Selling Handmade Jewelry
When your studio starts to look like a dragon’s treasure stash, it’s time to start selling handmade jewelry! Why not? You’ve been making jewelry for some time now, and all your friends and family have hinted they have all the jewelry they need for now. You’re so addicted to the relaxation and enjoyment of creating lovely pieces of jewelry that there is no way you can, or want to, stop. It’s really time to make your hobby pay for itself and earn some cash for yourself, too!
Assigning prices to your jewelry can be fun once you know the basics of how to do it. Use these three steps as you guideline.
- Add the costs of the materials and tools for the pieces you want to sell.
- Pay yourself for your time and labor. Your hourly rate need not be extravagant. To start, $10 an hour, although it may seem low, is a good place to start. You can give yourself a raise once your business is off the ground.
- Since you work from your home, your overhead expenses may not be much, but don’t ignore them. Overhead expenses include a business phone line, costs of utilities rental fees for booths at crafting fairs and shows, and web site rental and maintenance fees if you decide to have a web site or open an e-Bay shop. The best way to estimate these costs is to allow one quarter of the sum of your other costs.
From hereon, keep records of all of the above expenses, plus any extra costs, such as shipping costs on orders for supplies, office equipment and business-related software . Keep all invoices and receipts, and be sure to record your time and wage for each jewelry item.
If you’re thinking of starting your jewelry business by opening a shop outside your home, you may want to reconsider. It takes a great deal of hard work and time—not to mention money from your own pocket—before you will see any monetary rewards. Why not start small, first? You can make your community aware of your jewelry business, and quite likely build a solid customer base before you even open your shop doors! Here are a few inexpensive, but profitable venues to try.
Home Jewelry Parties: Selling handmade jewelry though home parties is one of the least expensive, fun and profitable bases from which to start your home-based jewelry business. You can host the party yourself or have someone you know host it for you. Invite several people, serve refreshments and show off your jewelry to your guests. Let the guests try on the jewelry, and provide mirrors large enough to allow them to see how well a necklace fits. Have a receipt book and plenty of cash change on hand, because you’re sure to sell some of your beautiful jewelry items!
Fairs and Festivals are great places for novices in the business of making and selling handmade jewelry to learn the ropes. With vast exposure to customers and other artisans, you’re sure to pick up a few tips for making your business a success. Customers may so impressed by your lovely work that they ask for custom-made jewelry, or contact information to share with family and friends. Other jewelry crafters are good sources of business contacts, such as the best supplies wholesalers, setting up an attractive web site, and for learning new design ideas and the most popular current trends in jewelry and other accessories. The overhead is low and the profits are usually quite satisfying, if not downright lucrative!
Online Jewelry Shops are relatively low-overhead/high exposure venues for selling handmade jewelry without leaving your home. You can join an online shops network that specializes in jewelry and accessories, or build your own web site shop. Online auctions are immensely popular, and generate tremendous exposure! E-Bay shops are one of the most cost-effective ways of displaying your jewelry, especially since e-Bay has such a vast customer base.
Home jewelry parties, virtual shops and auctions and crafts fairs are the best ways to build your home-based jewelry business. You can try concentrating on just one, or combine two or all three venues for maximum profit. Once you learn different ways to selling handmade jewelry, you may still want to open a brick and mortar shop or boutique, but then again, you may be so hooked on the fun, excitement and excellent profits you can earn by using the above methods that you may never consider having a “real” shop again!
Learn how to setup your own business selling jewelry using Bead Manager Pro at www.beading-software.com.
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