For the last few days, the topic of selling jewelry online and more specifically on Etsy.com has been thrown around in a few forums that I am part of. The question is a viable one, since there is a fair amount of investment necessary to be even remotely successful (and success is not guaranteed).
The cash investment is obvious. One needs to accumulate a great deal of components, if they are trying to make money selling jewelry online. The investment that isn't always apparent to anyone who thinks they can just jump right in and sell jewelry are often the most difficult to obtain- salesmanship, advertising and the most important, a following.
Being able to promote your creations successfully, is mostly trial and error...and let me stress the most important word...ERROR. If success is immediate, you ended up in the right place at the right time, or you have created something everyone wants (having your own niche, is great for making sales...but people will copy you when they see your success)
Advertising is not only placing ads, but creating an image that catches people's attention and makes them say, "I want that" as they reach for their credit card. Learning to take pictures and capture your creations is another work in progress. Promoting your creations via social networking is also something that takes time and often a financial investment to realize some success.
A following is not something you begin with. Your Mom, sisters and friends and other family members do not count as a following. Yes, sales to family and friends are nice, but you better have a large family and many, many friends if you plan on recouping your investment. Craft fairs are a great way to begin building a local following. Having an online presence, gives your local customers a chance to purchase from you 365/24/7 (and a chance at possibly selling your creations at a few brick and mortar establishments...but, I digress) Having an online store also opens up the opportunity for a new seller to make sales anywhere in the world.
Creating a niche within the jewelry category is always a good thing, but you sometimes tend to eliminate a good portion of potential customers depending upon your niche. The last number I heard on Etsy, was over 7 million pieces of jewelry was listed for sale. Seven Million. A niche will often separate you from the glut of jewelry, but one will have to work hard (even with a niche) to not get buried within the jewelry category.
So if you are new and looking to turn a hobby into a stream of income, welcome! You are getting involved at the height of the buying season. Just be ready to compete with a couple hundred thousand jewelry makers for the holiday bucks!!
And if you see anything you like....these are going into my Etsy shop over the next day or two.
PS- watch for a special Etsy sale code...available only to my blog followers...it should be available before Thanksgiving and run at least through Cyber-Monday
'til next time...