Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Will Sell My Market Bags?

I sold a total of one reusable, durable, handmade, cotton market bag this summer.  I thought they'd go like hotcakes at the local farmer's market.  No vendors use reusable bags and no one else offers them.  Go figure.  I supposed that people had gotten frustrated having spent money on reusable bags in the past, but continually forgetting them when they go shopping.  I do this myself fairly often, and I spend a good deal of time making them!  Plus, every other store carries those cheap ones at the checkout that only cost a couple of dollars.  In comparison, my bag is a downright luxury item.

Maybe better signage boasting their lead-free benefits?  I could offer some kind of incentive to customers who reuse my bags next summer at our local farmer's market.  Something like, use your bag next week and stop by for a 20% off coupon to my booth or online shop.  Another thought I've had is to wholesale my bags to vendors directly.  Or I could drop my price and not make any money on them in honor of the principle...
Any other suggestions, readers?  I'd love your thoughts!


  1. I'm trying out the wholesale scene myself and so far I'm not thinking it's actually a good idea for crochet stuff- especially if it takes a while to make the product. People don't appreciate crochet. In wholesale, you trade part of your money for the 'bulk' of the order and for not having to have all the hassles of a brick-and-mortar store, but does that even make it worth your while if you are still spending the time but not making the money? You would have to spend more time crocheting to make the money you want. If you're not going to make any money you should just give the item away for free because it amounts to the same thing.

    I don't really have a good answer for this dilemma and I really hope you find one. Good luck :)

  2. I can't really think of any suggestions either. I totally agree that people buy the cheap ones from their local market or probably forget to use them anyway. I don't know where your Farmers Marhet is but maybe try one in a more upscale enighborhood where people might appreciate them more? What about offering some less expensive accessories at your table like crocheted flowers that would be really colorful and catch peoples eye? You could make flowers that they can velcro on to their existing market bags (or purse, lunch bag, etc) to personalize them. Maybe having something less expensive would bring people over and they would then at least give the market bags a look. I have a crocheted flower on my lunch bag that I take to work because everyone I work with has the same bag and they all look alike.

  3. I agree with kokomolady on the wholesale thing. Crochet doesn't really apply, I tried to figure it out and do baby booties or hats wholesale, but if I was to do it, I'd be working 25/7 for half the money and I'd crochet my arms right out of my sockets. There. Not worth it. And yes, most people have no idea how much work goes into crocheting an item.