Over the last few weeks, I've been busy making new steampunk jewelry for Allegory Gallery in Pennsylvania. Selling and buying jewelry online is fun and convenient, but challenging. I find it easier to sell and buy jewelry in a gallery or shop rather than online. Here's why:
- Customers have a better idea of scale when looking at designs in person. Have you ever purchased something online and thought that it was smaller or larger than you expected when it arrived? Of course I include measurements in my online descriptions, but most casual shoppers don't have a good sense of what an 18" or 24" necklace looks like. I also try to show scale in at least some of my photos, but with more people shopping from their tiny screens on their phones, it's getting harder to convey true size.
- In a shop, you can try on jewelry to see not only if it fits, but if it's heavy or uncomfortable.
- A shop or gallery is curated with a limited number of other jewelry designers. These designs have been chosen to be featured because they meet a certain standard of quality. Anyone can sell online, which is both good and bad. The crowded online marketplace makes it easy to compare prices, but not quality.
- You can see the back of a piece in a shop! Why is that important? Many photos online only show the pretty front of the piece, but the back will tell you more about how well it was made. Are there stray wires poking out? Ugly paint splatters? Loose knots that will easily come undone? With some jewelry sold online, you will never know until the piece arrives at your house.
- No waiting! If you buy a piece in a gallery or shop, you don't need to wait for it to be shipped.
Do you prefer shopping for or selling jewelry online or in person?