Everyone is looking to earn additional income these days and online businesses are popping up like tulips in the Spring. It's a hazard of the trade to be so vague in your selling and marketing techniques that you don't catch the eye of someone who is looking for just what you have to sell.
Some fine-tuning and a little extra effort to present your item in its best light will help you to sell your vintage jewelry online. Is it worth it? We can lead you to help that will help you determine that as well.
Choosing Your Items Wisely – Not Just Any Bobble Will Do
Buying and selling jewelry is a big and growing business. However, competition is tough and you will need to do some research on buying and selling gemstones in order to get your new online business moving.
Your ability to sell jewelry knows no limits as it appeals to men AND women, no matter their age, ethnicity, social standing or financial situation. It's an equal opportunity, non-discriminating product and narrowing the line to vintage targets a group that has specific interests and tastes. They are definitely looking for what you have to sell if they narrow their search to vintage. Vintage jewelry does not require you to stay up to date on the newest trends or fads. Your customers know you have classic vintage jewelry and new fads or trends don't matter to them.
You will, however, need to be very familiar with vintage jewelry, the tips for determining value and quality of the piece, how it feels (weight, catches on fabric, etc.), the age of the piece, a little background on where you got it and anything else that would help to determine the value. If it's not worth what you paid to get it, it's not worth the price you would have to charge for realizing a profit.
You will need to have wholesalers that you connect with to buy your product. You might want to consider visiting estate sales and checking classifieds for yard sales that have antiques and vintage “stuff”.
Know how to determine if the piece is fake or cheap?
There are signs to look for. Wear the jewelry for a short period of time. Does it turn your neck, wrist or finger green?Research the piece when you buy it. Ask questions. If the piece has gemstones feel the stone's surface to see if it has a rough or sandy texture. A gemstone should be smooth. Know your gemstones – pearls and fossilized wood are not normally classified as gemstones. Watch out for synthetics – may have gas bubbles and often have curved growth patterns inside the stone rather than angular growth patterns, and may have pitted and uneven surfaces. Imitations often feel lighter than the natural stone. A gemstone guide would be an essential investment. Books available on Amazon that we recommend are:
- Gemstone Buying Guide Third Edition Buy it Here
- Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-On Guide to More Confident Buying & Selling Buy it Here
- Jewelry & Gems – The Buying Guide, 8th Edition: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge Buy It Here
These books can aid in learning about hue, tone, saturation, transparency, cut, optical phenomena, luster dispersion and other terminology that are specific to gemstones and their value.
What tools will I need?
Some tools that are specific to this trade are:
- Refractometer – to measure the degree at which the course of light is altered within the stone.
- Polariscope – to determine if the stone is single refractive (SR) or doubly refractive (DR). This helps to identify the stone.
- Gem computer gauge – to measure actual gemstone dimensions and estimate gemstone weight and identity.
- Jeweler diamond tester.
AND … Now that you have the tools and information to determine the value of the jewelry you have or are purchasing, its time to get set up to sell your product. It's difficult in the beginning to decide how to price your jewelry. A good rule to follow when starting out is to price your product at least four (4) times your cost (including packaging and shipping). This will hopefully keep you from underpricing and selling at no profit or even at a loss. You will need to consider if you will be charging for shipping and how that will be presented to the customer in the purchase process.
Where Do I Sell My Vintage Jewelry – Without Having to Invest a Lot More Money?
If you are planning on selling vintage jewelry online there are a number of sites you will want to check out and see which will be your best fit. There are different fee structures and commission rates for consignment plans. Many sites you probably already know about like Etsy and eBay. You might also investigate TIAS, Ruby Lane or set up your own Website through a service like WordPress.
There is a service (see our Review on Wealthy Affiliate) that can help you to learn how to set up, build and market your new online business. It's free for the basic course, a website set up and lots of support and tools to have a very professional and sought-out business online. You can be up and running in a matter of hours for very little, if any, expense.
You could also set up a store on Shopify for as little as $29/month.
This is just a small sample of the opportunities to sell your vintage jewelry online.
What Else Do I Need to Consider – To Keep From Losing My Investment?
- Set policies – determine beforehand if you will accept returns and state your policy on your site or in your seller's info/profile.
- Shipping – again, consider the cost and if you will charge shipping to customers. How will you build it into the purchase process?
- Set a budget for purchasing your product – don't overbuy. You don't want to sell out and have nothing to sell, but you also don't want to have so much product you can't afford to purchase something special when you find it. Make sure to have a purchasing cushion in your budget.
- Start out simply and make sure it works, then you can build your business with a stable, fun and exciting attitude.
- Reach out through social media to make sure you are marketing your business. This is the least expensive way to market.
- Taking courses like Wealthy Affiliate (Get Your Free Training Now) and researching, reading and shopping around for the best information and advice is always the wisdom of a great business owner.
- Presentation of your product is everything – take clear and enticing photographs by cleaning and presenting the item(s) in the best possible manner. Pictures of you wearing the jewelry is helpful in helping the customer determine size and other visual details.
- Consider bonus offers – if a necklace isn't selling, consider offering earrings or a ring for a little more. Everyone loves a GOOD DEAL!
Don't give up. It won't happen overnight, but the journey is the exciting part of any new endeavor. Have fun and enjoy the process. It's YOUR business.
People will only buy from trusted sources, so take the time to become an expert in your field and become the one they trust. Treat people fairly and build your reputation for being someone they will want to come to.
I'm always eager to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to me and leave a comment below.
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