Trouble Finding Customers for My Jewelry

by Sue.

Trouble Finding Customers for My Jewelry  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I offer sterling silver and gemstone jewelry.

This seems to be overshadowed by the “Make Your Own” and all types of other jewelry that isn’t silver.

I can’t understand why this is happening when these types are sometimes being priced higher than the jewelry I sell. It’s discouraging.

Can you help me to understand this?

Also, other than the aforementioned problem, I am having a problem selling, in general.

Where does this type of jewelry sell the best?

When I email or call to try and get into craft sales, I find the first thing they say is, “We already have a lot of ladies selling jewelry.”

I had one lady say to me that “My type of jewelry just isn’t popular any more.”

I don’t think that. It’s more traditional, and will never go out of style. I realize that some of these problems you’ll probably be able to help me with, others not.

Thank you.
Sue

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  • Dorothy says:

    If you are having trouble getting into shows, and maybe shows aren’t really your cup of tea, you really need to look into getting Rena’s book Easy Ways to Sell Your Jewelry Every Day. She has so many great ideas for selling jewelry that you’re sure to find one (or more) that works for you. It’s a wonderful resource.

  • Marjory says:

    It can be really hard to stay up with the times, and one’s jewelry styles need to change and be kept fresh. Perhaps some new jewelry designs will help your sales.

  • Holly says:

    Perhaps people here could give specific feedback or ideas if you shared a couple of photos of your jewelry.

  • Trish Lochnicht says:

    You may need to find the right shows, possibly more upscale type shows. Zapplication has loads of these and for some areas, Where the Shows are is a good source.

  • Dianne says:

    Hard to say without pictures and price points. Do you have a website? Line Sheets? How are you marketing? Give us more info so we can help.

  • Rena Klingenberg says:

    Sue, have you asked people what designs, colors, metals, sizes, etc. of the jewelry they want?

  • Debra Lowe says:

    One reason is that the jewelry market is so very saturated. Jewelry monopolizes every site available, so staying unique and current is the best advice. Wear your jewelry when out so people will see it and ask about it. Have a business card handy to share. Hang in there and good luck~

  • Valerie says:

    I agree with several of the other commenters…pictures and price points would help us give you more specific feedback.

    Also, sometimes home shows with smaller groups is helpful. If you’re interested in teaching a less expensive design to a small group and bringing your finished designs to sell that may be an option for you as well. It’s worked well for me in the past. An online store (Etsy, etc is another option). Often it’s just a matter of getting your designs in front of the right people. 😊

  • Jennifer Parsons says:

    If there are consignment stores in your area try putting a few pieces there. Giving some of your designs as gifts to friends and family can get your designs in front of a lot of people that you may not know otherwise. Wearing your designs and talking to people when they inquire is great and if you don’t become rich or well known you will still have beautiful jewelry to wear

  • I think it’s vital to be on sites like Etsy or others and to be active on social media. You have to work to get yourself known.

    If you are selling silver jewelry you might want to consider avoiding yard sales or consignment (who usually take a large percentage). I think you may be undervaluing your work and pricing it too low. There’s such a thing as perceived value meaning people think it is worth the price if it’s more than the run of the mill stuff. You should have photos to show, or a book, that show you at the bench, at different stages of work. That should get you more respect. Another interesting site is FineArtAmerica.com which does include jewelry. Good luck and let’s see your work! Barbara

  • Sue, I also make gemstone & silver and gold jewelry. I had the same issue for a while. I was out numbered by the bead jewelry sellers. I’m still usually the only person with real gemstones and silver. I had a friend give me some advice. She said my jewelry was priced too low and people didn’t believe it was real or hand made. I raised my prices and the sales started coming. Get into a few small craft type shows and add more as you can. Make sure you have signage stating you make the jewelry, maybe like “meet the jeweler” or a video playing of you working on an item, just anything you can think of to convey that you make the items. Most of our sales start with a conversation about the gemstones. Once they realize you know the stones, they will have more trust in you. Get the social media going and business cards with your sites on it. Also, talk to the non jewelry vendors around you. They may be able to point you to better shows. Keep going, don’t lose heart, it can be a slow start but well worth it.

    Duane

  • JW says:

    I have been hearing the “jewelry is oversaturated” on Etsy for ten years now. There is a lot of competition but are people looking for handmade? “Bridal” jewelry”? Cheap repros of something else? Traditional? Trendy? What? Marketing is the most important. I have gone from gothic to boho in ten years time and have no idea what the next big thing will be. There seem to be a lot of stores in vacation spots that sell silver and gem jewelry. Have you researched this type of selling platform?

  • Carol says:

    Good advice! I’ve been creating and selling at craft shows, home shows, and on consignment for about 13 years. You have to know your customers – my mistake was using sterling silver and semi precious stones, and around here, people would rather go to Walmart. I still use higher quality materials, but also have some inexpensive items, made from copper, plated base metal and glass. Sometimes I’ll sell a piece of “real jewelry” and it makes my whole day!

  • Bernard Silverman says:

    Erosion of jewelry sales platforms: I think we are in a “oversaturated” market at this time. I never had sales on ETSY and now after 8 months of sales on EBAY—ZERO, nothing! I have tried offering sales internationally, free shipping, willingness to accept offers, etc and still no sales! Their tech service, which seem to be in Ireland or Scotland, provides answers to this problem “jewelry is a seasonal item and your sales will return” or seller can pay additional “fees to have your item spotlighted or pay for a second listing category to get you noticed. Sales at shows have slackened “people say they don’t want to get out into traffic-get dressed, etc. and now seem to “say” they prefer to buy on line”. I have seen exhibit fees go thru the roof-and need to give a percentage (15) of sales & gift worth $25 to exhibit company. Tried the Web Site route but the overwhelming number of new and recurrent fees was not worth the effort. Then there is the “wow and gee wiz” lookers at shows. Recently exhibited at a show in SE Florida- millions of “lookers”, 75% jewelry booths and no buyers at any booths! I am going back to making custom made buggy whips and to clock radios for banks to use as give aways for new customers.

  • Crystel says:

    I feel your pain. I started my business in 2011. It is hard to sell, when you’d rather be designing and crafting.
    I used to do shows and sold enough to cover the show costs. But just because I didn’t make a fortune, I did gain valuable new contacts and got the word out.
    I’ve stopped doing shows now and focus on private sales mostly. If I distribute a catalog or small brochure that usually generates sales. Focus on marketing through social media. Pinterst is a good place to start.
    Good luck

  • Molly says:

    Getting a shop owner who really loves your jewelry can help. It could be a clothing or jewelry store that will really get their customers excited about your product, including you in their special events , trunk shows, open houses etc. If this doesnt work, you really need to take a good look at your product. Ask yourself : are my designs current? Is my presentation professional? (I.e. jewelry cards, displays…) is my work good quality? Ask for honest opinions of store owners or others that sell succesfully.

  • Claudia says:

    I also have trouble finding customers, so I also feel your pain. I have been in this business just about 27 years, so I am glad that I didn’t quit the day job. (I am now retired). Yesterday I went to a large 2 day craft show. I was hoping to get into this craft show, but I was put on a waiting list years ago. About 75% of the crafters were jewelers. With a few of these jewelers, I had my doubts if it was really hand crafted. I wonder how it might be if some organizers actually advertised for a show, showcasing the best handcrafted jewelers in the area ??? What if the whole show was specifically for jewelry ? That might be interesting.

    Anyway ….. The only thing that seems to work for me lately is my “Open House” home show. I work my butt off cleaning my house for the show. I invite about 35 people knowing fully well that my home can only fit about 10, with some people standing.
    In the paper invitations that I designed and printed out, I include a 20% off coupon for one item if they bring a friend with them. I only do my Open House show at the beginning of The Christmas shopping season. Last November was one of my best shows.

  • I have similar problems but I am a bead weaver. I often use stone as well as crystal and glass and if I do need metal is is sterling (or better, Argentium) with a desire to use gold but not the means to do so. My prices are probably higher than what people expect for “bead jewelry” because I make works of wearable art. Of course that also limits my market to people who not only have the money but also the chutzpah to stand out wearing my work.

    I’ve recently started making some smaller, silver formed earrings but they haven’t appealed either.

    I don’t do shows for the most part because except for the art based ones (which I can’t afford) attendees are not there to buy jewelry unless it’s very low priced. The better prices and more likely to spend audiences don’t generally fit craft fairs.

  • Diann says:

    Amazing work!

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