Researching Overseas Jewelry Production

Hello Everybody,

I’m researching what would be involved with having jewelry produced
and marketed overseas. I want to learn as much as I can, so
objections as well as genuine advice are welcome. (I’ve learned that
I can learn from objections - figuring out ways-or not-around them)

I’m also wanting to learn about the Asian market - what the trends
are, what sells, what other quirks there are.

Basically, long story short, I’m interested in selling my jewelry
overseas in Asian countries, but I feel I need to know more about
the different cultures. I also want to exhaustively explore and
learn about all the pitfalls as much as I can, of this endeavor. I
want to hear from people with some experience in this matter, I’m
NOT wanting to start a Wal-Mart/Target rant.

So if anyone has ideas on where I can research these topics, please
feel free to jump in, I’m all ears.

Thank you,
Susannah Page-Garcia
Moonshine Metal Creations

I know pretty much nothing about selling jewelry overseas. I do know
the first place you need to look, though, and that is Customs (as in
Immigration and Customs). After the obvious things - food, chemicals,
radioactive, technology, one of the next most regulated things is
precious gems and metals. Also shipping. I needed to send a gold
necklace to Japan, and there were many restrictions. And that wasn’t

well, its good that you realize you have to know the market you want
to penetrate.

I might start with contacting trade groups in the countries you’re
interested in. Your state Department of Commerce probably has an
office of international trade to help you locate what you need.

I would ask myself If I could put my finger on the pulse of a
foreign market better than someone who is IN that market, an agent in
that country would be great to have. Or would it be more profitable
and a safer bet to import the goods to the US, taking advantage of
the lower costs there and higher incomes here.

I’d also really look at capital. No doubt things will not go as
first anticipated, ask any entrepreneur, I’ll bet there’s lots here.
You’ll need plenty of contingency money.

Don’t mind me being a trifle pessimistic, its a learned trait, its
helps with survival. Hope for the best, plan for the worst, have an
exit strategy. Once you’re certain of your plan, go get 'em.


Boy, have you picked a job for yourself! For fifty two years, off and
on, and in various capacities, I have lived, and travelled
extensively in Asia, from Japan to India and numerous countries in
between. I would not even begin to cosider taking on the task you
have set for yourself. You say you want to learn about the"Asian
market". Well, there is no " Asian market" as such… Asia has several
billion people and more cultures and sub cultures than one can count.
If you are really serious about it, I would suggest you pick an area
that interests you and go there. Give yourself a year. Get to know
some of the people of the area who are engaged in aspects of the
industry. Perhaps go to Bangkok and enroll in AIGS, the Asian
Institute of Gemological Science. Visit the gem market in Chantaburi,
get to know some of the dealers on Silom. Go to the places where
jewelry is sold, from Chatuchak Market to the big modern department
stores. Visit some of the small workshops as well as large modern
factories. While you’re there study various aspects of the cultures
the country. Learn as much as you can of the language. Read as much
as you can. At the end of the year you will have an inkling of what
that particular small part of Asia is about. I am not saying you
would then be able to do what you want to do, but you should have
gained enough knowledge of one small bit of Asia to make an informed

Jerry in Kodiak

This is not a flippant answer. Where in Asia are you wanting to do
this, it is a huge area with many cultures and social systems. Live
there for a year or so to do your research. Then you may have enough
insight to sell and manufacture there. Turn it around, how would you
reply to some one in Asia wanting to manufacture and sell in NY or


James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


Something to consider, in much of Asia precious metal jewelry is
sold by gram weight based on the days market price with a very tiny
additional charge for labor. The exception to this in some countries
is big name brand designer goods. I think you may find it a very
tough market to sell in. I think you definitely need to go to your
target countries to get first hand


James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


I just read the book “One Billion Customers” by James McGregor and
found it to be a very informative look at China. Mr McGregor was the
former The Wall Street Journal China bureau chief. I just heard Mr.
McGregor speak at the Vancouver Board of Trade and I found it
extremely interesting and insightful.

One Billion Customers:
Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China
(Wall Street Journal Book)
by James McGregor
Price: $17.82

Greg Miller