We've all got those siren items that call to us in irresistible voices, no matter how many similar items we may already have. Though a foodie's kitchen cupboards may be bursting, they will always afford a new gadget or flavored vinegar. Though a clotheshorses' closet shelves may be buckling under, they will always afford another pair of shoes. Certain items cause some of us to stop in our tracks when we catch a glimpse of one in a shop window, or on an ecommerce site, as the case may be.
One of my siren items is vintage handbags. Occasionally I browse online vintage shops…just looking. My heart thrilled when I came across the following description of a handbag from VintageBag.com:
"Pleasingly Plump 1950s Vintage Margolin Bag. I LOVE this bag. It's precisely the color of Godiva's milk chocolate (and that always makes me happy, of course.) Then, there's the fact that Margolin bags were always beautifully constructed of the finest possible materials. Also, Margolin bags were always rather conservative, never-take-a-risk shapes. And, this bag is both beautifully constructed and a conservative shape. The yummy color and the fact that it could be mistaken for a chocolate drop, help to make it remarkable. AND, the shape and size are very roomy! 11" wide at the widest point, by 7" high by 3 1/2" deep. Handles have a 6" drop. The lining is tan leather, as is the matching, attached leather coin purse. Brass tip on the pull tab, piping at the seams. Two inside pockets, one with a metal zipper. Embroidered fabric label says, "Fashions by Margolin," and has the logo image of the shoemaker at work. Very nearly mint. Perhaps never carried.
"A work of love sometimes becomes a work of art, and that's exactly what we have here. My theory is that no one would work so hard and so long on a bag, merely to sell it. So, it must have been intended as a gift to a loved one. And, the result is breathtaking! This is a large handbag, at 11 3/4" wide by 8" high (to the actual top of the storage capacity of the bag,) by 3 1/4" deep, with the "false front" of the bag and the handle adding 7" high. The same detailed tooling is on the back of the bag, as well as the bottom and the sides. The bag is impeccably finished, with the handles well padded, the lacing closely spaced and firm, the button closure perfect. The stain has a now-taupe, now khaki-green cast. It is lined in black pigskin, and has three generously sized pockets, one with a metal zipper. AND, it is in nearly mint condition. NO problems. (I'm thinking of keeping this one–as you can tell from the price–so don't expect it to be marked down.)"
Wow! First of all, this writer knows her target audience, right down to the stash of Hershey's chocolate kisses she has hidden in her office desk for that 3:30 pick-me-up. This is a perfect example of knowing who is looking for your items and writing to speak directly to that person. Primarily, people who shop for vintage handbags are women. Women have been known to like chocolate, so comparing the purse to a chocolate drop was brilliant. The description provides all of the relevant manufacturing information–stitching, color, size, detailing–with an emotional appeal that will leave purse shoppers twitching to get their hands on their credit cards. The purse is no longer on the site, I checked!
Let's just say this was a new purse. A site with less personality could have written this description from the product information provided by the manufacturer, like this:
• The season's must-have handbag style is also one that works all year ‘round; this spacious tote boasts simple lines and chic practicality
• Shell is 55% leather/45% PVC; trim is leather; lining is polyester
• An exterior zip pouch is balanced inside by clever pockets and plenty of room
• Magnetic snap closure
• Rectangular Casual Oversized Tote
Yep, that's a real product description of a purse, from Target.com. Now, which description do you think would get the sale?