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New Ways to Sell Jewelry


#1

I am curious to know whether direct mail color postcards is a
potentially useful way to garner wholesales from galleries? If I
sent out 500 (Modern Postcard $95), what percentage response might I
expect on average?

Thanks,
Dani Greer
Greer Studios
www.igga.org/greer


#2

g’day Dani

A 1/2 to 1% response would be fairly reasonable for cold-calling I
reckon, but it depends largely on what you’re trying to sell!

During the period May 1996 to May 1998 we ran 3 separate direct
mailouts to targeted businesses - watchmakers and jewellers - of
full-colour A4 sheets of high-quality 'before and after" pictures of
enamel repairs and restorations. The mailouts went to around 1200
capitol city businesses each time. We culled the current year’s
Yellow Pages phone directory rather than use a purchased database,
and only chose those businesses with “bolded” or premium entries.
We printed the flyers ourselves using the brilliant Epson Stylus
colour printer, on coated photo-quality paper and including ink they
ran out at about AUS $ 0.30 per A4 sheet. Postage within Oz was then
AUS $0.43 per envelope from memory.

Of course the exercise was labour-intensive, but relatively
inexpensive, and more to the point, completely under our control and
able to be tailored immediately to particular potential clients.

The initial response (first month after the mailout) was about 1%
and about half of that number became customers. So, initially about
6 customers from 1200-odd mailouts. However, in the intervening
years a couple of dozen people who kept the flyer on file have been
in touch and I’ve done work (in a couple of cases quite a lot of
work) for them. My most recent result from this initiative was about
3 weeks ago - the watchmaker had kept the 1997 flyer pinned above
his bench all this time until he had a job he thought suitable. The
antique pocketwatch dial I repaired for him was finished and shipped
last week.

I think though that to sell your work on a wholesale basis, far and
away the best method is to make a short list of suitable galleries,
seek a formal appointment as high up the food chain as you can get,
and turn up on time, with both you and your range properly presented
in appropriate packaging. And have all the relevant paperwork
including order forms with you, to ready to go.

Good luck!

Al Heywood


#3

Dani, You ask about send out cards from Modern Postcard? I estimate
that if you sent out 500 cards at $95.00 plus $125.00 for the postage
and whatever you will need to pay for the list of names, you can
expect to get 2 - 10 responses from which you might close 1 or 2
sales. That seems expensive, however if that 1 account becomes a long
time client that buys $250,000 over the next 10 years it will have
been well worth it. Good Luck, Etienne@EtiennePerret.com


#4
I think though that to sell your work on a wholesale basis,  far
and away the best method is to make a short list of suitable
galleries, seek a formal appointment as high up the food chain as
you can get, and turn up on time, with both you and your range
properly presented in appropriate packaging.  And have all the
relevant paperwork including order forms with you, to ready to go. 

Does anyone have words of wisdom on going this route? I have never
done it, I have only done shows, and an odd gallery or two where the
owner met me at a show. I would like to know what kind of
presentation to take. To me, it seems logical that you would call on
a gallery, if at all possible, instead of relying on slides or pix. I
realize that you need an appointment- is this terribly difficult to
do? thanks, all- Anne Stickney


#5
    I would like to know what kind of presentation to take. 

I would suggest it should be ready-to-sell examples of everything
you do Anne, (excepting only those pieces you’re absolutely certain
the outlet wouldn’t handle) and the appropriate promotional sheets,
swing tags with your logo/details, boxes/bags or if you use them,
and pricelists/ordering book. I’d also be prepared - in fact looking

  • to sell the stuff I had with me if the opportunity arose.

The goods would be neatly packed in an organized, readily-accessible
way in some sort of professional-looking container - not an old
carboard carton. They should be easy to remove, view, and repack.

I realize that you need an appointment- is this terribly difficult
to do?

Getting the appointment was probably the most difficult part for me

  • overcoming a reluctance to leave the safety of the workshop and
    sell myself and my work (funny hangup for a pub-muso of 30 years
    standing, eh?). I used to ring a potential outlet, talk to the
    manager or proprietor, ask if I might send them some and
    photos of my work (not slides) and then follow up by phone a day or
    two after they should have received the stuff in the mail. If they
    showed interest in seeing the real thing I would arrange an
    appointment, confirm it by phone the day before and make sure I left
    myself plenty of time to find parking etc and still get there about
    15 minutes early.

I’d use that 15 minutes to have a quick look at the window displays
of outlets around my target to see what the competition was like and
wonder what the hell I was doing there.

Then it was up to the work to speak for itself, and about one in
every ten times it did.

Good luck
Al Heywood


#6

You will greatly increase your response rates if you send cards
multiple times. It has been studies that it takes 7 “impressions” to
move a customer to buy.

Send, Send, Send
David Geller


#7

Anne~ When I was first looking to expand my list of galleries, I
asked the owners of the galleries that were carrying my work for
recommendations of other galleries (out of state, of course) that
they thought might be interested in my work. As in most businesses,
gallery owners have friends or know others in the same business.
:slight_smile: They didn’t even need to make a call for me unless they felt
they really wanted to, and a few did. I would just call the
prospective gallery and say so-and-so carried my work and suggested
I call you. With a recommendation, they were usually a little more
enthusiastic about at least looking at my work, which is I think,
the hardest part. Once they see the work, they like it or they
don’t. They think they can sell it or they don’t. Making that
first call and getting the appointment was the hardest part for me
in the beginning and this did make it a little easier. Hope this
helps or gives you an idea. Good luck! ~Linda Blumel