OT: Plastic or paper bags from a quilt shop

Within a month, I'll be opening a fabric store in my neck of the
woods. As I consider what type of bag to use, something trivial for
most, I was wondering what everyone prefers for a bag to take home
their newly acquired stash in. Now I understand what people want and
what I can probably afford may be two different things but I just want
some feedback. I also have my own personal preference but am curious
to see what everyone else's is.
Paper bags that have a definite square bottom like those in a grocery
store, with or without handles.
or
Plastic bags like the grocery store.
or does it really matter.
Thanks for your input.
Marilyn
Reply to
Marilyn
Marilyn: Yesterday I got an e-newsletter from my LQS. It is introducing a "Market Bag" for us to purchase for $2.00. It is reusable and will have 'goodies' and will enable shopper to get goodies or such through the year. (That is the gist of the message .... I haven't been to the LQS about this yet.) I like a flat bag with a floral or check motif so it can me used again as a gift bag.
Reply to
Pat in Virginia
I like the idea of the "Market Bag" that Pat posted but I am usually brain dead enough that I would forget to bring it with me. I also like a bag that seems "special" - better than a grocery store or Walmart, you know?
Something like this:
NAYY, just know of the company and found what I was trying to describe on their site.
Rita L. P.S. My favorite LQS uses grocery store plastic bags and I love them anyway :-)
Reply to
Rita L. in MA
Good question. As a paid-up eco-warrior, I'd say there are pros and cons to both. Plastic is (normally) non-biodegradable and causes all sorts of problems in the environment, e.g. whales and turles eat them thinking they're jellyfish:
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Paper seems more eco-friendly, but it has drawbacks, too (logging, dioxins released in the paper bleaching process, paper bags are heavier so more lorries are required to ship fewer bags, etc.)
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The best solution is to encourage customers to bring their own bags. Fabric shop customers should be able to make their own reusable fabric shopping bag without too much difficulty. I made several using the free pattern on this website:
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about a competition for the best home-made bag? Any customer who takes home their purchases in a home-made fabric bag is photographed (or the bag is) and once a month you judge the jazziest bag. You could pin all the photos on a pinboard with a special border highlighting the latest winner. A note on the board explains the reason for the competition, and maybe you could photocopy some (copyright-free) patterns for simple bags and hand them out to customers who express an interest. It's up to you whether you give a prize to the winner or whether they just compete for the glory.
Reply to
Melanie Rimmer
I like the floral paper bags and the small flat bottomed bags with the handles. My LQS uses those bags and ties the handles with a little scrap strip of fabric. It's a lovely little touch. I do like the idea of a returnable bag....but I'm still going to the grocery store and leaving my bags hanging in my kitchen. And when I do have them with me, I've left them in the car and have to return to get them....if I even remember before checking out. My trips to the LQS are often on an impulse. I doubt I'd have a reusable bag with me. My sewing room is in the basement...that's where my bags would be. I do reuse the little brown bags from my LQS...they can be painted and stenciled or even emboidered to use as gift bags.
Reply to
KJ
Our local shop sold reusable bags and if we bring them in we get a discount on fabric, win win situation.
Denny in Fort Wayne
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Reply to
Kiteflyer
I don't know what to say on the paper/plastic debate, but I would say "handles". Possibly have really small bags for just a couple of notions or a FQ, but if it doesn't fit in my pocket or my handbag, I really want handles - how else can I carry all my shopping?
Hanne in London
Reply to
Hanne Gottliebsen
Plastic bags are being phased out in much of the UK and we've never used US-style paper ones. We're slowly going over to cotton or tough-synthetic-fibre reusable ones.
How about a cloth bag with your shop's logo on it, and give people a discount if they walk in the door using it? (i.e. when they've been giving you publicity with it).
==== j a c k at c a m p i n . m e . u k === ==== Jack Campin, 11 Third St, Newtongrange EH22 4PU, Scotland == mob 07800 739 557 CD-ROMs and free stuff: Scottish music, food intolerance, and Mac logic fonts
Reply to
Jack Campin - bogus address
I reuse plastic bags on dog walks and as liners for bathroom garbage. I reuse grocery store paper bags as leaf bags, trash bags, and shipping paper. I never reuse small paper bags and usually refuse them when someone offers to put a small purchase in them. I don't usually need a bag to get fabric from the store to the car or from the car to the laundry basket. If I'm not offered something I know I'll reuse, I generally say no to the bag. That includes pretty decorative bags.
--Lia
Reply to
Julia Altshuler
We reuse most plastic bags here too Lia and also unless I have a big lot of fabric I just tell them I'll carry the fabric out without a bag. The fabric just gets left on the washing machine as soon as I get home anyway. One local quilt store has brown flat bottomed paper bags with nice handles. They pop a store sticker on it and tie with a little scrap of fabric on the handles. Nice but I feel sort of wasteful when I get one. Taria
Reply to
Taria
In article ,
Personally, I don't think it matters much. However, our LQS here has just instituted a new idea -- if we bring in our own bag, we get a tiny bit ($.50?) off the price of what we're buying. Now *that's* an idea I really like!
Reply to
Sandy
Jim has a funny story about traveling in Ireland. His mother is elderly. He and his sister accompanied her to England and Ireland last year for a special vacation. His mother has never liked restaurant food, and eating exactly what she wants has become more important as she's aged. They planned the trip around staying in places where they could cook at the hotel.
They went grocery shopping. Everything about the supermarket was familiar. There were items for sale that were new and that they weren't interested in buying, but that's true everywhere. They found the milk, bread and other staples with no trouble. People were lovely to them. They went through the check out. Jim handled the foreign money. They waited for their purchase to be bagged. It didn't happen. Only then did they look around and realize that everyone, EVERYONE else had brought reusable bags with them.
They managed to get the groceries to the rental car with each of them holding several items in their arms, and they got the stuff to the hotel the same way. Later they learned that Ireland solved the problem of paper or plastic with a formidable tax on both.
--Lia
Reply to
Julia Altshuler
Let's go 'practical' here.
! what is best on YOUR budget? you can always get fancy dancy later
!!what is easiest for __MOST __of your customers to carry? paper (you can hug it close so you don't drop it on the way to the car, that's what would be best for ME)
I recycle paper more than plastic
plastic (Would you or one of your employees tote it to the car for me? I can't use plastic handles with my hands...and I tend to ''drop" the slippery plastic bags My B'splat shop ALWAYS carried it out for me...I didn't shop often but when I did--I did need the carrying help. They knew it and accommodated, so I went back to them exclusively---------showing off all the local LQS's to quilting company excepted)
!!! Designs on the bag really don't matter EXCEPT at a Quilt Show. More than anything your business card is easiest (PLEASE make sure your info is on your receipt WITH your phone #!)
OR
!!!! YOUR LOGO on the price tag on _each piece of fabric_.
Sticky Tag has: Your LOGO Fabric ID # Amount purcahsed: FQ, 1/2 yd, 1 YD, etc (all computer generated) $price (You know how easy it is to grab that piece of fabric and CALL you and say *HELP I NEED ___info___MORE!!! Yuppers, sooo worth it)
Just an aside comment: IF you have a brick and mortar store, PLEASE PLEASEPLEASE have a coupla chairs -one for the customer to 'sit' by the cutting board--*
I* sit--*I* buy more cause I have time to rest a bit while the cutting is going on (AND I also have time to think a bit more of 'do I have everything to FINISH this project'--unless it's an impulse buy cause I liked it. After sitting, I have the energy once again to stand and look around a bit more before I get rung up (Thread, rulers, magazines, etc) Your looking at over $100.00 sale cause YOU did what I needed to BE ABLE to shop.
Can't sit? I'm in, get what I need, pay, and I'm outta there.
And the other chair: where is my Driver gonna wait for me...in the car? Nah, that's not conducive to my shopping....I'm thinking: he isn't comfy, I gotta hurry. Best, for men, LQS I've shopped in actually had a ROOM with a TV, couch, men's mags (sports cars, etc) coffee pot. Ladies shopped. guys snoozed. worked perfectly.
and Lastly, please treat your MALE shoppers like the Female ones. DS sews, quilts, and OUTSHOPS me, both in LQS's and shows, unless he is treated like a 'carrier for Mom' (he may be but he also enjoys fabric shiopping ; )
So, remind me, WHERE are you setting up shop and how soon is opening day?
Butterfly (still planning routes)
Reply to
Butterflywings
My local Lowe's store uses clear plastic bags with the store name. When I get them home I re use them to hold a project I am sewing. I can see what is in the bag. I reuse most of the plastic bags, or I take them back to recycle. I am personally at the point where I am going to make my own light weight cloth bags. It would be nice if you had a basket of small "FREE" items, maybe a 6" ruler, pencil, homemade sewing kit, or other inexpensive item to give to those who bring their own homemade cloth bag, or a cloth bag with your name on it that they have purchased from your store. I like the idea of a monthly contest for the best made cloth bag with your store name. Maybe offer a small discount off a cloth purchase. Good luck with your business. Barbara in SC
Reply to
Bobbie Sews More
In Denmark, they did the same (some time in the 80's, I think). After moving away, I had trouble remembering this when visiting "home", but now I'm getting better.
Here in the UK, as someone else said, we are trying to move to reusable the volunteer way. I got a smart, very thin, nylon bag, packs up to nothing, and I try to always keep this in my work bag, since I normally shop on my way home from work.
My parent had plastic boxes in the back of the car for big shops - take the shopping cart/trolley to the car and pack there. Makes it easy to carry big loads into the house also.
Hanne in London
Reply to
Hanne Gottliebsen
I doubt there's much difference - plastic bags waste oil, paper bags waste trees and take more energy and chemicals to make.
Re-use is the way to go.
==== j a c k at c a m p i n . m e . u k === ==== Jack Campin, 11 Third St, Newtongrange EH22 4PU, Scotland == mob 07800 739 557 CD-ROMs and free stuff: Scottish music, food intolerance, and Mac logic fonts
Reply to
Jack Campin - bogus address
Great ideas! Also, if they re-use a bag (like a plastic one, but don't) but don't bring in a fabric one, they could have their name entered for a monthly FQ drawing. That way, if someone still hadn't made a fabric bag, but could go and get some sort of container from the car, etc, they could still be rewarded for *not* taking one of your bags.
-- Jo in Scotland
Reply to
Johanna Gibson
This brings up a good question. Many of us in this thread have said that we're taking steps to reuse or otherwise not need a bag from the quilt store. Now let's look at a likely scenario. A customer has come in and made a purchase. She's been delightful, is a good customer, and someone you hope comes back. She hasn't brought a reusable bag with her, and she has mentioned nothing about being willing to take her purchase without a bag. Maybe she's forgotten the canvas bag she normally carries. Maybe environmental concerns aren't that important to her. Whatever. She's just there. She's paid. Now what?
I know I hate to be lectured to, so I'd hate to have the sales clerk say something about reusing bags. Do you offer her an expensive reusable bag? Do you mention your discount or contest for those who bring their own bags? Do you just put her purchase in the cheapest bag you have and shut up? This is a real question that's likely to come up several times a day. What would we prefer if we were the person standing there being handed a receipt?
Personally, if I haven't said anything about having my own bag or not needing one, I'd prefer it if the salesclerk just put my purchase in a plastic one and said nothing else on the subject. If there's a discount or a contest, I'd like that to be on a small sign by the cash register and not have it brought up by the sales clerk.
--Lia
Reply to
Julia Altshuler
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I think it would be awesome to learn how to do the Japanese package tying techniques to wrap purchases! You could use the fabric that was just purchased and tie up the rest of the purchases IN it! I have some sites saved in my FAV places, but do you think I can find them when I need them? NO! One might even be a blog entry. I'll keep looking. You'd be the talk of the town if you could use these wraps! Can you find a nice Japanese quilter to work for you???
Reply to
KJ

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