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Web based selling


#1

I’ve reading the posts on the would be Co-op for web based
selling and thought I’d share some what little I know about the
subject(jewelry is a hobby business, my day job is in the
computer industry).

Over the last six months I’ve done a huge amount of research,
trying to find ways to use the internet and electronic commerce
for my day job and to sell my jewelry on the side. The
conclusion I came to was that it was not viable to pursue for the
small volume I would do, but for a group of artists it might work
better.

I’m going to resist the temptation to write pages and pages
about what I’ve learned from my research. I do however want to
make it know that I would be happy to share what I know if there
is going to be a serious attempt at a web selling co-op. I will
caution though, like any other internet venture, there is a 99%
chance that it will be a money loser for everyone involved for at
least the initial stages. Still I think it could be
advantageous in the long run.

Michael

michael@mehe.com


#2

It is my experience that most people are very reluctant to
purchase jewelry from the Internet where they do not know the
artist and the quality of work. Where the web can make a
difference, I believe, is in the exposure of new designs to
known customers and galleries and maybe replace the sending of a
portfolio of slides and bio to a prospective gallery. You can’t
just put up a web site and sit back and wait for the customers to
send you a check. The web is just another advertising tool and
you must treat it like that. You need business cards with your
URL on them as well as having your telephone answering system
announce your URL You need to collect e-mail addresses of your
clients and visitors that visit your both at shows and send them
e-mail when you have a new design or to invite them to a
upcoming show. Any sales that I have had from the web have been
from repeat customers or from someone that has seen my jewelry
first hand.

The Metal Arts Society of Southern California, “MASSC”, is
attempting to set up a joint web sit with each participating
member having his own sub URL with links to tie them together.
This approach will provide each with his/her own look and at the
same time reduce the cost of having a dedicated web site. The
main site can be reached through
http://www.artsights.com/artinmetal. A members site can be
reached by adding the artist name to the base URL. We presently
have two members and a third in development. The site will only
be a goood as the members make it.

George Hebner