Guest post by Shirley Frazier of GiftBasketBusiness.com
Retailers are not the only ones who benefit from inserting customers’ purchases into tote bags. Authors also create beautiful table displays with bags to encourage sales. That’s what I accomplished on October 8 during the Indie Author Day celebration hosted by libraries throughout the U.S.
When you visit a store to hear an author speak and buy her book, the autographed copy is handed to you with a smile, and you often exit the store with the book placed in a generic bag. My goal was to do something different, something outstanding for my fans. Tote bags in vivid colors coordinated with tissue paper immediately came to mind.
Tote Bags as a Gift Basket Alternative
Tote bags have always been part of the training I provide to gift basket retailers. They’re an exceptional alternative when baskets exceed a client’s budget.
An insurance agent was my first customer to approve gifts made with tote bags. She needed 150 holiday gifts to distribute to her clients. In lieu of a basket, I suggested a silver and white tote bag lined with tissue paper in the same colors, both from Nashville Wraps, filled with peppermint biscotti, Belgium chocolates, a mug with the insurance company’s logo, champagne crackers, a savory spread, and a box of chamomile tea.
I also placed the agent’s business card in the tote bag. Her clients adored the gift. That order produced numerous referral sales for the insurance agent and new business for me.
Tote bags also saved one of my retail clients from losing lots of money on products he placed on clearance. He showed me 50 sets of tea cups and saucers discounted by 80 percent. I quickly saw potential and transformed the cups and saucers into Mother’s Day gifts by adding candies into the cup and wrapping the set in cellophane, topping it with a petite bow. The cup and saucer sets sold in two weeks before Mother’s Day at full retail value, and each was placed in a tote bag when purchased.
Library patrons were drawn to my table and books due to the beautiful gift bag display, and the presentation accomplished much more. The Indie Author Day celebration was a tribute to the gift of writing and how aspiring authors achieve their publishing dreams today without help from traditional publishers.
Three Tips to Add Tote Bags to Your Displays
- Keep prying eyes from peeking into bags filled with giveaway products by adding a one-hole punch into the top middle of a bag and tying it together with curling ribbon. Staples are customary, but ribbon is safer and more attractive.
- Create an inventive window display with empty tote bags strung in animation from the ceiling with wire or ribbon, and also add bags along the display floor. Include tissue paper as a complementary addition.
- Brand your store or business name, address, phone number, website URL, and other details with either hot stamping or professionally-made labels to affix onto bags when placing your wholesale order. That’s my next step now that I know what my message will state.
I’m participating in a second Indie Author Day event and will create a similar display to the one shown in the photographs. My bet is that sales will be on par or better thanks to these supplies.