More than 29 million people purchased jewelry online daily last year. So buying and selling jewelry online is big business and can be hugely lucrative!
With stats like these, however, it’s safe to say that competition is huge. Not to worry though! We’re here to provide you with an expert guide to get you on the right track.
Ready to become an entrepreneur selling jewelry online? Let’s dive in!
Why Sell Jewelry Online?
With jewelry being a billion-dollar online marketplace, why wouldn’t you want a slice of that pie?
Because jewelry is a consumer product, it knows no boundaries! Jewelry appeals to both men and women no matter their age (or culture)! With this in mind, you know that you’ll never run out of buyers.
Check out what’s being bought online:
Jewelry is also hugely diverse:
Sellers can offer rings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, or belly rings, just to name a few. Each of these products can be made from hundreds of different mediums such as gold, diamonds, gemstones, shells, beads, and more!
In fact, jewelry is so diverse that if you start digging into the multitude of options, you may find your head spinning. For each unique piece comes a unique design and so on. Take a look at the image below for a better insight.
Head spinning, yet? These are just the clasps available to tie your jewelry together! If something so small is this diverse, there should be no problem finding unique pieces to offer your customers, right?
Right! The number one thing you should focus on before starting your jewelry store is understanding how to keep it running.
So, how do you sell jewelry online to make a living? We’re glad you asked!
How to start a jewelry business online
Because fashion is a fluid industry, you’ll need to keep your customers engaged by updating your product range and adding up to date trends to your store. Keep in mind that fashion is an ever-evolving niche with new trends and fads.
Step 1: Research
Your customers will constantly be on the lookout for new pieces to add to their wardrobe. In order to make sure you have these new hot items in stock, you need to know about the trends even before the most devout fashionistas!
But, how do you know when new trends roll in? Great question! One way is to follow jewelry blogs such as:
- Gem Gossip - This blog was created by Danielle Miele, an avid jewelry collector. She mainly blogs about the different types of jewelry she finds on her travels, but keeps her followers in the loop with what’s hot right now.
- Gemologue is written by Liza. She blogs about fine, fashion, and vintage jewelry and her finds from around the world. She has an awesome section on her blog called Gem Talks where she interviews top people in the jewelry and fashion world. She also studied Gemology in New York so she definitely knows her stuff!
- Diamonds in the library is an awesome jewelry blog written by Becky. Her blog is literally a library covering topics such as design, photography, history, how to buy the best jewelry, and more. This is definitely a blog to follow for all things jewelry!
But here’s a pro tip for you: Plug in the keyword “jewelry trends” into Google Alerts for up to date trends. When you do this, Google will help you out by emailing you when a new article pops up including your keyword - nice!
Finally, SaleHoo also offers a way to find new jewelry by using the Market Research Lab. Here, you’ll find hot new products including how much an item is selling and average profits.
Step 2: Find jewelry suppliers
If you’re not making your own jewelry, you’re going to need to find a reliable jewelry supplier. But where do you start? It’s fairly easy to find jewelry suppliers, but it can be a challenge finding a good one that you can trust. First, you need to decide if you’re looking for a jewelry dropshipper, wholesaler, or manufacturer. While the process of finding them is similar, there are minor differences.
Read more about finding quality suppliers here.
- Google search: Start with Google. Simply type in “jewelry supplier + [area/country you want]” and see what comes up. The top-ranked suppliers are there for a reason, but they might also be the most expensive. This is one time when you might want to venture into page 2 or 3 of the Google search.
- Online marketplaces: A lot of manufacturers are based in China. An easy way of finding these suppliers is by looking on websites like Aliexpress and Alibaba. A lot of suppliers list their items for sale on those sites. You can look for jewelry similar to what you hope to sell and then contact those suppliers directly. Just make sure to do you due diligence - check their details, order samples, and maybe even visit the supplier in person.
- SaleHoo: You can use SaleHoo to find more than 8000 quality suppliers that have been vetted and verified. You can contact the suppliers directly through SaleHoo and even use pre-written email scripts to streamline the process. SaleHoo is the fastest, safest way to find jewelry suppliers that you can trust.
- Trade shows: You can see if there are jewelry trade shows happening in your area by searching for them online. Trade shows are a good option if you want to meet suppliers in person and talk about your specific product needs.
Step 3: Setting up your Store
To be honest, it’s going to take more than following a few well-known jewelry blogs and typing in keywords to rank your online store.
A few extra tips to follow are:
- Create your own jewelry niche. Without a specific niche, your online store might be a flop. Doing this won’t restrict you, it’ll keep order within your store. Just like clothing, people shop for specific staple pieces of jewelry. If someone is looking for a statement necklace, they’re not going to rummage through bracelets, earrings, and chokers to find the perfect one.
- Wear some of the jewelry you plan on selling. Why? So you can see what it feels like. A good rule of thumb: If you can’t wear it all day, your customers won’t be able to, either. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of yourself wearing it. More on product photography here.
- Create deals your customer won’t be able to pass up. These deals may include an earring and necklace set, or a trio set (earrings, necklace, and rings). Be sure to include the price for the set as well as the price for each piece separately. If you’re selling the set for $29, and want the set to look more appealing, write something like “Or, purchase one for $18!”. That alone sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?
It's also best to do your research and try to get some inspiration from already established dropshipping websites.
How to build an online jewelry store from scratch
It’s easier than ever to build and launch an online store to sell jewelry. Once you have a product and a supplier, you can use one of the following tools to start building your store. All of these tools allow you to either build an online jewelry store from scratch, or add eCommerce capabilities to your existing website.
- Shopify: Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that allows you to set-up your online store with all the features you need to get you up and running in no time.
- BigCommerce: BigCommerce is an online store builder (hosted shopping cart software) that allows you to do everything yourself, including add products, upload photos, process orders, create pages, create discount coupons, and more.
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce is essentially a Wordpress plugin that allows you to add eCommerce functions and features to your own site. Just be sure to find ways to speed up your WooCommerce store if it starts to slow down.
When setting up a online store for jewelry, style is very important. You want the website to reflect your brand and its messaging. If you’re selling fine jewelry, you want to use a sharp, clean, modern design with slick product photographs.
If you’re selling handcrafted jewelry, you want it to appear more laid-back and bohemian. Think about your audience and customers when designing your website and, if you can afford it, pay for the services of a professional web and graphic designer.
You should also consider offering a range of payment options on your site, including credit card, Paypal, Stripe, and Afterpay. Most of these can be added easily using any of the software above.
Step 4: Pricing your Jewelry
One of the toughest decisions you’ll have to make: pricing your jewelry. A good rule of thumb to follow when starting out is to start with four times your material cost and packaging.
Most consignment or wholesale opportunities take up 40 to 60 percent of your retail cost. By starting your base price at 4 times your materials cost will keep you from working for free (or worse, losing money).
Think about whether or not you’re going to charge customers for shipping, too. If so, be sure to add in how much it’ll cost them before they abandon their cart at checkout.
Other questions to ask:
Will you accept returns? What about refunds? What will you do if your jewelry breaks before your customer gets it? Have a backup plan in mind for freak accidents, and you’ll be good to go.
Step 5: Scale & diversify through the best places to sell jewelry online
Etsy is the darling of the arts and crafts retail world. It’s the most established and popular eCommerce platform for handcrafted goods. That’s largely because it was the first major breakaway from the likes of eBay and Amazon. It claims to have close to 54 million registered users, 20 million active buyers, and 1.4 million sellers. This was back in 2014, though, so those numbers are likely to have increased. While Etsy looks and feels like a niche platform - the online version of your weekend craft market - it’s really a massive retail force.
Jewelry is perfect for the Etsy platform, especially if you can source or create something unique. You’ll be competing with thousands of other sellers, so you need to do everything you can to stand out. Just be aware of the $0.20 USD listing fee per item, which can add up quickly if you’ve got a large inventory. There’s also a 5% transaction fee.
Ruby Lane is an online marketplace devoted to antiques, art, vintage collectibles and jewelry. It’s the perfect place to sell jewelry online. While Ruby Lane is smaller than places like Etsy and eBay, it has a much more targeted customer base. And besides, Ruby Lane claims to have 1.1 million unique visitors per month, which is a lot more than you’ll get coming through your doors in a traditional retail store. Ruby Lane is also more “high brow” than its competitors, which means you could have more success selling high-end fine jewelry.
Most of Ruby Lane’s users (85%) are women aged over 40, which also happens to be a demographic with disposable income to spend on jewelry. While there’s no commission, Ruby Lane charges $0.19 per listing and a tiered “maintenance” fee that ranges from $69 a month for small sellers, to $0.01 per item for major sellers. There’s also a one-off $100 set-up cost.
eBay is the second largest online retail website in the United States, behind Amazon. Its auction option makes it a good platform for selling jewelry, especially secondhand items or antiques that might hold more value than you realise. eBay has become a highly competitive market and tends to favor sellers that can compete on price - sometimes leading to a race to the bottom.
If you can optimize your listings and source jewelry that people want to buy, then you can still have success selling jewelry on eBay. eBay has put together its own guide to selling jewelry, which is worth reading if you’re considering selling on the platform.
Bonanza is becoming one of the most popular alternatives to eBay and Amazon and seems to be a great option for selling jewelry online. A quick search shows more than 85,000 items listed under “handcrafted jewelry” on Bonanza. While that sounds like a lot, it’s not as much as some major online marketplaces. If you have a unique jewelry product backed up with some savvy marketing, you could have success selling jewelry on Bonanza.
The best thing about Bonanza is that it’s free to set up your store and they only take a 3.5% commission from the final value of each sale. That means more money in your pocket compared to most other platforms.
Amazon launched Amazon Handmade in 2015 to give artisans a more targeted platform to sell their wares. As the name suggests, Amazon Handmade is exclusively for handmade goods, including jewelry.
Amazon Handmade reviews every artisan application and audits production methods to ensure that the goods are genuinely handcrafted. This is a good option if you make handcrafted jewelry as it removes the competition from sellers of cheap, generic jewelry. Amazon is offering free Professional selling plans (usually $39.99 per month) to Amazon Handmade artisans until the end of 2021. They do take a 15% referral fee per item sold (or $1 minimum per item). So you’ll have to weigh up whether the fees are worth it.
Keep in mind, Amazon is by far the largest online retailer in the United States and one of the biggest in the world. If you can tap into that customer base, you could do very well for yourself.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell products. It’s super convenient because so many of us use the platform anyway to keep up with family and friends. With over 800 million monthly users checking out Marketplace, you are sure to find someone to sell your products to! Plus, there are no fees to sell on the platform! Win!
However, customers do expect 24/7 communication and to build a good reputation you will want to have a fast response time. This also means creating a professional-looking Facebook page. Check out Facebook's help guide, for more information on selling on Facebook Marketplace.
Overstock is an online marketplace that has been around since 1997. It has over 40 million customers a month and jewelry and watches are popular selling categories. Their commission is apparently slightly higher than other channels and they charge about 10 cents for each listing; however, it is hard to know for sure until you sign up to be a seller.
With over 15 million unique visitors per month, Sears is a great place to sell unique and fine jewelry items. However, it is an online marketplace only open to US sellers. The great thing about Sears is that your listings will appear alongside theirs meaning your products will look like they are from Sears which gives confidence to the buyer. They don’t require any long term commitment and you can leave at any time. However, it will cost you $39.99 a month to be on the platform and they take 8-20% commission depending on the item sold.
I’m sure you have heard of this massive player. They have just revamped their jewelry segment so now could be a great time to jump on board. They have a bit of a rigorous process to get approved but this also means you will have less competition. It seems as though the most important requirements are high quality products and great customer service.
Once approved the best perk about Walmart marketplace is no monthly fees. You only pay for what you sell and you also get access to their conversion tools.
Be sure to check out their website for more information on getting started with Walmart marketplace.
Pro Tips For Selling Jewelry Online
Now that you’ve got a good idea on how to start up your online store, as well as what you’d like to sell, we’re going to offer you some pro tips to keep your store up and running.
Don’t worry, these tips are free of charge! All we ask is that you implement them daily (and share this article, if you found it helpful). Sound good? Great!
Tip #1: Avoid Fake Products
This is probably the most important tip we can offer you. By avoiding fake products, you’re saving your customers (and yourself) from grief. Did you know that brand-name jewelry (like Tiffany and Co., Bvlgari, and Gucci) are all victims of counterfeiters?
One sure-fire way to avoid selling fake jewelry is by only supplying materials from suppliers who are members of the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
As shown in the image above, it’s easy to spot fake jewelry. Most fake products will turn your skin green after a while (and, in some serious cases, can cause rashes). This ring, however, looks like costume jewelry, so the buyer should have seen this coming.
There are so many suppliers out there currently selling cheap products. Here’s the problem, though: If you’re caught selling knock-off items, you could have your website shut down. You could even face prosecution by the original brand owner!
Even if that doesn’t happen, your customers will still be unhappy and won’t come back.
Think about it - would you rather buy items at a higher cost to please your customers (and keep your store up and running), or buy dirt cheap knock-off items and get tons of negative reviews?
The answer should be simple: stay away from fake products.
Tip #2: Give Buyers A Reason To Choose You Over Your Competition
Selling jewelry online can get pretty competitive, as we talked about before. It's vital to think of a way to differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other sellers before you get started!
Selling fair trade items is a great way to do this. Fair trade jewelry is made by artisans who work under safe and humane working conditions.
These workers are also are paid a fair wage for their work. Another great thing about fair trade jewelry is the fact that it’s also made without child labor and is crafted using environmentally sustainable methods!
If you labeled your jewelry as “Fair Trade” and explained what that meant to your customers, they’d go crazy over it. Knowing that they’re buying jewelry from a reputable source is something they’ll pride themselves on.
Tip #3: Run Strategic Facebook Advertising Campaigns
Facebook campaigns will quickly become you best friend. Because you’re able to target consumers according to certain demographics (age, gender, and location) you’ll be able to reach a multitude of people whether they’re currently connected to your business, or not.
You’re also able to set a strict daily budget as well as select how long you want your advertising campaign to run. For more help on Facebook ads, check out this post by KlientBoost.
Tip #4: Keep It Consistent
Sharing posts on social media is vital to keeping your business in the loop, but you have to share content daily!
This means you have to constantly post pictures, blog posts, and simple status updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Take some time at the beginning of the week to gather some photos, quotes, or product shots and schedule them for different times during the week. Once you get good at this, try to schedule for two weeks at a time. (You can use a tool like Buffer to do this on the cheap.)
You’ll end up saving a lot of time by putting posts in the que. Doing this will ensure that you’ll never forget to post again.
Tip #5: Provide In-Depth Product Information
Delve into comprehensive product insights through engaging free online video makers, offering an in-depth exploration of every facet. Unveil the intricacies of the product with a captivating video, delving deep into its features and benefits for a comprehensive understanding.
While you obviously don’t want to overwhelm buyers with huge paragraphs for each item, you’ll want concise and descriptive information for each piece of jewelry.
Most people want to know what they're getting ahead of time and, if anything is unclear, most won't reach out to ask questions.
By providing the materials used in designs up front, your customers will know exactly what to look forward to. You can even add why you love the piece!
More information also includes making sure your policies are easy to find so there's no confusion about returns, exchanges, etc., later on.
Finally, strong product descriptions can improve your store’s search rankings.
Four Hot Jewelry Niches To Get You Started
Wondering what jewelry niche to get into?
There are heaps of options to choose from. There are also heaps of wholesale jewelry suppliers to pick. But because we want to help you succeed, we’ve selected four niches to get you started PLUS our top suppliers from our Wholesale Directory.
Without further ado, here are four up to date jewelry niches to dig into!
Costume jewelry is a broad term and has a bad wrap as being associated with knock off or fake jewelry. Basically, it is jewelry that is not made of precious metals and usually made of brass, bronze, and copper. The stones used are normally plastic. Another term you may have heard it be called is fashion jewelry. It is inexpensive and not designed to last the test of time. Just be sure to avoid scams and purchase fashion jewelry instead of the real thing!
If you are looking for a supplier for costume jewelry we recommend Fashion Jewelry For Everyone found in our Wholesale Directory. This website carries affordable fashion jewelry for, well, everyone! They carry nearly every staple piece of jewelry you can think of at a great price.
While technically pretty much every single piece of jewelry covers this niche we're talking about body piercing jewelry here. Think nose rings, tongue bars, belly rings, and earrings (being the big player).
Salamander jewelry found in our Wholesale Directory is more or less an alternative wholesaler. They carry body jewelry such as nose rings, eyebrow rings, belly-button rings, tongue rings, and more.
Silver Plated Jewelry
Silver plated jewelry is a cheaper alternative to sterling silver. The pieces have a thin layer of silver that is coated over base metals, usually brass. This means they are affordable and still look like sterling silver but at a cheaper price. However, because the pieces are not sterling silver they likely will not last that long and the silver can rub off and tarnish.
If you are looking for a supplier check out Silver Plated Jewelry. You guessed it… They sell silver plated jewelry! They’ve been in business for over 15 years and are well trusted by many.
This is a super creative niche with all sorts of options to sell, including one of a kind pieces! When you’re marketing this type of jewelry you could have an earthy bohemian vibe to your store especially if you are selling fair trade jewelry or, minimalistic depending on the exact type of jewelry being sold. Handmade jewelry is usually pretty high quality due to the fact it is handcrafted and made with love so emphasize this on your store.
Also, keep in mind the uniqueness of the items. They are perfect for customers that aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd and wear something that not everyone else is.
Looking for a supplier? My Wholesale Boutique found in our Wholesale Directory is a great option. This wholesaler boutique offers tons of fair trade jewelry at a low cost. Their jewelry is unique and will help you stand out from your competition!
Selling Jewelry Online: FAQs
It can be! It is a multi billion dollar industry estimated to be worth over 266 billion by 2027 so there is absolutely room to tap into the market and make a profit.
Almost any kind. There are so many options to choose from! Some of them have already been mentioned in this article including sterling silver jewelry, costume, handmade and body piercing. But you could sell a specific jewelry item like rings or necklaces. The options are almost endless!
The answer is that it really depends.
It depends on where you are on your journey and the type of jewelry you are selling. If you are a beginner, marketplaces can be a great place to start while working on your website and establishing your brand. However, some marketplaces are only available to US companies and are very competitive.
There are lots of successful jewelry businesses that solely sell on marketplaces however a website is a great option to build a brand and authority. You can also keep more profit and are better equipped to track your inventory.
A great place to start with finding jewelry suppliers is to use a supplier directory such as the one we have here at SaleHoo Directory. You can also Google search for suppliers, check out AliExpress, Amazon and even online marketplaces.
Definitely. You don’t need to spend money to make money. A massive bonus is that jewelry is small and easy to ship. These factors make it a pretty popular eCommerce niche. But there is still room to join.
One of the best places is on our SaleHoo Directory where we have over 8000 trusted quality suppliers that have been vetted and verified. But other options include Google search (just be careful to avoid scammers), trade shows and online marketplaces.
Wrapping It All Together
We’ve talked about why you should sell jewelry online, how to do it correctly, what to avoid when selling products, and even gave you a few wholesale jewelry suppliers to get started.
I’m afraid that it’s now time for us to part ways. Before we do though, let’s go over some of the most important details when it comes to selling jewelry from home.
- Create your own jewelry niche. Without a specific niche, your online store might be a flop.
- Jewelry is a consumer product; it knows no boundaries! Jewelry appeals to both men and women no matter their age (or culture).
- Create deals your customer won’t be able to pass up. These deals may include an earring and necklace set, or a trio set (earrings, necklace, and rings).
- Stay away from fake products. It’s as simple as that.
- Stay consistent when it comes to sharing posts on social media.
- Provide detailed information to your customers. What they’re getting, if they have to pay for shipping, etc. This will help both you and your customer a lot.
Now it’s time for you to spread your wings and fly! Or at least, spread your wings and create a kick-ass jewelry store. Have fun!