The intuitive answer is to market your jewelry on the Internet. The cost of startup is minimal for an online business. You risk far less than if you open a bricks and mortar store. You can operate the business from your home. You can choose your own hours. You can respond to changes in the market in a relatively short time. You can attract customers in every nook and cranny of the world that like your style of jewelry. The reasons go on and on.
You can open your own online handcrafted jewelry store. If you're a do-it-yourself type, then design your own web pages, buy a domain name, get your website hosted, get oscommerce (free open source shopping cart software), write jewelry descriptions, take pictures, launch your website, get a business license, and you're ready to start selling.
If web design isn't your thing, then hire a web designer. This needs cash, but relative to start-up costs if you were opening your own corner artisan jewelry store, the cost is minimal.
If you're less interested in the business end and prefer to focus on the art, go the craft mall circuit. Craft malls like Etsy and Rubylane are easy to use and relatively inexpensive and feature storefronts that are often customizable. They handle the payments, you handle making jewelry, listing your work, and shipping. I had a shop with Rubylane years ago, before I retired my jewelry business, and I loved it. Today, though, I'd probably start with Etsy, which wasn't around at that time.
Or list your jewelry on eBay. That's right, old fashioned eBay. Don't expect to get a lot of money at first, but do expect to get a lot of hits. EBay is great for getting a base of customers who will gladly come to see you in your store when you get it running.
Unconventional routes? Start a blog. Add a shopping cart function, put up a store policy, photos and descriptions, and voila! Instant online store.
Or think big. Form your own artisan jewelry mall. Draw in other handcrafted jewelry makers to sell jewelry in a centralized place.
When considering which route to go, consider the following:
- How much time do you want to devote to the business?
- How much do you know about web design?
- How much do you know about web marketing?
- Are you willing to wait a year or two before your personal online jewelry store attracts enough visitors to start selling in numbers big enough to make your pocketbook happy? The rewards promise to be higher if your jewelry takes off, but lower if you never do attract the Web traffic.
- Do you prefer instant gratification? A centralized location that already attracts shoppers galore? Don 't mind competition right next door? Then become one seller in many and list your jewelry in a store in an artisan craft mall.
For a more extensive list of places to sell jewellery items, read this list I compiled of websites where you can sell handmade jewelry online.
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