Daily Wire Tip Feb. 23: Starting to Sell Jewelry

By on February 22, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
February 23, 2011

Question:

I am just getting started with trying to sell my wire wrapped jewelry, and have never exhibited at a fair or outdoor show. I have several local shows in mind, but I need help with what to expect. For instance, what supplies do I need to purchase for this purpose: tent, table, signs, give-aways, displays, etc.? What should I be prepared for that I might not be aware of?

-Mary Lee in Clifton, Virginia

Answer:

When you are ready to begin selling your handcrafted jewelry at shows, there are a lot of questions! To help, on the left side of this blog, under Jewelry Topics, look at Sales & Marketing, under Articles. You will find several free articles I wrote to help with these challenges, Mary Lee.

For example, How to Price Your Wire Jewelry gives suggestions on pricing formulas to use; in Where to Sell Your Wire Jewelry. I share not only common locations but also some tips on selling at places you may not have thought of! To answer a lot of folks’ questions about shows, I wrote Wire Jewelry Display & Booth Ideas, all of these articles are based on my real-life experiences, and are meant to help you avoid some costly mistakes that I made when I started out.

Of course, the ultimate advice would be to invest in The Definitive Guide to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. I can’t go into all of the detailed information about what is included in this guide here (all you have to do is follow the highlighted link). Really, if you think about all of the time and energy you have invested in designing and making your jewelry, and all of the money you have invested in the tools, supplies and education aids to do so, why wouldn’t someone invest in the one final tool that will help you price, display, and sell your work, recouping your investment and expanding your marketing potential? I wish you all the best with your upcoming shows!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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6 Comments

  1. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    February 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Mary Lee, I totally agree with Dale… the huge investment we all have made in materials, tools not to mention time and creativity certainly warrents investing in the one final support that anwsers all those questions about pricing, inventory display ideas marketing and publicity… I can not begin to tell you how much help I have received from the Definitive Guide to Selling. Though I am not a “newbie” to selling at Craft Fairs I can tell you I am amazed at the depth of the investment in detail that Dale and her staff have gone to in presenting this comprehensive Guide… totally worth every penney! I highly recommend everyone interested in becoming an accomplished Jewelry business person to invest in this one of a kind guide!

  2. avatar

    Buddy

    February 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Mary Lee, I sold for a while at a weekly Farmer’s Market. Didn’t have a clue what to expect. The manager of the market advised me of what they offered with the stall rent. In my case it was a table and 2 chairs. I simply coverd my table with black cloth and used homemade jewelry racks that I made with cardboard boxes cut out in the shape of a necklace display and covered with felt. I layed my pieces out on the table and opened for business. I was actually intimidated by the other merchants around me with “fancy” stall preparations. Guess what? I sold jewelry and did as well as anybody. I started getting “fancy” later on and my sales fell off. Go figure. I’m just saying use your gut feeling and a warm smile. Good luck! Buddy Rice

  3. avatar

    Rebecca

    February 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I sell a lot of earrings, so one of the big things for me is bringing different earring findings to the show in case someone doesn’t like the french hooks that I normally use. You’d be surprised how many women prefer posts, clips or leverbacks (and sometimes changing a finding is the difference between making the sale and not!).

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      February 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      Excellent advice Rebecca – great way to ‘save a sale’!

  4. avatar

    Out of Hand In Nevada

    February 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Don’t forget about your own comfort and needs when setting up for a show. Ask a friend to accompany you. This way you can get breaks to stretch, eat, potty and maybe even shop around at the show. You can learn a lot by seeing how other folks set up. Be sure to bring water and a few snacks to keep you going. Good Luck!

  5. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    February 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I too made displays out of cardboard covered with felt or wool but used acrylic folding plate stands to hold upright. Then I used a rolled towel draped with cloth to lay out other necklaces at an angle. Make sure to have light and dark cloth for contrast. Then I used a large picture frame, covered cardboard insert with canvas and strung ribbon across to hang my earrings. I propped it up in a large wire holder designed to mount big platters on the wall. I totally agree that it’s the product on display, not the display. Then if you’re alone, get to know your neighboring vendor so you can “spell” each other for bathroom breaks.

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