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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

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tips for Selling Your Handmade Jewelry Online

I'm going to devote the next series of blog postings to selling your handmade jewelry online through auctions, Ebay stores, online malls and via your own website. We'll start with a discussion of Ebay marketing and then proceed to alternative online sites for jewelry sales. We'll then launch into building and getting traffic to your own handmade jewelry website. Sound good?

I've had some experience selling both via Ebay auctions, stores, and via an art mall. Due to time constraints, I haven't been able to do Ebay auctions or stores in the last few months but plan on using Ebay stores to promote some handmade beads and pendants in the near future when I've hired more coverage for the bead store. I've also surveyed a number of other Ebay jewelry sellers and will share what I found out from them over the next few posts. I know there are lots of questions about selling online so we'd better get started. :-)

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with Ebay. I love the way the high traffic brings in jewelry sales but dislike the constant fee hikes. Having sold both via auction and through Ebay stores I know that it can be a great market for handmade jewelry. BUT, in order to be extremely successful, you need to think of Ebay as another tool in your marketing arsenal. Don't expect to be able to post your handmade jewelry without doing a bit of self promotion. This is especially true of marketing via an Ebay store. My Ebay store sales were modest until I started using some easy to implement techniques to drive traffic to my store. We'll discuss those in more detail over the next few posts.

When comparing Ebay auctions vs. Ebay stores, I much prefer the store format. Auctions tend to be much more labor intensive and subject to price depression. Bargain hunters tend to gravitate toward the auction format in an attempt to get a deal whereas store buyers tend to be more motivated and less price conscious. Ebay stores allow you to set your own fixed price and, thus, maximize your returns which is a big advantage over the auction format where the market determines the selling price. Another big advantage to the store format are the promotional and tracking tools they provide free with an Ebay store. These tools if purchased separately would cost more than the price of your monthly store fees.

Ebay auctions can be a great tool for driving traffic to your Ebay store. I found that when I listed jewelry auctions, traffic to my Ebay stores would increase by several times. I found the best strategy was to list around ten Ebay auctions weekly for the purpose of driving traffic to my store. When I did this, traffic counts to my store listings would often as much as triple. I've talked to several other handmade jewelry designers who have Ebay stores and they have confirmed that this strategy works well for them also.

An Ebay store can also be a useful tool for directing traffic to your website. Although Ebay won't allow a direct link to your website from auction or store listings, you can include your website address in the "About Me" section. Surprisingly enough, people actually do read this section and will often follow through with a visit to your website. It's important that you have some price consistency if you plan on cross promoting between your Ebay store and website. Customers won't be very happy if you sell at a discount on your website relative to what they paid in your Ebay store. I do recommend offering a 10% discount on items purchased directly from your website. If you do this, people will often bookmark your site for direct purchases in the future.

Another way to drive repeat traffic to your store is to use the power of email marketing. An Ebay store account gives you the ability to send out professionally designed promotional emails to your customers to trigger repeat purchases. I found this tool to be quite helpful in building a mailing list and increasing sales of my handmade jewelry. You can send out a newsletter showing new handmade jewelry items, sale items, specials etc and can even include a photo of your auctions and store listings.

In my experience, customers particularly like educational newsletters that teach them something. For example, if you sell jewelry with semiprecious stones, you could send out an informational newsletter on the origins and meaning of particular stones. Interspersed throughout you can have links to your current Ebay auctions of store listings. Customers will come to look forward to your newsletter as you're educating them as opposed to trying to sell to them.

Another Ebay store tool that's quite useful is the keyword search analysis. This tool will show you what keywords customers typed in to reach your auctions or store listings. This will help you to fine tune your auction and store titles. For example, if a significant number of viewers typed in the words "handmade bracelet" to reach your bracelet listing, you'll want to consistently include this term in your auction or store listing title when you list a handmade bracelet for sale. Sometimes you'll be surprised at the keywords people will use to reach your items and by putting these keywords into titles, you can see a significant increase in traffic.

I hope I've at least given you an introduction to Ebay stores and how they can help you sell more handmade jewelry. I'll continue to give you ideas for marketing your jewelry on Ebay over the next few posts before we move on to selling on other online venues. Thanks again for reading. :-)



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