The demand for unique, hand crafted jewelry and other decorative items is on the rise, as people look to differentiate themselves with unique, exclusive items and limited editions. This is a great opportunity if you have the artistic talents required to create beautiful jewelry and accessories. Selling your handmade jewelry is also easy, as the Internet offers many opportunities to find potential customers.
Before You Start Selling
Selling jewelry online is a business, and as such it counts as a source of income for tax purposes. While most countries allow you to just declare your income on your tax report if it’s small enough, it may be worth the effort investigating your legal requirements before starting your own business, such as how your jewelry related income could affect any benefits you get from the government. You can easily register as self-employed and that will allow you to claim back your expenses against your earnings, greatly reducing your tax liability because you will be able to pay taxes only on the margins of each item, not on the full price of each sale.
Etsy is probably the most popular marketplace for handmade items, vintage and crafting supplies. You can register as a seller and pay only when you list an item for sale, and you can even create shops to showcase your creations. Etsy is used by a variety of people but in general the community of crafters and artisans is extremely friendly and supportive, with very active forums. The forums are full of helpful and knowledgeable sellers that share information on marketing and improving sales.
Etsy fee system is remarkably simple. There’s a 20 cents upfront fee for each item listed, and a 3.5% fee on each sale, not including the shipping price. Each piece of jewelry will remain listed for 4 months, or until bought. The site works on dollars, so all fees will be converted to that currency and you can pay using via a credit card or Paypal. Payments are charged monthly. The simplicity of their system makes Etsy a great option for those who want to get started selling hand-crafted items online.
You can also sell hand made jewelry on EBay using their auction system, which can work great for more expensive items. If you already have an EBay account in good standing you may want to use it to sell your handmade jewelry since you can benefit from previous positive client feedback. However, keep in mind that most people on EBay are looking for a bargain, not a unique piece of jewelry, and that EBay listings ask for the item to be described accurately and shipped quickly, which means you cannot create the item after it has been purchased.
Launch your Own e-commerce Website
Depending on the amount of jewelry you want to sell and your technical skills you may be better off installing your own e-commerce software and selling through your own website. Services such as Shopify are inexpensive and free you from all technical maintenance duties. If you want to focus on crafting and selling and minimise your start-up investment and time spent on administrative duties, this is your best option as the initial costs are really low.
If you are after the cheapest option in the long term, the best thing to do is registering your own domain name and a hosting package with a reliable provider and installing an open source e-commerce package such as OpenCart with a suitable template. You will need a basic knowledge of web technologies and web design, but your shop will look exactly as you want, and if you have a large amount of sales the costs will also be lower than using third party platforms. Having your own website often will require some sort of marketing and advertising, with PPC advertising being often a good option since it leaves you more time free to craft new items, while you can use SEO and Social Media marketing to bring in long term passive traffic for a much lower cost but more work and time.