Market Places, The Good, The Bad and the downright Ugly
We get this question often "Where Can I sell my Jewelry?"
There is no easy answer and during the days of COVID19, many of the absolutely best places like Festivals, Home Jewelry events or local markets have been shut down..
The absolutely best place to sell the creations you have dreamed up, beaded up, and fell in love with during the process is: In Person
Face-to-face with the customer is the best way. Even our smallest bead sellers know the value of face-to-face as they ran their own bead shop inside our warehouse for a couple of years.
We had one customer who always wore multiple pieces on flights (again not available today). She would sell the jewelry right off her body to flight attendants, people sitting near her and of course giving our her card to direct them to her website.
Face-to-face, you can bring your creations to life as you talk about them, share your enthusiasm and give a bit of a history lesson. As I had said many times, we are not selling glass beads, we are selling romance, the history of Venice, the story of the beads, the beauty of the design and the resilient people who live on the islands.
Well for me Etsy is like a needy lover or friend. Etsy needs constant feeding, constant re-listing. True it has a good following and had a good reputation of truly unique, handmade goods......But over the years, it appears to have fallen victim to the corporate greed and bottom line numbers which has allowed a deluge of mass produced goods. We abandoned this marketplace years ago for its needy feeding habits. Maybe you can comment on why you like or do not like Etsy.
Amazon - Talk about corporate greed!
Amazon has more than 350 million products available online. Of those some 12 million are sold directly by Amazon - which of course creates direct competition to the market place sellers like you and me. And the percentages that they take can range up to almost 30% on lower priced items. There is no human you can ever find to discuss any issue. It is all run by AI. In fact, it you allow them, they will price your items for you using AI. Somehow I don't see me beading late at night to have an artificial intelligence algorithm decide the price of my handmade creations.
The biggest drawback to Amazon is you do NOT own the customer. There is no legit way to contact them, send them your newsletters. You are not allowed to put anything in the shipment directing them to you. The customer can send you a message, can select from a rather short list of reasons why they are returning the goods. Usually they just choose something. So you never get the use your good customer service skills to remedy an issue... You can also thank AI for this.
And Amazon it arbitrary is selling any dispute. As a seller you are simply screwed.
Recently I had a product on Amazon, handmade Murano Glass and suddenly the photo was for an entirely different product...a computer card reader for a computer. I did not put the photo on Amazon, nor could I delete it. It simply said that because multiple vendors were selling my handmade (NOT) piece they chose the best photo (NOT). And threatened my account because they said it violated copyright laws???? Excuse me! For several weeks we went round and round. Amazon simply couldn't resolve it.
I did! I deleted the product and closed my account for selling on Amazon. We used Amazon just as a way to get in front of new browsing customers. We always wanted them right here on our website where we can help them find what they need.
Remember when Ebay was actually a viable market place? Oh that was so last Century ;>)
Now it seems to be full of imports, knock-offs who gleefully stuff the listing with terms like Murano Glass, Millefiori, Venetian when in reality it is Chinese glass or Indian Glass.
I just had an Indian supplier contact me to say they could sell me Murano Glass Beads hahahahaha!
Don't get me wrong, both the Chinese and the Indians have a long wonderful history of glass beads. BUT, it is NOT Murano Glass. I am pretty sure not one of them will pay the prices for Effetre Moretti Glass, the shipping, the customs duties which you must pay to have actual Murano Glass. What they probably mean (and I am giving them the benefit of the doubt) is that they use 104 COE glass???? My response to their emails is that they have a amazing culture, make things from their heredity instead of copying from the Venetians.
What's Your Point?
Now if you are wondering the point of my wanderings here....probably not anything more than me ranting and raving and getting it off my chest.
But we'd love to hear your thoughts on this.