Christmas Selling

I had all of my silver byzantine necklaces and bracelets hallmarked, and they were returned to me yesterday. Now I need to figure out exactly how to sell all of these items. As it’s the run up to Christmas, this should be the ideal time to make sales, as despite how hard a recession hits, people will still spend money at this time of the year. Unfortunately right now, I genuinely don’t know how to go about making sales.
In previous years, I’ve made money at this time of year simply by commissions and word of mouth. However, this method only goes so far, and I really need to be expanding and reaching a wider market. I was expecting to have my own online store set up by now (as the website was started in February) which hasn’t happened due to a lot of circumstances beyond my control, and also beyond the control of the web designer. While the base of the website is now online, without the shop, all it does is put my name on the web, rather than generate sales. It’s incredibly frustrating, and I am not happy that it has all taken this long.
So looking into other avenues for generating sales, I was planning to apply for a stall at Greenwich Market. It’s local to me and the stall prices are reasonable, and I went online to check the application details this morning to discover that they are not currently taking on anymore jewellery stalls. I admit to being very disappointed.
I have a photo gallery of items that are available on Facebook at the moment, along with prices. A couple of conversations earlier in the year made it clear that some people expected my prices to be much higher than they actually are and were put off even asking about buying items as a result. Unfortunately a fair few people have also balked completely at the prices, yet I price things as fairly as I can – after all, I do need to make money on the items, so there isn’t a lot I can do about that apart from emphasise the materials and the handmade aspects. I don’t think I’m actually expecting to make any real sales on Facebook, although I have been asked to reserve one bracelet. On a very touching note though, a lot of people have been linking to my page and complimenting my work, both friends and people I have never met, for which I am very grateful.
So that leaves sites like Etsy and Ebay. I don’t see a huge amount of point in trying to sell on Ebay, as I don’t yet have enough feedback to set up a shop on there, and I’m not convinced that a site that specialises in bargains will give me the kind of prices that I need to sell for in individual auctions.
Etsy is another matter. On paper it should be the perfect place to sell my stuff. However I had listings on there for over a year, and got hundreds of views, and made a total of two sales, both linked in from a fan on Facebook. These two sales barely covered the listing costs for everything else. While there are a lot of tools on the site to help promote your items, it’s impossible to get a slot in the main or jewellery showcases which are the two main advertising features that I suspect will drive the most business through your page. The only place that I would be able to get an advertising slot is the crochet showcase. Now while some my work is most definitely crochet, I don’t know whether that would attract the folk that would be interested in buying jewellery as opposed to hats and scarves! I am giving it serious consideration. I may well try just over the Christmas period, and if I still don’t generate any sales then I shall come to the conclusion that it simply isn’t the forum for me.
I haven’t given up though – there may be a few obstacles but I’m convinced that there is a solution. So I shall continue to rack my brains and research other methods of selling, and hopefully be able to find the right avenue so that I can properly promote my jewellery and actually start to make some money doing what I love!

It’s not all doom and gloom though – I am currently working on two seperate commissions, and am hopeful of getting a few more before the Holly comes down …

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~ by Silver Nightshade Jewellery on 17/11/2010.

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