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Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285795 12/27/06 10:22 PM
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Tigress Offline OP
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I've been making silver wire�wrap and gemstone bead jewelry for years now and (to give myself a pat on the back) I've gotten pretty good at it since those first attempts. Like many crafters I'm hooked on my hobby. I spend countless hours (not to mention dollars) on my jewelry making. However, I don't have any way to sell it or anything. I was wondering if anyone has ideas for selling your handmade jewelry and if it really ever pays to try and set something up online.... Bascially I'm trying to sort out in my head how I can pay for my jewelry making habit, and reduce the amount of finished jewelry I have packed away in my house.
<img src="/images/graemlins/rolling.gif" alt="" />

Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285796 12/28/06 04:48 AM
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gowham_1 Offline
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Hello Erica,

Yes, There is a way to turn the hobby you love into money.
You already have a product so the hard part is already done. If you to this link: http://www.webbusinesswizard.com/app/?af=402631 and click on the "GOLD KEY" You can download a Free report that will show you everything you need to get started. The report is free and will point you in the right direction.

Robin Robinson
WAHM

Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285797 12/28/06 09:52 AM
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DJCNOR Offline
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Erika,

I've been selling jewelry that I make for some 20 years now. First, wear it, every day and don't hesitate to tell people who admire it that you are willing to sell the things you make.

Do craft fairs. Go to the classiest craft fiar in your area and, for once, pay more attention to the displays than to the work. Take a notebook along to write down inexpensive display possibilities. The magazine Sunshine Artist has a huge list of fairs with the information you need to decide which ones you want to do, including your chances of getting into them. You will need slides and digital pictures of your work to apply to the juried shows, and you should only do the juried shows, because otherwise you will be competing with buy-and-sell and that really doesn't work for makers.

In pricing, don't charge less than is necessary to pay yourself at least minimum wage for the time you spend on the work. Pricing less will make you unpopular with the other folks trying to sell their work, many of which are already trying to survive on it.You want their good opinion because they will be your teachers of how to operate at craft fairs. It also has the effect of "teaching" the public to undervalue handwork of all kinds. Handskills that are so undervalued are soon not practised at a high level anymore. Why should a young person make the effort to learn a skill if they can buy similar work for very little?

I have not had my website very long and have yet to sell a piece of work from it, but it has been useful in other ways. I have had enquiries about custom work and have had a place I could refer people to for pictures of work, for my resume, and so forth. By the way, I did it myself after a 12-hour community course in Dreamweaver. It still needs work, and you have to constantly update and change a website to continue to get visitors, something that I've fallen down on lately, but it has deffinitely been worth having. One thing it does is to motivate me to make progress in order to update it.

Good luck.

DJC in Norwich, UK


www.donnajcarty.co.uk
I welcome comments on my website.
Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285798 12/31/06 09:57 PM
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oxalis Offline
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Hi Erica,

I agree with DJC as far as wearing and showing off your jewelry. I've only been trying to sell for the last few months and my few sales have come by word-of-mouth.

My website has been online since Oct. with no sales. After investing the time and work in the website construction, I'm now working on SEO. Much more difficult than I ever imagined. I see that you already have a music site so you have connections online. That should be a real asset.

My next step is approaching boutiques and galleries. I am been working on increasing my inventory right now. In the past I sold paintings through galleries so I know they expect stock to be replenished when it sells. I can't bring myself to do the art and craft fairs anymore so am hoping the other approach will work.

Let us know what works for you.

Patsy
www.oxalisjewelart.com

Last edited by oxalis; 12/31/06 10:01 PM.
Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285799 12/31/06 10:54 PM
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Try eBay first. The traffic to their site is huge. All you need is a camera. Setting up an account is easy. You might want to get a Paypal account first so people can pay you.

Instead of crafts fairs, try trade shows more targeted to your audience--wedding shows for example, or motorcycle rallies, or arts festivals--whatever attracts the people your jewelry is suited for.

Check to see if there are any consignment places in your town--sometimes there are consignment stores that feature work made by local artists and craftspeople. They'll put your items in their stores in exchange for a consignment fee.

Also try small businesses like beauty salons, spas, boutique shops and so on.

You might try looking at my SOHO site here at BellaOnline for more tips and hints in getting started.

Good Luck!

Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285800 01/01/07 11:45 AM
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DJCNOR Offline
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I disagree about selling on E-bay. You cannot get the prices a maker needs to get on E-bay. E-bay attracts bargain hunters, not appreciators of the hand-made and the skills of the hand-maker. I've heard that Etsy may be somewhat better, but a better web outlet would be Guild.com.

Trade fairs are usually more expensive to do that craft fairs, and a lot of the business is wholesale, so they will also expect lower prices than you may be able to offer.

If you do consignment, visit the store often to see if your pieces are actually displayed and displayed well. The consignment agreement should be written and clear as to where the risks lie and what happens if the shop goes down and under what circumstances pieces can be marked down in price.

Gavoskin.com (i think I've spelled that right. It can be googled with jewelry and orchid since that used to be the name of the group) contains excellent information on the business of making and selling jewelry.

DJC in Norwich, UK


www.donnajcarty.co.uk
I welcome comments on my website.
Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285801 01/01/07 07:58 PM
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BellaDeb Offline
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Donna, I think we're talking in two different ballparks here. My understanding from Erica was that she wanted a way to support her hobby more than anything. I make earrings for myself and also sell them to friends & associates, but these are $5 earrings. It's a hobby, but there is a market out there for that kind of jewelry.

It's like art--some people want something inexpensive to go with the furniture and some people want to invest in art.

Your work is definitely art and I agree, probably not for eBay. I looked at your website and I love your work. I won't hijack this thread, but if you'd like some suggestions on getting more traffic and making more sales, contact me.

I also understand your comment about not undervaluing the craft and the products. I worked in food and beverage where they just about coupon themselves out of business. But, earrings that take me maybe two minutes to make are nowhere comparable to your beautiful pieces that obviously take much more time and thought and are therefore worth much more money.

Anyway, what a great conversation. I need to address value and pricing for my readers--I've avoided it because it is so subjective, but maybe I can come up with some guidelines (and exceptions).

Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285802 01/01/07 09:10 PM
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DJCNOR Offline
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Bella,

Your points are well taken. I think we need to see some pictures of Erica's work in order to suggest prices. There are sites on the web that well wire-wrap jewelry, and I believe there are even some discussion groups centered on that type of jewelry. Ganoskin! (darn that wrong spelling above) has one, I think. These are places she could see how much similar work is going for. Wire-wrap is one of those types of jewelry that can vary from the two-minute variety to art jewelry level.

Thanks for your offer to help me with site suggestions. I will private message you.

DJC in Norwich, UK


www.donnajcarty.co.uk
I welcome comments on my website.
Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285803 01/05/07 12:26 AM
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Crisfra Offline
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I think all of your suggestions are great.

Erica, is that what you were saying - that you mainly want to make the hobby pay for itself - or do you want it to grow into a profitable business?

I recently reviewed a newer book on the topic of selling jewelry, which I really liked - maybe you would find it helpful:

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art31333.asp

It can be very difficult selling handmade jewelry, for a number of reasons. The best thing to do at first is probably brainstorm and write down your goals, then discuss them with other artisans - even on the internet like this. I've found networking to be the most helpful resource so far.

Chris


Chris Franchetti Michaels, BeadJewelry.net
Re: Making jewlery.... how do you sell it!? lol #285804 01/05/07 06:32 PM
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Tigress Offline OP
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Thanks for all the input <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Unfortunately I don't have access to a digital camera at the moment, so I can't post pictures of my work (I believe someone had mentioned that). Obviously if I wanted to sell online the camera becomes a requirement, but I haven't gotten that far.
And yes, mainly I would like my jewelry making hobby pay for itself. Having a bit of profit would be welcome, but I'm not looking to make my living with this. I'm going to see if I can find some good craft fairs in my area to begin with. Another thing I always have trouble with the few times I have sold my jewelry is pricing. I never know where to begin! Generally I'm using sterling silver, swarovski crystal, and natural gemstones (like garnet, onyx, amethyst, jade, etc.). I'm going to work on getting photos so maybe I can post some examples here.
Also, I took advice of some discussion posters and made a few pieces of jewlery specifically for me to wear and show off my work <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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