How to Organize a Purse Party

Whether you are the hostess of a purse-swapping party or a handbag seller who uses the purse-party model to market your bags, the event offers attendees the chance to socialize in an atmosphere focused on fashion and fun. Room for creativity exists because the purse-party concept has not yet solidified into a predefined format that guests and hostesses have come to expect.

Trading Party

Step 1

Establish guidelines for your party. Set a value range for the purses traded at your party to ensure no one arrives with a couture handbag only to leave with a retail store purse. You may also choose to set basic style parameters such as business appropriate bags only or no clutch bags allowed.

Step 2

Issue invitations stating the date and time of your party to friends and family members who would enjoy a fun handbag swap. Include a list of any guidelines you have set for your party. Your invitations can be issued by email or postal mail for more formal parties Telephone calls are sufficient when you are hosting a casual party for close acquaintances.

Step 3

Prepare for your party by purchasing snacks and beverages to serve to your guests. Pick a couple of low-maintenance party games for you and your guests to play if conversation happens to dwindle.

Step 4

Set up a display area for guests to place their handbag trades upon arrival. Arrange your seating in a semi-circle to allow guests easy viewing of all potential trades and to allow each guests the opportunity to show off the bag they brought.

Step 5

Let your guests determine if they want to assign handbags based on a random number drawing for each handbag or a random number drawing that lets guests pick their favorite handbags in order based on how low their number is. Your party can also use an alternate pick and choose method if your guests prefer.

Sales Party

Step 1

Obtain a selection of handbags from a wholesale handbag distributor. Secure handbags of quality at the lowest possible price point so that you can resell them at a solid markup while keeping your overhead low.

Step 2

Find a hostess for your first purse party. A friend or relative is a good first hostess choice as you can lead a purse party without the full pressure you would feel leading a group of strangers. This also provides you with the opportunity to receive honest feedback and work out any presentation kinks with a familiar crowd.

Step 3

Provide your hostess with a kit to help her plan her end of the party. Include a dozen fliers containing photographs of the handbags you plan to offer as well as a to-do list for the hostess to reference as she purchases snacks, drinks and prepares her home for the party.

Step 4

Inform the hostess of the hosting gifts she will receive based on the volume of sales her party generates. For example, she may earn a wallet for $100 worth of sales and a handbag for each additional $150 in sales. Letting your hostess know the incentives she can earn before the party begins gives her a vested reason to motivate her friends to attend and buy bags.

Step 5

Double-check your inventory prior to the party to verify you have enough handbags and a sufficient number of your most popular handbags to meet the shopping needs of the attendees. Ensure that you can fulfill orders for additional handbags of the same design should you have a particularly enthusiastic group of shoppers.

Step 6

Display your handbags at the party and spend a few minutes showcasing the highlights of each purse that you sell. Let guests pass each handbag around and inspect its quality and features.

Step 7

Inform guests of the incentives they can earn if they host a handbag party in their own home. You may lose an instant order to a guest who wants to earn a free handbag at her own party, but you gain access to her friends and family and their purse-buying needs.

Step 8

Collect payment from your customers and present each woman with her purse, a business card and a take-home flier discussing your purse parties. Allow the hostess to choose her free gifts.

Step 9

Pack your remaining merchandise. Reorder your most popular purses as soon as possible in preparation for your next event.


You must collect state sales tax on purse sales, even if they occur at the home of a friend. Sign up for a sales tax permit or authorization with your state's Department of Revenue prior to your first party to ensure you possess proper documentation and that you are charging the appropriate sales tax rate. The state lets you know how often to remit the sales tax you collect when you receive your authorization.