You can start a purse party business once you understand the basic steps required. You can either create your own product line or opt to join an existing direct sales business.
Start Your Own Purse Party Business
You may want to work off a checklist for starting your own business. The first thing you need to decide on is a business name.
You need to check on the zoning for your area. Some zoning laws prohibit commercial businesses from operating out of a home. Some HOAs have guidelines that prohibit home-based businesses. Make sure you understand all zoning regulations where you live.
Licenses and Permits
The US Small Business Administration offers actionable information about any required business licenses and permits for your area. This includes any state, county and city town licenses and permits. In addition, you'll need a federal ID number (EIN) and a state sales tax number for a reseller. This will keep you from needing to pay suppliers any sales tax on your orders and allow you to collect/report sales tax for retail sells.
Startup Budget and Bank Account
You'll need to set a realistic budget for your business startup and then create a business banking account. If doing business online, you can also set up a PayPal business account so you can take payments from customers.
Business Cards and Collateral
You'll want business cards you can place in each order filled as well as favor gift bags. You pass out cards to those you meet, such as cashiers, receptionists, etc. Create and print collateral and investigate the cost of flyers and newspaper inserts.
Create a Website
You'll need to create a website that has a secure cart so you can also sell online to repeat and new customers. You may want to design your website to hold virtual purse parties in addition to real-time ones at individual homes. Be sure you include all necessary information about your business, how you conduct the parties, incentives for hostesses, and a form to contact you or set up a party.
- Set up social media accounts and keep them current/active.
- Offer contests and prizes on social media to generate interests.
- Provide specials and/or sales as buying/hosting incentives.
Wholesale Purse Suppliers
You need to decide if you're going to sell generic purses or if you want to either include or specialize in designer purse. This will determine the supplier(s) you choose. Most suppliers require a minimum dollar amount for the first and/or subsequent orders.
Wholesale Dropship Suppliers
You may decide a wholesale supplier that dropships is the way to go. This is a better option than attempting to inventory a lot of purses and tying up your money. You'll need to let customers know when they can expect delivery, this is usually 3-5 business days for most dropship companies.
How to Find Wholesale Purse Suppliers
You can find wholesale purse suppliers online. You can also attend the annual AmericasMart in Atlanta to make connections with wholesale suppliers. Many of these suppliers require a financial statement of proof of sales. For example, some companies may require your business to have a specific dollar amount of sales per month before you can place an order.
Other possible suppliers include:
- Fashion World advertises wholesale purses and states they feature designer inspired handbags and knockoff styles.
- Choice Handbag requires a $100 minimum order.
- Faire offers a free return wholesale marketplace.
- Pure Obsession states it is the "#1 Online Wholesale Supplier of Handbags and Accessories."
- You can join Amazon Business to find wholesale suppliers.
- high7a offers wholesale designer purses.
- You may decide to make purchases through Chinese wholesalers, such as DHGate, Alibaba and AliExpress.
Avoiding Illegal Counterfeit Purses
It is very easy to be fooled by counterfeit purses. This is a huge criminal market. There have been stories for years about individuals unknowingly selling counterfeit purses and being charged with a crime. Make sure you know who your wholesaler is and what they are selling are legitimate products.
Choose Your Product Line
As the owner of your purse party business, it's up to you to select the purses and other products you intend to sell. Choose a product line that offers a range of prices and styles to ensure you have something for every guest. Purchase a sample of each one. Makes sure the product isn't a clearance item unless you plan to purchase several to build an inventory.
Create a Host Incentive Program
You need to create an incentive program for anyone who wishes to host one of your purse parties. You also need a hostess gift. These can be any type of item you wish. As you expand your product line, you may include items, such as coin purses, cosmetic bags, key fobs, etc. that can be used as a hostess gift or a free gift for a set dollar amount sold at the party.
- Work incentives in $100 increments, such a 0-$100 party sales gives 5% discount on hostess' purchases and as the dollar amount increases, so do the percentages.
- Add to the incentives each party that you book as a direct result of the party.
- Provide each party guest with a party favor.
- Give the hostess a gift for hosting the party.
Inventory and Samples for Parties
Party guests will buy more products when they can take their purchases home with them. This type of party sales can be more profitable but will also require a larger upfront investment in inventory.
- You may prefer to start out with just the purse samples you need for the purse parties and take orders.
- If you must pay for the order in full, then require full payment at your parties so you can pay for the purchases without using your own money.
- You can dropship directly to your hostess, if you are using a drop shipping company.
- You may prefer to have the purses delivered to your home so you can then deliver to your hostess and/or customers to build a stronger relationship.
Join a Direct Sales Purse Party Business
You may decide to go with an existing purse party business and join as a direct sales representative. This type of entrepreneurship can be an easier way to get your business started. The collateral, product line and training is usually provided to ensure you are successful.
- Thirty-One requires with a $99 signature starter kit or $130 custom signature starter kit. You can earn 25% commission on sales and 40% discount on your purchases. The product line include jewelry, thermal lunch bags and other related items.
- Destiny Handbags requires a $300 order to begin selling any way you wish, via a party, website, boutique, or events. A $300 order per month is required to remain a Territory Sales Rep.
- Initials Inc. requires you purchase a $99 starter kit plus S/H ($300 value) or $20.20 plus S/H ($100 value). You can earn 25%-35% in weekly commissions with potential bonuses.
Creating a Successful Purse Party Business
As with any business, your word is your reputation, so make sure you treat your customers well. Grow your product line as your sales increase to offer more choices for party guests.