A successful run in the silver jewelry industry usually begins with an appreciation for sophistication, an eye for beauty and a desire to spread that beauty as far and wide around you as you can. However, being aesthetically-inclined is useful, yet, as is the case with any business, it does not suffice. While certain general business rules apply to this field as much as they do to any other, there are certain particularities about being a bulk jewelry retailer that one needs to bear in mind, prior to setting out. To this end, we’ve compiled a brief guide on what it takes to make it in the industry.
- Research Your Supplier
Perhaps the most often-encountered trap of the wholesale jewelry business is that, ever so often, you will stumble upon a supplier who is less than honest about what they’re selling. In brief, silver products need to be at least 92.5% pure silver so as to be marketed on the US market as ‘silver,’ ‘sterling silver’ or any other similar label. Make sure that your supplier can provide documentation for all the items they’re selling you, in order to attest whether or not the products are genuine. Furthermore, avoid making purchases in small quantities, as most suppliers will charge you higher prices for such transactions. Locating a supplier that can offer you minimal market prices on high-quantity purchases is the building block of your profit-making operation.
- Know Your Silver
You can’t purchase silver for retail purposes unless you know the basics of this precious material, at the very least. Aside from the fact that sterling silver is a metallic alloy, which uses pure silver and other metals, included into the mix in order to make the jewelry resistant, there are plenty of things you will need to know about the proper storage and maintenance that silver items require. It’s usually advisable to invest in canvas satchels or pieces of cloth in which you can individually wrap each item. This way, you’ll avoid unsightly scratches or dents that would basically make your products unsellable. Along the same lines, forget the myth which says silver is best cleaned with toothpaste—avoid all abrasive cleaning products (such as toothpaste) when you’re cleaning out your jewelry.
- Stay Updated on Trends
Since the silver jewelry business is essentially a branch of the style, beauty and fashion business, you need to know your trends. When was the last time Selena Gomez was spotted wearing silver? What type of ear-studs is Justin Bieber wearing this week? What did the latest royal wedding ring look like? Your customer base will largely comprise young women, who want affordable, fashionable jewelry that will help them build a popular, updated personal style. In order to reach that customer base, you first need to understand what they like.
- Target Bridal Market
Some voices in the industry will rush to claim that silver has long since lost its former glory on the bridal and wedding market. It’s been replaced by exotic-looking rose gold, or by noble (yet expensive) platinum, palladium and white gold. While this may be partly true, since these materials are currently seen as very chic, remember that the recession is far from over and that people with less-than-stellar wedding budgets also need wedding bands, engagement rings, tuxedo cufflinks and other accessories that add the needed spark to each nuptial ceremony. Silver, which has been used in jewelry-making from the antiquity, is far from out-of-style, and it is also much more affordable than the vast majority of precious metals.
- Stand out!
Last, but not least, selling silver rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and other jewels, requires some clever marketing and presentation skills. The market is currently cornered by Asian companies, which do, indeed, offer accessible prices, but are hindered by the distance between them and their clients. Work that advantage to your best interest: be present at local and national jewelry fairs. Follow major jewelry retailers on social media platforms and engage in communication with them. Invest in the set-up and design of your showroom and in packaging and display lines, as recently publicized by Fetpak. Last, but certainly not least, remember why you wanted to get into this business in the first place: because you know that this noble material, used by the human race for millennia, is not likely to go out of style any time soon.