Crafts Shows R Us #5: It's In The Bag

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Blog entry by closetguy posted 10-31-2008 01:35 AM 1651 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Don't forget the chewing gum Part 5 of Crafts Shows R Us series Part 6: Crash, Burn, Dog Paddle, or Soar »

Why is it that the seemingly simple things are the most difficult to deal with? I knew I needed something to provide customers to carry my products out of the booth, and I was certain it would be some kind of bag. Second only to my difficult decision on table cloth color, bags were a month long discovery process that drove me crazy. I had a good excuse for agonizing over table cloths since I am a stereotypical guy, and that has never been my thing, but I have probably carried home every type of shopping bag at one time or another. This should qualify me to make a quick informed decision.

Like most everything else, when I went looking for bags I found too many choices and colors. There are plastic, paper, recycled, die cut handles, rope handles, frosted, matt laminated, and euro shopper. This list goes on and on. The only thing I was certain was that I didn’t want any frilly, girly-looking bags. Cutting boards are loaded with mineral oil and can weigh up to 7 pounds. So it had to be tough to handle the weight and not paper-based because the oil would soak through it.

Most all my shipping boxes and packing material come from Uline. They have a huge selection of packaging stuff and I get it quick. The downside of Uline is the minimum quantities. Many items have a minimum quantity 1000. I was already using clear plastic, 2 mil bags to hold each board when it was ready to store or ship out. So after a month of indecision on a “shopping bag”, I decided to just use the plastic bag the board was already sitting in, especially since I had already bought 1000 of them. I also have the dipping boards with the ceramic oil dipping bowel. I figured a low-cost small kraft (paper) bag would work for the bowel. Here again, the minimum quantities at Uline are huge and I didn’t want to order 1000 because I only needed about 20. I was in Michael’s craft store one day and noticed that they had plain brown, rope handle bags in different sizes, packaged 5 to a bundle. As luck would have it, they were 20% off. So I gathered up a bunch of them and I was done!

As it turned out, my bag choice worked perfect. During setup, I take the boards out of the plastic when putting them on display and set the empty bags at the back of my booth. When I sell one, I just pull out one of those bags and put the board back into it. I fold over the flap and keep it closed with a piece of blue painter’s tape. Another woodworker exhibiter was standing behind my booth at a show talking to me when a customer bought a board. After the customer left, the woodworker made a comment that I had a good marketing angle going. I asked him what he meant and he said “That customer is going to walk around the show with that clear bag and everyone is going to see the board. It wouldn’t surprise me if they get asked where they got the board”. I hadn’t thought about that. Even a blind squirrel will find a nut occasionally.

I have sold a lot of dipping boards with the ceramic bowl. I have only used one bag from Michaels. Most people buying my products already have a shopping bag from another booth and they just put the bowel in their bag. But I have it handled if they need one….

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

7 comments so far

View jcame's profile


72 posts in 3697 days

#1 posted 10-31-2008 02:06 AM

I have been looking for you to post more on this series everyday!! Hella info and very interesting,keep um comin’ man. My wife and I have also been toying with the idea of getting into the shows so this could not come at a better time. I mainly do trim and casework but business has been slack to say the least so any advice is greatly appreciated. THANKS AGAIN!!!!!

-- Jed,Ala,

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3887 days

#2 posted 10-31-2008 04:00 AM

Thanks for sharing your experiences and information. I appreciate it.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4367 days

#3 posted 10-31-2008 11:31 AM

Great idea, my have to use it someday.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4171 days

#4 posted 10-31-2008 04:49 PM

I also look forward to reading this post every day and always enjoy ( and learn from it)

many thanks keep them comming.

-- Hope Never fails

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4281 days

#5 posted 10-31-2008 06:32 PM

I was thinking as I read it—you need a clear bag…. sometimes the old lightbulb still works :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3996 days

#6 posted 11-02-2008 09:42 PM

You have provided some valuable insight and answered alot of questions that havnt been asked yet.
Pehaps we may see a future blog dealing with the financial gains. IE costs, sales, and profit ???

Thanks for posting

View degoose's profile


7238 posts in 3475 days

#7 posted 05-24-2010 10:39 AM

Rereading has given me a few pointers… thanks.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

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