How to Get Started in the Jewelry Trade

Jewelry is a timeless, popular and versatile product that appeals to both men and women across cultures. Whether it’s made of gold, diamonds, pearls, or gemstones, jewelry can be functional, artistic/decorative, a marker of social status or a symbol of personal meaning. The market for jewelry is vast, but not without competition. A successful jewelry maker needs to be able to identify and serve the needs of their target audience in order to make money.

If you have a piece of jewelry that you believe is valuable, you can take it to your local jeweler for appraisal. They can help you determine the value of your piece and give you options about what to do next. If you have a rare or historical piece of jewelry that has been passed down through your family, it’s worth taking it to an auction house for evaluation. The process is usually faster and more reliable than taking it to a jewelry store.

You can also sell jewelry online using an ecommerce platform. There are 3 main ecommerce business models that you can use to sell your jewelry: dropshipping, wholesale, and private label. Dropshipping is when you collaborate with a manufacturer to produce jewelry for your brand, but you don’t stock or ship it yourself. Wholesale is when you buy in bulk from a jewelry supplier at a cheaper rate and resell it on your website or in retail stores. Private label is when you create and design jewelry for your own brand, but sell it through a wholesale marketplace like Shopify Handshake or Alibaba.

To sell your jewelry, you’ll need to register your business and create a website where potential customers can see and touch your products. You’ll need high-quality product photos that show off your jewelry in various angles and lighting, as well as clear, persuasive copy. Make sure to add a shipping and return policy on your site, too.

Depending on the type of jewelry you’re selling, your business model may require you to attend industry trade shows and conventions. These can be a great opportunity to network with other jewelry professionals and learn about new trends in the jewelry trade. You can also find potential suppliers at these events.

The IJO (International Jewelry Manufacturers Organization) holds annual conferences for its Master IJO members, which include a few days of buying from top vendors and plenty of networking opportunities. The RJO (Retail Jewelry Organization) also hosts a variety of buying and education conferences that are open to the public. These include golf and tennis tournaments, receptions, jewelry design contests, and a formal banquet. They’re a great way to get your name out and meet prospective clients. If you’re a member, the shows are free to attend. The other benefits of being a member include a discounted rate for educational seminars and an array of industry publications. You can even find financing for your jewelry business through these programs. This is a great option for small businesses that are just starting out.