MONTREAL - Alice Goldbloom calls it a severe case of late onset entrepreneurialism.
After years of working at a bank, the federal government, in public relations and being a stay-at-home mother, the Westmount woman has waded in to the world of online sales of handbags, partly for the challenge of learning about e-commerce and partly for the love of bags.
Although not a unique concept, Goldbloom admits, she believes her site, LOVEthatBAG, has some distinct advantages.
First, she has a range of bags and prices; for $50, there’s a Chinese silk takeout box, for $1,850, a large Louis Vuitton tote. “I think there are great bags at every price,’’ she said.
Second, many resale sites for handbags are not in Canada. You order, pay your taxes and duties, and if you are not satisfied, it won’t be easy getting those fees back if you are dealing with a small retailer.
And then, she called on her friends and acquaintances to look deep in their closets and see what they could part with. A Longchamps tote, retail price $500 or so, sold even before she launched, for $250. A black patent Fendi baguette in excellent condition goes for $300; new leather baguettes start at about $1,500.
Word of mouth has worked for her: after launching on April 4, she has more than 100 bags for sale and has already sold about 15 or so.
“Most women have really good bags in their closets that they are not using. It’s not like clothes — you don’t have to try them on,” she said, explaining why the concept works so well online. “A great bag makes or breaks your look. I think the same way about shoes.”
She hopes, if things work out, to add scarves and jewelry at a later date.
Goldbloom is also working with Montreal designer Suhaila Niazi, offering exclusive and pricey designs that can also be customized. An off-white crocodile bag goes for $1,700. Want it in black or fuchsia, calfskin or ostrich? All things are possible.
Bags are sold on consignment, with a 50/50 split between Goldbloom and the seller. For details on how to buy or sell, go to www.LOVEthatBAG.ca.