Monday, March 5, 2012

Hey! This doesn’t smell like Sterling Silver.

Hey! This doesn’t smell like Sterling Silver.

This month’s EtsyMetal Blog Carnival* topic is: “What are the pros and cons of selling your jewelry online?”

There really is no downside to selling work on-line. You not only make money, but you get to learn lots about the world and the people in it. Not unlike working the counter at 7-11.

Caveat: the following is all true and really happened.

So tell us more about this “making money” part, you ask. You like to make things, and in particular, you like to make money. Well, whip out the ol’ iPhone and take a picture of your unique creation and post it online in one of the thousands upon thousands of web sites that specialize in selling your exact kind of stuff. It doesn’t matter which one because all of them are the “world’s largest, leading, and most successful” on-line store.  There will be some upfront costs, fees, commissions and other related expenses but pay no mind to any of this. You’ll soon be on the receiving end of a river of gold flowing your way.

Overnight International celebrity is often a consequence of posting your creations for sale online. Be ready for it. You will be contacted frequently by adoring employees from other online retail sites, who just LOVE your work. Of course, celebrity that you are, you will be granted an exclusive inside invitation to post your work on the world’s largest leading and most successful online store because their millions of customers just can’t find enough of whatever it is you make. There will be some upfront costs, fees, commissions and other related expenses….river of gold…etc.

So now you are well on your way to fame and fortune through online sales. Opportunities will be rolling in from around the globe and you will gain insights into the interesting customs and habits of people in different parts of the world. You will be amazed at what you learn from cultures as distant as Zimbabwe and Kansas. The convenience of the Internet is that it brings all of this right into your living room, up close and personal.

One of things we have learned is how impulsive shoppers in Nigeria are. They just never have time to plan gifts for those special occasions, and are always rushed to make a purchase – cost is no object. Fortunately many Nigerians have friends or relatives who own shipping companies. Frequently these trusted friends happen to be in the neighborhood tomorrow and can conveniently pick up the goods. We are lucky to live in a neighborhood with such a supportive Nigerian community, and have made tens of thousands of dollars with such last minute transactions, as soon as the checks arrive.

In another example of International goodwill, we were recently contacted by a Chinese company that manufactures jewelry. They had many wonderful examples of items they had made for wholesale in the U.S. In a display of good faith, they even showed us an example of one of our own items that they had made and were offering at a fraction of our cost. It was a bit on the shoddy side, but you couldn’t argue with the price - and if we purchased a significant quantity the price would come down even more. They were considerate enough to even use our original photo to promote the item. From their catalog it was clear that other artists we know were also using this company to manufacture items for them.  Who knew! These kinds of “hands across the water” opportunities abound when you sell online.

Online retailing also presents an endless encounter of amazing individuals. In a recent example, one individual in particular was able to assay metal through the power of smell.
This incredible X-men like super power was discovered through an online transaction in which the Hero purchased a sterling silver ring.  By smell alone, it was conclusively proven that the ring could not possibly be sterling silver. No testing or independent verification needed. The seller was promptly brought to online justice. This is indeed one of the best things about online selling. Buyers are able to shine an immediate light on the nefarious practices of sellers at will through public negative feedback without fear of explanation or rebuttal. Although in this particular case any rebuttal in the face of such powerful evidence would be unjustified. We’re quite certain that a movie deal is in the offing for all parties, or at least a job at Fort Knox for the Super Hero. That’s just the way we roll in online sales.

So heat up the glue gun and get click’n with that iPhone. All of this and much, much more can be yours when you sell your stuff online. Welcome to the land of milk and cookies at the end of the river of gold.

* Blog Carnival is an ongoing collaborative project by the artists of EtsyMetal, an international group of metalsmiths who all have shops on Etsy. Each month a subject is selected and random members of the group weigh in on it, giving readers a variety of perspectives and a peek inside the creative mind.