Where to Sell Your Wire Jewelry

By on May 18, 2010
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Hi folks, it’s Dale. Over the past several months I have received a lot of questions, asking where to sell wire jewelry. My general answer is Anywhere you can! Some suggestions are:

Off your body! Yes you read correctly, many people write to tell me that they sell their pieces while wearing them, anywhere; to the grocery store, doctor’s office, church, sporting event, mall shopping, etc. Some have even said that they wear a piece and have a price tag hanging off of it! Think about it for a moment, it may seem silly to have a price tag, but it would definitely draw some attention and inspire conversations, “Um, excuse me, do you know that you forgot to remove the tag from your necklace?” To which you reply, “Actually I make and sell unique jewelry pieces. Do you like this one?” And then automatically hand them a business card. I’m sure you can see the many conversation possibilities that could lead into:

Private Showings; “Yes, I even give my jewelry away for free.” If the person is interested, take their name, phone number and good times to call (in the tiny notebook you should always carry) and then follow-up with a ‘courtesy call’, explaining how nice it was to meet them and what your private show program is.

Your Open House, name it based on whatever the season is or choose a fun theme (more below on themes). “As a matter of fact I am having an open house to show my work on ___ at ___. Would you like to come and maybe bring a friend or two? It’s going to be a lot of fun and I have nice door prizes”. Again, take their information and be sure to follow up! From your own Open House, you can obtain many Private Showings!

Theme Ideas:

Pool Party; get a small wading pool and serve fruity drinks with paper parasols, a few dips and chips, and everyone is invited to sit around the pool with their feet in, while you do your presentation.

Balloon Party; blow up lots of balloons into which you have inserted small rolled up papers, some with discounts and some with free gifts written on them. When a guest arrives, they get to pick and pop a balloon. If they decide to purchase more than one item, they get a balloon pop for each purchase (discounts cannot be combined).

Hat Party; ask everyone to wear their most unusual or unique hat, let everyone vote and give a prize for the best. Have a hat with discount coupons folded up inside, when a guest makes a purchase they get to reach in and pull out their discount.

Old Jewelry Party; each guest brings an old piece of jewelry, tells it’s story, all vote, a prize is given and you take your presentation in the direction of creating tomorrow’s heirlooms today.

I am sure these suggestions have you thinking now, your home showing or open house can be an event where folks get together for a break from their regular world, complete with fun as well as information, and you have the opportunity to sell your work, as well as to see what the folks in your area like.

You don’t even have to invite strangers to your home, rather you could check with a local church or school and offer them a small fee or the proceeds from a silent auction or raffle, for the use of their facilities for 4 hours.

Now let’s talk about Private Showings. Again, there are many opportunities such as: asking the receptionist (who likes the earrings you are wearing to an appointment) if she would like to earn a Free pair (in her favorite color) by hosting a Private Showing in the office conference room after work or during lunch time. You could ask your hairdresser or nail person to do the same, inviting their clientele to a Special Private Showing. What about the local dress or bridal boutique? Often they may agree to host an afternoon Trunk Show, (usually done for a percentage of the proceeds) or even invite you to participate in their next fashion, prom or bridal show (what a great opportunity!) How about asking a local teacher if they would like to host a Private Sale or Show, either in the teacher’s conference room or the classroom after hours?

What about a Fund Raiser? Instead of paying a promoter for a booth (where you hit rewind and play every 5 minutes, hoping for a sale) why not sell to people who want to buy what you have to support a cause, and gain a lot of new customers. School bands, clubs and sports groups are always looking for a way to make money for supplies, and rather than attending a pancake breakfast, a lot of people would rather purchase a moderately priced piece of jewelry, where a percentage of every purchase goes to the organization.

By exploring options besides craft shows, you can connect with brand new customers. No matter which way you choose to sell your work, be sure to collect everyone’s name and address, for a door prize drawing (for future post card invitations to your own Holiday Open House as it’s time to begin this year’s event now). Believe it or not, there are LOTS of people out there who have never seen or heard of wire jewelry!

And hey–stay tuned for an upcoming article on how to price jewelry!

Stay Twisted!

Dale/Cgr

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29 Comments

  1. Pingback: How to Price Wire Jewelry

  2. avatar

    Linda Overman

    May 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks Dale some great idea’s that I will start to incorporate.

  3. avatar

    nancy beegle

    May 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    This is wonderful, extremely eye-opening and helpful information, Dale! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    ninibsgems@gmail.com

  4. avatar

    Joanie S

    May 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    What a great article. I am really looking forward to what you have to say about pricing. Thats one of my hardest areas! Thanks.

  5. avatar

    Liza

    May 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Fantastic ideas Dale, I’m just beginning, my beads and findings are rolling in and I’m filled with inspiration! I love this site, a huge hello from Australia!

  6. avatar

    Cathy

    May 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Great ideas! Actually, I made a contact in the check-out line at Wal-Mart last night! No sales….yet, but I was able to give out a business card!

  7. avatar

    Myesha Yarbrough

    May 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you for the insight I’ve been tossing around the idea of where to sell my pieces. I’ve recently started to make and sell jewelry after a long break from the business…

  8. avatar

    Faye

    May 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Brilliant article with some great ideas! Thanks so much xx

  9. avatar

    Nina Christen

    May 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Dale, Thank you for the tips you provide for selling jewelry. I have been giving out my business cards to people that comment on the piece I am wearing etc. When I see a piece of jewelry a person, clerk, receptionist, etc.is wearing that I like we start a conversation and I give her my card and invite her to check out my web site. You have given me some more ideas, I am anxious to put them to use.

  10. avatar

    Syeve Grant

    May 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Thanx Dale. After almost 2 years OF UNEMPLOYMENT, I have a new direction & purpose. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done.

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      May 25, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Thanks for the credit Syeve, but YOU are the one who decided to give this a try and found that you enjoy creating wearable things of beauty that others would like to have. All my best, Dale

  11. avatar

    Sandy Wesley

    May 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I found you by accident but I will be back. Thanks for the great input and ideas it’s so halpful, looking forward to the next topic.

  12. avatar

    Natalie Cox

    May 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    This is a very interesting article. It gives me some good ideas.

  13. avatar

    robin

    September 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Great info!! Thanks for the article on pricing too!! I love this website and all the great info I receive here! I love your books too! Any new ones coming out??? My question though is how do I get inspired? The past few months have been hard for me to get into any wirework or beading activity! I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day! When I think I will be able to work on a project, I get sidetracked with other things. How do you do it???

  14. avatar

    JoAnn Clark

    September 29, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the interesting information. Love the ideas, am new to this but I love making my necklaces and earings. I have 25 that I have made part time and so I need to start doing something with them. So passing out bus. cards sounds great, cause I always get compliments but dont like to wear my stuff then sell it. I was also thinking of getting a group together and sharing the rewards.

  15. avatar

    roli

    December 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    very helpful tip and timely too. i have been trying to figure a way to put my jewelry out there

  16. avatar

    Aliogo Linda

    June 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I never thought about the price tag stuff. That is really cool. Thanks.

  17. avatar

    Jaye Zimm

    November 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Very helpful! I just started exploring my creative side in jewelry making and found this info to be inspiring to branch into community efforts!…Love being creative and hope to encourage all to create!! :)

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      November 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Cool Jaye- Have a wonderful show season!

  18. avatar

    Carmen

    November 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I love this article. I especially find the balloon party idea to sound like a lot of fun.

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      November 28, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Thanks Carmen! I just wanted to let folks know that it can be fun to sell their work and to give some ideas. Glad you like them :)

  19. avatar

    Carys Jones

    November 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I have a variation of the “off your body”. My elderly mother plays Bingo twice a week – she often wears a necklace that can be sold “then and there” (I always write down the materials and price on a card). She’s also brought home requests for similar pieces when she’s worn something that I have made specifically for her, as have my sister and sister-in-law. Recruit those rellies, lol!!

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      November 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Excellent idea Cary – thanks for sharing with us!

  20. avatar

    Mary Lee Peterson

    November 29, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Hi Dale,
    I built up my inventory until I had a large stock of beautiful, unique pieces–primarily necklaces and earrings using mostly sterling silver wire and semi-precious gems and sometimes Swarovski adornments–and entered some fairly large and usually well-attended arts & crafts shows–one an outdoor street fair and one an indoor benefit show. Although many people stopped by my booths and made delightful comments and lovely complements on how beautiful my work was, I ended up selling 5 pieces at the outdoor show and 1 piece at the inside show, and these were all to friends! I must say that I’m really discouraged! The work it took to schlepp everything to these shows, set up, and sit there for a whole day was time and effort I would be glad to put forth if it was profitable. But I haven’t even made enough income to pay myself back for the supplies and tools I’ve purchased–let alone the time I’ve spent–or to justify making more jewelry. The thing I love is creating beautiful pieces, and I can’t afford to spend the money for more wire and gems when I’m not bringing in any income. My “hobby” is not working for me as a “career”. I know I’ve just started out, but how does one keep putting out the effort and cost (these events are expensive to participate in); how long can I expect no payback for the time, cost, and creative effort I’m expending? I’m trying to keep up my selling energy and the smile with which I greet each visitor to my booth, but I would feel so much better if I was being successful in selling my work.

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      November 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Hello Mary Lee, first-I do feel your pain. Unfortunately today’s economy is playing a huge part in your disappointment. And I know how much time, energy and expense goes into doing a “good” show too! I don’t want you to be totally discouraged though, as obviously you enjoy your work and put a great deal of pride into each piece. My suggestion for you would be to explore the world of galleries. Yes, a 40% to 60% commission is quite a bit – BUT if they cover all of the advertising, packaging, building overhead, employee cost, insurance and credit card fees, really they aren’t making much of a profit (as we find by doing our own shows!). The Craft’s Report magazine always has a “call for entries” for different galleries every month; look in a 1 hour drive perimeter of where you live for other gallery possibilities – research them on the Internet and then call to make an appointment to speak with whomever accepts/juries new entry possibilities. What about an upscale boutique? Maybe they would like to take some of your items on consignment? How about asking a higher end beauty salon or spa about hosting an open house for you (for a percentage of the sales, based on what you would pay to do a show)? Bridal/formal wear shops are another possibility. The idea is to think about “where” your target customer already shops. Don’t be afraid of rejections!! You’ve already had the experience to handle those with courtesy, leave a “professional” card or brochure with photos of your work, and check back in a month or so. Keep exploring possibilities – how about the Internet? Like Etsy or Artfire? If you don’t already have a website, at least people will have a place to go to see your work. Don’t give up!!

  21. avatar

    Shannon Nichols

    July 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I loved all the ideas, some I\’ve done-others I\’ve not thought of, so thanks so much!
    Recently, I\’ve developed a greater interest and appreciation for \"old\" or \"vintage\" jewelry. So I\’m thinking-to expand on your wonderful idea of having guests bring in old jewelry pcs.-it would be super cool to have a \"swap shop\" theme party! They bring in old pcs & get percentages or points, however one decides it works best for their own business, which will go toward pcs you\’ve made! This would serve several purposes, I think…fun, of course, getting your jewelry out there at reasonable prices for new consumers, and you get reimbursed with both money AND jewelry pcs! It shouldn\’t matter if it\’s broken-that\’s easily reworked into a \"modern vintage\" piece. Plus, who knows what genuine treasures ppl may bring in?! This would just be ideal for someone starting out & wanting to get noticed within a community because it gives the CUST savings opportunity, if they want to bring something for % or points AND as the person mentioned not being able to restock-your customers are restocking for u! I can\’t wait to try it!

  22. avatar

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    July 10, 2014 at 10:51 am

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  23. avatar

    Polly Reinackeer

    September 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Help! Can you please tell me how to make gold filled or gold plated wire shiny again after a few weeks? All my pieces look beautiful at the beginning, but then start to look dull and tarnished. Silver cloths don’t seem to work.

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