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How can i sell to germany, france, etc

i make what might be termed “high end” wood jewelry for 30 years,
it is relatively unusually shaped and carved more or less. I have
many ideas and startup pieces for designs and motifs that i want to
keep working on that i think are really innovative and have the
possibility of sellable jewelry lines, had i a reason to continue
them. I am afraid that the U.S. is in a depression and i know that
germany for instance, is NOT. I have work from a few nyc accounts
but they are very slow this year. I have canvassed craftstores that
carry jewelry and they appear very slow as well. So if i want to try
to sell to germany france etc, would i have to do the equivelent of
being in a showroom or do their fashion jewelry market week or
something??? Or must i make it work in the U.S. first??? Or can i do
it on the net with a good website?? Does anyone know the ins and
outs of selling fashion jewelry in europe. I do not have a website at
present that is worth much as i have not had much reason to work on
pieces or pictures but there are some pictures on there of past
pieces and ideas,, any ideas??? thanks

Dave, your pieces are beautiful and unique. I don’t have the answers
you are looking for, but thought I’d mention that a friend who spends
summers in Norway recently came back and said wood jewelry is a very
hot item there right now.

So my advice is, find a way to market it in Europe and go for it!
Good luck.

I use the Dawanda website ( to sell to Europeans.
Dawanda is basically a european equivalent of Etsy.

They have 3 ‘sub-sites’… an english site, a german site, and a
french site. You can choose to list on only one site, or you can
list on all 3… trick is you need to be able to communicate in
german to list on the german site, and french to list on the french

I list on all 3 dawanda sites… most of my sales come from the
german dawanda site, maybe 25 come from the french dawanda site, and
almost none come from the english dawanda site. The english dawanda
site is unfortunately VERY VERY SLOW.

Most of my sales are earrings (wire-wrapped gemstone) in the 50 USD
range. My average sale there is about 35 - 40 USD. I had about 70
sales over the last 12 months… that’s with zero promotion,
marketing, etc for that shop… not a lot, but hey it’s a start!

With tons of luck, a venue site like that can also get you wholesale
accounts… but I think that would be a very difficult in this
case… the wholesale buyers would probably prefer to keep their
life simple and order from EU artisans.

There’s a quite a range of jewelry makers that sell there…
everything from 5 plastic doo-dads to very lovely metal-worked
silver/gold creations.

I offer paypal and bank-transfer via a swiss euro account. Few
germans use credit cards… I find about 50 of my sales are paid via
bank-transfer. Bank-transfer to a US account is prohibitively
expensive… to make bank-transfer work for your shop, you need a
european euro account… which is practically impossible to get if
you don’t live there!

I think “putting your eggs in more than one basket” is a great idea
… the EU is a HUGE market! But if you’re selling retail online,
you really need to be able to communicate in your buyer’s language,
cause most buyers will mainly go to sites that cater to their

Eventually I plan on creating my own english/french/german shop on
my own website. But Dawanda’s been an excellent “learning

Another site I know about is “”… it’s
actually a french site. Much smaller than Dawanda, and has a lot
less traffic. I’ll eventually try it out… even if it’s just to
practice my french, in the hope that one day I’ll need it for all
those zillions of french buyers.)

… just to elaborate a bit on my experience with foreign payments
via Dawanda…

I do offer both paypal and bank transfer to a swiss euro account. My
experience is about 60% of germans pay with bank-transfer and the
rest pay with paypal. I’ve had about 3-4 Austrian customers as
well… about half paid with bank transfer and half with paypal.
About 20% of my customers were french, and they all paid with bank

That’s with a dataset of 70 (ie 70 customers), and an average item
price of $35-40 USD. (Though I actually list on Dawanda in EUROS!)

If you’re really serious about selling to Germans, then it’s handy
to get a German euro account. Germans are used to doing bank
transfers to german accounts… the bank transfer to my swiss euro
account regularly causes difficulty. Which is painful… I can
communicate in German, but I’m not fluent in
"business/banking-speak"! I’ve ameliorated this problem a bit by
sending each bank-transfer customer a little ‘blurb’ with the info
they need about my bank account, and some tips on doing an
international bank transfer.

So my advice is, find a way to market it in Europe and go for it! 

Dawanda is the European Etsy, perhaps that would be a good place.


Canada is also a relatively strong market right now and a bit more
accessible to the US then the EU. I live in Saskatoon, Sk, Canada
and you have my word they is no hint of recession here - the opposite

Jon Daniels
The Ring Lord Chainmail

Have you tried This is the European response to Etsy.
It is considered more up-scale than Etsy and is definitely less
social. They advise the sellers to list their products on the three
platforms that they offer - German, French and English. I have
Italian colleagues that say that listing in all platforms makes a
big difference and that they, not speaking German or French, use an
on-line translator and it works for them.

I have listed some items in English and have had responses from the
German public.DaWanda specifies that the selling price includes VAT
tax. This is a tax that anybody that produces in Europe must apply to
anybody that buys in Europe and is a 20% tax. I produce in Europe and
if you, who live outside of Europe, buy from me the tax does not
apply, and this is stated in a header on my page. If you list it
might be wise to advise the customer that you do not need to apply
the VAT tax.