Getting into any business can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re new to the industry. A lot more people are now adopting an entrepreneurial spirit and venturing out to form a company. One sector that a lot more people gravitate toward is jewelry since it requires a lot less capital and can bring in impressive profits.
The jewelry industry is massive, with many manufacturers scattered across the globe. That’s good news since you have a ton of options when it comes to finding a company that will sell you jewelry wholesale to start your retail business. However, there is a lot more to doing so, and here, we’re offering you a guide into how to buy and sell jewelry.
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Why do people buy wholesale?
Basic economics tells us to make a good profit, the initial cost that goes into purchasing the inventory should be minimal. It’s made possible through wholesalers who sell items in bulk at a fraction of a retain store’s price. That gives you, the buyer, tremendous savings, albeit you’re purchasing things in bulk.
Wholesale is vital for the survival of any business, starting or otherwise. Consider two scenarios for when someone wants to buy wholesale and sell retail: a pair of earrings costs $1 wholesale, but in stores, it goes for $5. However, you can’t go to a wholesaler and purchase a single pair. For the same $5, you can go to the wholesaler and buy $5 earrings that you can now sell at $5. From that, you’ve made a profit of $20, and you have inventory to purchase five or more pairs.
The issue with buying retail is you spend too much money on the initial costs. Equally, you’ll be hard-pressed in making a profit since people are aware they can get the same product for cheaper elsewhere. That means, if you purchase the earrings for $5 and try to sell them for more than that value, people will opt for a cheaper alternative. Overall, getting your jewelry from a non-wholesaler is not a smart business.
1. Decide on the kind of jewelry to sell
There’s quite a wide variety of jewelry that, unless you’re a mega business, you can’t house them all. For the beginner, narrow down the kind of jewelry you want based on materials is the best. There are two kinds of jewelry; fashion jewelry and fine jewelry. The former is popular and cheaper and gets typically made with brass, wood, leather, or an inexpensive alloy. Fine jewelry refers to gold, silver, platinum, and the like and is more expensive given its quality.
Fine jewelry is more complex since experience is required. Some suppliers claim that a piece is made of pure gold, while the reality is the item is gold plated with brass as the base metal. Therefore, you’re keen not to get knocked-off, as in the long run, you’ll lose customers since what you’re selling isn’t the real thing.
Most people, therefore, find it easier to opt for custom jewelry and fine jewelry that are budget-friendly. The type of stone on the piece does determine the price since there are precious and semi-precious stones available. Artificial alternatives such as cubic zirconia are equally a great alternative and are graded in quality just as you would diamonds. Whatever you choose, ensure that you create a product detail that accurately describes the jewelry.
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2. Focus on market demand [not your taste
A pain point that plenty has experienced is purchasing the wrong kind of jewelry or too much of it and ends up with dead stock.
Jewelry manufacturers and jewelers worldwide come up with and produce new designs in the thousands daily, and that’s an important point to keep in mind. You, therefore, have to keep up with continual changes in the jewelry world and know what’s trending at any moment.
A good resource you can use is your social media pages. A simple scroll through your feed can tell you what kinds of jewelry your immediate circle and peers prefer to wear. From there, you can expand to within your suggestions. For example, Instagram has a feature that allows you to explore and see photos and videos you otherwise wouldn’t have. After a few minutes, it’ll become clear what your target market likes and wants.
Therefore, don’t have the rookie mistake of only picking jewelry that you or your immediate partners find appealing. Sure, you ought to have those too, but see the large picture, especially if you’re looking to expand your retail business. Remember, the customer is always correct, and word-of-mouth is king.
Caveat: If you’re a fashion icon and there are those eager to adopt your taste in jewelry, by all means, start a line with all things you love. Look at the influence you have over your followers and capitalize on that.
3. Find an excellent wholesale supplier
The jewelry market is flooded with wholesale suppliers. The issue, therefore, isn’t about getting one; it’s getting one that won’t let you down. Plenty of business owners have taken social media and other platforms to share their bad experiences with suppliers. On one end, you see something you’re sure will trend, only for it to arrive, and the photos you saw online were clickbait. What you get instead is items made of poor quality.
Other suppliers are notorious for backorders that don’t arrive in weeks, well after a trend has blown over or your customers have canceled their orders. Not only do you make losses, but you also lose your credibility in the market, along with a ton of existing or potential customers. These are but a few of the issues many have faced when dealing with overseas wholesalers.
Getting a good supplier requires you to do proper due diligence since your money and business depend on it. Buyers tend to choose a couple of approaches:
1. Look for reviews on forums:
Anyone can get paid to write a review; you can’t entirely trust those, especially if the writer is getting paid.
Therefore, platforms such as Quora, Trustpilot, Better Business Bureau, and GetApp honest reviews from people who have tried and tested the products and services in question.
2.Work on product description:
Some companies are notorious for product misinformation, something people miss since they are too focused on the product itself.
For example, if the description states “real 24k gold earrings,” then you know it’s false.
Look for obvious signs where the photo doesn’t match what’s being said about it, such as color, size, material, and source.
Equally, watch out for typos; the supplier might not be from an English-speaking country, but there are resources available for proof-reading.
3. Test the waters:
You might end up falling in love with a supplier because of their customer service and overall legitimacy, but you mustn’t spend all your money in one place.
Choose a couple of wholesalers and ask for minimum orders from them. From there, you can test the quality and consistency.
When they prove themselves, you can then start making larger orders. If you’re ever not satisfied, don’t be afraid to speak up or walk away.
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4. Balancing demand and supply
Typically, the more jewelry ordered, the lower the price of each piece. That implies that assuming the retail price doesn’t change; you get more profits out of a single order. Wholesalers use this approach to encourage buyers to purchase larger quantities than they otherwise would. While this business model is a win for the person buying the jewelry, there’s more to think about than going for the cheaper option.
One aspect to consider is your current customer base’s size, even as you’re looking to expand. The fashion industry is continuously evolving, with new trends almost emerging daily. Therefore, you don’t want to be left with a massive stock that won’t get bought because people move on to something new.
Consequently, it would be best if you balanced demand and supply to avoid losses.
5. Pricing your jewelry right
It is common practice to put a 100 percent markup when selling items on retail. Others equally add operational and shipping costs to maintain high profits. While that’s something typical, you may want to check with an online store such as Amazon from a price point, especially if you’re selling similar products. You do want your business to thrive but not turn away from clients due to high prices.
A fantastic marketing strategy often applied is sales and offers, such as discount codes or clearance sales. Consider the right points to give customers special prices, especially if they are loyal to your brand. As a newbie, check out your favorite stores to assess what they do and how you can apply the same accordingly.
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6. Plan ahead
Throughout the year, several holidays warrant gift-giving, some of them being Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas.
During these holidays, the last thing you want is to run out of stock. While there will be low seasons during the year, you have to increase your inventory during these holidays.
Therefore, work with your supplier to have shipment come in earlier and ready for these gift-warranting holidays. More people are willing to spend during this time, and therefore you can consider ways to entice customers to purchase more.
An example is having Valentine’s line with unique jewelry that’s otherwise not on offer. The line will get perceived as unique, and even if the pricing is higher than the average jewelry, individuals perhaps won’t entirely mind purchasing the jewelry.
7. Create a solid marketing strategy
You have all you need to get started. How do you let people know that your business exists? Marketing is the tool that attracts people to your brand and what you’re offering. Let’s look at a couple of things you need in your strategy.
Create an ecommerce website: Whether you’re selling items online or have a brick and mortar store, you must have a website. The recent changes in the world have forced many to move to the digital space faster than the steady rise of the same since 2019. Therefore, having an ecommerce website is vital. Get an excellent customizable platform such as Wix or WordPress and create a website that suits your brand image.
Establish a niche market: As we’ve mentioned, you can opt for fashion jewelry or fine jewelry. Various lines exist, for example, chic, vintage, gothic, whimsical, and the like. Create a jewelry line that sets you apart from your competitors, for example, only specializing in gothic silver pieces. You don’t have to follow a singular style, and you can have more than one type and market them as such.
Use social media: Businesspersons gravitate toward Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to market their products. These platforms work well with ecommerce, as they also drive relevant audiences to your posts and, eventually, your website. Sharing content regularly helps keep engagement high, thus don’t neglect this marketing aspect. Share quality photographs at all times, and in some cases, behind the scene footage to put a human face to your brand. For example, if you’ve got a new jewelry-type shipment, you can share that as well. What’s unique about social media posting is you’d have to do it daily. Using platforms such as Buffer that schedule content allows you to focus on the business’s more critical aspects.
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Starting a business requires having an open mind and the willingness to adjust to various situations. Though we’ve highlighted ways in which to buy jewelry wholesale and sell it on retail, the prevailing situation in your context might differ.
Consider using this guide as a foundation and framework from which you can build on and get your business up and running.
As always, context is indeed an important factor; thus, taking time to understand your local or international market is vital.
Don’t be quick to rush into business; ensure that you cover your bases for long-term success.