View Full Version : Help - How to market my jewellery...

25-06-2009, 03:27 PM
Can anyone help me?

I've been making my own jewellery using silver plated findings and wire etc for some time now. I use this type of silver as its a cheaper practice alloy, simply as that.
However I would now like to start selling my pieces more mainstream as I feel I'm now good enough using sterling silver wire and findings etc, but not sure how much more I could change per item? I'm a goos designer and makiner, but I lack knowledge in these areas suchas pricing and in particular marketing. Do buyers prefer cheaper silver plated stuff or the higher quality of sterling silver??? Should I invest in a website or stick to fairs???
I personally would prefer my own jewellery in sterling silver, but guess it depends on my market, which perhaps I need to really identify.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'm interested in hearing from anybody, after all if we're not jewellers then we are consumers!

05-07-2009, 10:33 PM
Hi Dawny!
In my experience if people are investing in a piece of lovely jewellery they wont mind spending that bit extra, so worth using sterling, I wouldnt worry about upping your price either...your upping your quality so it all ties in, you earn it ;) including your cost of materials, hours spend (charge an hourly rate), uniqueness of your designs, overheads and anything else say time spend beach combing if you use found objects (like me!)

Fairs and shows are essentail to get out there show your face and meet your customers but an online presence is pretty important too. I have just set up my own site...(not sure about links rules on here yet, so i shall avoid for now) with a fab online host, very reasonably priced and all completely ujnder your control to design..extremely simple to use too.

I hope all of this helps.
Best wishes


05-07-2009, 11:31 PM
Hi Dawny!

In my experience when people are investing in a new piece of jewellery they dont mind spending the extra to have sterling. when it comes to pricing make sure you dont cut yourself short. include material costs, hourly rate, uniqueness of design, overheads, and any other costs you have put into you work. There are some great oneline shops that dont take commission on sales and have pretty good marketing, so you can let them do the work to start with and pick it up from them.
Selling at shows for me is a definate must, perfect marketing, meeting potential customers, handing out cards left right and centre and chatting to anyone who will listen about your work :p But also having an online presence is a must, i have just set up my own website (actually all by myself...!! I found a pretty nifty site which is cheap and there tools are so easy to use, i had the site up a running in a week! im not sure about rules on posting links on here yet, so i shall refrain for now) But yes website, worth it for sure.

I hope this helps and doesnt just seem like a rambling mess?
i replyed once already and then it vanished so have retyped!
..plus its now past my bed time.

Good luck.
best wishes

Hannah x

07-07-2009, 07:17 PM
Hi errm,

the reason there are two which are practically the same is that i thought the first didnt actually send, so retyped it ... as mentioned above, just thought id apologise icase everyone thought i was just a little odd ;)

07-07-2009, 07:54 PM

I think there's no point trying to compete with cheap plated items from China or wherever. You'll never sell cheaply enough to make any money.

If you are designing a piece yourself, your customer is getting a unique piece, they appreciate the hand-crafted aspect so I'd have thought they'd pay for it to be Sterling - I know I would!

09-07-2009, 11:58 PM
Sterling always over plated. People prefer quality. Even though most consumers do know that silver is cheap, they also know that if something is handmade by a particular person they are willing to spend more on it. It has more value (percieved) and it is more unique. That's where it comes to finding the right type of customers who are willing to pay for quality pieces.

There is tonnes to be said for percieved value - if you are outputting really good stuff, then people will talk about it, and there is nothing better than word of mouth. But in this day and age I think it is imperative to have a website as well. They are not difficult to do and as a couple of people have mentioned you can set them up fairly easily, and at low cost. I'd also practice on photography - you are selling a lifestyle, part of a dream, something that inspires the customer. So many websites have rubbish photos that let everything down - you can have a great name, image and logo or even typeface, but if the photos don't do their job, you will find it more difficult.

I'd also suggest rather than just looking at the cost + profit model as described above, that you take a look at other similar jewellery (if there is such a thing), or the closest thing. Find out how much they are selling for and compare that to the cost+profit model. You may find you are seriously undercutting yourself for no reason otherwise. I know there is a local jewller to me and they sell into a couple of other places that are not jewellery specific, and I see their rings and think 'what a rip off', but then they have higher overheads than i would have, and they know they can sell it at those prices due to the area, and type of people in the area.

In my area there are lots of shops for yummy mummies with nothing better to do than shop, there is an M&S food, and lots of cafe's (and I don't mean starbucks), bars and other trendy things - overall it gives you a great indication of what people in the area can afford to pay. Many companies work in this way - and it works in the opposite sense too. Also, note when I say compare prices I don't mean with stuff that is morecast/mass produced in china etc. I mean with other makers - get on google and do some research.

I'll stop now, I'm in marketing, and could probably waffle on for a while longer, but am not sure if more is helpful or not, and think I may have digressed a little!

10-07-2009, 01:11 AM
I wouldn't use silver plated personally, ever, but I guess it depends on your target market.

Regarding fairs, in my previous life (as I call it, when I was married ;) ) I was Self Employed for a while and started to book up a few fairs. Between my experience and information from others it seems that events like county fairs, car shows etc are much more lucrative than Saturday town hall type fairs. I think you need to chose fairs very carefully, to make sure that your products fit in well, and not least because you'll most likely have a large number of jewellery competitors there!

I also would like to add a point about websites and I think that I have probably said the same in another post somewhere. They can be a brilliant tool for getting your name and work out there but to do it right is NOT easy! Sure, anyone can knock up some kind of site, but that doesn't mean it will look professional or reflect well on what it is there to promote and sell. It takes a lot more to build a well designed, well coded, cross browser, standards compliant web site, and that's before you have even got to the point of trying to get traffic to it. You then have Search Engine Optimisation, advertising and the like to think of. If someone really wanted to build their own site I wouldn't say don't do it but I would say do your research, learn and start simple!

10-07-2009, 06:18 AM
I agree with all your points re the website (and also probably the fairs - think about the type of fairs/exhibitions people are likely to be carrying cash/willing to part with their cash - TV's Apprentice can be a great place to learn from others mistakes on this stuff!), but I would also say that you do not necessarily have to go the whole hog of Search Engine Optimisation and Advertising.

In my last company we designed the website so that yes it could be picked up by the search engines etc but it's main thing was to look great when a potential client was directed there. The aim once they were there was for it to back up the story we had sold them on before they got there. They could find out everything we said was true...Of course it make sense to future proof your site so to be ready for SEO/ads when you want to start using it, but you do not have to use it at the beginning.

Also another tip would be to get some good quality business cards made up - there's nothing worse than picking up a flimsy business card - remember many of your buyers will want to feel that your work is quality - everything else around your jewellery has to be quality too - including business cards - they have to feel right as well as look right - heavier weight papers may be that bit more expensive, but then you are trying to sell something more expensive - think about the whole package!

10-07-2009, 05:38 PM
I always use sterling silver, if anyone wants plated they can just go to any dept stores etc. Just think your designs are well worth sterling:p

02-08-2009, 03:31 AM
Hey Dwany. I say go sterling silver all the way or go home! If you are making top quality pieces then use top quality materials.

As far as art fairs vs a website, why not do both? There are a lot of great low cost website templates out there that you can use to customize for your own site.

With regard to marketing, I'd recommend nice quality business cards, blogging and creating a profile on social networking sites such as facebook and twitter.

Best of luck!

02-08-2009, 07:42 AM
I'd say always aim for the best you can do. Keep aiming higher. If your work is unique, people will always seek you out.

I'd agree about websites. I decided long ago that I'd never be happy with anything I'd done myself, so I had my site designed and the photography done for me. It may be expensive but if you want to project a professional image, it's well worth it.

Once you get to a standard you're happy with, book a few higher end craft events and hand out those beautifully designed cards and before you know it people will be collecting your work.