How to Sell Custom Jewelry Online and Actually Make Money
29 million Americans said they owned jewelry in 2018. To put it in perspective, that’s the size of the population of Texas. We did the math, and you’d need approximately 362 lifetimes to meet that many people.
As an ecommerce store owner, you can see there are a lot of possibilities in that number, and it’s just a matter of finding the right path for your business to access them. We’re here to help you understand how to sell custom jewelry and grow your store in the process.
In this blog article, we’ll go over why selling jewelry online is the next big thing, how to find that pricing sweet spot and best places to sell your jewelry, and how to introduce custom jewelry in a way that makes sense for your store.
Why sell personalized jewelry online?
The jewelry industry has been slow to adapt to the world of ecommerce that apparel sellers embraced so quickly. But now jewelry is catching up fast. According to McKinsey, jewelry sales are expected to reach $275 billion by 2020, and a whopping $645 billion in 2035.
McKinsey predicts that 10% of jewelry sales in 2020 will take place online. And with jewelry profit margins averaging 42.6%, it’s a market well worth researching for all existing and potential ecommerce business owners out there.
Another reason to sell jewelry online is its evergreen quality. No matter the time of the year, custom jewelry is never out of season. If your ecommerce marketing calendar has the right dates on it, you can create holiday-related marketing campaigns focusing on your line of jewelry.
Thanks to Bidisha and Anand for sharing their story and showing us how they are #FriendsFirst. Participate in our contest from 1st-9th Aug. Share your own story along with a picture to win celebration vouchers! T&Cs apply: https://t.co/UJFH78NWJG
— Platinum Jewellery (@TruePlatinum950) August 1, 2018
For example, June 8 is Best Friend Day, which means you can come up with a special offer for best friend necklaces. Boss Day on October 8 is perfect for designing custom bracelets celebrating the world’s best bosses.
Where to start?
When it comes to choosing the products to sell, bracelets and necklaces are classics for a reason—people love and wear them. As you know, jewelry can be made from a lot of different materials, but if you want to add value to your store consider fine jewelry that’s made from quality silver, gold, or other precious metals.
There are various production techniques used with precious metals, but engraving is the way to go since it adds a unique tactile feeling to a bracelet or necklace. So by adding engraved jewelry to your product selection you’ll attract customers who love high quality premium products. That’s why in this blog post we’re going to focus on how to sell engraved necklaces and bracelets.
First things first—you have to decide how much time and effort you want to invest in creating personalized engraved jewelry.
Option 1. Create and fulfill custom engraved jewelry yourself
The biggest benefit of creating jewelry yourself is you have full control over the process. You’re the one who chooses a quality engraving machine and supplies, and handles each order to make sure the customer has the perfect unboxing experience.
However, this option comes with some potential deal-breakers. First, you have to get the supplies and tools for engraving, which means investing your own money, especially if you’re going to order in bulk. For those starting in ecommerce, this might not be financially possible.
Second, not all of us have the time to master precise and sleek engraving skills to create minimalistic jewelry, which is particularly difficult with hand-held tools. But without properly learning the skill you can end up with poor quality products, damaged items that’ll make you lose money, or even worse—bad reviews on your store.
Third, engraving, packaging, and shipping each order takes time. And after your business takes off, this model can be difficult to scale unless you’re willing to manage your store full-time. So with future success in mind, it might be more beneficial to choose a trusted fulfillment partner for your personalized jewelry.
Option 2. Use an on-demand fulfillment service
Using an on-demand fulfillment service that offers custom engraved jewelry solves the problems outlined above. You lose control over the creation and fulfillment processes, but gain quality and time to focus on your business and marketing the products.
To get the best results, you need to choose a reliable white-label production partner that has engraved jewelry in their product range. For example, Printful offers high quality engraved silver bar necklaces and bracelets with silver, gold, and rhodium coatings. You just need to add your designs to the products, and start selling jewelry on your store.
Printful charges your account only when a customer makes an order. Then they fulfill the order and send it directly to your customer under your brand. You set your own profit margins, so you can mark up your custom jewelry the way you see fit.
With Printful, all jewelry orders have free shipping, which can significantly increase your average order value.
Using a partner makes sense if you prefer developing a business strategy and marketing the products, and leaving the production process to professionals. To find a fulfillment partner that meets your standards, order some product samples and test them out.
How to price jewelry?
Once you have the fulfillment sorted, find the right price for your products. Pricing is tricky because the price tag needs to reflect the quality of the product and bring in profit, but also appeal to customers who have a lot of other shopping options at their fingertips.
As we mentioned before, jewelry generally has very high and stable profit margins with sellers reporting similar results year after year despite market fluctuations. Researching how established competitors value their products can give you an idea of what works for the audience you’re targeting.
For example, a search for engraved silver bar necklaces on Etsy reveals products with prices ranging from $16 to upwards of $150. A simple Sarah Chloe engraved gold-plated silver bar necklace at Macy’s costs $118. So evaluate the competition, calculate the profit margins, and decide what makes sense for your store.
Let’s take the Macy’s $118 necklace as an example. Printful would charge you $24.95 for a comparable product. Since all orders have free shipping, the necklace would give you a $93.05 gross profit with an 80% profit margin.
Some ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Woocommerce, and Etsy even offer a personalization feature that allows customers to design their own bracelet or necklace directly on your storefront. Giving your customers the option to order jewelry with their own unique designs increases your profit margins even more.
Read our article on how to market expensive products to learn helpful tips and tricks on finding the right price work for your engraved jewelry line.
Best places to sell jewelry online
When you’ve decided on the price, it’s time to find the right place to sell custom-made jewelry. One option is to create your own online store (or add a new category to an existing store—more on that later). This way you can customize the store to your heart’s content, creating a truly tailor-made shopping experience.
Another option is to use online marketplaces that are well-known for their extensive jewelry collections. Even if you already have an established store, multichannel selling can be a game-changer when it comes to finding new target audiences. Let’s take a look at some of the marketplaces you should consider.
Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. Printful’s application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.
Personalized jewelry is one of Etsy’s best-selling categories, so Etsy is the place to sell jewelry. With almost 39.5 million active buyers in 2018, it’s a good place to get noticed.
Just being on Etsy, however, is not enough. You have to optimize your product listings by using the right keywords, adding eye-catching product pictures, and constantly monitoring what works and what doesn’t. So invest some time to research how to successfully sell products on Etsy.
eBay is one of the few industry leaders with years of experience in ecommerce, and its 167 million monthly visitors make it a formidable market player.
But such numbers also signal that there’s a lot of competition, so you should have some tricks up your sleeve to make sure your bracelets and necklaces are seen. This means getting to know eBay’s algorithms inside and out and reading up on how to boost your rankings.
Amazon is an ecommerce giant that’s not going to stop their expansion anytime soon. In 2018 alone, the company’s net revenue was $232.89 billion dollars. Plus, Amazon has global marketplaces for sellers who want their engraved jewelry to go international.
Just note that Amazon has rules in place for all sellers, so it may take some time for you to actually start selling jewelry on their marketplace. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you get started with Amazon.
Introducing custom jewelry to your store
If you already have a successful ecommerce store, jewelry can spice up your product range. Adding new products shows your customers that your business is thriving and expanding. So put some time into planning a launch to make sure the new products tie in with your brand image.
When planning, always have your target audience and business niche in mind. Here are some strategies you can use when introducing custom engraved jewelry to your store.
Connect it to your brand
The designs you use on your t-shirts aren’t going to work on jewelry. But you can definitely connect the two products to attract customers who are already fans of your t-shirts. For example, jewelry works very well with text-based designs, so if your t-shirts feature words or taglines, put them on your jewelry as well.
Or if you’re the owner of a brand that’s already a household name, create bracelets and necklaces with your branding, so your most loyal customers can act as brand ambassadors.
Do limited editions
Use FOMO as a marketing tool, and create limited edition personalized jewelry that’s exclusive to your store. There’s nothing like a countdown clock to motivate customers to make their order.
If the limited edition campaign is successful, you can consider adding jewelry products to your product range with a “back by popular demand” announcement. This way you can test out your customers’ response and make sure they’re not surprised seeing a new category on your store.
Target special events
Special events are a great time to introduce something new to your store. And there are so many options to choose from! For example, you can pick an international holiday, like Siblings Day, and come up with a line of jewelry to celebrate all the amazing siblings out there.
It can also be an event that’s special for your brand. Offer a new product as a thank you to all your customers a year after launching your store, or when you get your 100th 5-star product review.
Start selling custom jewelry today
Whether you’re just at the beginning of your ecommerce journey, or you’re already an established player with lots of experience, consider selling custom jewelry as your next passion project.
With all the impressive sales numbers and possibility for high profit margins, jewelry can become a best-seller on your store. Especially if you put in the work and do your research. So go ahead—discover a new niche in your ecommerce journey! And don’t forget to share your own experience with selling jewelry in the comments below.