Should You Use Inches or Metrics in Your Jewelry Listings?
by Rena Klingenberg.
Our world is an increasingly global community.
And when you sell your jewelry online, your work can be viewed anyplace in the world where there’s Internet access.
Metrics or Inches?
So should your listings show your jewelry measurements in metrics or in inches?
I recommend listing measurements in both metrics and inches – regardless of which country you live in.
There are millions of people who understand metric measurements better, and millions of people who understand inches better.
So rather than lose anyone who doesn’t use your measuring system, simply use both:
“Handmade pendant comes on a 16 inch (40.6 cm) snake chain.”
“Brooch is 5.7 cm (2.25 inches) wide, and 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) high.”
Now everyone can easily understand the sizes.
But don’t worry –
You won’t have to do any math!
The Internet makes it super-easy to convert your measurements from one system to the other.
Just do an online search for “convert inches to cm” or “convert cm to inches”.
You’ll find conversion calculators that do the math for you – fast, free, and accurately.
I’m interested to hear your experiences with listing the measurements of your handmade jewelry!
I try to always use both – I find the app on my phone is the first thing I grab though. As I’m typing I find it easier to use as a reference. I also keep a little “cheat sheet” with inch to cm conversions taped to my computer for my most common measurements.
I list both for bracelet and necklace lengths but only cm for bead sizes. It’s funny, I always think of necklace sizes in inches and bracelets in centimeters!
Pam Baker says:
This is a great idea – should have thought of it a long time ago! I make “production sheets” for each of my projects, which includes my assigned item number, description, components used, source and vendor’s item number, cost per item, etc. This makes it simple to determine COGS at tax time. Moving forward, I’m going to now note both measurements as each piece is created and just jot it down here, so it’ll be handy for writing up listings. I’m not sure that a conversion table or phone app would be needed, as most rulers already show both forms of measurements. (I already use a ruler when writing up listings, so now I’ll just turn it around to the other side to measure by cm’s!)
GREAT suggestion to use both – Thanks so much!
As a rule, I don’t list my items in centimeters since I generally sell in the US only. I have used them when preparing a tutorial for a magazine (like Wirework magazine, which is required). I simply use a metric converter online which I keep on my desktop. However, I do think knowing metric measurements are necessary since many tools and findings (like jump rings) are sold that way.
This is good advice, I have been using millimetres for my cabochons, since this is the size they are sold by the vendors and have been using inches for the length of my chains.
Nancy Bailey says:
We use both on our stone pendants. Because we ship internationally, it makes sense to use both. Great article!
kym Kinnison says:
In Britain we don’t use inches anymore, everything is metric, I measure everything in mm as it’s far more accurate.
This is something I need to work on! I do have centimeters included in some of my listings, but only a small percentage. Customers e-mail me from time to time asking the size of an item in centimeters.
When I started out I decided to “train” myself to use metric in all things. I convert my wire to centimeters when I buy it so I am always measuring mm and cm as I work. When I read instructions from though, they seem to assume inches. Sometimes 1/4 inch increments would work fine, but sometimes I need to know the exact difference between 12 and 13 mm. That’s hard to get with inches. Besides, by the time I’m using something like 7/16 of an inch and multiplying that by the number of units I need, I’m always rounding to a measurement that makes sense anyway. Funny thing is, when I finish the piece I call it an 18 inch necklace and have to do the conversion. I am an American in this way, and fairly conflicted.
Waw thats a new idea, I only used Inches as my measurements for my jewelry listing in my website. Now onwards I will include both the measurement units to serve more users.