Selling Online vs. In Person

by A. Nicola.
(Miami, Florida USA)

Silver wire wrapped bracelet with red agate and garnet accent

Silver wire wrapped bracelet with red agate and garnet accent

Hi, I’m new to the jewelry showing” scene…I’ve been fussing with wire for years now, and have finally nailed down some techniques that I am happy with, and feel are worth displaying. I’ve put up a website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and have a store on Etsy!

Silver wire wrapped pendant with serpentine stone and freshwater pearl

Silver wire wrapped pendant with serpentine stone and freshwater pearl

Copper wire bracelet wrapped around amethysts

Copper wire bracelet wrapped around amethysts

Not too much movement so far, mostly admiration – which I appreciate – but not much in sales. I know I’m going to have to push my digital presence much harder with social media and SEO.

Copper wire pendant wrapped around crackle agate

Copper wire pendant wrapped around crackle agate

I’ve been wondering if it’s much easier to sell jewelry in person, since people get to see it three-dimensionally, touch it, try it on, etc. But if that’s true, then why are there so many online retailers?

What are they doing right?

What are your thoughts/experiences with this?

A. Nicola
A. Nicola Creative
A. Nicola Creative on Etsy

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  1. Your wirework is gorgeous, Aimee! I love the combination of freeform plus structure.

    Here’s one thing that’s important both online and offline (but especially online, when you can’t talk about your jewelry in person):

    Help people understand on what’s involved in creating one of your pieces. Show photos, a slideshow, or video of you working on one of your creations. Discuss how much time (and how many inches / cm of wire) went into each step of the piece in your demonstration. After learning about your pieces, people are much more likely to appreciate and value them.

    I wish you the very best with selling your work! Once you connect with the people who love what you do, you will probably be selling your pieces as fast as you can make them! 🙂

  2. I sell evenly online and in person. I feel that in the absence of being there in person, the photography and description in online sales has to be right – your photos are lovely (really) and I took a look at a few items in your web site.
    The photo has to grab a buyer to get them to read the description. That first thing you have – then the secondary photos need to be informative – side view, what the piece looks like worn, a shot of the mechanisms (clasp, posts, etc) with a ruler so a buyer can get an idea of what it would be like to hold and wear the piece. Once you have a buyer knowing those things, they might read the description. Your descriptions are technical and tell what they customer is buying and a little about the materials and how its made, but lack the story. Tell the buyer something about the stone – how does it look in natural light? Does it have any special meaning? Why did you chose to use it? Why did you chose to add patina? How will the buyer feel when they own the piece? If you tell why you are attracted to the piece, a buyer will be convinced!

  3. Your work is beautiful and very artistic. I have the same problem, I used to have a brick and mortar store and had a great business with lots of repeat customers. Now that I only have a website, I hardly have any sales. No matter how much info you give on-line, it is not the same as if you sell in person.

  4. Susan Wade says:

    Oh my what wonderful spiroly movement! I love your stuff, I’m just beginning the process of online as well, my work is much more simple and beginners stages than yours; and I still think in person selling is best. We have a few shops where I live that combine various artists work, like a collective of artists who share the expense, and which days are worked to sell. Perhaps if you find it harder to get people moving items from your website, your work speaks to people more often when they can see it. And maybe there are others where you live who feel the same way, and you can begin your own collective shop, where expenses are shared, and the items are available to see and touch and try on.
    I wish you luck, your work is wonderful!!! Like so many on Rena’s site, inspirational and encouraging. Thanks for sharing yours.

  5. Your work is beautiful! We not only sell online (Etsy) but we also do rock and gem shows around our state and also show in a gallery in our town. We like the diversity of showing in different venues. Have you looked into showing your beautiful pieces in a local gallery as well as looking into Art Shows?
    Best of luck to you!

  6. Thank you everyone, for the excellent advice and kind compliments! You really have affirmed my suspicion that while it is easier to sell in person, it can be done online, it just takes effort. Rena and Nina, I agree with you about telling the story – in fact, I recently took a brand writing class in which this was the theme message. So, I do plan on implementing many of your suggestions.

    I am very interested in getting my work out in front of people too – as Nancy said, in a variety of venues. Susan, an artist collective is a very interesting idea. I live in a large and art-friendly city (Miami, FL), and there are always tons of events happening in the art world (except in summer when it’s too hot to do anything).

    My reluctance has been with the high cost of art shows, and whether or not I will sell enough to make it worth my while. But I am seeking out smaller options to gain the confidence. And meanwhile, working on my website! All this with a newborn baby, I am keeping busy! Thanks again, all!

  7. Aimee,
    Your jewelry is beautiful and totally different. I love what you do. I looked at your website and etsy store and, this may sound strange, but I think your prices are too low. I don’t now how you decide on your pricing but your work looks more expensive than you’re charging.

    Cynthia Westman

  8. Sue McCallum says:

    I too looked at your web site and ebay store and I totally agree your prices are way too low. Not only do I make jewelry but I run a small gift shop for the museum. I would price your pieces higher!! Beautiful and I want to learn how you did that!
    Sue McCallum

  9. Debbie hostetter says:

    Hi, I am starting again selling my jewelry. I believe that I could price them at a higher price. It has been said that when people offer their work for a low price it means that it takes away from those who really have an artistic eye and then your work isn’t as appreciated as much. I began to believe in myself when each time I would increase my prices I found that people would pay more. Because I want to learn wire wrapping and when I saw your pieces, I thought it is the most beautiful art pieces I have ever seen. I believe your work should be in the better magazines for all to see. I wish I could learn from you. Thank you for showing others there still is beautiful art in jewelry to be seen. You have been given a gift.

  10. Thanks for starting this thread, because it’s a great question that many artists have. Selling online and selling in person are complementary activities.

    Face-to-face selling is an experience that cannot be duplicated. It allows you to find out who your customer really is (which is important for marketing purposes), what they love about your work – and why they are not buying it. Is it too heavy? Do they need to have more information about caring for it? etc. You need to know any “objections” they have so that you can solve any problems that are making sales drag.

    To improve your online sales, make sure you are gathering email addresses at your in-person fairs, festivals and other events, and staying in touch with customers after the sale. Repeat sales is what will grow your business – so you can offer them additional opportunities to collect more of your work through online sales. After all, they have already seen your work in person, which is a huge plus.

    You can also keep your online customers on your mailing list and invite them to you next show, fair or studio sale. It works both ways!

    Think of online and offline as both being extensions of your business that work together.

  11. Catherine says:

    Wow!!! I looked at all your work…Beautiful!!! My Grandparents travel all over the world and collected rocks and seashells. For years he owned a rock shop where he cut and polished rocks and precious stones. After he died 8 yrs ago, I got all of his polished stones. I could never part with them now, but it’s wonderful to see someone else putting such beauty into stones. The wire really makes it out of this world!

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