How to Get Started Selling Your Jewelry Online

by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Whether you bead for fun, for profit or both, running a shop on an online marketplace has great benefits for any jewelry designer.

One of the biggest advantages of selling your handmade jewelry online is that it can help broaden your audience and introduce you to new customers. It allows you to easily share and sell your jewelry with the entire world, without having to leave your home.

An online shop serves as an easy-to-share creative portfolio and selling jewelry on a reputable online marketplace can eliminate the need to develop a personal website, saving valuable time and money. In addition, some buyers feel more comfortable purchasing from reputable markets such as Etsy or ArtFire than they do from a personal website.

Another benefit is feedback. Communication on the internet has less decorum than personal conversations, so you can count on people to be honest when offering suggestions or complaints. This feedback is the perfect opportunity to critically evaluate and improve your designs. A dedicated artist can't ask for anything better.

For a budding jewelry seller, the cost of selling at a jewelry show which can include the travel expense and booth fees, or the high cost of having a storefront may not be justifiable given the collected worth of your items. If you find yourself afraid of the possible risk of losing money, or you want to maximize your profit, online selling is ideal. It's also good for those who don't want to sell in person or spend hours behind a booth or counter.

To get started, you need to pick an online marketplace, or several. It's quite common for jewelry artists to sell on multiple websites and cross-link between them. Some popular sites among jewelry artists are Etsy, Aftcra, Big Cartel, Craigslist, CrateJoy, Facebook Marketplace, Bonanza, Handmade at Amazon, ArtFire and eBay. Zibbit Marketplace is popular because it allows you to sell on multiple sites and helps you manage everything from one place. Review these sites to gauge the atmosphere, community and competition of each marketplace.

Once you've decided where to sell, make sure you have enough jewelry pieces to offer. You'll always want to keep at least two or three rows of product to view online in your shop. On Etsy, for example, this means always having at least eight items listed.

You should also know the basics of running multiple shops to avoid easy selling mistakes. If you have multiple online storefronts, take note of what pieces you are advertising where and avoid double-advertising one-of-a-kind pieces you can't recreate. Likewise, if you sell at shows, remember to remove online listings for the pieces you sold at the show. This will spare you the embarrassment of having to refuse a sale and possibly receiving negative feedback on your site.

Before you start selling ensure your pricing covers all your costs, such as labor and materials. Here's an Ask the Experts that helps with what to consider when pricing your jewelry to ensure you are making money (or at least covering your costs).

Choose a business name that represents you, your goals and your work. Take some beautiful and professional pictures of your jewelry and write helpful descriptions that include the materials used, sizes and a story behind what makes each design special.

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