Tag Archives: jewellery supplies

Jewellery Business Week: Five ways to cut your business costs

business-week-banner-2016

 

In order to increase your profit margins you either need to increase your prices or cut your costs. If your business is growing there may be some creative ways to cut your costs. LJS business tutor Anna Campbell outlines five ideas to get you started

Look for alternative suppliers/buy in bulk

 

When you are first starting in business it makes sense to just buy what you need when you need it. Investing in materials without guaranteed sales is a way to cause serious damage to your cash flow! But if your business is growing it is time to look for ways to cut the cost of each item you make. One way to do this is to look for alternative suppliers for your materials or to buy in bulk.

Alternative suppliers

Start your search with Google. Google has some specialist ways to search that you may not be aware of. Try putting in your search term e.g. ‘silver chain’ ‘headpins’ etc and then click on ‘shopping’. This will bring up web pages where your item is for sale, allowing you to make comparisons in an easier way than trawling through all the websites individually.

Buy in bulk

You can often get discounts if you buy in bulk. Even if your current supplier doesn’t seem to offer these do ask, you may be able to agree a deal. We have plenty of tips for this here.

 

  1. Getting casts of your work

If you make from silver or gold each piece can take a long time to perfect and finish. If you think your piece could be a bestseller consider getting a mould made of your original piece so you can get it cast. This can be done at a jewellery casters (do a search to find a local company). A mould is made and then multiple copies of your piece can be cast in any metal you like. There is some additional finishing work once the piece is cast but the overall cost per item should be less than making it from scratch each time.

 

  1. Sell through third party websites

If you are selling directly through your website it is likely that this is costing you a high monthly fee even in months where your sales aren’t great. You are also solely responsible for promoting your website and getting traffic to it.

However, there are now many third party websites where you can sell your jewellery including etsy, folksy, misi, dawanda and so many more.

The benefits of selling on these sites are

  • there is often a small listing fee then nothing to pay until you sell so no monthly costs (note – some sites charge a monthly fee but those listed above currently do not)
  • you benefit from their advertising and getting customers who do searches directly on the site

I sell using etsy and I use etsy mini to embed my etsy shop into my website. This is not as scary as it sounds!

If you are an etsy seller sign in to your account.

Click on your shop, promote, etsy mini. I suggest then choosing the options ‘items from my shop’ and ‘gallery’

There’s a box that says ‘paste this code’. Copy this. You’ll need to paste it onto your website in an html section.

You can see how it looks on my website here – the items look like they are available directly through my website but if a seller clicks on them they can buy them directly via etsy. Selling this way saves me about £120 a year in website merchandise fees. And check out our tips for selling on Etsy here.

 

  1. Outsourcing using freelancers

Sometimes when we need an expert to do a task the cost can be high and unexpected extras can crop up that you haven’t budgeted for. If you can hire someone in the family or a friend that could be a good option. However that can cause unexpected problems so my top tip is to try out a freelance site like People per Hour or Fiverr. On freelance sites you can post details of the job you want to be done, for example a logo design, leaflet design, web design, social media support etc. You will then receive proposals from freelancers who are interested in working with you. You can read reviews and look at other examples of their work. I’ve used people per hour many times and have been very happy with the cost and the results. With PPH you make a down payment to start the job, but the person doing the work doesn’t receive the money until you sign off that the work is done.

 

  1. Cut the cost of the postage and packing

When we first start a business postage and packing can be one of those things that we forget to factor in – both financially and in terms of time to package jewellery up and take it to the post office. Here are some tips to consider:

  • send items in pouches instead of jewellery boxes. They are lighter to ship and don’t take up so much room for the recipient
  • use postage boxes that can be sent as a large letter in the UK e.g. these from defenda box
  • consider setting up an account with a delivery company e.g. Hermes who can collect parcels saving you time and money
  • buy items like jiffy bags, pouches, tissue paper etc in bulk as the cost is generally lower
  • keep all your items for posting and packaging organised. Nothing wastes time like not being able to find the sellotape.

 

We would love to hear your advice on cutting business costs. What has worked for you? Please share your recommendations by making a comment on this post or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.

Anna Campbell is a metal clay artist and tutor at the London Jewellery School and runs her own jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs.

 

Special Business Week offers

Don’t forget about our special offers on business courses for this week only.

These offers are only available on booking made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 February 2016 inclusive. Call 020 3176 0546.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

Finding supplies for your jewellery business

As you build your jewellery business you will need to buy materials, findings etc in larger quantities. Building relationships with suppliers and finding wholesale deals for buying larger amounts could bring significant savings to you jewellery business. For example, a single strand of a bead might cost £1.30 but you might find the same supplier sells them at £1 if you are buying 10 or more. But there are plenty of trade off in finding the best deals so we’ve put together some top tips.

  1. Start with suppliers you are already familiar with or can find out about easily. Look at the trade account options for bigger suppliers you might know off such as Creative Beadcraft, CooksonGold, International Craft for example – if you can’t find anything on their website, give them a call and ask if they do different prices for bulk orders and if so how much do you need to order.
  2. There may also be eBay suppliers that you’ve dealt with before to buy small quantities of materials and like the supplies you’ve received. It is worth contacting those sellers to see if you can negotiate deals for buying in bulk. It is something we have done successfully at London Jewellery School – the supplier will still make a profit and reduce their risk of being left with unsold stock.

    Ordering in bulk can save you money

    Ordering in bulk can save you money

  3. Quality is important – there is no point in ordering a large number of substandard items. If you are thinking of ordering from a new wholesale supplier ask to see samples first. Buying poor quality items, or ones where the colour doesn’t match the photograph, however cheaply, is a cost you may not be able to recoup.
  4. Make sure you check exactly what the wholesale deal is. Does the price you are being quoted include VAT or not? A whole sale price of £1 per item against a retail price of £1.25 is gret but if the wholesale price is “ex VAT” the actual cost will be £1.20 per item (unless you are VAT registered). Make sure you know exactly what you will be charged.
  5. Check what the wholesaler’s minimum order is – you might need to buy a lot to get the cheap deal per item.
  6. Make sure you don’t over-order. It is easy to get carried away when you see something sparkly at  a great price. But ordering 100 of something to get the discount when realistically you’ll only use 30 is unlikely to make good business sense.
  7. Plan before you order in bulk. It is important to sit down and plan what you need. Try to predict how many of a particular piece of jewellery you expect to sell and what materials you need to produce it. Do this for each piece/design you produce. This will give you a realistic estimate for the materials you require.
  8. Be willing to contact suppliers and bargain.If your calculations say for example you will need 250 of a particular bead and to get the wholesale discount you need to order 1,000, is this a worthwhile deal? However, if the company sells in lots of 25 or 50 at its retail price, it may be well worth your time contacting them to find out if they would offer you a discount on ordering 300. This won’t be as cheap per item as the full 1,000 wholesale price, but it will be better than the retail price.

And one last thought. Researching new suppliers can be time consuming, so remember to value your time and set limits on your research so that you still have time to make and sell your pieces.

 

Join us for a Supplier and Networking Evening

Would you like to meet a range of jewellery making suppliers, browse their wares, take advantage of exclusive discounts and network with other jewellers plus enjoy a glass or two of wine?
In that case we have good news for you.
The London Jewellery School Supplier and Networking Evening is back.
On the evening of Thursday 12 March come along to meet and shop with suppliers including:

  • Cookson Gold
  • iBeads
  • Jewel Tool
  • Marcia Lanyon
  • Metal Clay Ltd
  • Resin 8
  • Shangrila Gems
  • Walshes

You’ll be able to chat about equipment, examine products up close and ensure you have exactly what you need for your jewellery making.

Last year’s event was packed out, so to avoid missing out reserve your place today by emailing info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

Happy making

The LJS Team

Cookson Gold opens just for you – no queues

Ready for an exclusive jewellery supplies shopping experience?

Our lovely friends at Cookson Gold in Hatton Garden are holding an open evening exclusively for London Jewellery School Students.

H+M Cooksongold web

There will be a chance to shop without queues, tool demonstrations and a guest speaker.

Plus an extra discount on top of what you would normally get with a London Jewellery School student card.

The event takes place on Wednesday 2nd July 2014 from 5.45pm but there are only 30 places available.To secure place to shop and learn at this top jewellery supplier, email info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk by noon on Friday 6th June.jewellery making

London Jewellery School Supplier and Networking Evening

Would you like to meet a range of jewellery making suppliers, browse their wares, take advantage of exclusive discounts and network with other jewellers plus enjoy a glass or two of wine?

In that case we have good news for you.

The London Jewellery School Supplier and Networking Evening is back following a successful event last year.

2014 selling event poster copy

On the evening of Thursday 20 March come along to meet and shop with suppliers including:

  • Cookson Gold
  • GIA
  • iBeads
  • Metal Clay Ltd
  • Shangrila Gems
  • Tiny Box Company

You’ll be able to chat about equipment, examine products up close and ensure you have exactly what you need for your jewellery making.

Last year’s event was packed out, so reserve your place today by emailing info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk