Would something like this sell, and for how much? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Once I actually get my site off the ground I am planning on selling diaper bags and cloth diapers. This is a prototype for a bag (jumbo size bag, I will make different sizes) and it's made with fabric I had on hand - I will try to use brighter more photogenic fabrics on ones for sale. Please excuse the photos, as it's darned near impossible to photograph black and white contrast fabric under incandescent lighting, and natural light isn't available at 4 a.m.

Bag zipped up. I made up this design myself, it is a messenger-look bag, in which the top flap zips off entirely to become a changing pad. The d-rings are reinforced to prevent tear-through. I haven't made the strap yet.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g/DSCF5691.jpg

This is with the changing pad zipped off. The pad is 16"x27" on this particular bag- big enough to fit most toddlers. You can see a pocket on the front, the white thing sticking out is a small wipes bag. The main bag has a divider that runs down the middle and a large PUL wet bag that just fits in one half.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g/DSCF5693.jpg

With the large wet bag removed.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g/DSCF5696.jpg

A bad picture of the large wet bag (8x8x12). Both of my wet bags are constructed so the PUL does not share any seams with the cotton outer to prevent wicking. They zipper closed. The zipper is diagonal on the large bag, to make it easier to put items in and out.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g/DSCF5697.jpg

This is the small wipes bag, which comes with a variety of co-ordinating wipes in Sherpa, BKT, hemp terry.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g/DSCF5694.jpg


What would you think of a product like this? Do you think people would buy such a bag? How should I set the price? Is there anything I should change?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 08:08 AM
 
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Not sure of price, but you might want to think about selling it in three parts:
bag w/pad
lg wet bag
wipes bag w/wipes
you could let customers mix&match colors & fabrics...

and all 3 as a set for slightly less than the cost of all 3 seperately

I'd definately buy the bag&pad, not sure about the wet bags (don't CD).

If I really like the color & fabric, I'd prob be willing to pay $45-50 for the bag&pad... but that's taking into account my budget more than the market.
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#3 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 08:37 AM
 
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love the bag..very creative!! I think I would pay $35 to $45 for it.
When I had my arts and crafts business what I would do to price idems is figure out how much it cost me to make then tripple that. Does not always work though but its a good way to start......
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#4 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 09:45 AM
 
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Figuring out the correct price for a product is part magic and part science.

1. know your customer. Are you your target customer? What would you pay? Is your target customer pregnant and looking for a bag or is she a more seasoned mom who has realized that the bag she bought on a whim at BRU doesn’t work for her. The seasoned mom will probably pay a bit more and will better understand the features and benefits.
You really need to get into the mind of the consumer.

2. Have goals. What are your goals, how much money do you need to make per bag to reach your financial goal.

3. Know your capabilities. How much production can you handle? Are you a low volume producer or a high volume producer? If you are a low volume producer you don’t want to price your bag at a volume price only to find you can not keep up with demand.

4. Know your competition. Once you know the answer to question 1, take a look at your competitors bags - buy a few and use them a lot. Give them to your friends to use. See how your product compares. Does it look as nice when it is new, how does it take wear and tare? Should your bag be more or less money?

5. Plan for everything. Are you going to try to sell it wholesale in 12 months? If you are, determine a wholesale price NOW. Build in enough margin so that you can sell it both ways. Even if you are not planning to sell it wholesale - pretend like you are. You will save yourself a lot of pricing heartaches later.

* Llamajama in stock woolens *
hand knit wool longies, wool soakers, wool sweaters and more!
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#5 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 10:06 AM
 
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Oh! I think I just saw one of your bags in person at my LLL meeting last week - the mom said she got it from a friend on MDC, did you send a bag to Ottawa?? Anyway, I commented on it and asked her about it because I thought it was great so yes, I would buy it.

For pricing, figure out how much it costs you to make the bag (including all supplies and your time) and go from there. The general rule of thumb is 4x your cost is the retail price but it doesn't always work out that way...
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#6 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione
Not sure of price, but you might want to think about selling it in three parts:
bag w/pad
lg wet bag
wipes bag w/wipes
you could let customers mix&match colors & fabrics...

and all 3 as a set for slightly less than the cost of all 3 seperately
.
Thanks! I am figuring on offering a basic bag in 3 sizes, and then having the option to add options/accessories to suit the customer - things like extra pockets, wet bags, dividers, a drop-in sorter, etc. I plan to also have a few pre-made for customers that don't want to wait on a custom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemisia
love the bag..very creative!! I think I would pay $35 to $45 for it.
When I had my arts and crafts business what I would do to price idems is figure out how much it cost me to make then tripple that. Does not always work though but its a good way to start......
Thank you. I still have to improve my speed at this pattern. I've only made 3 bags so far, and though each is faster than the last, I still have a ways to go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HR Fluff n’ Stuff
Figuring out the correct price for a product is part magic and part science.
HR, wow you have given me a lot to think about.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mommybritt
Oh! I think I just saw one of your bags in person at my LLL meeting last week - the mom said she got it from a friend on MDC, did you send a bag to Ottawa?? Anyway, I commented on it and asked her about it because I thought it was great so yes, I would buy it.
Was it this one? I made it for a craft swap. It is so nice to hear it's being used and enjoyed.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...r/DSCF4812.jpg

Quote:
For pricing, figure out how much it costs you to make the bag (including all supplies and your time) and go from there. The general rule of thumb is 4x your cost is the retail price but it doesn't always work out that way...
Ah, now that's the tricky part. I need to really sit down and figure out how much yardage I'm using up., and improving my speed.
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#7 of 32 Old 07-24-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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Hi,
I think $35-$45 is really way too low for a hand-made bag, imho. Especially since I've seen diaper bags online going for $200 +. Looking at your design, I would recommend that you check out a catalog company called The Green Pepper. They have zipper by the yard, and separating zippers too, probably cheaper, better quality, and easier to deal with than metal zippers.

I'm wondering if you have to zip the changing pad off? Does that double as the lid? That's an interesting idea, but doesn't seem like it would make for very easy quick changes with a wiggly kid on a koala table...

Anyway, with the right photography and a professional-looking site you could probably go $65-$85 for something like that. Maybe more, depending on the fabrics and the production quality. Those petunia pickle-bottom bags? Those things retail for $150.....
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#8 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Hera
Hi,
I think $35-$45 is really way too low for a hand-made bag, imho. Especially since I've seen diaper bags online going for $200 +. Looking at your design, I would recommend that you check out a catalog company called The Green Pepper. They have zipper by the yard, and separating zippers too, probably cheaper, better quality, and easier to deal with than metal zippers.
Thanks. I am looking at other WAHM bags to get a price range. I will check into the zippers.

Quote:
I'm wondering if you have to zip the changing pad off? Does that double as the lid? That's an interesting idea, but doesn't seem like it would make for very easy quick changes with a wiggly kid on a koala table...
Yeah, that was kind of the idea. I wanted to reduce bulk and have a messenger-look bag where the flap wasn't useless. The zippers used are actually really sturdy so they zip off fast.

Quote:
Anyway, with the right photography and a professional-looking site you could probably go $65-$85 for something like that. Maybe more, depending on the fabrics and the production quality. Those petunia pickle-bottom bags? Those things retail for $150.....
I have seen those on eBay..CRAZY. I plan on offering different outers from corduroy to denim to brocade. Still working on getting a website set up.
As for production quality, all the seams are stitched at 1/2" with serged edges so they won't unravel. I reinforce the spots where the D-rings hook on. There are no raw serged edges anywhere. There's always room for improvement though. I hope to get to a tester stage soon.
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#9 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 10:40 AM
 
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I wouldn't want to have to zip the changing pad completely on/off every time (I was juggling 2 babies, even a few extra seconds could be disasterous LOL). So maybe make it w/ the option of leaving it attached to the bag (& just flip it all the way open & have it lay flat out the back of the bag) OR come completely off. Also, can't tell from the pictures, if I had unzipped it & then needed to not take time to zip it back on, would the bag look ok (& not have stuff falling out everywhere) if I just stuffed the changing pad into the bag & went or would I *have* to take the time to zip it back on? (another issue w/ zipping it back on would be that if I'm holding a wiggly baby in a dirty bathroom w/ nowhere to set them down I wouldn't have 2 hands to zip it back on which I'm guessing is required at least to "start" the zipper?)

Those would be things I'd think about, overall it sounds like a great idea though. I tended to swipe the little paper changing table covers from public bathrooms if I ever found them & then kept reusing one of those until it got dirty because I didn't want the bulk of a regular changing pad.

Depending on the fabric you use, if there's a variety of pretty fabric choices (not just plain twill or whatever) then I'd expect to pay more in the $85-$100 range for a bag like that with the wipes bag, wet bag, etc. as extras on top of that price.
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#10 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeas
I wouldn't want to have to zip the changing pad completely on/off every time (I was juggling 2 babies, even a few extra seconds could be disasterous LOL). So maybe make it w/ the option of leaving it attached to the bag (& just flip it all the way open & have it lay flat out the back of the bag) OR come completely off.
OK, I see what you are saying there. If I put 2 snaps, each near the bottom of one zipper, I think I could "anchor" the flap so you could zip it *almost* off but not all the way.

Quote:
Also, can't tell from the pictures, if I had unzipped it & then needed to not take time to zip it back on, would the bag look ok (& not have stuff falling out everywhere)
The bag would not be missing a side or anything. It would just be an open-topped bag.

Quote:
if I just stuffed the changing pad into the bag & went or would I *have* to take the time to zip it back on? (another issue w/ zipping it back on would be that if I'm holding a wiggly baby in a dirty bathroom w/ nowhere to set them down I wouldn't have 2 hands to zip it back on which I'm guessing is required at least to "start" the zipper?)
Yes, that's true you would need 2 hands to get the zipper going. I like your idea of making it possible to zip it down but not detach but have the OPTION of detaching.
It is possible to carry this bag without the flap attached though.

.
Quote:
Depending on the fabric you use, if there's a variety of pretty fabric choices (not just plain twill or whatever) then I'd expect to pay more in the $85-$100 range for a bag like that with the wipes bag, wet bag, etc. as extras on top of that price.
I just found a local fabric store with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL cottons - unfortunately they carry almost nothing else - but their cottons are fantastic. I will be making some more out of fancier fabrics. For this one I just had to use what I had on hand that was big enough. (I have too many remnants!)
I appreciate the input on pricing.
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#11 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 05:01 PM
 
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I just have to say, that is the most innovative neato dipe bag i've seen.

I think that you should figure out how much $ you'd like to make hourly, time yourself making one or time over three and figure out what your average labor cost is. Add in the cost of the materials and markup 60% for retail.
Those are really awesome, and I think would make a great business idea, don't price your items too low though, or you will find that you are working for like 2 cents an hour.
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#12 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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Depending on fabric I'd say between 80 and 150.
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#13 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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I'm more in the $80-$150 range too. I have a truly beautiful brocade bag that a friend of mine made me. She charges $65 for bags she makes for her FRIENDS. I thought it was a bargain, the bag is a piece of art. I've seen simple little tote bags going for $65 each, and this is much more complex. I love your design, it's innovative and a brilliant idea. Good luck!
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#14 of 32 Old 07-25-2005, 09:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82

Was it this one? I made it for a craft swap. It is so nice to hear it's being used and enjoyed.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...r/DSCF4812.jpg

Yep, that's the one And it was definitely being used and enjoyed! The mama who had it said that she was asked all the time where she got it...I think you've got something here!
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#15 of 32 Old 07-26-2005, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umefey
I just have to say, that is the most innovative neato dipe bag i've seen.

I think that you should figure out how much $ you'd like to make hourly, time yourself making one or time over three and figure out what your average labor cost is. Add in the cost of the materials and markup 60% for retail.
Those are really awesome, and I think would make a great business idea, don't price your items too low though, or you will find that you are working for like 2 cents an hour.
Well thanks!
I am currently figuring out exactly how much fabric each uses up..and mapping out cutting diagrams for 45" fabric.
That plus timing myself will give me a good idea of my investment per each.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynski
I'm more in the $80-$150 range too. I have a truly beautiful brocade bag that a friend of mine made me. She charges $65 for bags she makes for her FRIENDS. I thought it was a bargain, the bag is a piece of art. I've seen simple little tote bags going for $65 each, and this is much more complex. I love your design, it's innovative and a brilliant idea. Good luck!
Thanks. I will have to try making one of brocade too. I am such a sucker for brocade. I have to spend 20 minutes petting it every time I'm at JoAnns. It is the only fabric my DH loves as much as I do. :LOL

It sounds like most people are saying around $80+. So I will figure out my costs and try to hit in that range.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommybritt
Yep, that's the one And it was definitely being used and enjoyed! The mama who had it said that she was asked all the time where she got it...I think you've got something here!
That gives me warm fuzzies. I was so stressed about that swap, hadn't made a diaper bag before - then all of a sudden this idea hits me, the zip-off pad..I went to Joanns to root through the remnants and come up with 4 matching fabrics that all happened to be *just* the right size. The swappee said she liked it, but you always wonder if they're just being nice. I am glad it gets attention! I guess that bodes well for me.
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#16 of 32 Old 07-26-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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I'm chiming in at the 85-150 range depending on fabric. I think you should offer some cute boutique type fabrics - I love your designs. Are you planning on doing custom orders? I think you should charge more for those and maybe charge a little less for the ones that are just made 'standard'. Maybe make each one a little different so that you can say they are all one of a kind? I think that adds value. You need some kind of logo label somewhere on the bag so that once people decide your bag is the 'it' thing, it's easy to see. (like Kate Spade).
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#17 of 32 Old 07-27-2005, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sophmama
I'm chiming in at the 85-150 range depending on fabric. I think you should offer some cute boutique type fabrics - I love your designs. Are you planning on doing custom orders? I think you should charge more for those and maybe charge a little less for the ones that are just made 'standard'. Maybe make each one a little different so that you can say they are all one of a kind? I think that adds value. You need some kind of logo label somewhere on the bag so that once people decide your bag is the 'it' thing, it's easy to see. (like Kate Spade).
I like the idea of making them all unique! Yes I plan to add a logo and an embroidered or woven label! I have a business name all picked out and a business license from the state already. I can't tell anyone what the name is though since "my" domain has squatters on it and their license to the domain expires August 7. I can't let them get wind that someone wants it! I have to snipe that domain!

I do want to do customs. I will set up a site with fabric combos picked out that I have instock. Customers can pick a basic bag and add options- like the C/D package would give you a matching snap-in wet bag, matching wipes bag, matching wipes, etc for a fixed amount. (Of course you could get any of those by themselves, but getting the "package" would save you $ off the individual price.) And an "organization" package that adds additional pockets, central divider, small purse/organizer for mom or something.
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#18 of 32 Old 07-28-2005, 11:00 AM
 
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I love the bag!
Did I miss a post on the handles/straps?
I love the wet bag and wipes too, very stylish!
I'm not fond of unzipping to use the changing pad, is there a way the changing pad could still be attached on one side, and then I would worry about the zipper parts touching an infants skin. On the other hand, I love the compact, space saving design., lol
very very nice
I would pay $80 or so for the bag, it's so roomy!
I can't wait to see your wesite or sales!
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#19 of 32 Old 07-28-2005, 01:43 PM
 
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Hi, I've been gone for awhile and couldn't recover my password, so thus the new user name. Anyway, I've been working with SCORE, which is an organization of retired entrepeneurs who volunteer to help people with their businesses. They recommend a formula for pricing your hand-crafted goods, which is:

Hands-on time X 6.5 + material X 4 = minimum retail price.

So, hypothetically, if your materials are $10, and you pay yourself $10/hr for 2 hours, that would be

(20 x 6.5) + (10 x 4) = $170

Seems high, doesn't it? This is what they recommend if you want to run a viable business, and not just earn a little spending money here and there. They also say that sometimes the labor is only multiplied by 4, depending on the competition for the craft item. Again, this is the minimum retail price, so if you are wholesaling your products, you would generally charge half of that. The assumption is that you save a lot of time making a number of items at once, and the volume of sales will off-set the price difference.

This idea sure was an eye-opener for me. Hope it helps you figure out what to charge.

Kristin
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#20 of 32 Old 07-28-2005, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staceyhsmom1
I love the bag!
Did I miss a post on the handles/straps?
I haven't made that part yet. I can't decide whether to do a turned one of coordinating fabric or just a woven nylon "regular strap" one.

Quote:
I love the wet bag and wipes too, very stylish!
I'm not fond of unzipping to use the changing pad, is there a way the changing pad could still be attached on one side, and then I would worry about the zipper parts touching an infants skin.
I am going to try making one with nylon coil zippers which are much less scary. I agree the metal zippers could be irritating. On this large bag the pad is a full 16" wide, which should provide a lot of space for changing.

Quote:
On the other hand, I love the compact, space saving design., lol
very very nice
I would pay $80 or so for the bag, it's so roomy!
I can't wait to see your wesite or sales!
Thanks! I can't wait to get going.
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#21 of 32 Old 07-28-2005, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by klink2
..
Seems high, doesn't it? This is what they recommend if you want to run a viable business, and not just earn a little spending money here and there. They also say that sometimes the labor is only multiplied by 4, depending on the competition for the craft item. Again, this is the minimum retail price, so if you are wholesaling your products, you would generally charge half of that. The assumption is that you save a lot of time making a number of items at once, and the volume of sales will off-set the price difference.

This idea sure was an eye-opener for me. Hope it helps you figure out what to charge.

Kristin
Thanks. Yeah, it does seem high! I was figuring out yesterday exactly how much yardage I need and just the large bag with no wetbag uses 1 full yard of outer fabric and 3/4 yard of inner and 17" of PUL. Many of the boutique looking fabrics are $10 yard! Obvously I need to find cheaper fabrics and a way to speed up my production time.
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#22 of 32 Old 07-29-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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That looks like a fabulous bag, but its shape reminds me soooo much of my Pump In Style pump!

Just something to consider - I guess not that many women have one of those.
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#23 of 32 Old 07-29-2005, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's because the PIS is also in a Messenger-style bag.
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#24 of 32 Old 07-29-2005, 10:29 AM
 
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IMO the various "formulas" for determing retail are good as a reality check of sorts but, bottom line, I always end up looking at what similar products are selling for to determine what to charge. One thing to remember in figuring out if it's all worthwhile is to add an "overhead" to your cost figure when determining cost. So, figure out what supplies cost (& for something like a diaper bag I'd probably factor in a labor rate for the time spent too, the products I make, no one product takes very long to make so I don't factor labor into my cost calculations) then multiply that by an overhead factor (I use 40%, so i figure my supplies cost & then multiply it by 1.4 to determine cost including overhead). The overhead covers things that are a cost of doing business but aren't specifically assigned to one item. So website costs, sewing machine maintenance, printer ink, paper, maint. (for the invoice, etc) . . . you get the idea). So, when I'm looking into a new product, I figure my cost, w/ overhead, then I figure out retail by looking at similar products. Then I compare the two. In most cases I want retail to be at least twice my cost so that I can offer it at wholesale (40% off of retail, so if it retails for $10, wholesale price would be $6) and still make something on it), prefereably more. But I also consider if I'm only selling that item for it's raw profit or if it's because it's a "companion product" for other items I sell, so I just need to make sure I break even on it.
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#25 of 32 Old 07-30-2005, 10:19 PM
 
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Fantastic idea!
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#26 of 32 Old 08-24-2005, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're currently on vacation and testing the b/w bag. It holds a ton of diapers - I think I packed around 20 medium diapers and 5 covers - and the wetbag holds around 10-12 used ones. MIL didn't have a problem with us using her washer so we're washing every other day and it's going fine. We really like that when the top is zipped on it's very secure - nothing can fall out. Only problem is when I sewed the strap on I didn't have one of those metal sliding adjusty-thingys so it's too long.
As soon as I get home I need to make some more of these (in smaller sizes too) and get them out for testing by others!
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#27 of 32 Old 08-25-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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I'm just loving it and enjoyed reading the whole thread! I love my turned straps on my Fluffymail bags so if you're still not sure what type of straps to use that's my vote.

Have fun, I'm sure this is exciting!
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#28 of 32 Old 08-25-2005, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennInSeattle
I'm just loving it and enjoyed reading the whole thread! I love my turned straps on my Fluffymail bags so if you're still not sure what type of straps to use that's my vote.

Have fun, I'm sure this is exciting!

Aww, thanks Jenn.
I am thinking of doing a turned cotton OVER the nylon - for more strength, but it'll be softer and cuter than just nylon.

I have been doing fitted diapers, wool covers, dress sets too. I have been so busy! I have all these products that I have made up and I just need the time and resources to get testers out and then really get going!!

My site is not pretty yet, I have to find time to work on that too, but at least I have SOMETHING up. I am getting feedback and that helps. :LOL I am even more amazed now at all the diapers you sew!

(edit: whoops didn't mean to be spammy.)
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#29 of 32 Old 08-25-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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I love the look of your bag! If I was having another child Id totally want one, but DS would be PT'd too soon for me to get good use :LOL
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#30 of 32 Old 08-25-2005, 10:32 PM
 
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I love that bag and I want one! Sign me up to test! I agress with the zipper thing and I think having a snap to secure the flap until you have time to zip it back on would be great. Also, I have a wetbag from a WAHM whose has yet to go public and she uses big durable plastic snaps and they are awesome. I can zip it with one hand.

Birth Photographer mom to four blessings
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