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A Dropshipper’s Guide to Bags: What’s Hot This Season?

What to sell ‧ May 22, 2019 1244 ‧ 0

Bags have always been a popular product category. They fuse high style with an essential functionality. There are precious stylish accessories that also serve a pragmatic purpose. As such, handbags and purses are often considered, both for their carrying capacity and, more importantly, their fashion value.

Traditionally, women’s purses and clutches represented the largest segment of the bag market, supporting a wide variety of shapes and styles. Rarely would a woman own just one purse. Instead, they might have a few styles of bags in various sizes and colors, for different occasions and for matching accessorizing. This is still the case today, but with the recent explosion in men’s bags industry, the market has expanded exponentially.

Today, bags come in a multitude of styles to serve a diverse range of purposes. As a result, it’s never been a better time to start dropshipping these popular products. They lend themselves well to both general and niche stores.

You can add function specific bags to stores selling related merchandise, e.g. gym and fitness bags to a niche store that sells sports and workout products, or travel bags and backpacks in a leisure/travel themed shop. You can also dedicate entire stores to just handbags, or to bags of all kinds. It’s a massive product category, so the possibilities are limitless.

In general, because the demand for bags is so high, a well-planned, properly-marketed dropshipping store can do very well, making bags a great product niche for beginner dropshippers and seasoned pros. Here’s a short list of the sorts of bags primed to sell well this season.

Shoulder Bags

This is, by far, the largest bag category. Not only does it include large shoulder strap purses: it also incorporates the burgeoning men’s bag market, with messenger bags, satchels, carryalls, and soft-style briefcases. The purse and shoulder bag market alone is worth just over $100 billion. This means entire stores can be devoted to just this one category.

Dropshipping newcomers should make certain to offer a wide variety of bags, in various styles, for both men and women. Since bag styles tend to follow fashion trends, novice sellers should diversify to avoid selling too many of what might turn out to be the wrong thing.

Experienced dropshippers, on the other hand, can do very well with trending styles if they follow the market and sell what’s hot before the fashion fizzles. This is a riskier tactic but it can pay off handsomely.

Backpacks

This is another mainstay category that has exploded in recent years. No longer the exclusive domain of students, backpacks are now available for, and popular with adults of all genders for their high carrying capacity and increased wearability.

Not all the backpacks can be considered fashion accessories, so it’s important to push their other qualities when marketing your store. Mention their durability and quality construction. Talk about extra amenities, like wide pockets and hidden storage. Talk about carrying capacity and comfort. If your backpacks won’t make a fashion statement, sell their functionality.

Backpacks tend to be consistent sellers across all styles as people stay consistently interested in them. This lowers sellers’ overall risk and creates dependable returns.

Travel Bags

This category includes duffel bags, smaller soft case luggage selections, and other bag styles intended for use as carry-ons and the like. Like backpacks, travel bags are consistent sellers, with little dependency on fashion trends.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t high-style selections. Because travel bags are less casual than backpacks, consumers are looking for well-made bags suited for use in professional settings. You’re far more likely to find leather and other high-end materials in travel bags.

Be sure to target every sort of consumer, from occasional travelers looking for functional duffel bags to business travelers seeking expensive, refined totes.

Phone Bags

These are narrow niche products that won’t appeal to everyone but, if marketed properly, can do very well. Think phone cases with shoulder straps. These are small bags with limited capacity, intended for a cell phone and maybe some cash and a credit card or two. Google Trends shows that interest in these bags has been steadily climbing over the past five years.

Because phone bags are so tightly tied to the technology they’re intended to contain, the best play is likely adding an assortment of these bags into a shop that sells cell phone accessories. People looking for a phone case or a screen protector may be enticed by the prospect of a fashionable bag that keeps their phone close without requiring a heavy purse.

Note that men’s clothing, as unfair as it is, usually has more and bigger pockets, which means men likely won’t be interested in phone bags, so the market is primarily women’s.

Belt Bags

Do you mean fanny packs?
“No, this is a belt bag.”

Oh…gotcha. It’s a fanny pack.

Fanny packs, newly rebranded as belt bags skyrocketed in popularity in late 2017. Celebrities could be seen out in public with their hip, new belt bags proudly displayed, and everyone immediately forgot how corny fanny packs were. But trends are trends, and savvy dropshippers would do well to profit on them while they can.

To be fair, belt bags are far more fashionable than their cheesy, zippered nylon forebears. Manufacturers are capitalizing on the trend among younger consumers that want to travel and be out and about without encumbering straps or the potential for bag theft.

Make sure to sell both large and small bags in a variety of materials and styles. And be vigilant for the end of the trend.

Leather Bags

Leather bags cross through nearly every bag genre, save beach bags. But for some consumers, leather is the material of choice for every bag they purchase, and so the material warrants its own category. Leather is an extremely durable, classic bag material which can be dressy and elegant, modest and professional, or chic and casual.

Leather bags can be sold on their own, as a part of a larger leather goods shop, or alongside bags of other materials. Just be sure you know what you’re selling. Leathers are graded from high to very low quality. You don’t want to advertise high-quality leather and then dropship products from a manufacturer that uses a low-grade product. Most consumers will know the difference, and they won’t be pleased with you.

Waist Bags

Oh, wait. HERE are the fanny packs! They’re still alive and well, restyled as waist bags and hip sacks. But make no mistake. These are the same unattractive but supremely functional fanny packs that graced the waists of trendy soccer moms throughout the late ‘80s.

You can thank belt bags, the fashionable, more costly sibling, for the renewed interest in what is now known as the waist bag. They’re popular for the same reasons as the belt bag, and their low cost is the reason people forgive their utter lack of style and sophistication. These are utilitarian to their core — the plastic shopping bag of the fashion bag world.

A good strategy is to offer waist bags and belts bags together. This way you can appeal to both the fashion conscious and the fashion-challenged markets.

Sports/Fitness/Gym Bags

The global fitness/gym bag market has increased dramatically over the last ten years, and this trend shows no sign of slowing. This expansion has been driven primarily by an increased focus on health and fitness in many parts of the world, as well as the expanding middle class in many developing nations. As free time and disposable income increase for larger portions of the population, gym bag sales explode.

This is a category that does well sold by itself and as an accompaniment to niche stores that sell sports and fitness products generally. If you’re selling fitness bags on their own, be sure to stock a diverse selection. If you’re selling them as a complement to fitness products instead, try and match bags to the sorts of products you sell, e.g. sell tennis bags with tennis equipment and runner-friendly bags with running shoes.

Evening/Clutch Bags

These small, strapless purses are perfect for evenings out, when you don’t need to bring everything you normally carry in your purse but still want a small, refined bag for the essentials. More often than not these are finer, more expensive bags, intended to accompany dressier outfits.

These are a mainstay category. Most women have at least one small clutch bag. They’re stylish, but don’t generally succumb to trends, so their sales returns tend to be consistent. You might be hard-pressed to sell evening and clutch bags on their own, but they certainly deserve a place in any thorough selection of bags in a general store.

Waterproof Bags

Waterproof bags are popular among outdoor enthusiasts. They’re great for keeping valuable items dry when hiking, camping, or participating in any sort of outdoor or indoor watersports. They’re made in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate any need.

These bags make a great addition to stores focusing on recreational and outdoorsman products, sporting goods stores, and boating or fishing shops. But get creative. Photographers that shoot outside frequently could use waterproof bags to keep their expensive equipment safe. Adding a selection of waterproof bags to a photography shop could build incremental revenue.

Camera/Drone Bags

Photographers and drone videographers tend to carry a lot of expensive, sensitive equipment with them. They need bags designed specifically to hold and protect their gear. Camera bags can range from the simple, designed to hold a small digital camera, to backpack sized setups with multiple dividers inside, made to hold camera bodies, lenses, and all sorts of other, assorted paraphernalia.

In order to hit the widest possible market, you’ll want to stock bags that appeal to simple hobbyists as well as professional photographers and aerial videographers. And make sure to market their protective capabilities. Photographers aren’t much interested in how the bag looks. They just want to know that their gear is well-protected and easy to access.

Cosmetics Bags

This is another category of purely functional bags that, while stylish, don’t generally follow trends. However, nearly every woman owns one, or will own one, or will need to replace the one they already own. They aren’t particularly exciting, but they do sell well.

It should be fairly obvious by now that cosmetics bags are the perfect sales accompaniment to…cosmetics! Any beauty products shops or personal care stores would do well to stock a variety.

Beach Bags

We’re just at the cusp of summer, so now is the time that people start shopping for new bathing suits, towels, beach blankets, and bags to carry them in. Beach bags are necessary additions to any store that sells swimwear and other beach or pool related items. Look for bright, fun, festive patterns, and make sure they hold a lot of stuff.

Hobo Bags

Never has there been a more apt description of a bag style. True hobo bags consist of a mostly formless, round-bottomed sack attached to a shoulder strap. Picture the classic image of a hobo carrying a stick topped with a handkerchief, corners knotted to form a sack, and you get a good idea of the shape of the bag.

Hobo bags have become very popular with women looking for simple, casual, everyday bags with a hefty carrying capacity. Over time manufacturers have developed more sophisticated versions of the hobo bag, and now there’s a hobo bag for every taste. This style of bag is popular at every price point, so be sure to stock a wide assortment.

Break Into the Profitable World of Bags Today!

Bags are an excellent way for beginners to cut their teeth dropshipping, particularly if they download our complete dropshipping guide. This free handbook gives detailed instructions on everything you need to know to take your first store from creation straight through to profitability. Get your copy here: How to Start Dropshipping Store For Free.

If you already have a WordPress store, you should consider adding our FREE plugin, DropshipMe.

We’ve curated thousands of items on AliExpress, in every major niche, that have proven themselves to be highly-saleable products. DropshipMe lets you import them into your store, along with photos and descriptions, instantly. We’ve done a lot of the work for you so that you can focus on marketing and generating revenue. DropshipMe is the smartest way to kickstart your store and keep it running.

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