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How to Have Your Own Brand of Handbags Made in Italy Quickly and Inexpensively

Jan 3, 2008
Did you know that you can have your own brand of handbags made in Italy by the same manufacturers of the biggest brands but at a fraction of the cost?

Quality made in Italy handbags are a very profitable trend. In fact handbags are an immediately recognizable sign of distinction, taste, wealth. A beautiful handbag is a fashion and a personality statement which is a must for each contemporary, successful woman.

Selling handbags is quite profitable also as, as opposed to apparel, there are no sizes to stock and therefore very little inventory is left unsold while very few items are returned. However getting the big name handbags to resell is difficult, expensive and the price competition cutthroat, leaving uninteresting profit margins.

Luckily a new trend is emerging with vast profit opportunities associated with it. The trend is for unbranded or private branded handbags. In fact, in the more advanced markets worldwide, conspicuous brand names are quickly becoming "out". Showing a famous brand name is more and more considered ostentatious, obvious, not in good taste and associated with "new money".

The trend for the unbranded is so strong that even the biggest names are quickly producing some of their new collections with discretely placed brand names and logoes or without them alltogether.

A corresponing fast-growing trend is thus that of private brand, private label, OEM handbags. In this case the handbags are sold with the logo of a trendy boutique or of a small but high quality importer (yourself).

Private branding is used also to quickly add a line of accessories to a brand which concerns itself mostly with apparel or something else and who does not want to invest in designing and manufacturing handbags but nonetheless desires a product of matching quality.

How can one profit from this fast-growing trend? It is quite simple and quick, provided that you know where to source your handbags.

Italy is home to the best manufacturers of handbags and to the best leather tanneries in the world. Quite often the biggest brand names spread their manufacture among many smaller handbags makers within Italy. These manufacturers are chosen for their ability, attention to detail, reliability.

Besides producing for the top brands, typically each of these Italian manufacturers design and manufacture several lines of their own, with the same quality, materials and skill employed for the top names but they sell these at a fraction of the price.

In fact you can purchase for $70 the same handbag quality that retails for $900 when branded by the top names. This is because there are no middlemen and no monster organizations on payroll nor expensive advertising campaigns to finance. You just pay materials, workmanship and an honest profit to the manufacturer.

Of course when selling under your own brand, or unbranded, you are unlikely to be able to charge as much as the top names; however the profit margin is still 3-4-5 fold! And your lower prices, being more affordable, attract more customers and translate into a higher volume of sales.

Let's be clear about one thing: when we talk about private label/private brand handbags made by the top Italian manufacturers who work for the big names, we are talking about original designs of the manufacturers and NOT of copies or so called "replicas" (which are also illegal copies).

These original designs however are always very successful because they follow each season's trend in terms of style, materials and accessories.

In fact they are often even MORE successful than the big names because the often "hostile" or difficult to wear "cutting edge" of the big names is "smoothed out" in the private brand designs which are thus more wearable, comfortable, saleable.

Many Italian manufacturers will of course produce your own designs, this however requires considerable skill in preparing the designs, investments for setup costs, large minimum orders, travels to the premises to define details etc. Manufacturing your own designs, therefore, while a very profitable option, is a medium term project and worth it if you have already established good revenues in the field of handbag retail.

Instead, choosing existing designs and have them branded with your own logo is very quick and minimum quantities are as low as one dozen! This is also a safe choice unless you are an experienced designer and marketer.

In fact the Italian manufacturers, being very experienced with worldwide trends and sales, know exactly which designs are hot in each country, which colours sell best in each country, which features are necessary to succeed in each country; from the lenght of handles to zippers to inside pockets. This type of knowledge is worth thousands of dollars in marketing consultancy otherwise!

If you can, it is best to travel to Italy, (to Tuscany in particular, which has an excellent handbag manufacturing district) and go visit the factories and warehouses yourself. Here you can select styles, materials and colours and get valuable imput from the manufacturers about the best choices for your own particular target market.

After having chosen styles and colours, you provide the artwork for your logo to the manufacturer which will be used to produce custom items to brand your handbags.

Typically your brand logo can be: a) embossed on a leather patch inside the handbag, b) etched in a metal plate to be also applied inside the handbag c) etched in a metal plate or pendant which is fastened to the handbag handles d) printed on the fabric dustbag which is used to protect and store the handbag. The dustbag is a much appreciated accessory by customers and associated with the idea of quality.

The extra expense to brand the handbags is negligible, $2-3 each plus one-time setup fees of around $100 to make the necessary metal stamps and moulds. Typically you are required to order a minimum of only ten handbags per style per colour. For a comparison, consider that when making your own designs the figure can be ten times as much.

Your order will be typically ready within three-four weeks, including all setups and private branding! The manufacturer will also arrange a freight and paperwork for the shipment to you. In order to source the best manufacturer for you and to have smooth and timely transactions, we recommend to use a local fashion broker for the purpose.

In fact, a good broker will save you lots of time and money by imediately pointing you in the right direction and by following all details and communication until the delivery of goods is completed. The broker's fees are typically paid by the manufacturer on a yearly basis and therefore all the valuable services provided will be at no direct cost to you.

So to summarize: selling private branded handbags Made in Italy is an excellent opportunity to expand your business or create a new one. It is quick and inexpensive, you can start small and place larger orders as you grow, quality Made in Italy handbags are always in demand, profit margins are fat.
About the Author
Dr Marino Caliterna is a professional broker of Made in Italy products. Find out more about private label Made in Italy handbags at http://www.italia-consultant.com
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