Dye Sublimation Business ~ Pricing Tote Bags

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By Steve For this study, no concern was given to HOW the tote was decorated, be it screen printing, sublimation, heat transfer or direct print. The bottom line here is, this is the competition. People don’t care about the HOW, only the price, quality and size. For all extent and purposes, all the bags included were about the same size but differed in design with some being all white and some having colored bottoms, sides or handles. All bags reviewed, were priced without shipping so each had at least $6 added to the cost of the bag (per order) for shipping and all bags reviewed included a single photographic image. Actual size ranged from 10”x6” to 16”x22”. Some did not give a gusset (width at the bottom of the bag) size but 3”-6” is normal. Prices ranged from $8.45 to $34.95.   PersonalizationMall.com This one was closest in appearance to Conde #TOTE001 ($2.50) but a bit larger at 20x15x5”. Tote is canvas with one image. $20.95   Shutterfly.com This tote is 14x19” and made of canvas. Image is imprinted on one side and reviews for both product and image were terrible. I recommend you order one of these to use as a comparison to your product. $29.99   Walgreen.com This 13”x14” bag is smaller than most but looks similar to Conde’s TOTE001 ($2.50) but smaller. $14.99   GiftsForYouNow.com This bag looks identical to the Conde TOTE001 except it is listed as “cotton canvas” rather than Polyester canvas. Size is 16”x14”. $17.98   CafePress.com This bag looks identical to the Conde TOTE001 and is 15”x18”x6”. It must be imprinted with heat transfer since it is listed as “natural canvas”. Regular $18.50 but often on sale for $12.99.   PrintersStudio.com This 15”x15” bag is 100% cotton so it must be heat transferred. Cost is $8.45. Looks like Conde’s TOTE001.   PrinterStudio.com This 20”x15”x6” white bag has colored (red, black, navy, pink, purple) base and handles that run from the base up through the bag limiting the size of the photo imprint area to 8.5” square. Conde does not have a bag that looks like this one. Reviews complained about how long it took to get the product. Price was $10.99.   YorkPhoto.com This bag is completely different approach than any of the others as it is offered as an “Eco-Grocery” bag. Size is 12”x13”x7” and the imprint is on both sides of the otherwise black bag. $9.99   Snaptotes.com This Company seems to specialize in toe bags and purses and offers the widest variety by far of all the companies surveyed. They also had the highest prices. Their least expensive model is only 13”x15”x6.5” and sells for $34.95. It includes a front pocket on one side like the Conde TB2217B and the TOTE006 but isn’t nearly as large as the TB2217B is 22”x16’ and the TOTE006 is 22”x17”.   CustomInk.com This tote bag is also very much like Conde’s TOTE001 except with black handles and is about 1” smaller. CustomInk.com screen prints their products so there is a minimum of six pieces. Price is $22.00 each.   WalMart.com Wal-Mart sells the same bag as some of the others: white with a black base and black handles that extend from the base through the front and back of the bag limiting the image to 8.5” square. $22.96.   SnapFish.com This Company sells the same bag as Wal-Mart and others for $29.99.   PictureItOnCanvas.com This Company offer the smallest of all the bags for $36.95. It is only 10”x6”.   MailPix.com This is the same bag Wal-Mart sells for $24.00.   VistaPrint.com This Company offers three bags. The smallest is 14”x14”x3” and looks like the Conde TOTE001 but smaller for $10.00. The second is very much like the Conde TOTE001 and is $13.00. Their two-tone bag (same as Wal-Mart) is $15.00.   Zazzle.com They offer several bags including one similar to TOTE001 that is 15.75”x15.5” for $9.95, one similar to the Wal-Mart bag that is 18.5”x13.5”x5.5” for $25.95, a “Jumbo Tote” that is 20”x14.5”x4.5” similar to Conde’s TOTE005 for 20.95 and a Kenyan Bag (made by mothers in Kenya to feed their children) for $22.95. It is 17”x17.25x5” and is similar to Conde’s TOTE005.   SpreadShirt.com This bag is 15”x18” and is similar to Conde’s TOTE002. $21.10.     CanvasOnDemand.com This bag is 14”x19” with the colored straps. Has room for a 5”x7” image and costs $29.95.   Collage.com This bag is very much like the TOTE001 except it is only 14”x16”. $29.95   WinkFlash.com This is another of the colored strap variety. $16.96   Recognition Concepts Although it has been a long time since I have sold tote bags, here are the prices I would use in my own price sheet: TOTE001: Cost: $2.50 Retail: $19.95 or 2/$29.95 TOTE002: Cost: $6.33 Retail: $24.95 or 2/$34.95 TOTE003: Cost: $6.33 Retail: $24.95 or 2/$34.95 TOTE004: Cost: $6.33 Retail: $24.95 or 2/$34.95 TOTE005: Cost: $8.17 Retail: $29.95 or 2/$59.95 TOTE006: Cost: $8.17 Retail: $29.95 or 2/$59.95 TOTE007: Cost: $8.17 Retail: $29.95 or 2/$59.95 TB2217B: Cost: $7.64 Retail: $26.95 or 2/$54.95   SUMMARY: Basically, prices ranged from about $10.00 to $35.00 with the bulk being in the $17.00 to $26.00 range. Adding shipping of about $6.00 to each of these, the prices jumps to $23.00 to $32.00. Add to that two additional factors and $25.00 or even $30.00 prices look especially good: On line, the customer has to do all the design work and two, most companies seem to take 10-14 days for production. One of the companies that sells the bag with the colored straps has a number of terrible reviews that call the bag a $2.00 item. Whichever bag your customer picks out, at least they KNOW what the quality of the bag is and your samples will show the quality of the image. Third, many of the companies tout the wash-ability of their product yet both screen printed nor heat transfers come anywhere close to the wash-ability of sublimation. This being the case, you should have little difficulty educating your customers as to why they should buy sublimation from you rather than an unknown process online.