOS are already leveraging AR to allow customers to virtually “try on” makeup and clothes – without, of course, having to actually apply the lipstick, or physically try on the shirt.
Your purse and handbag business can do the same to allow potential customers to understand how your wares will look on them – and, perhaps, use AR to get those more hesitant customers over the line.
Pricing your purses right is crucial to the success of your purse business. It requires a good understanding of customer psychology, as well as your operational costs. Keeping that in mind, here are some useful strategies you can make use of:
- Keystone Pricing: Keystone pricing refers to a pricing method in which you simply set a price that’s twice the wholesale cost of your purse.
- MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price): If you’re sourcing brand new purses from a wholesaler or manufacturer, you can set your prices according to what they suggest.
- Competitive Pricing: Take a look at your competitors and how much they are charging for similar purses.
If you’ve already made up your mind about where to sell your purses online, find your chosen approach below to learn how to get started.
Create your Own Online Store
As we discussed, building your ecommerce website is one of the best decisions you’ll make if you’re serious about selling purses as an established business. Using an ecommerce site builder such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Wix, you can create – and manage – an online store, without any coding or technical skills.
What’s more, an online store builder provides you with several themes and tools to customize and extend the functionality of your ecommerce website. Through the variety of design templates these website builders offer, you’ll also be able to make your site look good – and with minimal effort, too.
This aesthetic angle is particularly crucial, as your online store needs to be visually appealing and easy-to-navigate in order to reflect the elegance and style associated with purses and handbags.
When it comes to setting up your product pages, consider adding features that allow your customers to filter your purses and handbags by style, color, size, and occasion to simplify their shopping process.
And, while you’re setting up your online store design on desktop computers, don’t forget to optimize it for mobile devices, too. Mobile commerce is huge in 2023 and, with more and more customers turning to their handheld devices to browse and buy, you need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
For more information, explore our guide to how to create an online store.
Create a Seller Account on a Marketplace
Another option is to create a seller account in an online marketplace. For example, if you’re going to sell purses on eBay, you can create an eBay seller account, showcase your purses, and start selling.
If this is your first time selling products on eBay, registering as a seller is free. But as your business expands, consider paying a premium monthly fee to create a more professional-looking eBay store.
Sell on Social Media
Selling across multiple social channels helps you attract buyers of a particular social media platform. You can also tap into the unique business tools and features provided by each platform to boost purse sales, as well as engagement with your brand.
For example, to sell purses on Facebook, you can use the Facebook Shops feature to create a shopping experience, and sell purses to Facebook users.
Secure packaging and efficient shipping can go a long way in improving customer satisfaction, increasing customer loyalty, and triggering repeat purchases. Customers love it when they get their products in excellent condition, and when they’re delivered fast – so you should leave no stone unturned to ensure the same!
When it comes to packing, gather essential supplies such as bubble wrap, packing tape, scissors, mailing envelopes, shipping boxes, and so on. Remember, your packaging boxes should be lightweight, but still secure. Our full guide on ecommerce packaging has plenty more tips to follow too!
If you’ve done everything as advised so far, you’re ready to spread the word about your online purse business.
When it comes to marketing purses and handbags, digital marketing is your best bet. More specifically, you should target social media platforms inclined towards visual content, such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Your decision to start with either Instagram or Pinterest will also depend on your target audience. If you’re selling purses to youngsters, it’s best to start with Instagram. On the other hand, most Pinterest users are middle-aged individuals, which makes them perfect prospects for pitching high-end luxury handbags to.
Another important strategy is to give special offers and discounts to encourage prospects to buy. For example, consider Italian Bags Sale.
This online handbags store gives you plenty of reasons to shop from the moment you land on its website, including free shipping, free returns, and a 75% off clearance sale.
Put Time – Not Money – Into Your Content Marketing
Unlike paid ads, content marketing is completely free – so it makes sense to invest some time, effort, and quality (if not cash) into getting your content marketing strategy right.
As we touched on earlier, content marketing can dovetail neatly into building your purse and handbag business’ brand – particularly if its an eco-conscious one.
Here are a few content marketing examples and ideas to help you build and cement an ethical brand in 2023:
- Create articles or videos showcasing how your handbags can complement various outfits – from casual to formal – to highlight their versatility.
- Write a guide on how to care for and maintain your brand’s leather bags, emphasizing the durability and longevity of the products, and the importance of sustainable leather and transparent supply chains.
- Craft an article explaining the process of upcycling and how your online brand transforms discarded materials into beautiful handbags to minimize its environmental impact.
- Share the stories of the artisans who contribute to the creation of each bag you sell. Highlight their skills, dedication, and the positive change they bring to their communities.
- Explore the history and cultural significance behind iconic bag designs, connecting them to your brand’s emphasis on timeless fashion.
- Offer tips and advice on building a sustainable wardrobe, with a focus on accessories like handbags.
- Feature stories and testimonials from satisfied customers who resonate with the brand’s mission and have integrated your bags into their lives.
Read all this, and still not sure where to start when it comes to growing your brand with content? Our guide to the content marketing pyramid will help!
Tap Into the Influencer Market
Finding and collaborating with fashion influencers who align with your brand can help increase your visibility and credibility.
Influencers on TikTok – and influencers on Instagram – can use live video to sell your purses and handbags. Live video is a brilliant way to connect with potential buyers and showcase your products in real-time.
Better still, working with influencers to drive sales doesn’t have to be expensive. Micro- and nano-influencers are a subset of the traditional influencer profile (one with hundreds of thousands of followers) who trade follower quantity for quality – using their smaller, but more dedicated and engaged, audiences to grow your business and brand.
Find Out More
The fashion accessories industry has always been on a growth trajectory – and it’s never too late to start selling purses and handbags online. On that note, here are the steps we discussed to sell purses online:
Steps to Sell Purses Online
- Find Your Niche
- Source Your Purses
- Create a Brand
- Decide Where to Sell Purses Online
- Showcase Your Purses
- Price Your Purses Fairly
- Set Up Your Online Purse Store
- Package and Ship Your Purses
- Invest in Marketing
From choosing the right purses to sell to promoting your products online, you have everything you need to kickstart your purse business online. So get started today and build the business you’ve always wanted. Good luck!