5 Ways to Boost Your Beaded Jewelry Sales

by Dr. David A. Weiman

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®' online Ask the Experts brings you tips and information from jewelry-industry professionals. Question and answers on bead and jewelry-making are posted daily, so be sure to check out this valuable online resource.

''How do I sell more of my handcrafted jewelry?'' is a frequently asked question at Ask the Experts. We posed this to David Weiman, Ask the Experts' jewelry marketing and sales contributor, to see what he has to share. Here are five tips to boost your bead sales.

1. Create marketing materials that relate your jewelry to fun!

5 Ways to Boost Your Beaded Jewelry Sales In your advertising and marketing materials, relate your beaded jewelry to activities like barbecues, holidays or birthdays. You can create a special line of jewelry with natural themes (the beautiful pale colors of beach or sea glass, or natural materials like wood or stone beads) and use natural materials in your displays if you sell your jewelry at shows, parties or events (like driftwood, tree branches spray painted to match the theme or pine cones).

2. Promote home jewelry parties!

Home parties are a great way to connect directly with buyers in a friendly and relaxed environment. The warm-weather months open new possibilities for outdoor parties and related themes and the colder months are a great way to shake off cabin fever and for exploring related themes like Harvest Festival or Mardi Gras. You can promote whatever idea you develop to your current client list, or encourage them to plan a fun party or include you in an event already on the calendar.

Party hosts typically get to select an item of yours as a gift for hosting the party, and they also can receive a percentage of sales. Offer an additional bonus if any of the guests at the target home party sign up to be hosts of their own event. You can ''kick it up a notch'' by teaching everyone at the party how to make their own simple beaded bracelet. Many beaders are excellent teachers, and party-goers have something to remember you by long after the event!
5 Ways to Boost Your Beaded Jewelry Sales

3. Offer customers the chance to "finish" a piece!

Clients love when a piece of jewelry has something in it they personally selected. And bead jewelry makers are in a great position to make that happen at live sales events, such as shows, fairs and home parties. In addition to your regular line, bring a set of bracelets or necklaces that need one or two beads to finish them, along with a sorted (and assorted) display of beads. For this line only, buyers can ''customize'' the piece by selecting the bead or beads they'd like you to include in the finished piece. Add the final piece at the booth, and you've got a solid connection with a new customer who will show everyone the piece she ''helped'' create!

4. Take custom orders.

Beads bring out the excitement in prospective buyers! They respond to color, and sometimes would buy a piece if it had different color beads than in the piece on display. Let prospective customers know you are willing to create a custom piece for them using different color and/or different sized beads than in the displayed piece. Make sure you are clear about payment arrangements for custom orders. Best to handle this in person (although on the web is fine, too) where you can discuss options and select beads right on the spot!

5. Offer repair services.

Even well-made beaded jewelry can break if mishandled. If you have a high level of skill, and current clients trust you, offer to repair (for a fee, of course!) any broken beaded jewelry they own! You can promote this before a show, market this service to your own mailing list and make sure new customers know you offer repairs, as well. How does this help you sell more of your beaded jewelry? Because repairing what someone already owns lets you see what kind of beaded jewelry they like. You can use this information to make better recommendations to them on what they can buy from you, and every contact with a customer about repairs gives you a chance to show them what new items you have!

Use these 5 tips to boost your beaded jewelry sales in summer and fall, and throughout the year!

Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry (all available through Fire Mountain Gems and Beads). A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.MarketingJewelry.com

Design with fun shapes and materials...

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