by Purely Paige.
(Washington State, USA)
I am actually a jewelry designer selling online myself and was recently given some really great advice.
I was wondering why I was having trouble selling online (at Etsy) and I was told that it is probably because I need to provide more clear pictures per item, and I need to include much more detailed descriptions.
When people are shopping online they need to know exactly how big a piece is and all that is included (the chain is included with a pendant etc.).
I am working on making these changes right now!
Selling Jewelry on Etsy
My experience with Etsy was about the same. I think your website is wonderful and your jewelry is beautiful and unique. My suggestion would be to try other on-line venues, such as Ruby Lane (where I think you would do well!) as well as DaWanda (a German-owned website that is similar to Etsy, is cheaper than Etsy, has better features, but is newer to the handmade market), as well as Yessy Art Gallery. I sold my pieces on Yessy right away, but am no longer on there. I am trying my luck at DaWanda as I much prefer it to Etsy. My advice would be not to stick with something that is more effort than its worth. There are plenty of other venues that would be well-suited to your talents. Good luck!
Your jewely is very beautiful, nice and clean, It looks simple yet very elegant. You have done a wonderful job. Do you also sell on your own website?
Once again lovely jewelry, God bless!!!!
Your website is lovely. Your designs are very feminine and graceful. One piece of advice would be on your cards with the description of the components, you should say “Hand forged” instead of Hand pounded. Much more professional. Great consistency throughout site.
I am so grateful to have stumbled upon your article, and consequent website and blog! Your tips are extremely insightful, and your forthcoming posts are really comforting; particularly in light of the overwhelming feeling I get when researching for my own business!
I look at your site, and am instantly brought back down to earth, where I remember why I wanted to start my own e-commerce site in the first place…the love of designing and creating, utilizing different methods and mediums.
I appreciate your camaraderie, and I hope to see more of your delightful creations in the future!
by: Linda G.
Thanks for sharing, Paige. Your jewelry is so beautiful and unique.
I am just starting out. Still not coming up on the search engines. I checked out Etsy but just feel there is so much stuff there… and it is so underpriced! Handcrafted can’t be undercut the way most of it is being undersold on Etsy.
I will check out Ruby Lane and some of the other sites you mentioned.
Check out my site: www.linnygirldesigns.com Would love to get thoughts and comments.
by: Dita Basu
Paige, Your work is beautiful and I love your card too. I hope you all the success. Are you trying the other sites?
by: Leah C.
I just wanted to comment on Linny G.’s comments regarding Etsy. I too agree that the prices are shockingly low. There was one jewelry artist that was selling a piece for $90, even though she had admitted that she had spent over 5 hours constructing the piece. At the going rate of $20.00 an hour, that does not even cover her labor costs, let alone the cost of supplies, marketing, time spent taking pictures, profit margin, etc.
My concern is that these artists are not only operating in the red so that they will ultimately go out of business, they are undermining the entire handcrafted jewelry industry by selling below cost. Consumers will believe that these are the real “fair market value prices”, when in fact these jewelers do not understand a basic model of operating a business for a profit.
Thank you for bringing to light the fact that jewelers must use smart and educated decisions in how they run their businesses, whether online or selling locally.
I love all the feedback!
by: Purely Paige
Thank you so much for all the lovely comments, and especially for the compliments!
I did sign up for yessy and almost signed up for Dawanda but decided to focus my attention more on marketing for
my own website www.purelypaige.com, although the website is not complete I do have some items up on it that
can be purchased right away and have been receiving emails to purchase pieces from pictures I have up
on my facebook: www.facebook.com/purelypaige , myspace: http://www.myspace.com/purelypaige, twitter: http://twitter.com/purelypaige & blog www.purelypaigejewelry.blogspot.com
Lucky for me I have a wonderful fiance to help me with building my own website. But not everyone is so
lucky or has the cash to fork out to have someone design a website for them. If you do, I definantly think
that is the way to go. I have been 100 times more successful promoting my own site and being in shows, than selling
If you can spend a little, you can try getting a premade template website, I saw some cute ones here http://designanddetail.com/ it is definantly cheaper
to do this than have a site custom made for you. But if you can get the money for a custom site, I think it is worth it!
If you just don’t have money for your own site at all.
Here are some other free sites similar to etsy to try:
These sites are smaller and may appeal to a different kind of customer than Etsy, and that may work to benefit you. Good luck everyone!
Leah, I definantly agree with you. I often struggle with pricing my pieces. So many jewelry designers sell themselves short, either because
they think they need to compete with commercial jewelry prices, or have not yet sold enough to understand how valuable their time spent creating a piece is!
I myself used to charge much less because I didn’t take into account my time spent because I enjoyed it so much! But then people started telling me that
my work was worth more, and I realized that I wasn’t making any money. So I raised my prices a little. I think I have now found a happy medium in the way
I price. Not too pricey for the average person to afford, nor am I losing profit.
Another place to find website templates!
by: Purely Paige
I ran across another site that makes cute website templates and I thought I would share!
Another site to try selling on!
by: Purely Paige
I found another site to try selling on:
I suggest trying as many sites as you can until you find one that your jewelry is successful on! Each site caters to a different kind of customer base, so don’t give up after trying only one site! There is still hope!
Take care and good luck!
Such a helpfull info you have here
Thank you. All of you gave me such a information. I am ready to explore it on my website. It is not easy sometimes when you have to take care for every single detail by yourself. Sometimes I feel like Don Quixote fighting with the wind mills…
Check my website, please. Give me your comments and advices. I would appreciate it very much.
I’ve started to contemplate going on Etsy and making my own website. A little difficult while still having kids at home, but the comments and advice I found here today really gives me hope. Thanks for all the sites and ideas.
So happy to help!
I am so glad to have given you some hope! That makes my day! Selling online does take alot of time though. I have a baby at home as well. The only way that I have managed to keep my website updated and also keep creating new jewelry pieces is by creating a very specific schedule listing out what needs to be accomplished in a certain time-frame.
Best of luck to you!
Paige, your designs are beautiful and so unique! What has kept me from selling on line is my pictures. What advice can you offer me on getting clear pictures? Thank you for any suggestions.
Make It Pop Out At Me
You do lovely work. But I don’t think you are getting enough room on the page to show how beautiful it really is. There are too many distractions. I like to open a page of jewelry and have the designs pop out at me so that I can see what you have to offer. Secondary is the descriptions. You need to show your stuff!
In response to the last 2 comments!
Of course I agree with the last comment! I guess that seemed obvious to me because I have read that all over the internet, & I have just always known that because of personal experience. I will not click on anything to buy unless it has an appealing picture to draw me in, & if it isn’t a good picture, I will never click on it to be able to read the description. So thank you for sharing that point!
as for the comment above the last one…I am not a photography pro & do dream of someday being able to hire a pro to take photos of my work.
If you have money, I would definantly say hiring a pro is worth it. But if it’s not in your budget, what I have found, is that jewelry pictures are best taken in natural light. Or in a lightbox which can be a little pricey to purchase, but you can find instructions on how to make a lightbox here http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent. A camera flash just doesn’t work for taking jewelry pictures.
Also, it is important to take the pictures on a very simple undistracting backround. The focus should be your jewelry.
Use the macro setting on your camera if you have one (used for close-up pictures).
Use your camera’s pixelated zoom. Not just your regular zoom.
Also it is best to take as many angles as possible. Get a picture with someone wearing the piece, (this can be a mannequin or bust). Take a picture from the side to show the width. A picture close-up with the detail, & one further away for the whole piece. Photographing your jewelry is very time-consuming. I still have not been able to accomplish all that I would like to with my website because I do not have the capability to get descriptions and multiple views uploaded on it yet. But I am still able to sell off of my site because the 1 picture of each piece I do have, I try to make a good one! And because most my online customers are people who have already seen my jewelry in a boutique, or at a show in person, & therefore have seen the quality. Or feel comfortable to email me for additional info.
Someday, hopefully in the near future. I will get all that I want onto my website! Good Luck to everyone! I hope my advice is somewhat useful!
New on Etsy
by: Alea and Brenda
Thanks so much for your suggestions. My daughter and I just started on Etsy and have had a couple of items purchased, but not as much traffic as we’d like. We think our photos and descriptions are pretty good. We will definitely try selling on the other sites suggested. Please let us know what you think of our items so far.
Alea and Brenda
GREAT info! Thanks
WOW! learning a lot reading all the postings. i just started posting jewelry on my Etsy site last month. i think clear photos are key. i had to re-photograph several peices of jewelry on a plain background. i’ve been using Picasa to edit my photos & it does help if youre not an expert photographer. one area i need to focus on IS the descriptions. thanks for pointing out its importance. take a look at my jewelry site(s): www.SakomoCollections.Etsy.com & www.Sakomo.com
I really like the idea, this helps to lessen the questions on whether the item might be satisfactory.
doing it on a shoestring buget
I only found this site a couple of days ago it has been so useful already. I love your jewellery Paige it is very feminine. I am very new and I am learning as I go. I tried selling on etsy I to had little success, and, felt very bewildered about the pricing on here which made me actually set my prices lower than I really wanted to. Also friends and family encouraged this as they felt people would not buy it if priced to high and that you never get paid for my time. Since reading information on this site I am re-evaluating this and it has encouraged me and given me the confidence to believe that I am worth it!! and so I have decided to price for the time each piece takes hours if not days often to create!!! There are many e commerce sites that are free and I set mine up with weebly.com The hardest part was the shopping cart as many like paypal do not allow sellers from the UK to set international shipping however I found a free cart as well so I have managed to keep that side of my costing to the bare minimum. There are also many tips on how to build light boxes from things you have lying around. I made mine from blank white canvas boards and spot lamps, but, really need to invest in a decent camera. I have gotten so much from reading this site and will actually re-design my website using some of the knowledge that has been passed on. I can re-design as my business grows to bring a more professional look and feel. Your website has a really wonderful feel to it, it’s clean and fresh. I also designed my own business card logo using paint net. So far I have only paid for these to be printed and my domain name and I am pleased so far with the results and it has certainly improved my IT skills!!!! Also it’s good to have a few outlets as your name will be attached to several sites in searches.x. Katrina at graceofgaia.com The information on this site is amazing and I am so excited hope I haven’t gone on to much I just wanted to share that it is possible to start something from nothing and hopefully the selling guidance will help me get things moving in the right direction. Best of luck with you site Paige.
Katrina, I’m so glad you’ve found us here! And thrilled that you’re finding so much help from all the great tips and strategies everyone shares here.
Please keep us posted on your progress – I love how motivated and positive you are!
Woow the advise I’ve been looking for
I just stumbled upon this site and came across this last comment… what a relief let me tell you! I’ve been up since 5am this morning working on my shop trying endlessly to make it work…
I spend more time on my computer trying to promote, promote, promote my shop, using every piece of advise shared by others on Etsy than I do creating and nothing seems to work, nothing!
Etsy just does NOT work for me at all, but didn’t know what else to do. I’ve been investing way too much time, effort and money in the past 6 months just to make few miserable sales… I’m growing frustrated by the minute but not willing to quit quit yet though did consider to be honest(which will kill my spirit) and now you gave me some hope.
Allow me to say thank you, your comment was sent to me just at the right time. I will try every piece of advise you gave (and you gave many options) at least I’ll feel as if I’m not wasting my time.
I would love to share this info with all my other desperate friends on Etsy but not sure if it’s the right thing to do. We’ll see.
Thanks again for giving me hope!!!
Just was given a great tip thru you Rena in my emails. I am so pleased you sent this to me. I live in cinci and have done the holiday shows and home and garden shows the past 2 years and have done well. My dilemma is, I have had a website since last year, have had alot of people visits but no buyers. I want to thank you for the other website suggestions to sell my jewelry which I will definitely take a look at, but wondered if you and anyone else reading this could also take a look at my website and please give me feedback. I would appreciate anything I receive. I know I must be doing something wrong, cause i’m also on facebook and have received many likes but need help changing whats stopping my sales on my website. Thank you in advance for any comments that you feel could help me. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Good luck to everyone and have a great labor day weekend…..Lori
Hi Lori – has your jewelry been selling offline (shows, parties, trunk shows, etc.)?
I didn’t have time to spend a lot of time on your site, but here are a couple of things I noticed –
1) There’s a lovely photo on your home page – but if someone wanted the jewelry shown, they can’t click to see more / purchase it. Also you may want to experiment with showing a selection of your most popular jewelry items on the home page for people to see when they first arrive, without having to scroll or hunt for them.
2) This may be the biggest issue: It’s possible that for some people your jewelry pages load too slowly for them to wait to see them. On the pages I visited, your thumbnail photos are the super-large ~900x600px photos scaled to ~300x200px size. This means that, for example, on your bridal page there are 17 jewelry photos, each anywhere from 400kb to 700kb. That makes the page – especially the photos – load slowly, and some people might not wait for the photos to come in before they leave the page. Instead, you’d probably do better to make your thumbnails a second version of the big photo, actually in the ~300x100px (or whatever) small size, with each thumbnail on the page being 30kb or less. Then those small photos could be clickable to the nice big size without slowing down your page-load time so much.
3) I couldn’t click to enlarge your charm bracelets – I went to take a closer look at the charms but couldn’t make them big enough to see closely.
4) Consider featuring seasonal items on your home page – for example, things like your Halloween charm bracelet between now and the end of October; and a selection of giftable items for occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, etc. Be sure to add text suggesting that the seasonal items you show are perfect gifts for the occasion.
5) Major online jewelry retailers have put millions of dollars into researching and implementing what makes their jewelry sell online. Do google / bing searches for jewelry, bridal jewelry, and other phrases that describe your pieces – and study the websites that show up on the first 3 pages of the search results. How is the jewelry shown, the site information organized, etc.?
6) Sundance sells a lot of artisan jewelry online. Do a search for Sundance jewelry and study their website. Of course you won’t be copying it, but use it as part of your research.
7) Do you have a newsletter or other way of summoning people back to your website when you have new stuff? Very important to have a way you can control to bring people back. Don’t let customers evaporate after they purchase. Cultivate them into repeat clients.
8) Ask people what they need that you can supply for them. Then provide it, and let them know (via your newsletter, social media, etc.) that you’re offering it.
I hope this helps, Lori! Your work is nice – let’s see if we can get your online sales up!
I really enjoy reading different articles from this site! It has been really helpful in the starting of my own jewelry business. I am recently in the process of starting an Etsy site. I already have an Artfire site & it’s almost been a year & I haven’t made any sales on their, so I thought I would try Etsy. I have a facebook fan page & a twitter page,so I am advertising in that respect. Thank you for the other sites to sell on. I will check them out… I would really love some feedback on my store, thank you. http://www.jks_creations.artfire.com