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Selling at an Online Market PlaceBoy, was I excited to set up my jewelry shop at an online market place. You know, the ones like Ebay, Etsy or Ruby Lane; there are several out there now but these are the big ones. I was so ready, my jewelry was sparkling, my photos were professional, made a great banner, my descriptions were well thought out, I even had business cards made. So, there I went spending hours upon hours listing my items. This is no easy thing, each item needs so many details; how long is the necklace, size of the ring, stones and beads used, what did you have for breakfast? But I pushed through and got my items listed! "Ouch, those fees sure add up quick", I thought to myself but oh well, I would be selling in no time.
Day one went by but no sale... ok, hopes way to high on my part. Week one went by and no sale... what happened to beginners luck? First month went by... ok, my jewelry must be awful or my prices are to high, I'll just go lower things a bit. I spent several more hours updating all my listings... what a drag. The second month goes by and still no sale, not one! Wait, people are telling me they love my work and how talented I am so it's not that. Ah, maybe my photos aren't good enough. I read that good photos are very important. Ok, let me set up all my lighting, get out each piece of jewelry and shoot them again with better light, that will help. This took days to do; shooting and then editing and then uploading all those photos again. But doesn't my shop look great!? Yes it does but month number three just went by and still no sale. I see other people selling stuff. What's a girl gotta do to get a sale around here?
Well, I'll tell you... lots and lots and lots of promotions!! If you don't have good luck and are among the very few that rise to the top fast then you're gonna have to do it the hard way, promote!
Here's a list of ideas:
1. Start a business card exchange - once you have a group of names, everyone exchanges business cards and when they make a sale, they include one of each cards in their sales packages.
2. Join a street team - some sites already have these in place but anyone can start a street team. I like to refer to them as promotional teams and that's what you do as a group, promote one another through various events such as starting a web site gallery together and then advertising it.
3. Blog all you can - a great way to get the word about your store out there into cyber space.
4. Visit message boards - message boards are a lot of fun. You join a board, pick a topic and jump in the conversation. Just be sure to sign your name and include your shop address under it! And you never know who you might meet, I personally have made a lot of great friends along the way.
5. Write and submit articles - just as I am doing here. Write about what you know and love, then submit your articles to blogs and zines.
6. Create a web site - they are making it easier and easier to run a web site, it does take time and patience but will make you look like a professional business.
7. Mailing lists - keep a record of your clients' addresses and send them a snail mail from time to time, include a coupon for free shipping or some other discount, or tell them about a new product design.
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