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How Much Does It Cost to Start a Handbag Line?

The cost to start a handbag line in the United States will fall between $13,000 and $40,000. Keep in mind that these startup funds will be invested in things like prototype development and an initial inventory. Don’t also forget that manufacturers tend to possess a minimum order amount, as such your startup costs will depend on your manufacturer’s requirements.

Handbags are known to serve a wide range of purposes, but they also can be a status symbol or fashion statement. This is the justification behind the viability of the industry and why the global handbag market is worth almost $50 billion and counting.

If you’re a creative designer with a thing for handbags, then it is recommended you consider creating your own line that meets the trendy needs of your countless stylish customers.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Opening a Handbag Line

  1. Spaces/Rental for Business Operations

You will have to find the ideal commercial space for your business. Prior to starting the search, it is imperative you consider the size of the space you need, the sort of space required, the value of the space, and the location. Depending on the market, it can be very expensive to rent or purchase a space for this type of business, but the budget for this will have to be extensively considered to ensure you have a comprehensive business plan.

  1. Industrial Sewing Machines and Tools

A good part of your capital will also go into purchasing industrial sewing machines and tools. Industrial sewing machines are quite expensive and would fall within the range of $300 to $3,000 each. Aside from the machines themselves, you’ll need other sewing supplies and tools.

Nevertheless, note that the total cost will depend on the quantity and quality of the items purchased. Howbeit, below are some general industry averages for start-up handbag-making businesses.

  • Sergers and Overlock Machines: $750 to $2,500.
  • Cutters and Shears: $50 to $250
  • Presser Foots: up to $400 or more
  • Tools: $20 to $100
  1. Leather hides and materials

Another valid factor that will eat into your capital is the expenses that come with purchasing leather hides and materials. Leather hides and materials are very important in this line of business especially since they are meant to provide the look and style you will need in your purses, wallets, and other products.

Aside from leather hides and skins, also note that you will have to consider the cost of other materials including thread, zippers, hardware, and lining fabrics.

Thread normally will cost around $3 for a spool of 1,100 yards, and zippers are known to cost $5 each. Note that fasteners and other hardware, like buckles and eyelets, range from $2-$20 each. Lining fabrics, meanwhile, can cost around $7-$50 per yard.

  1. Labeling and packaging materials

This is another very important cost to consider when starting a handbag line. In this modern age, clients are better attracted to products that come with professional-looking labels and packaging, as such possessing a clear and easy-to-note labeling system is vital in showcasing the quality of your products.

Most often, the labeling material falls within the range of $18 to $150 per 1000 labels. Don’t forget that this cost will increase as you opt for higher quality material like paper, specialty adhesive plastic, or metallic labels.

Same as with the label materials, packaging material costs will also vary and will most definitely depend on the type of box, bag, or wrapping you decide. Nevertheless, budget around $74 to $350 per 1000 items for your labeling and packaging material.

  1. Advertising and Marketing Expenses

In this line of business, it is necessary to have a well-detailed advertising and marketing strategy that ensures that you can reach your intended target audience. When it comes to the cost of advertising and marketing, the exact amount will depend on the sort of advertising and marketing strategy that you choose to utilize.

Putting together a well-detailed advertising and marketing strategy will involve costs for digital media, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, along with traditional media, such as radio and television advertisements.

  1. Insurance premiums

In the United States, reports have it that the average yearly cost of insurance is $1,468. Nevertheless, keep in mind that your rate will vary based on a wide range of factors, such as the risks of your business, your location, and the sort of coverage you choose.

It is always recommended, nevertheless, that you have adequate coverage to safeguard your business, employees, and customers in case of any issue. This type of coverage more or less includes:

  • General Liability: The average cost is $425 per year.
  • Commercial Property: The average cost is $799 per year.
  • Commercial Auto: The average cost is $1,032 per year.
  • Workers’ Compensation: The average cost is $1,464 per year.
  1. Website Development

One thing to note is that expenses for website development, hosting, and domain registration will depend on the type of website, the hosting service, and the domain name. In the United States, website development costs fall between $1,000 and $20,000, and the cost of hosting a website will be around $100 to over $500 a year.

Domain registration can cost anywhere from $10 to $50. In addition to the initial costs that come with website development, you also want to consider other ongoing costs. The basic costs that come with website development include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintenance fees: $50 to $250 per month.
  • Marketing: $200 to as much as $2000 per month.
  • Upgrades: from $100 to $3000 per upgrade


Starting a handbag line will most definitely necessitate substantial financial investment. To ensure you start well, you need to have enough cash for industrial sewing machines and tools, leather hides and materials, labeling and packaging materials, marketing and advertising, website development, as well as legal and professional costs.

Aside from that, you will want to consider the expenses that come with purchasing the right insurance premiums. Nevertheless, the net cost of establishing a handbag line will fall between $3,000-$10,000.