What Is a Swag Bag?


Swag bags historically referred to burglarized content in a sack that was swung haphazardly over-the shoulder after a heist. The modern connotation is much more appealing. It is an adult goodie bag that contains free samples given by sponsors to high-profile guests. The gifts are highly sought after and the recipient is encouraged to display them in a high-stakes marketing ploy. Celebrities and swag bags are synonymous at fancy events and awards presentations, such as the Oscars or Emmy awards.

Contents Count

  • A swag bag contain gifts ranging from expensive watches to all-day spa reservations. Company or brand logos are often prominently displayed on the items. Many of the contents are one-of-a-kind or next season's preview to create buzz and interest in the marketplace.

Exquisite Packaging

  • A gift is only as precious as the box it comes in. Each individually item in a swag bag is marvelously wrapped. The display of the gifts is intended to heighten excitement and enhance the overall "wow" factor. Showcasing enhances the appeal.

Invitation Only

  • Swag bags are presented to guests usually at VIP lounges, by invitation only. Often times they are stacked and pre-packaged for pick-up at the beginning or conclusion of a special occasion. Sometimes guests are encouraged to go table to table and fill their own swag bags, and can choose the color or select from gender specific items.

Taxable Loot

  • As swag bags have become more popular, the gifts have become more expensive, including all-inclusive getaway vacations. The Internal Revenue Service has taken note. The contents of the swag bags are taxable as luxury gifts, unless, of course, they are re-gifted.

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