How to succeed on eBay as a jewelry seller

How to succeed on eBay as a jewelry seller

Online marketplaces have become an integral part of everyday life for millions of people. While visiting a brick-and-mortar shop might still be a fun activity, the advantages of online shopping are quickly making offline purchases obsolete.

In 2020, around 29 million people purchased jewelry online every day. The online purchase in the Christmas season grew by 46%. It is expected that in 2021, in the US alone, online jewelry and watch sales will reach $7.6 billion!

With eBay being one of the largest online platforms for jewelry sellers, you would not want to miss out on the opportunity to expand your business to this marketplace. But as you can probably imagine, the competition is fierce. It takes time and strategy to get ahead of the game.

The most important points to focus on when taking your online jewelry business to eBay are products, visuals/images, service, marketing, logistics, and analytics. Let’s zoom in on each one of them.

Products – the heart of your business

No matter how great your products are in reality, the way you sell them online will make all the difference between prospects actually purchasing them or not. Here are a few points that will help your sales:

  • Include detailed item descriptions
  • Organize your stock into categories so the items can be easily found
  • Add Item Specifics (the most searchable content after the titles) according to the eBay filters. Make sure to fill as many of the recommended IS’s as possible
  • Add promotional Item Specifics, to gain buyers’ attention – even if the information may sound obvious, it is important that your buyer sees it. Such IS can include: “all of our jewelry is handmade in the USA”, “FREE shipping within the US”, “we accept returns, no questions asked,” etc. Don’t expect your buyer to look for this information in the listing description, especially not for such items as $35 sterling silver earrings.
  • If you are just starting out and looking to establish yourself on the market, then test the process first. You can do so by listing in categories with higher important of the jewelry style (where products themselves influence more than your knowledge of eBay tricks) , like designer pendants and earrings, rather than jumping straight into engagement rings, which are high-competition items
  • Implement the strategy of “quick sellers” to gain traffic, accumulate sales, and get positive feedback
  • To engage with existing customers and attract new ones it is important to expand your offer and add new products and models regularly
  • Determine the best price margin for an item deserves an article on its own, but our basic advice for eBay is to make sure that your profit margin is large enough to accept “best offers”
  • Last but not least, it is paramount that you provide certification of authenticity or an appraisal, as well as insurance, when selling fine jewelry and these documents should be included in the listing

Even if your appraisals or certificates are unique, and include the information related to the specific order, you can still include an example into your product images gallery.

Listing Titles

Titles are extremely important for eBay! Some tips to approach titles – the main search parameter of the listing:

  • Make sure to use all the 80 characters eBay allows. Research says that the chances of selling an item with 80 characters in the title is 30% higher than for one with 73 characters.
  • Include searchable keywords and make titles as descriptive as possible. See the title as a compilation of the most unique keywords. (e.g. “Real 10K Gold SPIGA Chain Rope Necklace men women 3 mm” is better than “10K gold chain real rope necklace men women 3 mm 20 inches” )
  • Make sure that the most relevant points appear at the beginning of the title (e.g. “1 carat diamond ring” and not “14 gold engagement ring with 1 carat diamond”), since only part of the whole title will appear in the search results.
  • Unlike many other sales channels, special symbols, separators, and connecting words won’t be of much help; in fact, they will only steal from the very short allowed 80 characters ( “Black Onyx 925 Silver Necklace 14k Yellow gold Chain” will do better than “925 Silver Necklace with Black Onyx and 14k Yellow gold Chain”)
  • Avoid repetitive words
  • you are Pandora or Calvin Klein , leave the brand name at the end of the title.
  • Add shape (split shank, trillion, child), style (floral, art deco, architecture), emotion (modest, impressive), opportunity (engagement, graduation) and other important parameters identifying the jewelry (e.g. Stone clarity, Metal purity, carat weight)

Details matter a lot!

More Listing Insights

And on that note, let’s look at some additional insights on listings:

  • Fashion jewelry is better sold in a variation listing
  • Engagement rings are mostly sold under Best Offer
  • The most commonly used type of gold for engagement jewelry in USA is 14k white
  • All GTC listings w/o variation perform better with the Best Offer enabled
  • Yellow gold is sold better under the Fine Jewelry category – in fact, better even than under the Engagement jewelry category
  • Any jewelry that can be defined as Men’s jewelry gains more traffic and better conversion rates
  • Use the good-till-cancelled (GTC) listing duration, especially with quick sellers. GTC helps you build an item history over time as well as a good reputation.

Of course there are more tips and tricks; the journey never ends but this should get you far along it.

Images – the key to your client’s heart

People don’t buy jewelry; they buy an experience. Most of the expensive jewelry is purchased as a gift, meaning the buyer is only going to use the jewelry once, and cares about leaving a good impression more than the jewelry itself.

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” should be applied in the case of online jewelry too. To ensure your products pique a prospect’s attention, follow these guidelines:

  • Use high-resolution photos of your products
  • Provide at least 5 photos (10 is muuuch better) of each item from various angles capturing the specifics
  • Include an on-person demonstration. You want to give people a taste of what it looks like to wear your jewelry. Consider displaying your jewelry on models having different skin colors as this matters a lot.
  • Whenever possible, include a video as well – it doesn’t need to be professionally done
  • Add an image showing the scale (items next to a measurement tape or a coin)
  • Include images of the jewelry box (this one works like a miracle, adding 10-15% to the conversion rate)
  • Add a picture of the authenticity certificate. Don’t put it last in a row of 10 images; it’s an important addition to the listing and should come 2nd
  • If you don’t have the gemstone certificate, include the jewelry appraisal certificate

Good service – an online smile

Customers always remember and appreciate good service. Here are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure your  jewelry’s buying experience is at a decent level:

  • It all starts with your listing. The more details you provide about the jewelry, the more encouraged potential buyers will be to reach out to you. Details show transparency which, in turn, increases trust.
  • Since jewelry is a highly personal product, be prepared to answer many questions quickly. Quick and clear communications make you a more desirable seller which will be reflected in reviews and ratings. This is especially important for fine jewelry priced above $800, where the buyers are more engaged in the purchase process, and the jewelry is often customized.
  • Be ready to provide additional images, as part of the sales process. A simple image taken with a cellphone will add trust, provide the buyer with the missing information needed to close the deal, and drastically reduce your return rate.
  • Whenever possible, support multiple languages. Moreover, with the help of Google Translate you can effectively reply to inquiries in many languages. Naturally, native language speaker is a big bonus. 
  • Showing that you truly care and trying to offer possible solutions to any specific situations will also matter for your feedback score and rating. Achieving TRS (top rated status) increases your credibility and the benefits for your business.

Remember… a happy customer comes back and is more likely to recommend your store to friends. So, stay in touch with your clients even after the item has shipped.

Marketing – your pin on the online map

Simply having an online presence isn’t enough to get found. Here are a few tips to help you with that:

  1. Don’t count on eBay alone – use your social channels to drag traffic to your store or specific items
  2. Don’t forget the old-fashioned, yet very effective sales strategies such as promotions, discounts, bundles, and seasonal sales.
  • Use seasonal keywords, (e.g. Christmas, Valentines, Halloween, etc.) early on to ensure you don’t miss out on any sales
  • When running promotions combine several types of them to find out which one works better for your target audience, and for your product types
  • eBay recently announced that it will introduce the well-known PPC marketing method of other eCommerce platforms. As it has been the case with other marketplaces, this one will definitely become one of the main tools to grow your store
  • Look into getting an eBay store subscription. It lets you bring all your listings together in a branded location and provides access to many business tools, better fees, cheaper postings and social engagement
  • Stores perform better when more than 400 items are, as general marketing efforts are applied to multiple listings at once

Logistics – the cherry on top but not a show-stopper

How fast a customer can get a hold of their purchase also impacts his/her desire to close the sale. Few tried and proven logistics strategies can help you out with that. Here are the some:

  • One-day handling and a thirty-day return policy are extremely attractive.
  • Always offer two shipping methods with different delivery dates and an option to choose between more than one delivery provider.
  • For expensive fine jewelry items, it is worth considering offering free express shipping with a tracking number. For quick sellers and best sellers consider using a fulfillment service, which is a third-party warehouse that prepares and ships items for you.
  • It’s quite important to find out where exactly you can ship your products. Some limitations exist for specific items and countries.
  • Make sure to have an expedited shipping option available for cheaper items as well, at an additional cost. Jewelry is an emotional purchase, so it is common for buyers to pay the same amount for the shipping as for the jewelry.
  • Shorten the delivery times, especially before holidays. Each day creates an additional sales opportunity.
  • Some jewelry categories are more tolerant to using complex logistics (such as customized, designer jewelry). For others strong logistics is the key to a successful store (primarily for low-cost jewelry items). But, while all engagement jewelry sellers can afford to offer 1-3 days shipping for a $2500 item, offering good (shorter than 4 days) shipping options in the fashion jewelry market is more challenging. Finding good logistical solutions in this category creates more opportunity, as you stand out from the crowd.
  • Growing your fashion jewelry store on eBay will quite surely imply the use of fulfillment centers. Start building up to this stage slowly, and gradually moving your best selling jewelry to established warehouses.

Analysis – the key for getting ahead

The success of your online business will heavily depend on your ability to analyze and understand data. Look both at the numbers and trends of your own processes, as well as those of your competitors, and learn from them. Here are some of the best practices you should be observing:

  • study best performing categories
  • test various posting formats
  • for auction-type listings, consider optimizing the days of the week and hours when the listings are posted
  • find relevant searchable keywords
  • check the price range for items similar to yours
  • find out which types of the jewelry perform better
  • carefully examine returns and complaints – while these are discouraging, they are also a great source of information to discover new areas of improvement in your business
  • understand which product page templates (cross-sale vs. visual) perform best

To help you properly run such analyses, use the analytics tools that eBay provides you with, such as eBay search, Terapeak, as well as Google Trends and Google Keywords Planner. Don’t forget to observe your competitors as well.

Your store’s Click-through-Rate (CTR) and Sell-through-Rate (STR or Conversion Rate) are also important sources of feedback. They help you best understand your customers and what they’re interested in.

Another helpful data source are your best performing items. You can learn which types of listings work and use those same formats for your poorly-performing items. Don’t leave those unchanged, as they will drag your performance score down.

Also, take a look at your stuck listings, the ones with a low sale through rate (STR), as they can influence your entire store’s performance. A low STR means a good amount of views but not many sales. A good STR would be 1%. If your STR is 0.5% or lower, it needs revisiting. Try to analyze what is not working and improve on it. If nothing helps, then remove the listing completely as it can affect your store’s traffic and sales by reducing your overall conversion rate, which is what eBay uses to decide if they will send traffic to your store or not.

When it comes to the large potential of worldwide sales, eBay is a great testing ground. To expand your customer base even further, participate in more than one eBay international platform, including their US, UK, German, and other local ones.

Conclusion – Prepare for a long run

All in all, eBay is a whole world on its own. It takes time and energy to learn all the nooks and crannies of the jewelry niche on there. But it does open up a world of opportunities for your online business once you do.

The difference between those that succeed and those that fail lies in the understanding of what consumers want, as well as the ability to present products in an attractive yet honest manner, with effective product descriptions paired with fast customer service, shipping and payment options. After enough experimenting and a lot of passion, we are confident you will expand your online jewelry business and get closer towards your ultimate goals.

The road is made by walking. Enjoy the walk!

 

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