Spring 2007
Profits are in the Bag By Sharon Naylor

Selling Smarts

For most women, an old wallet in a new handbag just won’t do, so maximize add-on sales with plenty of wallets, cell phone holders, iPod holders, passport pouches and mini cosmetic cases in matching or coordinating fabrics and colors from the same handbag designers’ lines. If your handbag wholesaler participates in cause-related marketing, your staff could benefit from relaying such information to your customers. For example, a percentage of proceeds from some Vera Bradley lines go toward breast cancer research. OOVOO has created a cross-country alliance with women artisans in Vietnam. With attractive signage and staff updates on such handbag “pedigrees,” you’ll maximize sales.

Dena Nance, owner of What’s-in-Store, a gift shop in Franklin, TN, suggests putting handbags at customers’ arm’s reach for better sales. “Shoppers can easily touch them, feel them, try them on, and they need to be adequately stuffed because the buyer wants to see the shape of the bag, and know what it feels like to carry it,” she says.

Nance also suggests you have a full-sized mirror nearby so that the shopper can see herself holding the bag, and get a sense of the bag in relation to her body proportion. “I tell my staff to get acquainted with each one of our handbags, so that they can tell shoppers about any special features such as a second strap that does not slip off the shoulder,” Nance advises fellow retailers to take note of the kind of bag a shopper is carrying when she walks into the store. “Ask her about it, ask her what she wants to change about it,” Nance says.

Sharon Naylor

Naylor is the author of 30 wedding books, including Your Special Wedding Vows and Your Special Wedding Toasts.SharonNaylor.net

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