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Starting a jewelry business can be a profitable venture, but you need to find the right places to sell your handmade jewelry. The best place to sell will depend on the type of jewelry you make, your target market, and your profit margins. The following are the top places to sell handmade jewelry:
1 – ETSY (online)
2 – AMAZON HANDMADE (online)
3 – WEBSITE (online)
4 – CRAFT SHOWS & EVENTS (locally)
5 – BOUTIQUES (locally)
6 – CONSIGNMENT SHOPS (locally)
7 – HOME SHOPPING PARTIES (locally)
8 – FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE (free)
9 – KIJIJI / CRAIGSLIST (free)
10 – SOCIAL MEDIA (free)
WHERE TO SELL HANDMADE JEWELRY ONLINE
Selling handmade jewelry online makes it cheap and easy to get set up. Because costs can be kept relatively low when selling online (if done strategically), you can be more profitable.
When selling jewelry online, you’re also able to reach many people. But that also makes it more competitive.
If you plan to sell handmade jewelry online, you must do your research, find keywords you can rank for that are high volume – low competition, and be willing to put the time and effort in and climb the search ranks.
You cannot put a website up or add a few listings to Etsy and expect sales in a matter of days.
You’ll have to work on SEO (search engine optimization) to add keywords to your site that will help Google recognize what your website is about and match content on it to Google searches. This takes time though; likely a minimum of 6 months before you start to get organic traffic from Google.
You can start to see traffic and sales sooner if you use an established platform like Etsy, or if you go out and get traffic through marketing (e.g. post to Instagram and drive traffic to your website/shop).
With that said, here are a few places to sell handmade jewelry online:
1 – ETSY
Etsy is a well-known marketplace for handmade products. Jewelry is one of the most competitive categories to sell under, so you’ll have to do your research and choose a profitable market to target and create niche products that appeal to them.
The pros to selling through Etsy is that they’re established and have millions of people visiting their site per month. You’ll still have to work to get the attention of those shoppers, because they also have millions of Etsy shops to choose from. Also, keep in mind, those are ultimately Etsy’s customers. They’re loyal to Etsy and are more likely to associate a purchase made on Etsy, with Etsy, rather than your brand.
2 – AMAZON HANDMADE
Amazon is the biggest e-commerce website in the world, so when you set up a shop with them, you have the potential to reach a lot of online shoppers. Of course, this also means there’s a lot of competition to deal with on Amazon Handmade, so again, you’ll have to find your little piece of the market and work on SEO to get your work found.
The pros and cons of Amazon Handmade are similar to Etsy. One other thing to keep in mind with Amazon Handmade is that you must apply and be approved before you can start selling on their platform; Etsy has no such requirements.
3 – WEBSITE
It’s easier and cheaper than ever to build a website with tools like Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, etc. You have complete control over your website and can choose whichever colors, fonts, functions, etc. you like. It also allows you to add a newsletter signup form and start a newsletter for your business; one of the best ways to promote your jewelry.
The con to starting your website is that it does take more work upfront to get setup. With Etsy, you can have a shop up and running in an afternoon. Depending on your skills, a website may take several days or weeks to get set up the way you want it.
Your website will also be starting from scratch, in that, it will have 0 visitors until you start directing people to it, or until Google starts crawling it and ranking it on, or close to the first page, which can take months, or even years.
For many more options for selling your handmade jewelry online, check out: WHERE TO SELL HANDMADE ONLINE (BESIDES ETSY).
WHERE TO SELL HANDMADE JEWELRY LOCALLY
Selling your handmade jewelry locally is a smart way to start and grow your business, building a strong brand that can really hit the ground running once you decide to sell online.
You can sell online and locally at the same time, it will just require more inventory and inventory management.
You can find 20 ideas for selling your handmade jewelry locally here, but the following are a general overview of the ways to sell locally, and the most popular options.
4 – CRAFT SHOWS & MARKETS
Most cities and towns have craft shows and farmers’ markets happening throughout the year. These are a great platform to get one on one time with consumers and to:
- Watch them shop and see what they gravitate towards.
- See what they look like (something you can’t do online); you can get a better feel for your typical customer.
- Ask questions and find out what they like, don’t like, how you could improve, etc.
You also get to meet people within your city, who are more likely to buy from a local jewelry maker (online shoppers care less about where you’re from). Many shop owners also visit craft shows and farmers’ markets to look for brands they can carry in their store.
The cons to selling at craft shows, farmers’ markets, festivals, etc. is that they require a lot more work to prepare for, set up at, sell at for hours, and pack up. Local events will eat into your profits a lot more than selling online will.
5 – BOUTIQUES
If you sell your handmade jewelry at local events, you may meet boutique owners, which is a great way to get your products into their stores (here are some tips to be prepared to gain wholesale orders at craft shows and how to attract them). You can also research local boutiques, choose ones that are a fit for your jewelry, contact the store owner (or buyer for the store) and ask for a meeting, or if you can send them a lookbook (here’s how to create one).
The pro to selling through a boutique is that once you make that connection and fulfill their order, your work is done. They take care of marketing and getting people to the store, and selling your jewelry.
The con to selling your jewelry through a boutique is that you’ll have to sell your products at wholesale prices, which is typically 50% of what you sell your pieces straight to the consumer for. They’ll still sell your products at the same price you charge your customers, but they need that other 50% to cover their costs and make a profit.
You also won’t have control over how your products are displayed and sold in their stores. Retailers will always have an interest in selling the product they purchased from you, but they have hundreds of other products in their store to sell too, so yours won’t be a top priority.
6 – CONSIGNMENT SHOPS/AGREEMENTS
Selling through consignment is similar to selling your jewelry through boutiques. The difference is, boutiques will buy your product upfront and it’s theirs whether it sells or not.
Consignment shops will display your products in their store; if it sells, you make a commission on the sale, if it doesn’t sell by the end of an agreed-upon period, they give the product back to you. This may mean you’re left with outdated, out of season, or shop-worn product that’s harder for you to sell.
The pro to selling on consignment is that it allows you to get your foot in the door. Shop owners are more likely to take a chance carrying your product in their store because all it costs them is display space. They don’t have to spend any money upfront. If your product does well, they may place a wholesale order in the future.
To learn more about the pros and cons of selling wholesale and on consignment, check out: PROS & CONS OF SELLING HANDMADE THROUGH RETAILERS.
7 – HOME SHOPPING PARTIES
You can also organize your own shopping events by setting up a display in your living room, inviting friends and family over, and asking them to invite some of their friends and family. This can be a good way to get some initial revenue flowing. Friends and family are more likely to support you and give you some honest feedback.
It creates a more relaxed atmosphere for people to shop in, keeps costs low for you, and you can create an incentive for them to come by offering wine (or tea/coffee) and snacks. More profits from these types of events mean more money to invest back into your jewelry business to buy more or better supplies, or sign up for local events, or start a website, etc., without that money coming out of your personal account.
*Check out THE SUCCESS PLANNER for an easy-to-follow guide on how to run a business that profits, rather than a hobby on the side.
For more ways to sell your handmade jewelry locally, check out: WHERE TO SELL HANDMADE LOCALLY.
WHERE TO SELL HANDMADE JEWELRY ONLINE FOR FREE
There are a few ways to sell handmade jewelry online for free. The issue with doing so, is you usually get what you pay for and it doesn’t create a great experience for the buyer.
Online shoppers want convenience, and they want the process to be quick and easy. When they must email you to inquire about a piece of jewelry, go back and forth, sign in to their bank or PayPal account to transfer you money, etc. it requires a lot of effort from the buyer and can deter a sale.
However, if you’re just starting out and need to make a few sales so you can set up a website or online store, these are a few free options:
8 – FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
Facebook Marketplace is free to list items, but people will list everything from furniture to houses on Facebook Marketplace. And it’s a bit more of a place consumers visit to find deals, rather than high-quality handmade products. But you may reach a few people through the platform and it is free.
9 – KIJIJI/CRAIGSLIST
These are classified sites that attract all types of sellers, selling all types of items. The purpose is to buy and sell locally, so it may be a good option to get your name out locally when starting out.
10 – SOCIAL MEDIA
You can also use most social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to market your handmade jewelry. They’re free to set up, but again, they don’t create the best buying experience for the consumer.
A better option would be to use an affordable tool like Ecwid, along with your social media account, to sell through a social media platform, but create a better buying experience.
Ecwid is a platform that allows you to create listings and then sync those listings with a Facebook page, Instagram account, website, marketplace, or even accept payments in-person.
Let’s say you have a Facebook Page set up, which you use to market your products but you don’t have a way to sell those products on Facebook.
- Set up an Ecwid account, (choose the Venture or Business plan)
- Add your products to your account
- Go to Ecwid Control Panel → All sales channels → Sell on Facebook and click “Connect Facebook page”
- Select the Facebook page where you want to add your products and click “Save”
Your products are now available for people to shop and buy, right on your Facebook page (or you can sync with your Instagram account too). You’ll see a tab on the left side of your Facebook page titled “Facebook Shop”.
BEST PLACE TO SELL HANDMADE JEWELRY ONLINE
The best place to sell jewelry online is through your own website. It puts you in complete control and allows you to build your brand.
A website is the best place to sell handmade jewelry online, but, it’s also the online option that requires the most work and will take the longest to see results.
So it’s best to start your website now, and begin adding content. Work on it consistently. Don’t just add a few items and wait it out for 6 months to start seeing organic traffic; that won’t work.
Work on your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) by using the *right keywords in product titles and descriptions (*right meaning, the ones your target market is searching on Google), adding articles to your site, getting links back to your website by reaching out to bloggers and asking them to feature your work or offering to write a guest post that links back to your website in the bio, etc.
While you’re consistently working on your website, get an Etsy shop up to make some sales until your website starts to gain steam. Try to capture as many of your Etsy customers as you can by directing them to your website (if possible), to sign up to your newsletter; that gives you a way to stay in touch with them for the potential of future sales. Or, you may include a flyer with each shipment that encourages customers to visit your website (e.g. share a coupon code that’s only valid on your website).
LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE JEWELRY
A jewelry business will have basic business laws to follow, which are outlined in LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE.
You’ll need to set up your business properly, which will vary depending on the type of business you’ll have (e.g. sole proprietor, corporation, etc.), your business name, where you operate your business, where you sell your products, etc. (this is all covered in LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE).
If you’re selling children’s jewelry, teething jewelry for babies, etc. you’ll also have strict regulations to follow to be sure your products are safe.
SELLING HANDMADE JEWELRY FAQ’S
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SELL HANDMADE JEWELRY?
If you’re targeting a younger generation with your jewelry, they’re comfortable shopping online, so online may be the best way to sell.
If your profit margins are low, craft shows and selling through retailers may eat into the margins too much, leaving you with very little, or no profits. So again, online may be the better place to sell your handmade jewelry.
If you want to keep your business local, selling through craft shows and retailers is the way to go.
If you want to work on your business on your terms, it’s best to avoid selling through retailers and focus on craft shows. That will allow you to choose when you sell and keep most business operations during the craft show hours (with prep work leading up to it).
DOES HANDMADE JEWELRY SELL WELL?
Jewelry does sell well because it’s a multi-billion dollar market (source).
However, it’s also a competitive market. Jewelry making is fairly easy to get started in and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on tools or equipment, which is why so many people turn to it when starting a business.
For this reason, you must find a profitable market to target within the jewelry market (e.g. don’t just target women, they’re being served already by almost every jewelry business. Try targeting women who like to garden, or women who are into astrology), create a niche product (e.g. garden-themed jewelry, or astrology-themed jewelry), and find your signature style.
A signature style means your creations have a focus, are cohesive, and all work together. For example, if I were making garden-themed jewelry, I wouldn’t offer different types of metals, beaded jewelry, wire-wrapped jewelry, different stones, colors, styles, etc. I would stick with a few key elements that are present in all your pieces. Perhaps all of my pieces are gold, silver, or rose gold (metal), stamped, and minimalistic. I create a style that becomes associated with my brand. Here’s a step-by-step article to help you find a signature style for your jewelry business.
Any type of jewelry can sell well, but you must be strategic. Gone are the days when you can create something, post it on Etsy and sell it within days.
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Good luck with starting your jewelry business! I hope this article has helped you determine where to sell your handmade jewelry 🙂
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!