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Handmade Jewelry Marketing Tips

I'm going to help you market your handmade jewelry more effectively. Learn how to sell and make a generous living making and selling jewelry.

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I love to help other people be successful on their own terms. If I can help someone start a successful business they ENJOY, plus show them how to market it, I will have done my job.

BeadStyle Magazine

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Other Options for Selling Your Handmade Jewelry Online

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a great weekend. We drove to Washington D.C. yesterday which is a fantastic shopping mecca! I was hoping to explore some boutiques that carried handmade jewelry, but we were too pressed for time. :-( I believe that you can learn alot about how to market your handmade jewelry line by browsing stores that carry unique artisan jewelry. I'll be giving you a fun exercise to try that relates to this soon. Stay tuned!

Today I want to talk about a few options I know about for selling handmade jewelry online. There are lots of craft and jewelry malls out there that are potential options for you but I'm going to stick with the ones I know about. We've already talked a little about how Ebay and Ebay stores can help your business. If you missed that post you can find it here.

I've had experience selling handmade jewelry both in Ebay stores and on in an online art and craft mall. I'll discuss several other craft malls that I investigated during my research. I actually emailed some of the sellers on these sites to find out what there experiences had been. This can be an excellent way to screen a mall before you get involved. Most of the sellers were very accomodating and eager to share their experiences.

Here are four online options for selling handmade jewelry:

1. Ruby Lane

This site is very nicely laid out and even has a separate section for selling jewelry called appropriately enough "Jewelry Shop". When you access the jewelry shop area, you'll find around 17 pages of jewelry stores listed which is alot of competition although not all of the jewelry is handmade. There are lots of sellers of antique and vintage jewelry who buy their items from estate sales and don't modify them in any way.

If you access a particular seller's store, you can click on the "view shop profile" which has a crown symbol beside it. When you click on this, you can find out how long that shop has been on Ruby Lane as well as their Ruby Lane rating. The Ruby Lane rating is useful in that it's based on how many items the seller has sold. If you compare their rating with the length of time they've been on the site, you can get a rough idea of how many pieces they sell on a daily basis. There is a key at the bottom of the shop profile page that tells you how many sales a seller has to achieve to gain that particular rating. There's a platinum, gold, silver, and bronze level.

When I emailed some handmade jewelry sellers regarding their Ruby Lane experiences, I received a variety of both positive and negative comments. Some mentioned that they thought the fees were a bit high. When I investigated the fee structure, I found it to be a bit complicated and cumbersome. There is a listing fee of 30 cents for each item as well as a monthly maintenance fee based on number of items in your store. In addition, there is an initial setup fee of $50.00 per shop and an ongoing advertising fee of $20.00 per month. These fees can really addup!

Despite the fee structure, I did have sellers tell me that it was worthwhile for them. They do have a variety of promotional tools available to you to help you draw traffic. Due to the high fee structure and initial setup fee of $50.00, I'm not sure they offer a huge advantage over an Ebay store, although you may be able to sell your items for high prices on Ruby Lane since buyers are likely less bargain conscious.

2. Yessy Gallery

I have sold on this gallery and have had feedback from several other sellers of handmade jewelry who opened a gallery here. I found that I had quite a few sales from this site although I did some self promotion which probably helped. I spoke with several sellers on this site who said that their sales had been better here than on some other online sites, including Etsy.

Fees are quite reasonable with an annual fee of only $59.00 to sell with no additional commissions on any jewelry sold from your site. There is a 10% processing fee if they pay through the Yessy payment system. In addition, they will give you a 14 day free trial so you can see if their site will work for you. Setup of your gallery is quite easy and can be done in 10 minutes if you have your photos ready to go.

One disadvantage to this site might be that it's not designed exclusively for jewelry sales, which is also true of Etsy and Ruby Lane, but for general art and craft work. This means that buyers reach the site looking for a variety of different types of crafts which may dilute out some of the traffic for your purposes. I would recommend signing up for the 2 week trial and see how much traffic you get to your handmade jewelry listings or just visit the site and have a look around. You can access it here.

3. Handcrafted Jewelry Mall

This site offers to set up an online jewelry store for you starting at $24.95 a month. Payment processing is handled through Paypal. The site appears to be straightforward and simple to use although I find that their homepage and many of the artisan jewelry stores lack impact when compared to some of the stores I see on Ruby Lane and Yessy. Most of the store backgrounds were in stark white which did little to play up the jewelry photographs. I did like the fact that the site is focused on selling only handmade jewelry so you have a targeted customer base.

When I emailed some sellers regarding their experiences at the Handcrafted Jewelry Mall, I found that several made negative comments. Some said they had been on the site for several weeks and did get some traffic to their listings, but few or no sales. Several other sellers said they had had decent traffic and were optimistic that sales would eventually follow. When I visited the site there were 100 stores listed, but some of them appeared to be empty with no jewelry listings. This makes me a bit apprehensive! Did these sellers have so few sales that they've removed their listings? I would proceed with caution on this one since they don't give you a free trial period.

3. Etsy

Etsy is another site for selling arts and crafts of all types. It calls itself "the place to buy and sell all things handmade". Sign up for this site is free with no initial setup fee. To list an item, you pay a 20 cent listing fee as well as a 3.5% commission. The fees are a bit more reasonable than Ruby Lane but not as competitive as Yessy who charges no commission on sales with the exception of payment processing. The site appears simple to use with the listing process being simple and straightforward. Listings remain on the site for 4 months. The layout of the site is attractive although it lacks the artistic flair of Yessy and Ruby Lane.

I was able to get feedback from several sellers on Etsy. Most of them did report sales although they have been somewhat sporadic particularly over the past few weeks. I haven't personally sold on this site but I may give it a try in the next few weeks so I can give you more details. I like the fact that the listing process is so straightforward and there's little downside to giving it a try since there's no initial setup fee.


I would probably recommend giving both Yessy and Etsy a try initially since there are no up front fees to pay. Yessy give you a free trial and Etsy charges a relatively reasonable listing fee for each item. I would consider Ruby Lane only if you're willing to make a longer term commitment and produce a larger volume of jewelry to meet the higher fee structure. For the Yessy 14 day free trial, click here.

If you've had any experience selling in online craft malls, please feel free to comment on the blog or send me an email. Hope you have a great Sunday! Thanks for reading. :-)



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