“Because Handbago focuses exclusively on designer handbags, we introduce consumers to a whole world of bags they never knew existed,” said Kristina Morena, president.
The site’s marketplace provides designers with a custom online storefront allowing them to integrate their brand’s imagery, promotional materials, social media while having complete control over pricing and inventory.
“We work directly with both established and emerging designers to provide the allure of a local boutique with a selection of a luxury superstore,” Morena said. “We built the marketplace to be hassle-free and empower designers to focus on what they do best, which is designing handbags.”
More than two dozen designer handbags lines are part of the launch and Morena said there’s currently a waiting list for their “curation” process, which ensures consumers are buying trusted and quality brand name products.
For emerging designers, Handbago functions as an incubator and offers adorable services such as brand consulting, product photography, public relations and online marketing. “We give designers complete control of their branding and merchandising we well as give them access to our social media and editorial team,” Morena adds.
For its shoppers–or “bagistas” as Handbago refers to them–the website offers free ground shipping and free return shipping on every order and has a price match guarantee.
Three Tiered Approach for Designers
To become a member on its marketplace, Handbago charges an on-time $495 application fee and takes a 40% sales commission on all sales. Handbago covers all payment processing, shipping costs, customer service and returns. “When orders come in, designers are provided with a prepaid UPS shipping label and packing slip. They are responsible for shipping out the bags within 48 hours and we handle the rest,” Morena said.
There are three types of accounts a handbag designer can sign up for. A basic account is free and allows designers to upload their company information and showcase their collections, but without e-commerce ability.
An affiliate account allows designers to upload handbags and link them to their own e-commerce platform, an ideal way for international designers who cannot drop ship to gain exposure. Lastly, there’s a merchant account that allows designers to sell products directly on Handbago.
Brian Meert, Handbago’s ceo, says niche online marketplaces like this “are thriving as they create new sales channel and allow designers to immediately connect with their targeted audience while avoiding costly and time-consuming process of selling through traditional retail or boutique stores.”
Besides, handbags, the website also has handbag accessories such as tassels, handbag hangers, yoga mat bags, tablet covers, iPad slips, camera cases, golf ball carriers and wine holders and plans to expand into small leathergoods and luggage, too.