How to Sell Jewelry Online in 2020 – The Detailed Guide

Are you looking for a really good reason to sell jewelry online?

How about the fact that 29 million people purchase jewelry on a daily basis?

Don't you want a piece of that pie?

If you're here to learn how to sell jewelry online, you've come to the right place.

Well, like all online business it's not all that simple. However, the jewelry business does have some appetizing advantages, and it all starts with the insane markups.

Editor's note: This post was originally published on December 13, 2017 and has completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Jewelry has been known to yield profit margins of around 25 to 75%, much of which has to do with the perceived value of the jewelry.

And this is one of the main reasons jewelry is such a great niche to get into. It's not like the electronics segment where everyone knows exactly, what a certain model of laptop should be selling for. A consumer has no way to determine the exact best price tag on a necklace (besides estimating what a stone is worth).

So, most of the time it has to do with whether or not the customer thinks it's pretty or not. And that opens up all sorts of opportunities for the vendor.

Now, I'm going to explain the benefits of selling fine jewelry online, and also walk you through the exact process of finding wholesale suppliers, thinking about dropshipping, building a store, and marketing that store. Some of the most popular dropshipping suppliers that offer jewelry include Aliexpress, Alibaba, and Printful, so if you’re considering this business model, be sure to check them out!

Why Should You Buy and Sell Jewelry Online?

how to sell jewelry online

I already talked about how people buy tons of jewelry on a daily basis. I also delved into how profit margins are really up to the company making the sales.

But what are some other advantages of selling jewelry online?

  1. Jewelry is small and easy to ship. Not only that, but there's a small chance that anything breaks when you ship it out.
  2. Jewelry is insanely diverse, allowing for a wide selection of options in your online store. For instance, there are hundreds of options like gold, gemstones, and shells, along with types of necklaces, anklets, and rings. You can choose to focus on one of these categories or create a large store with everything.
  3. Customization is an option. Sellers can create their own custom jewelry and make even more money by taking requests from customers.
  4. You have plenty of sourcing options available.

Finally, people like to buy and sell jewelry online. It's a thriving marketplace of people sharing their past heirlooms and hoping to find their next favorite gem.

Jewelry is a hobby similar to biking, where the passion behind the jewelry fuels the industry.

There are a few ways to sell jewelry online. So, we're going to outline a few of them here for you:

Sell Jewelry On Your Own Website

Okay, so if you're going to sell jewelry on your own website, you'll need to find and use the ecommerce website builder that's best suited to your business.

For those of you who don't know, an ecommerce website builder empowers you to create and customize your own online store. You own your site, so you're in control of everything. Best of all, you don't need any coding skills to get up and running!

These platforms also help automate some of your more time-consuming tasks. The more sophisticated website builders on the market provide tools for things like inventory tracking, real-time shipping quotes, SEO-optimization, etc. In short, the right ecommerce builder will undoubtedly free up your time to focus on more critical money-making tasks.

You'll also be pleased to hear that unlike most marketplace platforms (Amazon, Etsy, etc.), you don't have to shell out for listing fees — But, more about online marketplaces in a sec!

This is one of the many reasons why, in the long-run, entrepreneurs usually find running their own store more cost-effective than selling via online marketplaces.

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce builders on the market. It genuinely has all the features you need to launch a digital jewelry store and create a strong brand.

In addition to Shopify, there are other ecommerce website builders to choose from:

Just to name a few!

So, before committing your hard-earned cash to anything, do your due diligence by researching these programs and reading reviews. Use all this info to get a feel for which platform's best suited to your online jewelry store. Most ecommerce builders come with a free trial, so take advantage of that!

Things to consider when picking an e-commerce site builder:

  • Your budget: Examine their pricing plans, can you afford them? Do they fit with your business budget?

💡 Top Tip: Don't just look at their cheapest paid-for bundle, examine the cost of their higher-tier plans. We assume you're planning on growing your business. This means budgeting and planning for growth; as such, knowing how much it'll cost to upgrade is essential.

  • What features do they offer? Analyze all the tools on offer. Do they match what you need to launch and grow your online jewelry business? For instance, can you run a blog alongside your online store? Do they have in-built website analytics? What about a drag-and-drop editor?
  • What about design? You need an online store that looks sleek and sophisticated. Take a look at how many ‘templates' or ‘themes' the ecommerce builder has on offer. How simple are these templates to modify? What's the quality of these themes?
  • What about customer support? When you launch a new venture, there's a good chance you'll need help. So, take a look at their customer service options. Are you happy with what's on offer?

Once you've picked the right ecommerce platform for you, you'll need to choose a custom web domain for your site.

A domain name is a URL that shows up in the web address bar when customers look at your website. So, for E-commerce Platforms, our domain name is ecommerce-platforms.com. Get it?

Picking a decent domain name for your online jewelry store is vital. They mold the identity of your brand and help to build trust with prospects.

Each domain name is unique. So, when you know what you want, register it and fast! The cost of domains fluctuates, but on average, we're looking at anywhere between $10 to $60 per year.

With some of the ecommerce builders listed above, you even get a free web domain for the first year. This is usually a perk given for signing up with one of their annual paid-for plans.

A Few Tips for Picking a Domain Name

Here are a couple of pieces of advice for picking a kick-butt domain name for your online jewelry store:

  • Stand out from the crowd: Select a domain that reflects your business. Keep it unique. If a domain name has been taken — don't just tag a couple of random numbers or letters on the end! Go back to the drawing board and start again, don't be lazy!
  • Less is more: The shorter, snappier, and more straightforward the domain, the better. This helps keep your domain memorable and boost brand recognition.

What About Customizing Your Store?

When it comes to customizing your digital store, there are a few things you'll want to consider:

Write Engaging Product Descriptions

When selling jewelry online, you don't have the benefit of building face-to-face rapport. All you have are your words and pictures, so compelling and persuasive product descriptions are vital. These need to exude your brand and be brimming with information.

Publish High-Quality Product Photos

Shoppers want to see what they're getting for their money. This isn't an unreasonable demand.

So, what does this mean for you as an online merchant?

Simple. Start taking and using professional-looking product photos. Period.

Take Pandora, for instance.

This is one of the most successful jewelry brands in the world. So, glean some inspiration from their online store. See how many product images they use? There are loads. They don't just have a single photo- they use several. Ideally, you want snaps that showcase your products from an array of angles. That way, the customer can really get a feel for the product.

If possible, take a leaf out of their book and hire a model to show-off your jewelry.

💡 Top Tip: Try to publish a selection of images. By this, we mean, ones with a model as well as snaps of the pieces on their own.

Here are a few other things to bear in mind:

  • Your photos must be clear and in focus
  • Your surroundings need to be well-lit before you start taking snaps.
  • If possible, use a neutral background. You don't want to distract viewers from the main event — i.e., the jewelry you're showing off.

Price Your Jewelry Right

When it comes to pricing your jewelry, keep it consistent across all your lines. You want customers to know where they stand! Confusing shoppers is a surefire way to run a weak brand — not cool!

💡 Top Tip: Don't be coy about pricing. Take Tiffany, for example, they make it crystal-clear how much their jewelry costs. You want to provide customers with a seamless user experience — this means not making shoppers hunt around for the price of your goodies!

If you specialize in creating bespoke pieces, then make it obvious where the customer needs to click to get a quote.

Categorize Your Jewelry

Let's just circle back to providing shoppers with a seamless user experience for a sec.

Part of achieving this involves sorting products into categories. Use them to give your website navigation a sense of direction. When it comes to structuring your website's main menu, product categories massively help prospects find the jewelry they're on the hunt for.

Classic examples of jewelry categories include:

  • Necklaces
  • Engagement Rings
  • Bracelets
  • Rings
  • Watches
  • Earings

You get the idea!

Alternatively, you can categorize your jewelry by metal type, i.e., gold, silver, platinum, white gold, rose gold, etc. Or perhaps, by occasion — for instance, gifts for her, wedding jewelry, anniversary, etc. Have a think about how your target audience likes to shop and categorize your merchandise accordingly.

When you own your own online jewelry store, you can (usually) list an unlimited number of products. So, you can only imagine how tumultuous having hundreds of products on your store would be, without categorizing them! So, nip this in the bud and label your jewelry from the get-go.

Pick Your Style

When it comes to designing the aesthetic of your online jewelry store, style is essential. Period.

Your online shop needs to embody the message, value, and vision of your brand. For example, if you're selling high-quality jewelry, harness the power of clean and sophisticated web design. Whereas, if you're marketing handcrafted jewelry with a more chilled vibe, you're better off with a website boasting a more bohemian feel to it.

But, before you do anything, do some market and competitor research. Think about your target demographic. What do they want to see? Once you have the answer to that question, give it to them!

If you're not the creative type, and you can afford it, hire a professional web and graphic designer. This takes all the stress out of polishing the look of your online jewelry store.

💡 Top Tip: Use a freelance network like Fiverr to source affordable professionals. You'll be amazed at the quality of work you'll receive at such affordable prices.

Offer a Few Payment Options

Be sure to offer a variety of payment options on your online store. As we've said time and again, you want to provide the smoothest possible user experience for your shoppers. Needless to say, this extends to being flexible with your payment options.

Ideally, you should offer the following payment choices:

  • Credit card
  • Paypal
  • Stripe
  • Afterpay

You can easily integrate these payment gateways with the majority of ecommerce website builders.

2. Digital Marketplaces

Okay, so now we've talked about selling jewelry via your own site, let's take a look at a few online marketplaces.

Etsy

Etsy is best described as the crown jewel of sales channels that sell handcrafted goods.

So, if you create handmade jewelry or if you're sourcing unique pieces, this is where you want to be!

Despite the vast size of this marketplace, it's still nicher than the other eCommerce giants, which is one of the reasons why this marketplace has been so successful.

Etsy's stats are impressive, at the time of writing this marketplace boasts:

  • Over 54 million registered users
  • More than 20 million active buyers
  • Over 1.4 million sellers.

But, although Etsy's potential is enormous, you have to compete with thousands of other sellers. This means working hard to stand out from the crowd. You'll also have to pay a $0.20 listing fee for each and every item you publish. Needless to say, these fees can quickly rack up, especially if you've got a broad product catalog.

There's also a 5% transaction fee. On average, this is much more expensive than the usual payment gateways you'll use on your own ecommerce website. Take Stripe, for instance, that's only 2.9% and $0.30.

eBay

In the US, eBay is the second largest ecommerce marketplace, next to Amazon. So, it's certainly worth considering.

If you're thinking of selling jewelry on this platform, be sure to use their auction option. This is an excellent feature for selling jewelry — especially if you're marketing secondhand pieces.

But, you'll need to spend time and energy optimizing your listings. Otherwise, your products will definitely get lost amidst a sea of competitors. So, swot up on the topic and put what you learn into action!

Fun Fact: eBay has created its own guide to selling jewelry! So, if you're considering eBay as a potential sales channel, be sure to give this a read!

Bonanza

Bonanza is another excellent alternative to Amazon and eBay and seems to be a fantastic option for selling jewelry online. Namely, because when it comes to jewelry listings, there aren't as many as some of the more well-known digital marketplaces.

What does that mean?

You got it, less competition.

So, all you need to do is either source or make jewelry that people actually want to buy and market it well. If you can conquer those two tasks, then there's a good chance you'll succeed in selling jewelry on Bonanza.

Best of all, it's free to set up your store. Plus, they only take a 3.5% commission from each sale you make. This means higher profit margins for you. Especially in comparison to some of the pricier listing fees charged by rival online marketplaces.

Now that we've outlined the reasons to dive in, keep reading to learn about how to sell jewelry online:

Step 1: Finding Suppliers/Dropshippers for Your Jewelry Store

The first order of business is to figure out where you're going to source the jewelry from. Take a look at your niche (like gemstone necklaces or fine earrings) and take that into consideration when looking for your suppliers.

You have two options to consider for your sourcing process: Wholesale or Dropshipping.

Buying wholesale means that you'll purchase larger quantities of the jewelry and store them at a location of your choosing. This is the traditional way of conducting business, and it comes with its pros and cons:

Wholesale Pros

  • You maintain more control over quality since you can touch and examine the jewelry.
  • You can ship faster and package the jewelry how you want.
  • Since jewelry is so small, this approach often results in minimal storage costs (Like if you stored the inventory in your garage or basement).

Wholesale Cons

  • Buying wholesale is often more expensive because of storage, shipping, and packaging.
  • You're stuck buying large amounts of inventory. Therefore, you might be stuck with unsold merchandise.
  • More work is required on your end. Think about shipping and packaging.

On the other hand, you could go with dropshipping, which means that you partner with a dropshipping supplier who handles all aspects of packaging, storing, and shipping your jewelry. Your main responsibility is to manage your website, market, and handle customer support.

Dropshipping Pros

  • Dropshipping is typically far less expensive in the long run.
  • Most of the tedious shipping and packaging work is done by the supplier.
  • You don't have to worry about filling up your garage or seeking out expensive warehouse space.

Dropshipping Cons

  • You lose control over the shipping process. It may take a long time for your customers to receive items.
  • You don't get to vet the products before they get sent out.
  • Customer service gets tricky since you're not the one accepting returns or shipping out the products.

When you shop wholesale you open up all sorts of opportunities for finding suppliers. In fact, most jewelry producers will at least entertain the idea of providing you with a wholesale discount. For instance, Azeera, the custom jewelry company, has partnered with online stores to provide beautiful jewelry at wholesale prices.

You can also reach out to local manufacturers since you can adjust the margins to make up for higher costs and take control of shipping times by using closer manufacturers.

Since most of you will have different niches, it's best to search for wholesale jewelry online and see what comes up. For instance, a quick search brings up Fashion Bella and Rose Wholesale, both of which have wide selections and interesting categories.

You can also contact a supplier on AliExpress or Alibaba. This typically means you'll partner with a Chinese supplier, but there are plenty of reputable options to choose from.

Keep in mind that Alibaba is suited for wholesale and AliExpress is better for dropshipping.

salehoo setup dropshipping business

Here's our recommendation – an integrated wholesale directory and market research lab:

  • Salehoo. Find hot products and real wholesale suppliers for only $67 per year or get lifetime membership for just $127.

Step 2: Vetting Your Jewelry Suppliers

Regardless of whether or not you go with dropshipping or wholesale purchasing, the vetting process is pretty much the same.

However, vetting jewelry suppliers is a little different from other industries.

AliExpress jewelry suppliers could be great, or they could be terrible. You want to figure out a few things:

  • Is the quality of jewelry up to your standards? After all, a picture online isn't the best way to evaluate quality.
  • Are you going to have a point person to check in with? This is how you're going to maintain control of the process and make sure you can go to someone for late deliveries, product problems, etc.
  • Is the company reputable, compliant, and financially healthy?

Visit our Guide on Best Drop Shipping Companies for Ecommerce to discover alternative suppliers.

When it comes to financial health and compliance, this requires research. You can typically find information on supplier websites, press releases, or by asking other people who have worked with the companies.

Finding a point person ties into that first conversation you have on the phone. Make sure you consistently ask who your point person is going to be.

Trust me on this one: it will turn that first conversation into a fruitful conversion.

Understanding the quality of your products can only be done by asking for samples. If a supplier doesn't offer samples, look elsewhere.

After all, there are literally plenty more fish in the sea. Yep, I'm talking about oysters and pearls.

Counterfeiting also ties into the quality:

Brand-name jewelry like Tiffany Co. and Gucci have their fair share of counterfeiters. It can be fun to visit China on vacation and haggle for some counterfeit Bvlgari earrings, but your customers won't appreciate it if they pay top dollar for counterfeit jewelry, only to discover it's not the real deal.

The conclusion is that selling discounted counterfeit jewelry is not a good idea since you'll probably be caught and shut down.

Step 3: Building a Reputable Online Store to Buy and Sell Jewelry

Jewelry stores look similar to other online stores except there's usually less clutter blocking the user from the product pages.

People want to see the jewelry right away, and the pricing and descriptions as well.

That's why places like Shopify (read our Shopify review) and BigCommerce (read our BigCommerce review) have specific templates designed just for jewelry stores.

And that also explains their huge success.

After selecting a theme designated for the jewelry world, you want to ensure that you have a mobile responsive store, along with marketing tools and a wonderful product management area.

Finally, trust seals from PayPal, Shopify, and the BBB are nice, but when you partner with a well-known jewelry supplier it's essential that you show your customers that you're an authorized dealer.

Step 4: Promote Your Jewelry Brand

Creatively marketing your jewelry brand takes a deep understanding of how jewelry sells.

It's similar to the clothing industry where people like to see the items out and about being worn.

That's where social media rides to the rescue.

Here are some other marketing tips when learning how to sell jewelry online:

  • Get your jewelry on as many people as possible. This includes your friends and family, along with famous people (who are often willing to promote your jewelry on social media if the price is right).
  • Focus most of your marketing on Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns.
  • Capture beautiful photos of your jewelry, both on and off people.
  • Start an email list, and integrate this with coupons and rewards.
  • Wear your own jewelry so that people notice it and ask where you got it.
  • Tap into other channels like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. Your website isn't the only place to make jewelry sales.

Consider using a tool like HubSpot CRM to grow your contact list and engage with your current and potential customers. The information stored in your CRM will allow you to create highly targeted email campaigns, and the built-in ad management tool will help better inform your campaigns.

How to Sell Handmade Jewelry Online

In addition to the advice we've already given, here are a few general ‘pro tips' to help you start selling handmade jewelry online.

Avoid Fake Products

DON'T be tempted to say you're ‘handmaking' your merchandise when you're just sourcing products from China and selling them on.

Not only is this unethical, but there's a good chance you'll get caught out. So, avoid counterfeit products at all costs. Trust us, you'll save both you and your customers a lot of trouble in the long run.

The same applies if you're not claiming to handmake your jewelry, but you're sourcing counterfeited branded items. You need to avoid selling designer goodies. Period. If you come across a Tiffany, Gucci, or a Ralf Lauren piece…or whatever other brand names while browsing a dropshipping marketplace like AliExpress, there's a good chance these products aren't the real deal!

Most counterfeit products turn your skin green and in more severe cases, can cause rashes. You can only imagine the sorts of customer testimonials you'll get if you choose to go down that road!

The only surefire way to avoid sourcing and selling fake jewelry is by only doing business with members of the Better Business Bureau or by making your jewelry yourself.

Go Fair Trade if You Can

As you've probably already gathered, selling jewelry online is a pretty competitive field. There are hundreds, if not thousands of merchants, all trying to flog their beautiful wares on the web.

We've said it already, but make it your mission to stand out from the crowd. In our opinion, selling fair trade goodies is a fabulous way to do this.

Not only is this a ‘nice' thing to do, but there's also a massive market for fair trade jewelry — win-win!

We're living in a society that's never been so aware of what it's buying and where stuff comes from. So, unsurprisingly, we've seen a massive push towards ethical consumerism. If you haven't factored this into your business plan, now might be the time to give it some thought!

What's Fair Trade?

In short, a fair trade item is anything that's made by an artisan in safe and humane working conditions. That's in addition to the worker being paid a fair wage. More recently, there's also been a more significant push for fair trade goodies to only use environmentally sustainable methods throughout the entirety of their production process.

All in all, there's nothing not to like about selling fair trade!

Run Strategic Facebook Ads

If you haven't added Facebook ads to your online marketing arsenal, it's time you did.

The main thing that makes Facebook stand head and shoulders above other marketing platforms is that you can laser-target consumers. You can pinpoint your ideal audience based on specific demographics and interests.

All in all, Facebook campaigns empower you to reach a vast sphere of people, whether they're a customer of yours or not.

Plus, you can set strict daily budgets for your ads. So, there's no chance of you ‘accidentally' spending more than you can afford.

Obviously, mastering Facebook ads isn't quite as simple as that. So, you'll have to do some research and educate yourself on the art of creating and running high-converting ads. But, trust us, it'll be worth it in the end!

Share Content Every Day

When it comes to formulating a content marketing strategy to promote your jewelry, you'll have to keep it consistent. This means sharing posts on social media every day. Never fear, you don't have to do this manually, you can easily spend an afternoon scheduling content using software like Buffer.

By content, we mean things like:

  • Blog posts
  • Product images
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Infographics
  • Videos

That sort of thing!

Best Place to Sell Handmade Jewelry Online

Amazon Handmade

Back in 2015, Amazon launched a sister platform called ‘Amazon Handmade‘. The idea was to provide talented artisans with a more targeted platform. Shoppers trust the merchants listed on Amazon Handmade because Amazon reviews every artisan who applies to sell on their marketplace. This includes auditing their production methods to ensure the business is genuinely handcrafting their wares.

This is a fabulous option for any artisan specializing in making and producing handcrafted jewelry.

Why?

Well, by focusing on artisanal goodies, the platform removes any competitors who sell cheap jewelry. The shoppers on this network are looking for handcrafted merchandise — which as an artisan, is good news for you!

Until the end of 2019, Amazon is offering its professional selling plan for free! Usually, this costs $39.99 a month — so, now's the time to jump on the bandwagon!

You should also note: Amazon takes a 15% referral fee ( $1 minimum). So before diving full steam ahead, be sure to factor that into your budget!

How to Start Selling Vintage Jewelry Online

Ruby Lane

Ruby Lane is another fabulous online marketplace for selling jewelry. This website is completely devoted to antiques, vintage collectibles, art, and jewelry. In short, it's a one-stop-shop for all things creative.

Although Ruby Lane is smaller than brands like Etsy, Ruby Lane has a laser targeted customer base. Not to mention, it's far more sophisticated than other online selling platforms in this article. Shoppers expect to spend higher sums of money. This might well be because the majority of Ruby Lane's users are women aged over 40 (over 85%). It almost goes without saying, this tends to be a demographic with more disposable income to spend on jewelry. So, if you're selling higher-end, vintage, or antique jewelry, this is the place for you.

Interestingly, Ruby Lane has as many as 1.1 million visitors a month. Now, we're not saying all these shoppers will convert into customers, but you can easily see the kind of opportunity this marketplace affords you.

You should note: Ruby Lane charges a listing fee of $0.19 per item. In addition to that, you'll also have to shell out for “maintenance” fees. The amount you'll have to pay on maintenance will depend on the size of your business and how you plan on using Ruby Lane as a sales channel.

How to Sell Jewelry Online: FAQ

What's the best place to sell costume jewelry online?

In addition to your own website, there are plenty of marketplaces you can use to sell costume jewelry. The majority of these we've covered above, but here's a quick list:

If you haven't already, check out these platforms!

Where's the best place to sell diamond jewelry online?

Diamond jewelry isn't something we've explicitly covered in this article. So, we thought we'd bring to your attention a few online marketplaces that are better suited to selling diamond jewelry:

  • Worthy
  • James Edition
  • Vaunte
  • EBTH

Where to sell used jewelry online?

Like we've already said in this article, one of the best places to sell you used jewelry is eBay — especially, eBay's auction feature.

What is the best online marketplace to sell jewelry?

In our opinion, the best online marketplaces to sell jewelry are the ones we've covered in this article:

But of course, there are other fabulous marketplaces where you can sell your jewelry online. Do your research and find out which sales channel best suits the needs of your brand.

Learn How to Sell Jewelry Online and Enter the Bling Business

Now that I've gone through the basics, you should have the foundation to build an online jewelry store from scratch at a fraction of the cost required to setup a real store.

Get cracking on that Aliexpress jewelry and take your jewelry store to the next level.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below!

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a freelance writer who creates tools and resources to help other writers get more productive and market their work.