Posts Tagged ‘Storefront’

Can I Make Money Selling My Handmade Jewelry Designs On Ebay?

June 7th, 2012 No comments

If you’ve ever tried to sell your work on the tremendously competitive and crowded pages of Ebay, your quick answer to the above question may be no. But don’t be so quick to answer. If you keep these few things in mind, you can have a successful jewelry business on Ebay.
Before I started my website,, I sold my jewelry designs exclusively on Ebay. And, as with any business, with an Ebay business, you need to have a business plan. The odds are against you on Ebay if you simply make a few pieces, list them, and hope for the best. Your chances are much better if you spend enough time to develop a significant inventory of several types of items that show your individual style. After all you may only have one chance with an Ebay buyer… if they visit your auctions, and you have only a few unrelated items up for sale, they may never come back. But, on the other hand, if they see a nice inventory of things that they would love to buy, they will bookmark your store.
You will also need a listing/sales strategy. There should be two types of items in your storefront:
Store Items: Have a well thought out inventory of items in your Ebay store. (These items will always be there at a fixed price.) All you need to do is make a sample, upload a photo, and remake the pieces as the orders come in. (Earrings are great store items.) Ebay has a low store-listing price of $.05 per listing, and a monthly $15 store fee. Remember, you will have to sell enough to cover this Storefront expense above and beyond the per piece profit, however.
Auction Items (or fixed price listings): These listings are much more expensive per piece, but, no will find your store without them! It may unnerve you to start a listing at $.01; but, your best bet is to start your auction listings low. Let me give you a typical example that I have seen a hundred times: Sue starts a choker at $9.95, because that is what she paid for the materials. Lisa starts the same choker at $.01. Sue’s item gets zero bids. Lisa’s item sells for $30. Here’s the lesson: The final bidder was willing to pay $30, but she was tempted by the idea that she could get it for nothing. Ebay buyers are always looking for a bargain!
Featured Listings: Another very important thing I learned is that you must have at least one Featured Listing at any given time. You pay a premium for Featured listings on Ebay ($19.95), but they put your listing in the top page of your category for the duration of the listing. Featured Listings are your best portal into this very competitive market of jewelry artisans. You cannot think of the expense of a Featured Listing as a selling expense against the one-featured piece, but as an advertising expense for all your listings and storefront. (For instance; if you have twenty auctions in a week and one is featured, you can consider that you’ve spent $1 per piece to get ebay buyers in the door to your store.)
You must understand that you will not get rich selling handmade jewelry on Ebay! I always felt that what I averaged per piece on Ebay was like wholesale prices. But – let’s face it – if you are selling through stores that resell your work, you will not be making retail on your work either. Plus, you will be running around, schlepping your work, and most likely leaving it on consignment with boutiques. After all, wholesale on ebay is pretty good when you’re able to work from home, list the things you want and make your own hours doing something you love!
The biggest mistake jewelry sellers on ebay make is to step into it too casually. You must have a certain amount of patience, and understand that there will be upfront expenses that will not come back to you immediately. (In what other business venture would we expect such a thing?). If you take the time to study Ebay, watch what the successful sellers are doing and develop your own inventory and a strategy – you can be successful on Ebay!

Linda Blackbourn