How to Sell Your Jewelry Online
People often wonder how to get started selling their jewelry online, so I thought I'd
jot down a few tips.
These are my personal recommendations from my years of running
this site and being a web designer at Red Acorn Design.
The first place I'd start if you are very new and are not sure you want to make a go of it is
Etsy. Etsy is "a place to buy and sell all things handmade"--it really is
a great deal because all your products get put into their catalog so people can search and find them. For someone starting out online,
promoting your work is one of the largest issues.
More marketplace websites like Etsy:
More tips on getting started:
When you are ready to invest more, get your own site. Your options are many:
- Have jewelry that is unique and high-quality to sell. The web is chock full of people selling stuff. You need to differentiate yourself.
- Decide who would most want to buy the jewelry you are selling. Alternatively, decide who you want
to sell to, and make jewelry that would appeal to them. The point is you don't want to try to
market diamond hairclips to college students. Your product should match your market.
- Have very clear, appealing photographs of your jewelry. This is essential because people can't physically pick up the jewelry so the
photograph has to tell the story. If you can find a local photography student that would be cheapest, or, if you can
afford it, hire a professional.
- Learn all you can about marketing and how to appeal to your target market.
- Start small with Etsy or possibly Ebay although I don't know much about that venue. See how you like it
before you sink lots of time and money into it. You might find you don't like making jewelry all day long and would
rather it be a hobby than a business.
Other recommendations as you build your website:
- Use FrontPage or Dreamweaver to build a website. Use PayPal
to take orders. Mal's is another good third-party cart, although you will need to get a full payment gateway
to take credit cards. PayPal Pro is cheaper.
- Use a hosted service like Shopify.
Shopify is a very solid platform with a lot of customization options
and plugins. I consider it one of the best e-commerce solutions out there.
- Get your own hosting account and set up a cart like
Zen Cart or Magento.
These are both open-source (free) software packages, and Zen Cart often comes pre-installed
at your host. If you want to use a real payment gateway to take credit cards (and not just use PayPal),
you will need to buy an SSL certificate as well.
- Hire a web designer to build you a site. This is generally the most expensive but most flexible option, as they
can build exactly what you want. However, not all web designers are good at e-commerce so do your research and find one
who actually can build exactly what you want.
Given the complexity of e-commerce software, building from the ground up
is impractical. It makes more sense to find a programmer who can build plugins
and/or or a
designer who can create templates for an existing
- I recommend e-onlinedata when you are ready for a merchant account. It comes bundled with Authorize.net, which is the best and most popular payment gateway. When I was shopping around for merchant accounts, I did several months of research and decided to go with e-onlinedata. They have low fees, good customer service reviews, and primarily work with online merchants. I have been with them since March of 2005 and have been quite happy with their services.
- For web hosting with ZenCart or osCommerce pre-installed
I run a web hosting company, Acorn Host.
I also recommend
WestHost and DreamHost are both excellent.