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Turn Your Hobby Into Gold: Tips for Selling Handmade Jewelry Online

jewelry  |  October 17th 2013  |  0 Comment

For years, your friends have been telling you how much they love your lovingly hand-crafted necklaces, earrings, or rings.  “Why don’t you sell this stuff?”, they ask you.  “You could make a small fortune!”  They may be absolutely right, but many of us seasoned crafters often find it hard to take things to the next level, either from lack of confidence or from the belief that launching your own line is too much of a hassle. 

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to do some self-branding, however modestly.  All that’s needed are some beautiful jewelry, a little bit of web know-how, and good old-fashioned perseverance.  Here are five suggestions to make your hobby work for you:


Turn Your Hobby Into Gold01


Optimize Photo Opportunities

The single biggest drawback to selling jewelry online is that prospective customers won’t be able to see your handiwork in person, admiring the luster of the materials and seeing how each piece complements them personally.  To make up for that difference, you need to make sure the images you post bring the quality of your work to life.  This might mean hiring a professional photographer.  While that might not always be possible when selling individual pieces on eBay, be certain to have one dazzling image on your social media sites to lure clients to individual auctions.


Arm Yourself With Samples

Even though the name of the game is to sell online, the best way to get your business off the ground is through word-of-mouth.  To generate this level of interest, you shouldn’t go out into the world without a sampling of your wares to show off when the opportunity arises.  However, unfurling a tangle of chains and beads can make you seem unpolished, so find a way to have your jewelry readily on tap, so to speak. Rolling up a broad swath of your goods in a thin towel is an easy on-the-go display that keeps your pieces protected.  This should also be a no-brainer:  make sure you’re always adorned with at least one of your best items.


Study your Target Audience and Market

If you’re operating on a DIY, start-up level, chances are that doing by-the-numbers market research doesn’t really make sense.  However, do your best to profile the kind of people that take a fancy to your designs and reach out to any online or real communities that might overlap with your demographic.  For example, if you make more anachronistic necklaces from silver or pewter, you might find it worth your while to network at something like a local Renaissance Festival.  Similarly, if your average pieces fetch prices in the hundreds, chasing after the Claire’s demographic probably will just waste your time.

Turn Your Hobby Into Gold

Don’t Sell Yourself Short


Especially in the early phases of transitioning from a hobby to a lucrative enterprise, it’s easy to get a little sloppy with the profit model.  First sales often go to friends and family, and these more informal transactions can end up losing money if we don’t pay attention.  Sure, we want to give friends a discount, but make sure that even sliding scale prices reflect the time and money you’ve put into the work.  As a rule of thumb, a base price should be at least two to six times what you’ve spent on supplies, plus a little extra for your labor.


Make Business Cards

Designing an attractive business card is going to help you in two ways that relate to previous tips.  First, it really seals the deal when you’re showing your samples:  it’s a basic reality that people are more likely to follow up with an at least semi-official card with contact information than to a website scribbled on a napkin.  Secondly, taking that extra step towards professionalism will make your endeavor more legitimate to the friends and family circle, and this can make things less awkward when the time comes for money to change hands. If you don’t have the means to invest the time or money into professional level business cards you can even stick to free online cards.

If there’s any master tip to selling your jewelry on the internet, it’s to be persistent.  Just as with any trend, there’s no telling when — and sometimes even why — a product catches fire.  But by putting you and your goods out there as maximally as possible, both through social media and through in-the-flesh interactions, the chances you’ll reach that magic tipping-point of the market increases exponentially.

Maxine Wells is a freelance writer from Southern California. She spends her free time, doing crafts or going to museums with her two children. She currently works for Polished Diamonds.

source: make-handmade.com

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