Oct 232010
 

If you’ve been making jewelry for any length of time, you’ve probably thought about selling it.  There are a lot of different ways to make your hobby pay for itself (or develop your hobby into a full-time business!), including consigning your work in a gift shop, boutique or beauty salon.  Here are a few tips that I’ve found have helped me when I’ve decided to consign work.

Agree with the shop owner on what the consignment fee will be BEFORE leaving your work in the shop.  Most places I have worked with charge a percentage when a piece sells, but some will ask for a flat monthly fee or other arrangement.

Make a list (inventory) of the pieces you are consigning.  A couple of easy ways to do this are handwritten lists, a list on your computer (Excel or Word work well for software), or even a photo of the pieces being consigned.  Make sure your list includes a brief description, item number (which should correspond to a tag on the piece), and the item price.  Leave a copy of the list with the shop owner or manager.

Talk to the owner/manager about how you will be paid.  You should know up front if you will receive a check in the mail, have a deposit made to your Paypal account, if you will need to pick up a check, etc.,  I also like to know when the owner makes payment – once a month, once a quarter, on the 15th, etc.,

Know up front what the expectations are regarding displays – if you are expected to provide displays, make sure you inventory them like you do your jewelry.  I have not had it happen to me, but I have heard horror stories about displays and packaging materials that have been used for someone else’s jewelry…so make sure you know what you are leaving behind and how it will be used.

Have fun with the consignment – chances are, you and the shop owner/manager will develop a good relationship…after all, you both have the same goal – sell your wonderful jewelry!!

Oct 152010
 

Aye-yi-yi.

Have you looked at the spot price of silver or gold lately?  If so, you’ll know why I’m making that sound…spot (the price by which most retailers and wholesalers base the price they sell their goods to you) is at an all time high for both metals.  And it just keeps climbing every day.

While I’ll still use silver (and when requested, gold) in my work, I lean more toward affordable alternatives – copper, aluminum, bronze and brass – still putting high quality workmanship in my pieces, but less costly materials.

Today I really want to bring your attention to brass – a nice option when someone wants a gold colored piece.  Brass will oxidize quickly to a dark gold color, but can be brought back to shiny if desired using jewelry cleaner, or any of the natural cleaners I’ve blogged about before.

Brass is a base metal, so some people may experience allergic reactions to surface or piercing contact.  If you are making earrings using brass wire or jump rings, you may want to consider using sterling silver or niobium ear wires instead of brass.