How do I sell my Jewellery?
Wow so you've decided to turn your hobby into a bit of profit, have you? Okay, well there's a few things we've picked up over the years that might be helpful to you, both in terms of jewellery making and of running a business.
- Work out your costs - Every piece of jewellery you make has cost you money in materials and time. Make sure you keep a record of exactly how much each piece costs you in materials, and then how much time you spent making it. You can either work out a desired "price-per-hour" that you then add to your material cost, or you can judge the price based on similar examples by other people. This will then tell you how much you've earned per hour for that piece.
- Do not undersell yourself - Unless you have buckets of free time and only want to make back your material costs, you're likely to want to get a bit back for the time you've invested in a piece of jewellery. It's important to not overprice yourself, but we'd say you're far more likely to be underselling yourself, especially in the beginning when you're not completely confident. Think about what you'd be willing to pay, maybe ask a friend who's willing to be totally honest, and have a look around on sites like Etsy and eBay (but be careful with eBay especially, things aren't always what they seem!)
- Do your research - Is there a gap in the market for your type of jewellery? Or do you need to modify your designs for your target market? What does your market typically want to pay/able to afford for jewellery? Do you need to make more "low-cost high-markup" items such as simple earrings, or can your typical client afford a time/material rich necklace that's priced at £95?
- How does your target market buy? - If you've identified your target market, how do they prefer to buy their jewellery? Do they want to go to a high end boutique and try it n with matching earrings? Or do they want to go to a jewellery party and have a great night with friends at the same time? Are they buying the actual item, or are you taking orders for colour/design variations? These questions are really important as the answers will help you form a portfolio of work in the most appropriate way.
- A website is essential - Well, not necessarily. An information page with all of your contact details on, a precis of who you are and what it is you do and a gallery of some of your previous designs is essential, but a fully functioning e-commerce site isn't. You might do one-offs that are of a low price point, for example earrings, and spending time over photographing and listing individual designs on your site of this type can be a little pointless in terms of investment vs. return. If you decide to create a range of items that can be ordered, either as identical to the listed item or with colour/design options, then you kight want to have an ecommerce site, but again, think about your market.
If you go down the website route, remember that you'll need to very cleverly optimise your site for Google and other search engines, and this (we know from experience!) is not an easy task. You can quite easily set up your own e-commerce or information site by using "free" management programs, such as "Wix.com", but they can be very limiting in terms of design and SEO, but they're a great starting point!
- Get to know the craft market circuit - Not all Craft Fairs are created equal! You won't know which until you try (it's the same with Bead Fairs, trust us!), and get talking to a few of the other traders about other fairs they exhibit at. High stall costs are not always indicative of good advertising and footfall, and remember you'll need to sell at least the price of the stand back before you even take a penny home. Also, new fairs aren't always things to avoid; if they're setup by the right organiser, and are advertised effectively, new or small local fairs can be gold mines.
- Presentation is key - Presenting your jewellery well is of paramount importance. If you throw your jewellery out on an old sheet, people are going to assume that it's not well made. If you present your jewellery in gift boxes, or draped over an interesting object, you're far more likely to sell it at the price you want. Supermarkets are the absolute masters at making objects appear desirable, so just take a few minutes to think about why so mcuh money and effort goes in to packaging. For gift boxes, build the cost of the box into your price and the customer won't even give it a second thought!
- Aftercare - Tell the customer how to care for their jewellery. This saves both potential disappointment and dissatisfaction on the customer's behalf, and frustration and embarrassment on yours! A customer isn't likely to know that you shouldn't squish a necklace strung on tigertail into an overfilled jewellery box, only to find it snaps under the tension; you are! So tell them how to hang the jewellery, how to keep plating in tip-top condition by avoiding moisture and chemicals etc.
- Keep all of your paperwork and receipts - If you've registered yourself with HMRC, it's essential you do this for completing your end of year self assessment anyway, but we'd always recommend keeping your paperwork anyway; it gives you a traceable paper trail that you can follow for working out costs or fidning out where you got that really unusual bead from!
There is no perfect recipe for selling your own jewellery, it's trial and error as with any other business. We're more than happy to offer our experience to anyone who asks for it, as we've made mistakes along the way that we've learned from and can help you avoid doing the same! We can give you helpful contacts we've collected over the years for various different services (but don't ask for supplier details; that information will go to the grave with Katy!), and help in any other way we can, we want you to succeed!
Where can I sell my Jewellery?
Many of our customers who sell their jewellery, either as hobbyists or as professionals, use a great website called Stallfinder.com. Organisers can register their events for free on the website, and it's free to search for local events too. The search is very effective, being able to specify by County, distance, date and postcode and you can view all contact details for organisers, all absolutely free.
If you want to register yourself as a Stallholder, it'll cost you from £10 per year and this allows you to be searched for within the Stallfinder database of product stockists. Click the image below to go to Stallfinder.com and have a look around!
Other customers find the huge craft website Etsy is their best selling channel. Etsy is primarily an American site that brings together crafters, designers, upcyclers and artisans into one vast resource that anyone looking for unique and bespoke items will find an absolute goldmine. Prices are listed in dollars, but Etsy allows you to filter by UK listings and it even does an approximate currency conversion based on current exchange rates. Click the image below to have a look round Etsy.com.