From a jewelry hobby to a jewelry business, we've got your helpful tips right here.
Once you get the hang of making jewelry, you will probably be like me and make SO much jewelry you won't possibly be able to wear it all! Then, your friends will see your amazing handmade jewelry creations and they will be begging you to make that gorgeous jewelry design for them. It won't be long until you are selling your own jewelry, either at home jewelry parties, jewelry shops and gift boutiques, or on-line by selling jewelry on eBay, or even creating your own on-line jewelry store and website. Here are my own personal tips for your jewelry hobby and jewelry business, and I will share links to even more helpful resources to get you started on your way.
All About Running a Jewelry Business
Selling Jewelry on eBay
Setting up your own on-line Jewelry Store
Home Jewelry Parties
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You can do it, I know you can! If I can succeed at this, so can anyone else. Here are some great resources that I have come across that will tell you everything you could want to know about running your very own successful jewelry business. I wish you the best of luck and great success!
Home Jewelry Parties
I have had many successful home jewelry parties, and not only are they profitable, but a lot of fun. What could be better than having a bunch of friends over, some good food and drinks--and a whole table of all your wonderful jewelry for sale? You can also make jewelry "while they wait", allowing people to select their beads from your stash and you can make up custom jewelry right then and there--people LOVE this! The only downside is you are so busy making jewelry that you won't have much time to enjoy the party.
Also, you can have your friends set up their own parties and act as hostess, while you (the designer) just show up with your goods, allowing your friend to keep some percentage of the sales for the party. These parties are a great way to earn some extra income. Can you see the possibilities? Some tips for a great jewelry party:
Send invitations at least two weeks in advance so people can make plans. I like to use www.evite.com to create my own email invitations. They have lots of fun templates to choose from, or if you prefer paper invitations, make your own using stick on crystals or find some jewelry themed cards.
IDEA - To really grab people's attention and interest, attach a pair of earrings to the invitation. It might cost you a few bucks, but people love getting something for free and it is a good teaser for your sale of more expensive items.
Make sure you have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and a nice selection of snacks available. You don't want to break the bank on food and drink as it will cut into your profit margin (unless of course you are doing the party just for fun, which is fine), but you do want the party to be enjoyable by all.
Decorate with tablecloths and candles. Allow yourself an hour to set up before guests arrive...in addition to any food prep time. I use a black velvet scrap of fabric I picked up at the fabric store as jewelry looks great on it. Some jewelry looks better on a light background, however, so pick up a few tablecloths or fabric and give yourself some options. Decide ahead of time which table or tables will be used for displaying your work.
Try to decorate in a way that will enhance the style of your own jewelry (fun, sophisticated, etc.). Use jewelry displays (which you can purchase on eBay) such as necklace busts, earring holders, and jewelry displays, or use whatever you have--a wicker tray filled with glass marbles makes a good backdrop for bracelets.
Always make sure you have good lighting so people can see the jewelry. Play some music softly in the background to complete the ambiance.
Finally, candles are a really nice romantic touch. Have measuring tape, jewelry pliers and some basic findings, table or hand mirrors, gift wrap and cards, and business cards ready. People may ask you to customize the length of jewelry, so a measuring tape and basic findings comes in very handy.
Pliers are invaluable for making customizations on the spot. Gift wrap is always a great way to close the sale on a special gift for someone.
Everyone will want to see the jewelry in a mirror, so make sure you have some around.
Finally, give everyone in sight at least a few business cards so they can pass them out for you, or find your website and contact info later when they want more jewelry!
Finally, check out this website, www-craft-selling-parties.com as a great resource for your jewelry parties.
If you would like to learn more about how you can create your own home based jewelry business and turn your hobby into a money-making career, click here now!
Selling Jewelry on eBay
I did very well selling my jewelry on eBay, and I am sure you can, too. eBay makes it simple for anyone to get started selling on-line. There are entire books on techniques you can use to make selling easier, and to maximize your profits. I will boil it all down for you in my Ten Simple Steps to Selling Jewelry on eBay, and if you would like to learn more, refer to the Books section for some recommended additional reading.
Follow these steps and you will be on your way to listing and selling your own jewelry.
Ten Simple Steps to Selling Jewelry on eBay
1) Get an eBay Account
First, you will need an eBay account. This is simply your eBay nickname with a password so that eBay can recognize you and track your sales. If you don't have an eBay account, just go to ebay.com and sign up.
Decide how you want to receive payment for merchandise. For example, will you accept checks or money orders? Do you want to accept payment instantly into your bank account, or do you want people to be able to pay with credit cards? If so, I recommend you set up a Paypal account. It's quick and easy, used by a majority of people on eBay, and I have used it personally for years. To set yourself up with Paypal, just visit paypal.com.
2) Take Photos of your Jewelry
Next, you will need to take photos, and write a description of your jewelry. I recommend a digital camera because you can immediately upload photos to your PC, but if you don't have one, when you get your film developed, make sure you get the option to get your digital image files burned on a CD, or available to you on-line. Take a close-up picture of your jewelry using bright lighting. TIP - If you're going to be selling a lot on eBay, you might want to consider purchasing special lighting reflectors known as a Cloud Dome. You might want to take a few photos at different positions and perspectives to best display your piece. Once you have taken all your pictures, crop, edit or re-size them as necessary. TIP: Computer monitors can only display 72dpi resolution images, so to save disk space and time in loading the image on a computer, save your files so they are only at 72dpi (dots per inch) resolution. You can upload your pictures directly to eBay or to a photo hosting provider.
3) Write a Great Headline and Description
Take the time to write a good headline and description, so people will be tempted to click on your auction listing and bid. "Necklace" will not catch anyone's eye, but "Sterling silver handmade designer necklace with garnets" might do the trick. Then, in your listing description, give all the details of your jewelry. In my auctions, I always listed the colors, materials and stones, type of metal, and length of the piece. Get creative and use plenty of adjectives like "eye-catching", "stunning", "one-of-a-kind".
4) Determine Packaging and Shipping Costs
Figure out what it will cost you to ship the jewelry, or offer "calculated shipping" which will calculate shipping based on zip code. Don't gouge people on shipping! No one will be happy to buy jewelry only to find out you charged them $10 to ship a 1oz package (unless you are shipping Express overnight). As a tip, offering free shipping is a nice way to get bids (just build shipping into your minimum auction price). Also, build something into your price for packaging. I always carefully package jewelry in a nice organza pouch or gift box. Presentation is everything!
5) Decide your Starting Auction Price or Buy it Now
It's no secret that the lower your auction starting price, the better your chances of creating excitement leading to a "bidding frenzy" and lots more bids on your item. However, you don't want to lose money either, so this will likely take some trial and error. If you know the absolute minimum you need to make on a piece, start your auction at that price or set a reserve minimum at that price. If you are going to be selling a lot of jewelry on eBay, you might offer just a few pieces at a very special low price just to build your customer base and get bidding going. You can also allow people to buy your jewelry directly at a fixed price with "buy it now".
6) Use eBay's Listing Tools to Create your Listing
If you have never sold anything on eBay, don't worry. They have made it easy. Just follow the step-by-step selling instructions they have on their website and in no time you will be a pro at listing auctions. Here are the steps you will need to fill in to create your auction listing. In the last step, you will have a chance to review your whole auction listing and make changes before you launch your auction.
- Category (I always list my jewelry under the "Jewelry & Watches", "Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry" category. )
- Title & Description
- Pictures & Details
- Payment & Shipping
- Review and Submit
7) Bidding - Watch the Fun Begin
After your auction has launched, watch to see how the bidding goes. As you become more well-known and popular as a jewelry designer on eBay, your customers will come back for me and you can expect repeat sales and higher bids. Don't be too discouraged if your auctions don't get bids at first, just experiment with your photos, details, and pricing and eventually you will learn what makes your jewelry sell!
8) Close the Deal
Once someone wins your auction (congratulations, wasn't that exciting?), you need to get payment. Most people deal with Paypal these days, and will pay you immediately. If you have not set yourself up with Paypal, I strongly encourage that you do as it makes it so much easier for people to buy from you. If you have decided to accept checks as payment, you might want to stipulate that jewelry won't ship until payment has cleared, or unless the buyer has a positive feedback rating. You want to protect yourself from potential bad checks (yes, unfortunately there are some people out there who might take advantage) while also establishing reasonable expectations and making it easy for customers to buy from you.
9) Shipping & Customer Service
Customer service will make or break any business, but especially on eBay because people have the ability to leave feedback regarding every single transaction they have with you. Your positive feedback rating is worth its weight in gold on eBay so do everything in your power to keep yours up. So, make sure you ship promptly and that you carefully wrap items to prevent damage. If desired, you can offer optional shipping insurance to customers.
10) Feedback Time
Once the transaction is all completed, be sure to leave positive feedback for your customer...but only AFTER they have left feedback for you. This way if there are issues or problems you can work with the customer to address them. Don't ever leave negative feedback for someone until you have tried to address and resolve the issue first.
Wasn't that fun and rewarding? Now it's time to start all over!
Be sure to visit the on-line jewelry social network where you can meet other jewelry-minded friends, chat on the blog, find coupons and discounts on jewelry supplies, keep track of the latest bead events, share your designs in the gallery, and ask questions. This is brand new, but promises to become an awesome resource, so please come join and check it out!
Check out my popular eBook, How to Run a Home Based Jewelry Party Business for Fun and Profit - A Step-by-Step Action Plan for Building your Dream Business and learn absolutely everything you'll want to know about how to get started on your new home jewelry business.
Recommended Links: www.Home-Jewelry-Business-Success-Tips.com is a website dedicated exclusively to the home jewelry business person. There is so much great information packed into this website! Take a look and you are sure to find it an incredibly valuable resource on your journey to making and selling your own jewelry, just as I have. Hats off to Rena Klingenberg, jewelry artist, for creating this amazing jewelry business website.
Rena has published an excellent book, the Ultimate Guide to Your Profitable Jewelry Booth, to give you all the secrets on how you can improve sales and run a wildly successful jewelry booth at your next craft fair or show. Click Here to check out Rena's great book!