In an earlier blog post, Writing Product Descriptions, I talked in somewhat general terms about marketing hand-crafted items on the Internet and how product descriptions are a major component for actually making the sale.
In the past week or so, on two different craft forums I frequent, people have asked for help with their online handbag business. Their chief complaints were low traffic and even lower sales. Upon visiting two of those sites, I found the same problem – the product descriptions fail to sell the item.
Examine the Merchandise
Let’s stop a minute and pretend we are visiting the local department store. We’re in the handbags and purse department looking for a new bag. We approach a rack that has some interesting ones. You reach over and take one down. Quick, think, what do you do first? Do you turn it over and look at the back? Do you put your fingers into the front pocket? Do you unzip every compartment to see how big it is and what the lining looks like? Do you hang it on your shoulder for fit? Do you put your wallet inside to see if it fits? Or do you simply grab it and buy it?
C’mon, we all know the answer here.
So, if you’re like me, you investigate the purse like you are digging for buried treasure. Yet, many handbag designers seem to think a single picture and a sentence or 2 is going to get someone to pull out the credit card or PayPal password and plunk down upwards of $60 for their hand-sewn, custom, one-of-a kind purse, bag, or tote?
How to Sell Purses, Handbags and Totes Online
As I said in the earlier post, when selling crafts online, you have to become your customers’ eyes. They can’t touch your item and have to rely on whatever pictures you provide to decide if the item will meet their needs. This is particularly true with handbags, purses and totes. You will have to show your customers where that gold we all look for is buried.
A few suggestions for pictures to use when selling purses online…
- Take the standard frontal shot.
- Take the less-standard rear shot.
- Open the bag and take a picture down into it showing the lining material and any pockets.
- Put things into the pockets to show how roomy it is – use eyeglasses, cell phones, wallets, paperback books, file folders and other common items that have fairly standard sizes.
A few suggestions for information to include when selling purses online…
- Give the length of the strap – this way your customers will know if the purse will hang where they want it to.
- List if it has a zipper or other closure for any of the compartments.
- Identify if it is a unique item (you only will make 1) or if can folks get more than 1, in different colors, or with different strap lengths.
- Always give the dimensions for the exterior of the bag and primary compartments!
- If the bag has a particular function mention that function and include a picture showing it in action; i.e. if it is a tote for the office – show notebooks, file folders and other like items resting inside.