TikTokers claim they found a $16 dupe for Emily Mariko’s controversial $120 tote

@basmah.masood/TikTok emilymariko/Instagram (Licensed)

‘Does it go to the market for me?’: Shoppers claim they found a $16 dupe for Emily Mariko’s controversial $120 tote. Is it worth it?

‘When the tote costs more than the groceries.’

 

Maya Wray

Trending

Posted on Feb 5, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:51 pm CST

Following the Jan. 29 release and subsequent sellout of salmon bowl enthusiast Emily Mariko’s viral new tote bag, New York Times writer Madison Malone Kircher described it as capable of fitting “your entire farmer’s market haul.”

However, the likelihood of such a purchase fitting consumers’ budgets is another story. 

Mariko’s Farmers Market Tote, available in either eucalyptus green or strawberry milk pink, currently costs $120 on her website, to fans’ dismay.

TikToker Basmah Masood (@basmah.masood) found herself on the verge of buying one of Mariko’s tote bags, until she saw their price. A quick Amazon search revealed a promising dupe available in twice as many colors for only $16, but the question remains: Does a better alternative to the viral Farmer’s Market Tote exist?

Viewers of Masood’s TikTok, which has received 1.2 million watches since it was first posted on Jan. 31, brimmed with other suggestions. “The LL Bean tote is $35 & will last FOREVER! I have one from the 80’s,” user @jeb_in_atl shared.

Others recommended a $3.99 basic tote from Trader Joe’s or an insulated one for just a few dollars more, calling it “cute and inexpensive.” 

“I’ve had an insulated one from them for 5 years, it’s held up incredibly. i take it camping all the time too,” user @byeeeeee557 wrote. 

@basmah.masood

I love Emily Mariko but I genuinely want to know the difference between her Tote and this one

♬ original sound – Basmah Masood

For those wondering what might have driven Mariko to price her totes so high, TikToker Lauren (@itslaurendeleon) provided some detailed speculation. In a video stitching Masood’s, she identified order quantity, cost of labor, and product material as possible reasons for a $120 price tag. 

More people have ordered the Amazon tote bag than Mariko’s, Lauren guessed, which would result in lower prices. 

“The savings you get from having a large order quantity for the Amazon tote is going to save you so much money and drive the cost down drastically,” Lauren told over 477,300 viewers of her Jan. 31 TikTok. “I’m assuming [Mariko] probably didn’t order more than 100 to 200 pieces of each of these colorways, which is very, very low.” 

Mariko’s tote bag is produced here in the U.S., where fabric is typically imported rather than produced domestically, while the Amazon tote bag is manufactured in India.

“In India, you have your fabric mills very close to your factory, so there’s no importing. That will significantly affect your cost as well,” Lauren explained.

@itslaurendeleon #stitch with @Basmah Masood The Emily Mariko tote sold out quickly even with the $120 price tag. I’m not sure if it is a justified price, but there are a number of factors that likely resulted in a high base cost of goods for Emily #emilymariko #shopping #amazon #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Lauren

And because Mariko’s tote is made with fabric that is both stonewashed and brushed “at the fabric level,” an uncommon mass manufacturing practice, it’s liable to cost exponentially more than a tote made from simple organic cotton, like the one sold by Amazon.

“Based on my experience working in fashion for seven years, doing costing and working with product, those are the three top drivers I would say could affect the difference in price,” Lauren concluded her TikTok.

Some viewers weren’t swayed by this analysis, calling the price “still outrageous” despite the fabric care and domestic labor. “There isn’t anything justified about $120 for a tote bag,” user @outofthisworld99999 stated firmly. 

TikToker Sara (@haussdrama) cited Mariko’s lack of engagement with her followers as a possible mistake made while promoting her new tote bag. 

“Interacting with your audience and the people that support you—your 12 million followers—is the bare minimum,” Sara pointed out in a viral video, which has been viewed 2.3 million times since it was first posted on Feb. 1. “When you’re not even doing the bare minimum, don’t expect people to want to buy your $120 Farmers Market Tote bag.”

@haussdrama No substance #emilymariko #emilymarikototebag #totebags #influencersinthewild #influencersinfluencing #marketingmistakes #notengaging #engagewithyourfollowers #tooexpensive #dramatiktok #trendingvideo #influencerdrama #influencertips #influencertea ♬ Quirky Suspenseful Indie-Comedy(1115050) – Kenji Ueda

The Daily Dot reached out to Masood, Lauren and Mariko via Instagram direct message, and to Sara via email.

web_crawlr
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Share this article
*First Published: Feb 5, 2024, 10:00 pm CST