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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Luggage & Bags Business from Home

Start a Luggage, Bags and Purses Business

What you will be doing.  Accessories are a popular item.  Anyone who travels needs luggage of some sort to transport their personal items.  Ones that have wheels are easier to handle in a busy airport and when traveling internationally.  Tote bags are used for grocery shopping, holding beach accessories, car travel, and laundry.  They come in many sizes, colors, and fabrics. 

As a person running a business that specializes in accessories, you will have a little bit of everything for sale.  A person’s tastes in luggage are from the eclectic to the expensive and elegant.  You can cater to the entire spectrum of customers.   

As far as purses, the tastes are the same.  Some like designer brands and some are comfortable with designer fakes.  Your product line has a lot of room for fluctuation.  With purses, the trends change so keep that in mind when purchasing inventory. 

How to start.  With a business permit, you have the option of using a wholesaler to stock the inventory in your home office.  The more popular brands and styles can be purchased in bulk for less.  More obscure pieces can be sold at online auctions to a wider audience. 

Visiting thrift stores and yard sales could yield some interesting finds.  People give away items that are barely used but of high quality.  Be sure to state if an item has been previously used when you advertise it. 

A permit to operate at a flea market gives you another avenue for your business sales.  The Internet offers options with your own website for customers to view and buy from you.   Adding as much detail as you can with each item increases your sales. 

Starting costs.  Inventory and advertising will be the most expensive part of getting started.  Costs can be as little as $1,000 or as much as $5,000.  This depends on how may styles and the quantity of each item you decide to carry.  If you own a computer, printer, telephone, and you already have Internet access; your costs will come down.   

The inventory will need to be stored and shipped when ordered.  Boxes for shipping and other materials should be on hand.  Advertising by flyer, online ads, and newspaper ads may cost around $300-$500.  This price doesn’t include website setup and booth fees at the flea market. 

Skills needed.  You will need fashion savvy to keep up with the latest trends for your merchandise.  Knowledge of the product is also important.  Your descriptions should highlight the features of the items in terms that customers understand.  Also, when a customer tells you their needs, you should be familiar enough with your inventory to be able to recommend an item to them. 

Marketing.  Advertising is paramount.  People need to know that you are around and have great products to sell.  Give flyers out at church and to friends and family members.  Putting ads in the newspapers and other newsletters increase your visibility.  Renting a booth at flea markets and trade shows exposes your products to a wide variety of customers. 

An online website gives you a chance to show color pictures and detailed descriptions of your products.  You can set up a storefront to sell on your site.  Join affiliate programs with other business owners to promote everyone’s enterprise.  Expansion into other accessories brings variety. 

Key to selling your product is the promotion.  Advertise in as many places as you can afford so people see you.  Rotating your stock to reflect current trends keeps customers interested. 

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