© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved.
A jewelry home party can be one of the most profitable ways to sell your jewelry.
You won’t be competing against other jewelers and vendors for your customers’ attention and dollars.
Instead, you’ll have a very targeted group of buyers who love to encourage each other to shop – and at jewelry home parties, they have no one but you to buy from!
Home Jewelry Party
Of all the ways you can sell your jewelry, parties generally require the shortest time investment with the largest financial return.
In just three hours at a jewelry home party, you can make hundreds of dollars in sales – or more.
And you don’t have to pay any booth fees or commission – just give your hostess some free jewelry and discounts that are based on the financial success of the party.
Jewelry home party guests will feel relaxed and comfortable buying from you, because your presence in the hostess’ home implies that you do wonderful work and that they can trust you. Trust is the most important factor in making sales and developing repeat customers.
Customers enjoy shopping in a relaxed, personalized environment, away from busy shopping malls. Relaxed, happy customers are wonderful for your business, and they love to buy from you again. They also love to meet the artist who created the jewelry they’re buying.
It’s not hard to schedule a jewelry home party every week while holding down your “real” day job (if you have one). Each party takes only a couple hours of preparation and a few hours at the party, so it’s not a major time commitment. You’ll get to choose the party dates and times that work for you, and I’ll show you how you can encourage more party bookings to keep your schedule as full as you like.
What Kind of
Jewelry Home Party is Best?
Jewelry home parties in an open house format within a 3-hour timeframe tend to work best. Your jewelry display is set up before the party starts, and you can work the party just like a regular art or craft show.
You are at your booth, greeting customers who come and go, browsing and trying on jewelry. Answer questions, encourage people to try on jewelry, make suggestions, help people figure out what they want for custom orders.
Have a sense of humor, and help everyone have a great time. Create a fun atmosphere of a girls’ night out trying on jewelry and shopping together!
Most people are busy, and often feel that presentations and games are stilted and time-consuming when they’re short on time and already prepared to shop. They came intending to buy jewelry, so keep them focused on that goal!
The unstructured open house format keeps people from feeling pressured to buy, but most of them will purchase something. The format of jewelry home party that has the most guests, the highest bookings for more parties, and the highest profits is a relaxed open house with no presentation. Guests are more likely to attend if they can come and go at their convenience.
You as an artist are completely different from major home party companies like Tupperware and Pampered Chef, so flavor your jewelry home party with your individual artistry and style!
The hostess doesn’t need to prepare and serve a lot of food, because the guests go to a jewelry home party to shop and socialize, not to eat. They can’t examine and try on jewelry with food in their hands, and anyway, food leaves crumbs and greasy fingerprints on shiny jewelry.
Also, one of the main reasons potential hostesses decide NOT to have a jewelry home party is that they don’t want to spend the time and money to prepare a lot of elaborate foods and beverages for a party. Simple refreshments are best – like coffee and dessert or wine and cheese.
Cash and Carry,
or Take Orders at Home Parties?
At a jewelry home party, I recommend selling as much jewelry as possible directly from your display, instead of displaying only sample pieces and taking orders to make more of those same designs, which you’ll have to fulfill and deliver by a short deadline.
Guests want to purchase their items and bring them home immediately, while they’re still excited about their purchase. This is particularly true of impulse purchases. They don’t really want to wait a week for you to make and deliver another copy of the same item they liked at the party. And you will save yourself a lot of time, headaches, and gasoline if you don’t commit to filling several hundred dollars’ worth of orders within a week after the party, and then drive all over town delivering them! Especially during the busy Christmas season.
So I recommend selling the jewelry directly from your display except for any custom orders you get. This also reinforces in the customers’ minds that each piece is truly unique and not possible to duplicate exactly . . . which is one of the benefits of buying from you!
And perhaps most important, it gives them a sense of urgency that if they don’t buy that piece right now, they’ll lose the chance to own it when someone else buys it.
Unlike a mall jewelry store, a home party of handcrafted jewelry has items they’ll never find anywhere else. “Fear of loss” is one of the most successful marketing motivators!
Handling Custom Orders
at Home Shows
For custom orders, be sure both you and the customer have a written and signed copy of what you’ve agreed to (check office supply stores for two-part carbonless forms you could adapt for this use). Specify a delivery date for their order. Get their phone number(s) and e-mail address on this form so if you have any questions as you work on their order, you can contact them easily.
For custom work, request payment in full at a jewelry home party. This will save you headaches and hassles later!!! Give the customer a delivery date that’s a little beyond when you expect to finish the custom order. That way, if you get held up in completing their order, it won’t make you look like you don’t deliver on time. And if you deliver it earlier than expected, they’ll be very impressed with your service.
Read Custom Jewelry Orders for details on protecting your interests while making custom orders profitable.
Have a small, attractive photo album of your work available on your table at every jewelry home party. This can trigger custom orders, or make it easier for you to make suggestions to people who want to order custom-made jewelry. For help with taking professional looking jewelry photos, see Tips for Photographing Jewelry.
Talking to Customers
at Home Jewelry Parties
Be prepared to answer questions – about how you became a jewelry artist, how long you’ve been doing this, other places you sell your jewelry, what supplies and materials you use, how you make your jewelry, and where you get your supplies, how you got to know the hostess. Have interesting things ready to say about your art that make it sound appealing and valuable!
When you talk about one of your pieces, don’t just list the materials used in it. Communicate the benefits of owning the piece. Which statement would make you reach for your credit card? –
“These are freshwater pearls with sterling silver earwires,”
“If you can take only one pair of earrings on a week’s vacation, these pearls would be my choice! They go with everything and can be dressed up or down. And they’ll never go out of style. I even include little stoppers that will fit on any French earwires, to prevent the earrings from being lost when you wear them!”
at Jewelry Parties
For maximum sales at a jewelry home party, be able to accept as many different forms of payment as possible: cash, checks, and especially credit cards.
When people pay with credit cards, they buy more. And some of the guests have likely left their checkbook at home but have credit cards in their wallet.
Also, many will come to a jewelry home party with the intention of buying nothing or just one small thing, but when they see all your lovely jewelry and get caught up in the excitement of the party, they want to buy a lot more than they planned to – and out comes the credit card!
See How to Start Accepting Credit Cards to learn what you need to know to start accepting credit cards, and how to set up your merchant account easily and inexpensively.
Your Home Party Display
See Tips for Professional Jewelry Displays for ideas on displaying your jewelry.
It’s important to be completely done setting up your display before a jewelry home party starts. Know how many minutes it takes you to set up, and add an extra 15 minutes to that figure when you let the hostess know what time you’ll arrive at her house before the party.
Streamline your display setup as much as possible by loading jewelry cases, earring displays, necklace displays, etc. at home. Your hostess will already be having a 3-hour jewelry home party for you, and you don’t want to be a pain by spending an extra 2 hours at each end of the party setting up and taking down an elaborate display.
Decide whether you’ll be bringing your own table(s) for your jewelry display, or using the hostess’s dining table. Her home might not have room for your tables, so be sure to make arrangements with her for what tables you’ll be using.
And have LOTS of mirrors everywhere for customers to see how they look when they try on your jewelry! Trying things on and getting friends’ opinions is what makes a jewelry home party fun for your customers.
Lighting at Jewelry Home Parties
Bright lighting is crucial for good jewelry sales. Unfortunately, however, the average home lighting is not really optimum for showing jewelry to its best advantage.
So let your hostess know you need a well-lighted room, and for backup, bring your own small lamps with good natural-light bulbs, plus an extension cord. Be sure the cord is where no one can trip over it!
Other Ways to Encourage Sales
at a Jewelry Home Party
- I learned something useful from a Longaberger Basket representative, that can be applied to a jewelry home party. She said Longaberger always has a few attractive items that you can only order “today” – and if you wait so you can think about it, you’ll miss the chance to purchase them. She told me she sells a ton of these items at home parties!
- Have the hostess choose pieces of your jewelry to wear (model) during a jewelry home party.
- Have an area of under-$20 jewelry gift selections next to a sign that reminds customers of people they need to shop for – daughters, mothers, grandmothers, babysitters, teachers, co-workers, bosses, employees, godmothers, goddaughters, clients, nieces, graduates, etc.
- Give bonuses for individual sales at certain dollar levels. For example, a guest who purchases $150 or more, receives a coupon for $10 of free jewelry purchased within 1 month (or free earrings or additional $10 of jewelry, etc.). That way, customers who have chosen $149 or less of jewelry will be motivated to buy one more item. And award a special prize for customer with largest dollar-amount order! You might have bonuses at price points of $50, $100, $150, and $200 for individual guest sales.
- Each piece of jewelry should be part of a possible set; if you don’t have ready-made matching pieces, offer to make custom items to match (they buy amber earrings, you offer to make a custom amber pendant or bracelet).
- Have a good supply of impulse add-on items, such as chains and neckwires, inexpensive earrings, jewelry polishing cloths, etc. Adding one such item onto each customer’s total can really add up and increase your income for the party! See more tips for successful add-on sales.
- Everything should come with free elegant gift wrap. Gift wrap doesn’t need to be expensive – in fact, it can be very cheap! But the fact that you offer elegant wrapping solutions to your customers so they won’t have to hunt for a box and wrapping paper when they get home adds a great deal of value to your jewelry in their mind. You’re not only selling them a lovely handcrafted gift to give, you’re also solving a problem (gift wrapping) and making it easier for them! Read more tips for memorable jewelry gift wrap.
- Sell gift certificates for your jewelry.
Successful Jewelry Home Party Invitations
Usually only about half of the people invited actually come to a jewelry party; with that in mind, encourage your hostess to invite 20+ people. Guests should receive their invitations two weeks before the party.
See these tips on great jewelry home party invitations to create tempting invitations that bring in a high percentage of guests.
Have the hostess give you the guest list with names, addresses, and phone numbers, and then you prepare and mail the invitations; send one to the hostess too so she knows what info her guests have. Give her several invitations filled out with all the party information so she can give them out in person at soccer practice, school, Bunko, work, church, any clubs she belongs to, etc.
The most professional invitations are postcards with an enticing photo of your jewelry on the front. Regardless of the type of invitation you use, it’s vital to include photo(s) of your jewelry so people can get excited about it and know that they definitely want to attend the party! Also, to prevent guests from assuming all the jewelry will be too expensive for them, your invitations should say, “Prices start at $3″ (or whatever is your least expensive item).
Don’t forget to have YOUR name, contact info, and website URL printed on the invitation postcard – in addition to the hostess’s name, phone number, and address. This way people can contact you after the party, to make a purchase or book a jewelry home party of their own.
Invitations should also state, “Receive free jewelry for each guest you bring!” This is a great way to boost attendance (and thus your income!) from the party, since nearly everyone attending will make a purchase. And even guests who don’t purchase at the party will remember you and may shop from you later or schedule their own party.
But you don’t have to give away tons of free jewelry to reward them for bringing guests. Remember, your incentives should be things that have a high perceived value to the recipient while costing you very little.
Examples of well-received rewards for each guest they bring are a free pair of bead earrings from a special selection, or a toe ring, or $5 off their total.
And the most important information to remember about a jewelry home party, is this:
The No. 1 Way to Increase
Jewelry Home Party Attendance
Have the hostess call each guest the day before the party to remind them to come, and to bring a friend with them!
That makes guests who hadn’t decided whether they would attend commit to the hostess that they’re coming. It’s also a good reminder for people who may have wanted to attend but forgot the date of the party.
Jewelry Party Hostess Incentives
I encourage you to give out brochures detailing the benefits of hosting a jewelry home party. Make sure all party guests get one when they arrive, and give them out when you do any kind of shows or other events. Keep some handy in your car to give out on the spur of the moment!
See jewelry home party brochures for success tips.
Although the main reason people host a jewelry home party is because they want to earn free and discounted jewelry, they often are hesitant to go ahead and schedule a party.
The main reasons people DON’T host a jewelry home party are
1. they think it will be a lot of work for them
2. they think they need to fix and serve a lot of expensive food and beverages.
Be sure your potential hostesses know that it’s not necessary to do too much housecleaning or food preparation for a jewelry home party. The guests are coming to see the jewelry, not the house, and only minimal food is necessary.
You, the jewelry artist, will do nearly all the work at the actual party, and the party is easy and fun for the hostess; she should socialize and enjoy shopping with her friends and earning her free jewelry!
In addition to the free and discounted jewelry your hostesses earn, you can entice potential hostesses with a deal they can’t refuse – without cutting into your own profits very much. You can offer a special item only hostesses can purchase (examples: chandelier earrings, or a special line of turquoise jewelry during recent turquoise craze, etc.). It should be something hot that everyone would want, but only a hostess can buy. Or give a special gift that only hostesses are eligible for.
As soon as someone books a jewelry home party, send a nice thank-you note, either that same day or the next day. This shows your appreciation and makes them feel more of a commitment to actually going through with the party.
As a further incentive, you can enter each person who books a party that night in a drawing for an additional free jewelry gift certificate to use at her own jewelry home party.
Suggest that anyone who feels her home is too small to host a party, or doesn’t want to have it at her home, can double up on a party with another hostess or have a group party where each person invites her own guest(s) and gets credit for their purchases.
Or you may want to let your customers “host” their jewelry parties at your house or studio; read how Gretta Van Someren does it.
Jewelry Party Hostess Rewards
You’ll need to determine your own scale for the free and discounted jewelry your hostesses earn, based on your particular profit margins on your jewelry. While you want to be sure your offer is tempting enough to get people to schedule parties, you don’t want to give away the store and wind up with an unprofitable bottom line when the party’s over.
Here are some suggestions for figuring your hostess earnings:
- At least two people besides the hostess must purchase jewelry for it to be considered a party, and the combined guest total must be at least $100 for her to earn free / discounted jewelry. This way a small or unsuccessful jewelry home party doesn’t take a bite out of your earnings, or wind up being an expensive waste of your time!
- If the above conditions are met, then the hostess receives a $25 gift certificate to spend at her jewelry home party or use toward a custom order.
- Then she receives discounted / free jewelry equaling 10% of her guests’ pre-salestax total of $100 to $799, or 15% of her guests’ pre-salestax total of $800+. These guest totals do not include the hostess’s purchases.
- She receives another $10 of discounted / free jewelry for each party booked that night from her jewelry party (these $10 certificates are redeemable at or after these parties, to be sure the parties are actually held before you give away this amount of jewelry).
- She receives an additional $10 of discounted / free jewelry if she has 20 or more guests.
You will probably need to play with these figures to make them work profitably with your particular jewelry line, and to entice home jewelry party hostesses in your region. But these suggestions give you a good place to start.
Other Special Benefits
for Jewelry Home Party Hostesses
It’s worthwhile to cultivate party hostesses, using good relationship marketing.
During the year, offer special benefits or jewelry sale events just for the people who have hosted parties, aside from their party. Some ideas for this are hostess-only sales, special discount coupons, and discounted shows just for them. Consider a jewelry home party at your house, just for your hostesses to attend.
At Christmas, offer an early-bird hostess bonus – she receives an extra freebie or discount for having a jewelry home party before Thanksgiving (most successful shows are before December, and you want to catch people before they do the day-after-Thanksgiving sale shopping. Besides, hopefully, you’ll be busy with special orders in December anyway!).
Incentives for Repeat Jewelry Home Party Hostesses
Hostesses will often host again, especially if you make their first jewelry home party a good one, and if you give them an even better deal for future parties. Be sure to send a handwritten thank you to your hostess, and mail it the NEXT DAY after her party. Include an extra jewelry coupon that’s good for only one month after her jewelry home party, giving her the incentive to purchase again soon.
Offer a more generous “silver level” hostess incentive package to a second-time hostess – consider awarding her with slightly more free jewelry, or a larger discount on her jewelry home party purchases.
Offer a “gold level” hostess incentive package to a hostess who has hosted a jewelry home party 3 or more times. Make this a generous incentive since she’s responsible for many of your sales and new customers. Anyone who hosts three or more parties for you is practically a sales representative for you, and she deserves to be rewarded and encouraged!
Good Luck with your Home Jewelry Parties!
Well, what are you waiting for? Figure out your hostess incentives, make some brochures, and get some friends or relatives to host a jewelry home party! Best of luck to you!