Buying bags on the internet

9. September 2014. Tagged private, thinking.

I am not usually a shopper, especially not online, but today I decided that I might need two new bags (weekender and sports bag). So I went shopping online, because I don’t know any shop around that would have a sufficient amount of bags so I would actually like and buy one.1

Having spent two hours on amazon and a few other online shops to find a bag, I can see that there are a few major problems. First off, shops around bags are lacking all the kinds of important structure.

On amazon i.e., I can filter by brand, type of bag (does not work that well, though), rating and price. For me personally one of the most important things was missing: size. The same in many article descriptions, both on amazon and other shops.

Many bags are only grouped by attributes like S, M, L and XL, whatever that means for bag. I personally do not know what that means for the size of the bags, like I do know with clothes. And even if they actually have their size (widthxbroadthxdepth) it is hidden in the worst and diversest places ever. This kind of data has to be systematically tracked so that you can see it and use it for filtering.

If you really want to do your non-imaginative customers like me a favor, why not add some real use cases? I.e. if you are selling a sports bag, add a description “fits a pair of shoes around size 45, one pair of short sports trousers, a shirt, two medium sized towels and a bottle”. Even if I have no idea what the measurements mean, I will know whether this bag is the size I want, or not.

Something (in my opinion) even worse are the photos. Most of the bags have only one photo that shows the front of the bag. Many descriptions feature things like “insize shoe compartment” or “different compartments with zippers” or “solid plastic bottom for improved stability”. So what the fuck does that mean? How big are these compartments? How thick is this bottom? Just add a few photos. How about a photo from the bird’s view that enables me to see the whole inside of the bag? Wouldnt that be helpful and might even improve sales?

And finally: People, if you buy a bag, PLEASE write a review. One amazon review that is not even verified is really not something that helps me decide whether this bag is actually what the product description is telling me it is. Write reviews, maybe add the exact same product names and links of the products2 so that people know what you are talking about and tell people how you use these bags. First of all answer questions like:

  1. How is the quality of the bag?
  2. How well does it handle a lot of weight?
  3. Does it look as it does on the photo?
  4. Is there something missing that was in the description?

And then some even more helpful questions:

  1. What do you put in? Does it fit? How much more would be possible?
  2. What purpose are you using them for?
  3. What do you like best or worst about the bag?
  4. Would you buy it again and why?

Nobody has to go into deep details, but it would really help to get an overview over some bags.

So now I will wait for my two new bags and I will definitely write a review both on amazon and my blog, when they are here and I know whether they are any good.

  1. I am terrible in this regard, really. Same as with shoes. Everything else is fine, though. 

  2. If your blog is going well add some referral links and earn some comission on the side, I don’t care as long as you are being honest!