I signed up with Madeit.com.au last week.
Bella Moon Jewels on Madeit.com.au
As I'm not exactly moving jewellery through Etsy at a rate of knots (erm, still to make a sale), I thought I'd see if an Aussie site would work better. No bites yet, but I guess that's the nature of things in this strange old online world.
Jewellery is one of those tactile, personal things. Ideally you try something on, decide whether you like it or not, see if it suits you or not ... then purchase it - or not. Selling over the internet is a little more tricky though. Without the capacity to actually try a piece, or see its finish or its sparkle, it's difficult to know whether you're getting what you're paying for.
Buyers place a lot of faith in the seller when purchasing online, which is something I certainly work hard in maintaining (the faith, that is). What you see is what you get - no hidden agendas, or dodgy work. I place a lot of pride in my work - from the materials I use and how they are turned into designs and then ensuring my finishes are neat and strong.
Then I think about how to photograph the piece. Without professional photography gear, being able to capture the way a piece sits, flows, dangles or spins can be tricky. Light is an issue, but I'm figuring it out. I know my work doesn't look as fabulous in photos as it does in reality, but that's just the nature of the game at this stage.
Then I write a description, detailing the materials used, length, size of beads - anything at all that will fire the potential wearer's imagination and leave them wanting my lovingly created masterpiece.
Pricing is the tricky bit. Everyone wants a bargain on the internet, but some of my pieces (Gypsy Princess and Bella Rose necklaces for example) can take days to make. From the concept design through to construction and tweaking to get it just right. I'm not in this to lose money, so combine the time with the cost of materials and I charge what I think is a fair price. I don't stick to a particular hourly rate, but just what's fair to me and right for the quality. But so far it's not working.
With thousands of jewellery stores on the internet, finding a point of difference helps too. I ask myself the question: what is it about my jewellery that sets it apart from all the rest? I'm not sure I've found the answer except I know I have a style of my own, which is part way there.
I know my work is good when people see my jewellery close up - hold it and try it on - and it sells in a flash. They recognise how well made it is, how well designed it is, how lovely the quality of materials are that I've used. They are happy to pay the prices I ask.
It's just something I have to chug along with I guess. I'm not going to compromise my standards and use cheaper materials or make the latest fashion item that can be bought for $5 at cheap costume jewellery stores. It's a matter of hanging in there and sticking to what's right for me and ultimately for the customers I'm yet to gain.