Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How To Make Money Selling Your Jewelry On Ebay

Unless you've been living under a few cyber-rocks, you know that hands down, eBay is the world'd largest online auction site, allowing people to make money online.  Since it's inception in 1995, eBay has brought the time-tested business model of flea markets, yard and garage sales, and antique shows to your PC.  One of the reasons for its massive success is eBay's philosophy of connecting people, which is the 'secret sauce' to any business's success.

With today's ever-plunging economy, more and more people are turning to this online business model to supplement or even replace their current income. The biggest draw is that you can start your own business for literally pennies on the dollar and can instantly have a global marketplace for your goods and services.  As a result, thousands of people have made some SERIOUS money in a relatively short time.

While there are no guarantees that you can repeat the success of certain eBay gurus, you can increase you chances of success by incorporating the following tips into your business model.  Although for the purposes of this post, I am talking about jewelry, these tips can be translated into any niche you prefer.

Research is King
This cannot be stressed enough! Product knowledge is the most powerful method to sell your goods.  If you sell jewelry, before you even sign up for an eBay account, I highly recommend that you spend time researching your pieces.  Study every vintage jewelry book and visit every vintage jewelry website you can find. Familiarize yourself with period styles, the work of well known designers, hallmarks, metals, stones/gems. Note how the descriptions are written. Commit these to memory, make them a part of you.

Branding is Key
A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It's important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It's a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.  Therefore it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.

The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:

Delivers the message clearly
Confirms your credibility
Connects your target prospects emotionally
Motivates the buyer
Concretes User Loyalty

Read and study current eBay descriptions and prices
Create your eBay account and begin to familiarize yourself with how eBay works and its CMS platform.  CMS stands for Content Management Software which, in a nutshell, means they have a certain way of adding content to your pages.  There is a learning curve involved so take the time to learn how to maneuver your way around the site. You can find a wealth of tutorials and how-to videos all over the internet.  Some people sell courses, but if you are patient enough, you can teach yourself for absolutely no cost.

Although they improve the CMS aspect all the time, there are third-party alternatives to listing on eBay should you find eBay too complex.  The most popular is Auctiva, which is what I personally use to list items.  It is a subscription service, but they do have a 30-day trial for free.

Auctiva allows you to upload and list multiple items, design custom templates, even schedule listings.  This can help free up your precious time to be more productive in your business.  You can try them out for free by clicking this link.

Stock up on Inventory
Buy a jeweler's loupe (what I like to call the All Seeing Eye - The little magnifying glass a jeweler uses to examine pieces of jewelry) and go shopping at flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, auctions and thrift stores. Check your local newspaper for sales. Buy only a few pieces. Make sure each piece is marked with the company hallmark, usually found on the back of the item. Check item carefully with your jewelers loupe. Examine each stone for clarity and chips. Do not buy items that have defects or appear to have been repaired. Be sure all clasps and closures are in good working order and that all stones are securely set.

Subscribe to an image storing site
Unless you don't mind investing in an external hard drive, you will soon find that photos take up space - LOTS of space.  You will definitely need to subscribe to an image management site.  Most are free and there are plenty to choose from.  My personal recommendation is Picasa since it is owned by Google, thus making integration to and from websites seamless and easy.  Picasa allows you to upload, edit, store, and export your images all from one location.  While it is free, there is some software to install on your PC and a learning curve so be sure to view the tutorials they provide.

Invest in your equipment
No business is without overhead.  Even if you have a mountain of vintage jewelry, you still need equipment to sell it.  The six essential pieces of equipment/supplies you will need are a digital camera with macro-zoom, tripods, a postage scale, a computer, a jewelers loupe and packaging supplies.  As time goes along you will want to invest in marketing tools and better equipment so consider your overhead/profit ratio wisely.

Show Me The Money
Now you're all set to begin the fun part. Photograph your items, list your items and begin making money.

Be sure to check out my ebay store, which features auction items starting at an unbelievable 49 cents!


  1. This was a great and helpful blog article. I've been meaning to write one in the same vein, but am glad you've beat me to it. I will check out Auctiva and also sit down for some more research. Do you ever feel like you'll never put in enough research. Its a daunting task to get started. Most likely just fear thats impeding the progress. Can you speak to that? Can you speak to the difference between live auctions and buy it now functions and the relative success of both. This article makes me think your practically an expert, so I thought I would ask. Thank you for your time, and your article! Well done,

  2. Thank you for your kind words Gabrielle. I am in the process writing a blog post that will answer the questions you asked as you are not the only one who needs them answered. Look for it to be posted by the end of the day.