Cinching up Sales
But what exactly do you check for when your sample arrives? Clif Jordan, regional manager for Gemline, Lawrence, Mass., recommended checking for reinforced lining on the cinches, and also looking at the bag's stitching and making sure it's consistent with close stitching so the bag keeps its strength.
Testing the shoulder strap cords is something else you should consider, especially if the bag is intended to hold a decent amount of weight, like school books or something else equally bulky. Pack the bag with its intended cargo, put it on your shoulders, and see how the cord holds up. If it seems to strain or dig into your shoulders, consider getting a bag with a thicker cord. "Thicker cord doesn't cut into your shoulders as much, and will be able to hold more weight," said Jordan.
THE FINE PRINT
It goes without saying that some materials accept decoration better than others. In the world of drawstring bags, choose nylon over nonwoven bags if you need a more complex or detailed imprint. "The nylons of course imprint better than your nonwovens," said Jordan. He explained that though nonwovens are fine for most designs, nylons are the better choice for anything extremely detailed or with fine registration, like very small lettering for example, because it's a finer material. Nylon offers a smoother surface, and also less potential bleed, than nonwoven material, which will make detailed artwork clearer.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BAG
A final thing to consider when selling drawstring bags is to not fall into the confining thought pattern of the items just being an item for schools. "The traditional use of a backpack for school kids is a limited market now compared to everything we sell to," said Hennessy. He explained that while the scholastic markets are still good, they've become somewhat limited compared to more adult end-user markets. Hennessy stated that older end-users tend to be more interested in added features like water-bottle pockets, carabiner loops and mesh vents, as well as complex aesthetic customizations, that will give you a little more of a window to upsell.