Selling jewelry online can be a fun and financially rewarding experience. There are several options with both pros and cons that may help you make a decision if selling jewelry online is something you have been considering. If you are a stay at home mom and need some income, selling jewelry online may be just the right choice. I write from experience as a jewelry maker.… I do not do gold, fine jewelry – what I make is artistic, wearable art and I have been selling both in person and online for years. Making your own jewelry is not the only option though.
What are the odds I can make a living this way?
Selling jewelry online is a great market to get into. Reports show revenue in the Jewelry segment amounts to US$17,882m in 2018. The market is expected to grow annually by 2.0% (CAGR 2018-2021). That is a huge chunk of money going to jewelry sales and I, for one would love to be a part of that! Online sales make up approximately 21% of all jewelry sales and looks to increase. That may not seem like a lot, but given the millions of dollars being spent on jewelry and the millions of people out there buying jewelry online, that adds up to a potentially great income. Every business takes work to start and grow but there are several options within the jewelry market to make that happen, making selling jewelry online a great business to be in.
What are my options?
There are three options for selling jewelry online that I would like to present to you. First (and the way I work) is to make jewelry. This option is great for a creative person looking for an outlet for creativity that results in sales. Some creative projects are bigger and more expensive to make and sell (I do those as well) but jewelry is something that is universally loved and owned by everyone. It is a fairly justifiable expense for many so it makes for easier sales and a good business. The other two options are wholesale and drop shipping. These are good options for someone who does not really have the time or creative ability to make the jewelry themselves. Not everyone is a creative type but thankfully you do not have to be in order to build a successful online business.
What are the pros and cons?
There are pros and cons to every business. The key to choosing what you want to do and why, besides loving your work (I believe this is important for success),is to know the pros and cons before you dive in. Knowing what to expect will eliminate several surprises along the way. For example, knowing customer service issues when drop shipping will take the shock out of the first return issue with a customer and will give you the advantage of understanding how to deal with issues when they arise, because they certainly will.
1. Quality control is in your hands, you know what your customers are getting. 2. You are in control of the shipping and can likely get items to your customers faster. 3. You can customize your packaging 4. Jewelry is small so inventory storage is minimal. 5. Jewelry is easy and inexpensive to ship making packaging and shipping fairly simple.
1. Buying all the product makes it a more expensive investment. 2. You have to hope all of your inventory sells, meaning it may not and you are then stuck with inventory. 3. More work involved with packaging and shipping.
1. It is less expensive because you do not need to keep inventory. 2. Supplier does the packaging and shipping making less work for you. 3. Because you do not have inventory, there is no product for you to buy, hope it sells and store in your home, garage or warehouse.
1. You lose control of packaging and shipping 2. You have no control over supplier’s time frame for shipping product. 3. You lose the option to the quality control and do not really know what your customer is getting. 4. The customer service can become a problem because you deal with the customer but have no control over quality, packaging, shipping nor do you get the returns.
Making your own:
1. You can make whatever you want. 2. You can make something for everyone. 3. You can receive custom orders as an extra step for your clients. 4. You have full control of product quality. 5. Being creative is plain amazing. 6. You can have product in stock, or make upon order – you are in full control of every aspect of your business. 7. If there is something you do not sell you can take it apart and make something new out of it (recycle your own product)
1. You have to have good storage space for supplies and product. 2. Returns are completely on you and you have to repair broken jewelry 3. It is expensive to have enough good, quality supplies in order to make your product. 4. If it does not sell there is nobody to return anything to. 5. It is time-consuming
Where can I sell? what are the pros and cons?
There are many options for selling: EBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify…. among other sites as well as the option of having your own website.
What, though, are the pros and cons to each? Is that expensive and which ones are worth my time and money? Where do I start?
There are many questions that could be asked and many places to sell that can work fabulously well or be a fantastic failure. Either way I say give them all a try to see what is a good fit for you.
For me, I have found that EBay is easy listing – I used my free 50 listings to see if I even like it. My jewelry has gotten several views and in the less than a week had one sale. That could increase as I add more to my store as that increases the search results that get my items seen. The downside is you have to be on it and re-list and deal with fees. What I like about it is that it is a per listing fee rather than a monthly fee so I choose what I pay based on what I list.
I have had my work listed on Etsy on and off over the past several years. I have found little success which in the long run is no success there at all. I do not like the way the search results show up – in order to make page one or two I need to re-list my items often. It is only .20 per listing (not counting fees when you sell) but seems inexpensive right? but … everyone who lists something similar with similar keywords after you means you get pushed back just a little. In no time your items are not seen at all until you list them again for another fee – the fee adds up when you need to re-list something once a week or if you need to pay additional fees to advertise your item. Pretty soon you are not making a dime. I am not against Etsy, but for me it is something that, while I still have items there, I am not happy with the results so cannot recommend it. Also, it is a website for handmade, vintage, or supplies. You can’t do wholesale or drop shipping so this is only an option for the person who is making their own jewelry to sell or has a ton of vintage pieces they want to sell.
Amazon: I love Amazon, and shop there often. I wanted to see how my jewelry would sell there but found there is a $39.99 per month fee. That is reasonable but I am the kind of person who would like to see what traffic happens before I commit to a monthly fee. If you are selling a lot then it is well worth that little amount of money to start – much cheaper than renting a physical building to have a store….. I would not say either way if you should or should not sell there, if you sell in person and you know you have a market for the jewelry you want to sell it is a great place with a ton of traffic and your work is highly likely to be seen.
Shopify: I am considering that one as well. I do not know the traffic my work would see there and I have never shopped there. They have a 14-day trial in which to test it out. After that, it is $29 per month for a starter business, $79 per month for a growing business, $299 per month for an account with advance features and to have specialized account (for whatever reasons I don’t know) it is so much money per month that you have to request the cost because they do not even list it. Shopify, if you get good traffic to get the sales is great, but unless you take off like a rocket and can afford more, the less expensive options are best… But who knows, maybe I will have an update soon that will be one of success. I plan to do the trial so I can be even more informed to let my audience know from my experience a better idea of what to expect.
Your own website is great but you need to get traffic there… How do you do that? Social media, advertising, and other time-consuming things you need to do (like always having to update your website). I have had an art site to sell my paintings and it was great. It was through Artspan.com and because it was a simple template site I could set it up and maintain it. The downside: you have to maintain it. That takes time and when you are a stay at home mom trying to start a business which adds to the already full list of mom duties, it may be too much and selling through EBay, Amazon or Shopify may be easier.
Have you sold art or jewelry online? If so I would love to know where. Your personal experiences, good or bad help me to share with others where to go or not to go. The most important thing is to help each other out. I want to see success happen for other moms trying to bring in some income while doing the oh-so-important job of raising a family. Any personal experiences you have had that can help me to help others is much appreciated. Just leave it in the comments below.
Does social media involvement really make a difference?
Yes. I am not super social so this has been the hardest part for me. I create art and jewelry, which I love, but the social engagement in order to get necessary traffic to your shop is vital but the hardest thing for me to do. I am fairly new at an online site and I have had little experience with my social posting – I am on Facebook, but not so much for business…….. But the social sites I am on contribute to about half of the traffic I have seen so far on my site. That is a lot for someone just starting out. There are a ton of sites out there in the social media world. I would recommend picking a couple that are just for business. For example, my Facebook is personal – I use it to post photos so my mom, who lives about a day’s drive away from me, can see her grandchildren. I use Facebook to stay in touch with friends who live far away. I have considered starting a work page for my jewelry but have not done that yet. I chose google plus, twitter,Pinterestand Instagram as business post sites. I don’t do more because I don’t have time.
When you are posting images from your computer to your store it is a good idea to post the photos to Pinterest, twitter, Instagram or wherever you choose to be business social at the same time. I open the tabs I need on my computer and copy/paste from one to another – saves time. Find a rhythm that works for you and stick to it. Make your work time count.
To sum it up………….
Selling jewelry online, whether it is your own, wholesale or drop shipping it can be rewarding or a belly flop. It is best to weigh out the pros and cons of all of your options. Choose how you want to sell then decide where. Start with one and then expand as you begin to make sales and do not over extend yourself financially or with your time.
Please leave comments below. I would love to know if you have already had success selling jewelry online or if you are just getting started. Are there sites you like best for selling? Is there any site you would like to try but are unsure of how to start? leave comments and I will reply to you within 24 hours whenever possible! thank you and have a blessed day!