Sell Your Jewelry
In Gift Shops
Selling your jewelry in gift shops will help to increase your sales substantially.
Scout out the different stores that you would like to have sell your work, act like a customer. Browse through each one comparing the quality of your work to that in the shop. Make mental notes on why your products would sell well in their stores, you can also use these notes to mention during your sales presentation.
Before you approach a clothing boutique also check them out first. What styles and colors are they selling this season? Make some samples of your jewelry that would match great with the clothes the shop is selling. A shop owner will most likely want jewelry and accessories that match their current inventory.
Remember that the gift shop and clothing boutique aren't the only places to sell your handmade jewelry, be creative and find unusual shops to sell to, such as:
- florists and garden shops (jewelry with flower beads or a garden theme)
- salons or spas (style of jewelry depends on the clientele)
- pet stores (pet jewelry or people jewelry with pet charms)
- home decor shops (jewelry for the home such as beaded candle holders, curtain tie backs, napkin rings, drawer pulls, sun catchers, lamps, garden stakes, window chimes, etc.)
- new age stores (chakra or healing jewelry)
- bridal shops (wedding and prom jewelry)
- religious stores (spiritual jewelry or jewelry for 1st communion, baptismal, christening, rosaries, prayer beads etc.)
- marine shops (jewelry with a nautical theme)
- or even a biker shop (biker chic jewelry).
Browse through different specialty stores and let your imagination grow in how you can incorporate different themes into your jewelry designs.
As you are scanning out the stores, ask the person running it how long the shop has been in business. On your way out pick up a business card, or try to find out the name of the owner or buyer.
Try to never just drop in without an appointment and expect the owner to drop everything to look at your merchandise. Shop owners and managers are very busy people; popping in unannounced will lesson your chances of being interviewed in a calm, unhurried atmosphere — that's if they'll even see you at all. Your chances of success are much higher if you approach them when they are free to listen to you. It really pays to be professional in your business dealings, therefore, ALWAYS make an appointment.
Drop into the shop wearing examples of your jewelry of course, ask to speak with the owner or manager, then express your interest in making a sales presentation. If the shop owner has time they may wish to see your presentation right away. So be prepared! But if they are busy you may need to make an appointment.
If you decide to make your first contact with the store via phone get yourself organized, you've got to get enough solid information across in a minute or so in order to get the owner's interest for an interview. An unexpected phone call can be just another interruption in the owner's busy day so it is important to make your conversation brief yet your items must sound interesting enough to give you an appointment.
The buyer is going to want to know who you are and what it is that you do and of course about of the products you want to show. Once you have defined your skill area and described the product line you would like to show them, request for an appointment at the buyer's convenience. If an appointment is made over the phone and is not in the immediate future, remember to send a letter or email confirming the agreed upon interview at the given date and time.
It is a good idea to write a letter first, introducing yourself and giving them an idea of what it is that you are selling, this way you have the time to carefully plan what you want to tell them. Include in your letter a resume or a brief bio about yourself: education, exhibits, awards, etc. Describe your work and an indication of the price you would like to get for it, also include a few professional-quality photos. If you have a small catalogue or brochure enclose that as well. If you don't hear back from them in a reasonable amount of time, follow-up with a phone call, asking if they received your package and when they would like to arrange for an appointment.
The Sales Presentation
After you have the appointment set up spend a little time getting your line ready for an easy presentation. Make a brief list of what you feel are the selling points of everything you plan to show the buyer.
Each sample should have an attached label or tag indicating its wholesale price, different colors or sizes, any special care factors or finishes that are important, what your minimum or maximum order quantity is for that item, and any other important selling information. Having this complete data on each design written out and attached to your samples ensures that you won't forget or skip over any important information. This will also make it easier for the buyer if they want to look more closely again at your jewelry line after your presentation or wants to show it to somebody else in the store.
Now that you have everything tagged and ready to go you have to decide what you are going to carry it all in. Whether it's an attaché case, large basket with a handle, a professionally made display container, or simply even a cardboard box makes no difference as long as it works easily for you and appears to be neat and clean. Your carrying case must work for you in a way that you can easily and rapidly take the products out, place them in front of the buyer, and then get them back into the case in a short amount of time. If your items are fragile ensure that they are properly wrapped and packed so that they won't get broken or damaged on your way to the shop — it's hard to convince the buyer to want your product if its damaged in any way. Handle your items carefully so that the buyer will see that you have respect for your work.
If you want to make a sale you must make a good impression on the store owner or buyer. Be prompt — not early, not late. Greet the owner or buyer by name, introduce yourself and add that you have an appointment. Be friendly, relaxed and confident about your work. Your job now is to convince the buyer that you have a unique and quality product and that your items will fit into the shop well.
As well as describing special production techniques or any other interesting selling points, state all available options, such as different colors, textures, finishes, sizes, etc. Describe how your pieces will fit well with the theme of the shop. Also suggest alternate uses—functions other than the obvious—for your products. Listen attentively to what the buyer has to say about your product and be prepared to answer any questions.
Also have with you a portfolio with photographs, slides, samples, newspaper clippings, exhibits, awards, and anything else which makes you look professional and credible. And of course, a wholesale price list.
If you have done your homework properly your presentation should be short, simple and effective. Usually the whole thing lasts only a few minutes—just enough to let the buyer get a quick look at what you've made and why he or she should carry your products.
Listen to the buyer's questions and concerns carefully, and wait to offer advice, only if and when asked. The buyer or shop owner will know what type, sizes and colour will work best in their shop, you should therefore, always respect the buyer's decisions. Don't be pushy and never tell them what you think they should buy.
If a buyer makes an order now and everything sells quickly, he or she may want to contact you to place another order. On the other hand, the buyer may not want to place any orders right now as he or she may have too much stock on hand already, or you may have come at the wrong time of the year (remember
--shops buy seasonal items months in advance), but they may want to place an order in the future.
Be sure to leave behind a business card and a brochure about yourself and your work. People want to know who made the work they are buying and how it was made. Also leave behind a printed price list with a brief description of each item, including size, color, and the wholesale price.
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