We’re often asked how to start selling jewelry in the major marketplaces. How to penetrate marketplaces with thousands of successful, experienced sellers? There are many techniques, let’s discuss one specific technique which proves itself very well. We’re talking about quick-sellers, the items that run your business forward.
What are quick-sellers? Simply, these are products that are sold quickly.
How do marketplace search algorithms work?
What is the importance of these quick-sellers in your online store? It’s important to remember that every marketplace has some search algorithm behind it. So when the potential buyer searches for items on eBay, the search results will be sorted by eBay in some way. This means eBay’s “Best match” algorithm decides which items should be shown first. It’s the same evaluation approach as in every search engine algorithm, in every marketplace.
Obviously, search algorithms need some measurable performance parameters. And what can these be? If we have an item in multiple stores, and one store sells cheaper than another, it’s easy. The marketplace will try to push the cheaper item.
But things are much more complicated in the reality, especially in the jewelry category, where most products are unique.
The items’ performance is measured by two main parameters. First, by the item’s performance (which itself is not so easy to define, especially in jewelry because there are no standardized items). And second, by the seller or the store performance (quality).
What can be the measurable parameter for store quality? There are many, so let’s focus on one of them. If we have two stores, both have the same percentage of positive feedback, CS standards compliance, and all other parameters, but one sells five items and the other sells 500 items per month, the store selling 500 items is better from the search engine point of view. If people buy items from the this store, it’s a better store… This is why in all marketplaces, in this way or another, it’s important to show large quantity of orders. And this ia doe with quick-sellers – items that will be sold quickly, in high quantity. They will help your store look better in the eyes of the search algorithm.
Consider your potential buyer. The crucial thing for selling online (external marketplaces, your own website or social networks, wherever it is) is to create trust by the client. How do quick-sellers help here? When your potential buyer gets into your store, he wants to know your history. Are you experienced on this marketplace? So when he reaches your store and finds out that you have sold 3 items til today, it looks a bit unprofessional. But if he sees that you already sold 5000 items, it adds trust to your store and improves the conversion rate (chance of buying) of your store.
So on one side we try to understand how search algorithms work (and naturally they prefer stores who sell a lot because these sellers understand what to sell). On the other side, once your potential buyer reaches your store, he wants to know that you know your work, that you’re a professional. This is how quick-sellers create and increase the traffic, and improve the conversion of the visitors into paying customers.
We do it by setting some simple goals. For example, one sale a day. If we have one sale a day in our web store, the traffic continues to arrive because every search algorithm will actually prefer showing your store. It doesn’t matter if it’s on eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Sears, or Bonanza, or wherever it is, or Rakuten or it’s your website, as the same will happen in Google. Your store will rank better, because there is a lot of transactions. So the Quick-sellers are products that create this traffic.
Use cases for jewelry quick-sellers
Servicing many business cases, quick-sellers play an important role during all life time of your business, not just at the beginning. Here are some examples
- Starting with a new jewelry eCommerce store. The easiest case. Boost your traffic to get seen and established.
- Improving the store’s reputation. Imagine you received negative feedback on a marketplace. To improve your statistics on the marketplace, the quick-sellers will do the work. If we have 1 negative feedback, we will sell 20 quick-sellers, have 10 positive feedbacks, and restore our statistics.
- Use as gifts. F.i. if we have an issue to resolve quickly with an unsatisfied buyer . Quick-sellers are small items that we can give as a gift and we don’t have to think twice. Offer a nice gift to the client, make him happy. From the customer service side, it is much better when we have a structured solution for every case.
- Reaching qualification levels. If we have a requirement to sell 100 items to reach “Top Rated Seller” status or some other level on the marketplace, we can use quick-seller items to get there quickly.
Characteristics of quick-sellers
First of all, quick-sellers will be different on different stages of your work. The quick-sellers will depend on your business needs, on the marketplace requirements and specialty, and other factors.
- Products range – Quick-sellers should be relevant to your category. If you start selling jewelry online, do not use iPhone cases as a quick-seller, both from the marketplace aspect and also from the buyer aspects. You want to show that you are specializing in some specific clear niche, exactly as every store in this world. It positions you as a professional and less questions arise.
If you sell fashion jewelry, it is better that your items will belong to fashion jewelry. If you sell diamond jewelry, create quick-selling items in the diamond jewelry. Even for selling loose diamonds online, it is possible to use the 0.02 – 0.05 carat diamonds as quick-sellers.
- Pricing – Normally, quick-sellers retail price varies between $5 and, $50. On the later stage of your store’s life, also $150-$250 items are normal. Higher is better in this case, but at the beginning (remember the goal to sell one item a day?) the price will probably be $10-$50.
Do not use $1 or too cheap items as it’s too clear that the sale is done not for business but for some marketplace manipulation. Such items look unnatural in the marketplace, are considered a policy violation, and there is a very high chance of getting a punishment by a marketplace,
Keep in mind that sometimes you will give out your quick-sellers items with an urgent 90% discount. Therefore, the cost price shouldn’t be too high, so you can manipulate these items effectively.
- Simple items -Choose items where your buyers can make less mistakes. This is why we do not recommend rings as a quick-seller. For a ring, you can provide the best ring in the world but it came out the guy who bought for his girlfriend didn’t know exactly the size. So a much better item would be a necklace or a bracelet, or earrings.
- Repeatable items perform better as quick-sellers . Meaning you should be always able to create the item, with no limitation. We want to create a good history of the item. On every marketplace there are same items that are positioned first because they were sold for hundreds, and sometimes thousands times. These items are bestsellers and have this good sales history so that the marketplace positions them first in the search result. So we want to have the same result.
- Variativity – one side a quick-seller should have several variations to increase the conversion rate. On the other side, it shouldn’t be too complicated. Just a few variations – white gold, yellow gold, and the rose gold; sterling silver or gold plated; onyx and quartz. Point the client to the very specific items, without creating too many variations of an item.
The logistics of quick-sellers
Once you have defined your quick-sellers, tested them and verified that the marketplace is able to actually purchase in the good amount the specific item, next stage of work is sending the proven items to external fulfillment centers.
First, you want to remain a jeweller, and not a postman. Your work shouldn’t be preparing, packing and walking every day to the post office to send these quick-sellers. Second, the fulfilment centers play an important role in rising the conversion ratio of your jewelry. We want the items to be as close as possible to buyers, to arrive quickly to buyers, to have less problems with delivery, and to require our lowest involvement as possible.
Place these items close to your potential buyer. If you target United States market, put in the fulfilment center in United States. If you want to target Australia or United Kingdom, put some stock of quick-sellers in these countries, so that once the item is sold, the client receives it as a local shipment in few days. He is very happy with his purchase so he will probably leave a positive feedback for this purchase. On a large numbers, local shipment will also lower your logistics expenses too.
Going back to the quick-sellers characteristics, avoid from having too many variations of the same item, as it will require sending large physical stock to the fulfilment center, and this will demand a very heavy budget.
Setting up quick-sellers online
How to create buyers-proven items, without too much losses? In the beginning we agree to sell quick-sellers on dumping prices. It’s ok to loose a few dollars to boost this item on the marketplace. But this would be a bad practice to have ongoing losses from every order, even if sometimes these are considered a marketing budget.
Better way is to use the positive history of the item to make best-sellers financially ballanced items. For example, start selling the item with 50% discount. Set the price to $20 when the item’s actual cost is $40. After a few orders raise the price to $23, $27, $30 etc. This strategy will also allow you to check the market price tolerance. You will find exactly the place when, on one side, you’re able to create the constant flow of one deal a day. And on the other side, make sure you do not lose money on each order.
It can happen that the established items will generate some revenue, because such items tend to be overpriced by the market, in some cases by hundreds of percents. At this point it is important to keep in mind that the main goal of quick-sellers is not to generate revenue, but to serve the main items in our store by generating the right traffic.
Naturally, “farming” of the quick-sellers won’t work with any product, so the good way is to run several quick-sellers at the same time.
Sourcing the quick-sellers
With no doubt, it is much better to create quick-sellers based on your jewelry collection. For example, if you sell gold jewelry, create your designs in silver jewelry. So instead of costing $800 dollars, it will cost $50 dollars. If you sell items with diamonds, try using semi-precious gems or zirconia. There are many solutions to create items from your collection in the quick-sellers’ price ranging up to $50 dollars.
What to do if you specialize in unique jewelry and cannot create 50 items or 100 items? The solution might be going to existing marketplaces, B2B marketplaces like Alibaba or other solid sources and buying a stock of items to become quick-sellers. Have this stock ready and fulfilled by some fulfillment center (FBA, EFS or any other). Make sure that once the item gets his boost, and his trust by the clients, you can refill the stock. Items from Amazon’s “Top 100”, AliExpress top sellers will do the work. So you can examine the existing items on wholesale platforms, find these items on your target marketplace and make sure that your price will be competitive or that you’re going to actually lose only an acceptable amount.
Summarizing, quick-sellers are an important ingredient of selling your jewelry online. Invest an effort into them, and they will definitely return it many times.