If you want to start an online business, you may have thought about how to sell jewelry online. This eCommerce market is a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and it can be intimidating. It doesn’t matter if you’re a master metalsmith, or a vintage Victorian locket hunter. Maybe you just want to want to set up a low maintenance dropshipping business for trendy jewelry. There are no barriers to entry. Here, we will break down how to sell jewelry online in seven simple steps.
How to Sell Jewelry Online
1. Identify the Type of Jewelry You Sell
2. Define Your Niche
3. Develop Your Brand
4. Determine Your Initial Overhead
5. Invest In Your Business
6. Reach Out on Social Media
7. Listen and Adapt
1. Identify the Type of Jewelry You Sell
Any type of jewelry can convert sales online. Take the time to identify and define what type of jewelry you want to sell. This will make things clearer for your customer base, and save you time and energy in the long run. Let’s explain these categories:
- Fine Jewelry
Jewelry that incorporates high quality metals and precious stones like diamonds and sapphires, executed with superior craftsmanship. It highlights the high quality of materials over unique craftsmanship. Expensive materials can be cost prohibitive, but mean higher returns when you make a sale.
- Handmade Jewelry
Handmade jewelry often shows not only the skill of the jeweler, but their artistic style, as well. Semiprecious stones and more unusual materials are used to create unique pieces. Customers are drawn to this one-of-a-kind quality. It allows them to purchase something that feels truly special, without having to splurge on fine jewelry.
- Costume Jewelry
This type of jewelry is often fun, on-trend, mass produced, and made from inexpensive materials. This makes it super affordable to consumers, but also means that you will have to sell a lot to turn a considerable profit.
- Vintage Jewelry
Vintage and estate jewelry has become an increasingly popular option for eCommerce entrepeneurs. Some folks just have a great eye and love scouring flea markets and estate sales. Vintage jewelry gives buyers the opportunity to buy something fairly unique, and something with history.
2. Find Your Niche
Men, women, old, young; everyone loves jewelry. But the type of jewelry that different people appreciate varies tremendously. You will need to identify a niche of people who like the type of jewelry that you are going to sell. It helps to think about who your ideal, target customer might be.
Men and women look for different things in jewelry. Age factors in as well, as older customers are increasingly less likely to buy fashion jewelry for a one time occasion, unless it’s as a gift. Some people are creeped out by the idea of secondhand jewelry, while other cherish vintage treasures. Most people can’t afford fine jewelry, and a select few think that anything less than diamonds looks cheap.
Certain cultures have traditional jewelry styles, and understanding this can help you to better understand where the jewelry you are selling fits. Familiarize yourself with the motifs and traditions associated with the jewelry you sell to better tell its story. This will also help you to understand your target customer.
3. Develop Your Brand
Brand development and marketing can be overwhelming terms when you’re figuring out how to sell jewelry online, but they’re simpler than you might think. Now that you have defined your type of jewelry and your niche, you’re ready to tell your target customers a story about your brand. Write something simple that communicates why you started this business, and what makes your jewelry special.
Invest in attractive, on-brand packaging when you ship out your products. Consider adding a thank you note, or even a discount code for their next purchase to encourage more transactions.
Decide on the tone that you want to consistently use when communicating with you audience. Dropshipping kooky, trendy fashion jewelry? Let your tone be more playful, silly and on-trend. Selling thoughtfully thrifted, one of a kind pieces? You should come across as an expert, who’s excited to share and explain historical and stylistic details of the pieces you’re selling. Crafting labor intensive, unique jewelry? Opt for sincerity all the way. Stay true to this voice whether you’re dealing with customers one-on-one, or as a group.
4. Determine Your Initial Overhead Cost
If you make jewelry, you already know that the cost of materials adds up quickly. Once you invest in more high-end metals and stones, this cost increases. Take the time to figure out the total cost of the raw materials of each piece you create. Then, factor in the hours that it took you to create it. While the cost of products will fluctuate, keeping track of this is essential for figuring out your average total overhead, as well as the minimum retail prices for your products. Your materials and long hours at the bench account for most of your overhead.
Let’s say you’re a connoisseur of vintage jewelry. You’re probably gifted at bargaining and bundling items that you find, and know exactly what you spent to acquire each piece. Or do you? Make sure to factor in the cost of admission to certain flea markets and vintage shows, as well as transportation costs. Be sure to factor in the hours you spend hunting, and researching, for example, whether an art deco style ring is true to the period, or a reproduction.
If you’ve decided to start a dropshipping business, your overhead will be much lower. You are paying a pre-established wholesale price, selling at retail price, with no need to invest in inventory. Your only true overhead costs will be the cost of your time and of actually selling online, which we will explain in a moment.
Because you are going to be selling online rather than in person, there are some additional expenses you will need to factor into your overhead cost. These are investments in your eCommerce success.
5. Invest in Your Business
It is possible to sell jewelry within an online marketplace, and this is a solid option in the short term. However, if you view your online jewelry business as a long term project, consider creating an online store instead. Direct customer traffic to a beautiful store, then use beautiful product images and well-written product descriptions to convert customers. Choose an online store builder that provides pre-designed templates and themes. This will enable you to customize your store’s appearance yourself, without having to pay a developer or graphic designer. For more information about how to sell jewelry online in a marketplace or online store, check out this helpful article.
When tackling how to sell jewelry online, it’s import to invest in quality product photography. Sometimes, this means working with a skilled photographer. Obtaining these services can be expensive, so make sure to find someone within your budget, or someone who would be open to a trade, like getting a custom piece from you if you’re a jeweler. Alternatively, if you’re great at taking photos, and either own or can borrow a high end camera, give it a shot. You will want high quality images to capture the details and colors of your work. This will give your customers buying confidence, and make all the difference in converting transactions.
Another thing to take into account is the cost of packaging materials. You can go no-frills, or choose to upgrade to packaging that will appeal to your niche and complement your brand.
6. Build Connections on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for securing your space within your niche and reaching out to your potential customer base. Many people think that they just need to put a bunch of finished products up on social media when figuring out how to sell jewelry online. It’s actually more complex than that, but also easier to execute.
When it comes to jewelry that you personally make, don’t shy away from in-progress shots of your pieces. Post beautifully staged photos of every stage, from an initial sketch to the completion of a metalwork detail. This will provide rich visual content and highlight the hard work that goes into each piece. It also leaves generates curiosity and excitement among your audience. If you’re finding vintage jewelry, share photos from your product hunts at estate sales and flea markets. The absolute best type of photo you can post on social media? A happy customer’s selfie with the product they just received from you. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a photo like that has to be worth a dozen five star reviews.
Alternate these photos with images that inspire and directly relate to your work, to engage your target customers. Connect with fellow jewelry sellers to promote one another’s work on social media. Use relevant hashtags surrounding your niche. Ask your network for feedback of what they want. You’ll be able build a network of potential customers who are authentically engaged with your brand. To learn more about marketing your jewelry, check out this in-depth article.
7. Listen and Adapt
It’s important to look at your business from an analytical perspective. Certain styles may fly off off the shelves, while others simply don’t sell. Examine where you have the most sales, and higher profit margins. Ask for feedback. Take notes. Your customers and social media network will let you know which pieces are most appealing. Adjust your offerings to meet your demands of your customer base.
Consider offering pieces that have a similar style, but varying levels of detail and material costs. This way, a customer who loves a specific style may be able to purchase an item that is otherwise cost prohibitive. At the same time, if a certain style is performing really well, you may want to consider offering a higher end version of the piece.
If you make jewelry, be open to collaborating with your customers and accepting custom orders. This requires excellent communication and creative flexibility, but the payoff is that you are more likely to receive a great review. You will also be able to create a portfolio of work with greater variety this way, and show your range to potential customers.
There you have it. You now have the tools you need to shine, rather than being just another diamond in the rough. Now roll up your sleeves, polish that brand, and make your new business sparkle!