One question that I’m asked a lot is if I “make money” selling my jewelry. Honestly? Not really. It’s a hobby gone awry and I’m desperately trying to clear out the supply I build up on a continuous basis and maybe fund the addiction.
I don’t give my jewelry away. (I mean, I give it as gifts but I don’t sell it for cheap). The supplies I use are top quality and are not cheap. I put a lot of time into them too but I really don’t factor time into my pricing. You wouldn’t sell a THING if you did.
Here are a few places I’ve sold and what my thoughts are about each venue.
Many people sell at craft fairs. Many, many, many jewelry vendors sell at craft fairs. This is a tough place to sell. If you figure out the hours that you’re there, the money it took to reserve the space, the set up and take down, travel to/from, you’d need to bring in a pretty good haul to make it worth it. And, there’s tremendous competition. So far, for me, I’ve not found craft fairs all that worth it.
It’s tough to sell online if you don’t have a great camera and some photography skills. I was using a point/shoot camera and just winging it and not really selling much. I upgraded my camera, got some advice, and within 24 hours of reshooting some jewelry had a slew of sales. People can’t pick it up and touch it—you’d better make sure your photos are great. I currently sell on ETSY.com. You can’t just list things and sit back though—you really need to work on marketing. You need good descriptions, good tags, and to get featured in treasuries.
I had a local business offer to sell my items in their spa. At first I thought it was a great deal. They took a large cut and I was left barely covering my costs. I pulled my stuff out since it wasn’t worth it. I’ve had others come to me asking if I wanted to sell in their stores and I’m considering it—but only limited inventory and for smaller percentage of sales. If they take a large cut I need to increase my price and then no one buys. Lose/lose. If you sell in shops, be sure and keep good track of your inventory. Keep a spreadsheet listing all the items, descriptions, and prices. Jewelry is very easy for someone to slip in a pocket.
One friend of mine loves my jewelry and is often buying from me. She has mentioned my jewelry to many people and that results in sales. Another person offered to sell my jewelry at school. She had been drooling over one of my bracelets and I said, “You sell my stuff and you can have that bracelet.” Well, she’s currently sold more in the last few weeks then I’ve ever sold at craft fairs or online.
My local Hospital
Has vendors come in each day and sell at the hospital. You donate a portion of the proceeds to the hospital. I haven’t done this yet but I’m getting on the calendar. I’ll let you know how it goes.