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Alexandra
04-06-2005, 07:38 PM
hi everyone, I'm new. I have been making jewellery for a few years and would really like to start selling jewellery online. I havedone a few craft fairs but am hoping that selling online would be more convenient and eventually more lucrative. Has anyone got any tips in this area? I have looked into website designers but ti didn't take me long to realise the prices are way beyond my means. Has anyone designed there own online shop? If so, how difficult was the process?

Zebedee
05-06-2005, 08:16 PM
I'd be interested in this info too....

Trying to sell on ebay at the moment....I'm not sure how successful that will be though....

minvera
13-06-2005, 01:31 PM
Hi i built my own site without ANY experience and found it relatively easy, but very time-consuming. I used Frontpage, but I've heard others say Dreamweaver is better. you can get free webspace - try www.lycos.co.uk, they also offer web templates but not that nice I dont think!
Finally, its not a case of having an online presence. you need to consider if you'll have an online shop. i use www.paypal.co.uk shopping basket and find it very straightforward. the main problem is getting traffic to your site - this can be expensive to get your name at the top of search engines. My advice to you is not to expect too much success from an online shop too soon. good luck with your venture.
Nicola

Lou Lou's Bijouterie
14-06-2005, 03:36 PM
I created my own website from scratch without any previous knowledge whatsoever. If you are seriously interested in creating your own one, let me know and i'll be more than happy to give you assistance / help.

To see what i have done, feel free to click on the link in my signature below

kaod55
16-06-2005, 09:20 PM
Hi just to say that a few months ago I started my own website. It is on www.freewebs.com it is really easy and does not cost anything, there is also a paypal link so you can sell stuff on there. They have good templates etc as well. Some products cost money and I pay $2 a month for multiple file uploads and some other stuff.
Also on that site they are really helpful with any problems or questions
I have also heard or a thing called traffic blazer which submits you the engines like google, aol etc for $30 which is bout £15 i think for a year. I have not used it yet but seems a good deal.
you can look at my site www.freewebs.com/kayleighscrafts if you want, you can get your own domain name for about £10 a year, but I havent done that yet either. Hope this helps, you don't need a really expensive package to do it!
Kayleigh

Alexandra
16-06-2005, 09:26 PM
Thank you so much for your advice and I'm really impressed at the sites you have created and the jewellery you are selling! I run my "business" (I'm not sure it could quite be called that yet...) with a friend who is not keen on going online so hopefully your information will help to encourage her. At least you've given me some hope that it is a viable option for the future. Thank you!

Tranquility80
26-07-2006, 09:41 PM
I also started out with a freewebs website and found it really good if you don't have any prior knowledge.
I now use instantestores as they are much more focused on creating a website to sell on.

Emma Farnworth
02-08-2006, 10:22 AM
I haven't had many sales through my website but I haven't really promoted it and you probably wouldn't find it unless you were looking specifically for my stuff!

Using people like lycos etc isnt always an option if you want to sell your pieces, if you read the terms and conditions many have clauses forbidding the sale of goods and services unless you pay for a very expensive business type package. You could probably get away with it for a while but is it worth the risk? I bought space from streamlinenet.co.uk and i think you get a free .co.uk domain name with their home user package but you would need to use an ftp program like cute ftp to upload files to the server. I found a really good html tutorial site for kids which helped me to actually write the code.

Hmm that was a bit longer than I planned and reading back sounds really complicated!

Breda Hogan
02-08-2006, 03:53 PM
My 19 yr old son was a big big help to me! The younger generation are so clued up on all things 'internet' So if you have a son/daughter, nephew/niece, or young neighbour it might be worth get ting help from them.:confused:

Emma Farnworth
02-08-2006, 04:12 PM
the website i mentioned (for html help)was lissaexplains.com
its fairly easy to understand and you can copy and paste bits of code, thought it might help someone ?!?

Trinity
02-08-2006, 06:05 PM
I do find it a problem getting the traffic to my site, I tend to try and promote my site on other websites but it can be time-consuming.

I am not sure how to add my site to search engines and don't want to spending out a whole heap of money on advertising if it isn't going to work.

I have got a few craft fairs booked from now until Christmas with the promise of more next year and this is the way that I make money and the more I do, hopefully it will spread the word around.

0103media
03-08-2006, 10:18 AM
I do find it a problem getting the traffic to my site, I tend to try and promote my site on other websites but it can be time-consuming.


That's the point of the directory www.ukcraftwebistes.co.uk (http://www.ukcraftwebistes.co.uk)

The more people subscribe the bigger our advertising spend.. Simple as that..

One site that been listed has been sent just under 10,000 visitors in 2 years..

One thing with promoting your site is that you need to choose description of title of your site carefully ...

If the title of your site was "Beer" vs "Free beer here" which would you click on ?

Hope that helps..

yellowzub
11-08-2006, 02:03 AM
hi.. me n my friend also made our site from scratch.. actually doing it urself is not that difficult.. what u need is a webhosting, a domain name and a merchant account.. u only have to pay for only these 3 things which is not that expensive. when we started we paid less than Malaysian Ringgit 500 (i guess the U.K pound will be much cheaper as 1 Pound = RM6 more or less)..
most of the webhosting today has many security features and other application for webmasters that are easy to use.. u can view how many people enters ur site, how many hits per entry and monitor band width usage to ur site. as for merchant account u may want to use paypal but in our case we use 2collect.com.. these 2 doesn't cost u much as they only charge u per year..
u can design ur site using frontpage because it is the easiest software to use for designing websites..

hope i've helped u in a way or so... feel free to browse my site anytime..

Photo Jewelry
31-08-2006, 12:13 AM
A lot of people on a forum I visit use ecrater.com to sell their jewelry and crafts. I am not positive but I think it gives you an online store free.

Bex1403
12-09-2006, 10:38 PM
Hi
I have designed sucessfull websites in the past and would be happy to do one for you too. I can put together proposals for you to take a look at then you can choose your favourite, just graphical ones of course.

Unfortunatly I can only provide you with the look for your website as I cannot as yet built one - we had to out source a web designer to build the actual site, but I start a web design course next week and would be happy to use yours as my live project. (May take a little white though)

If you would rather, you could get someone else to build it for you as soon as you have the art work...

Have a think
hope I've explained myself clearly:rolleyes:
Good Luck anyway
Bex1403

Silver Ruby
25-09-2006, 04:13 PM
Hi Alexandra,

I have just launched my own online jewellery shop!

I did the website myself for free and I'm happy with it!

So far I've been spending my time trying to get noticed by getting links from craft sites and I am currently selling on eBay and I will also be attending craft fairs.

If I can help, please let me know.

Fiona
Silver Ruby

manwanis
20-12-2006, 08:53 AM
Thank you so much for your advice and I'm really impressed at the sites you have created and the jewellery you are selling! I run my "business" (I'm not sure it could quite be called that yet...) with a friend who is not keen on going online so hopefully your information will help to encourage her. At least you've given me some hope that it is a viable option for the future. Thank you!

Ballerinacaz
02-03-2008, 04:32 PM
I recommend using topcities.com for webhosting, its free and your webaddress would be something like yournamehere.topcities.com I think. lissaexplains.com is really good if you want to learn how to do html or you could use something like microsoft Frontpage (this is really easy to use) or dreamweaver (never used it myself but have heard that its good) hth

Anne
28-03-2008, 04:09 PM
Hi, I also designed my own website to sell my jewellery & glass giftware. I think it's already been covered, but to begin with you need your domain name & someone to host your website. I use nameroute.co.uk which cost £10 a year for the domain name. I get my hosting from Hostroute.co.uk. Prices go from £24 - £149 a year depending what size package you go for. (I notice that prices can vary alot from different companies)

I used dreamweaver to design my website with. I got the software free from a website ages ago. I've not looked recently, but I bet you'll find a free application online for making websites.

Good luck with your site :)

Chris W
28-03-2008, 08:37 PM
I have designed websites in the past with Front Page however not a shopping cart site, if you want to make a living trading online I would recommend you look into it carefully and consider getting professional help.
I have only just gone live with my website but I have taken the whole thing very seriously as I have been recently widowed and can't continue running my retail shop without help. I don't have a pension and am hoping to make a living trading online and working from home, I have no idea whether it will work but I am willing to do whatever it takes to give it the best possible chance.
So I remortgaged my home to raise the money to finance it. It was designed by me but built by an expert on search engine ranking so it is set up to be search engine friendly, which is very important. When I have built it up more I am thinking of paying for Google Adverts, apparently you can set the budget for this so it doesn't cost too much.
It has taken a lot of hard work to put the site together but it has been very enjoyable too and I have learned and am still learning a great deal.

Beadservice
28-03-2008, 11:56 PM
Another suggestion....I know a lot of people use a template package called 'Mr Site' and it can be bought through Amazon.

From what I've seen it gives a good basic site, which is PayPal compatible

Maybe worth a look

Debbie

Heidihi74
29-03-2008, 10:10 PM
Hi Alexandra

I have only recently made a website. We used Mr Site which we bought for about £25. We get the first year free and I think after that there's a small charge per month. Payments are through Paypal also on it.

Its very very straightforward to use which was good as I have NO patience whatsoever for things like that.

Good luck.
Heidi

Heidihi74
29-03-2008, 10:11 PM
Another suggestion....I know a lot of people use a template package called 'Mr Site' and it can be bought through Amazon.

From what I've seen it gives a good basic site, which is PayPal compatible

Maybe worth a look

Debbie

Oops.. see my post! I only read the first 2 pages of this thread before I posted ha.

I must be psychic or something.

ArtMyriad
17-05-2008, 04:58 AM
I think if you are building your own site from scratch without any knowledge, the site will never look very professional. There is a lot to know about site building - design, usability, site promotion etc. I'd use professionals for that reason. :confused:

aurrida
17-05-2008, 11:09 AM
who will your customers be? how will they find your site? what will they expect your site to look like?

knowing who your customers will be will guide you how to design your site as well as where they will look on the net to find you.

the big thing all of us here find difficult is getting people to our site and then getting them to spend money.

the most interest for my work has come from:

my stuff in our shop in nürnberg.

from a fountain pen forum.

google ads.

art and craft fares.

what hasn't been so good has been:

google search, and the like. google seems to have ignored to a greater extent that i make pens. i have a simple information page on woods buried somewhere in my site. it has decided in its wisdom to list me as an authority on exotic woods. i get referrals everyday from the most bizarre searches regarding wood. unfortunately they are not interested in buying.

directories, who actually uses them?

etsy, dewanda, artflock (slightly better), gozabo, goolge products (froogle), ebay. i consider these free or relatively free, unfortunately so do tens of thousands of other people. its too competitive. the right person finding your product seems completely down to luck on some of these sites! your average person on the street has never heard of them, except ebay of course.

unfortunately, experience from the shop shows that paid marketing that is directed at your targeted market is the only marketing that gets results. the problem is i just cant afford to spend the tens of thousand of euros that is needed to sell my pens.

as for the site, it will make the difference as to whether someone decides to buy from you. so aim to get it right even if it cost money.

i guess like myself and many here one muddles through and picks things up as you go along and made improvements on the way diy as such. its not a bad way, i have found it fun. just see a sale from a developing site as a bonus!

perhaps other people will share there experience with blogs, wholesale , article submissions, good old advertising in mags and no doubt many other ways of promoting ourselves.

aurrida
17-05-2008, 11:12 AM
woops didn't realise it was that long, sorry!

steffifab
17-06-2008, 09:25 PM
I spoke nicely to my brother in law and he set up my website for me, it's been live for about 6 weeks now and I got my 1st order on Thursday, thought i'd never get an order, but it was worth waiting for.

I've given out loads of flyers, in letterboxes, local shops etc. but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end!! It's all about self promotion, no one else is going to do it for you!

cheers

steph:playball:

Aviya Glass
03-07-2008, 10:39 PM
Hi,
I have only just set up my website - very daunting - and it still needs work!!! But after looking at so many packages I went with doyourownsite. I paid £55 for the year and £15 for my .com domain name - don't have a lot to spend unfortunately.
I found it very easy to use and although I think my website looks basic it is easy to navigate and use. You will have to submit to search engines etc but I found loads of help on this forum and surrounding ads. :):):)

Wishing you all the best
Terry

MuranoSilver
04-07-2008, 12:49 AM
Try one and one internet...their prices are resonable & they're doing a "Free" offer at the moment that means you can get a website up and running for under £20 (there's even free Dreamweaver software which is IMO one of the best packages for writing the site).

Hope that helps
Nicola xx

Kiamyka
04-07-2008, 10:33 AM
I built my site myself using Zencart which is free software but not for the fainthearted- it is marvellous though and runs a database which keeps track of orders. customers, stock etc. You can set up discount coupons, newsletters and email form the software and theres a range of free templates too. You need a host which also offers you a MySQL database and I used to pay £20 a month for the host but decided to move to a cheaper option and now use Bravenet which is about £6 a month and allows you to host 10 domains. It took me a week to build and stock.
If you are considering it then you need a wide range of IT skills but the forums are great and the set up guides are a must too
You can see it here
www.kiamyka.co.uk/shop

Rhiannon
04-07-2008, 01:12 PM
Try one and one internet...their prices are resonable & they're doing a "Free" offer at the moment that means you can get a website up and running for under £20 (there's even free Dreamweaver software which is IMO one of the best packages for writing the site).

Hope that helps
Nicola xx

I can second this, I have been dealing with 1and1 internet for a few years now for hobby websites. We only use them for hosting information type websites, not selling anything through them but I can't fault them.

Rhiannon x

LunarraStar Jewellery
04-07-2008, 06:07 PM
I think our hosting is about £60 a year and the software we use it freeware!

Its called MAGENTO and its new, the finished product was released in march, its amazing. My partner who designed my site has already had 2 people ask him if he can make similiar sites for them :).

www.lunarrastar.com

LunarraStar Jewellery
04-07-2008, 06:09 PM
I think if you are building your own site from scratch without any knowledge, the site will never look very professional. There is a lot to know about site building - design, usability, site promotion etc. I'd use professionals for that reason. :confused:

I'd have to agree with that and you wont make sales from an unprofessional looking website because people wont trust paying for something through it.

If i go to a site and photos are dark/blurry, flashing graphics and it looks homemade i move straight on.

My partner works with sites for a living otherwise i would have paid for one because you really need a professional looking site.

LunarraStar Jewellery
04-07-2008, 06:14 PM
I have designed websites in the past with Front Page however not a shopping cart site, if you want to make a living trading online I would recommend you look into it carefully and consider getting professional help.

I like your site :)

woodtattoos
04-07-2008, 06:18 PM
I chose to use Mr Site for my new website as I wanted to be in full control of it myself and the package is quite comprehensive for the price. Hopefully my site will improve with time... it is a slow process!

Si.

jessy100
30-03-2009, 01:18 PM
Yes.. Thats good idea.... try it.........

EmilyRichard
30-03-2009, 03:06 PM
I made my own website (with no experience of doing any before) on Frontpage like some others, and am just in the process of updating it, which is relatively easy if you do it yourself. If you have a webmaster, take into consideration how easy/expensive it'll be whenever you will need to update or add to it!

I don't think anyone's mentioned freevirtualservers.com which are the hosting people I use - I pay about £10 every 2 years for my .co.uk domain name and the hosting is free (depending on which package you have - you can get a lot into the free one though)

You can accept payments through paypal even if you don't have a shopping cart section on your site. That's what I do, and it's worked out ok so far!

I hope that helps...
Emily

Glitterbug
30-03-2009, 06:31 PM
Emily, your jewellery's lovely - you're very talented.

I think photography is the most important thing when doing a website. Even if your website is professional, poor photography will let it down. I had mine done for me and although I only get a few sales a week, it generates a lot of interest from galleries, magazines etc. It is expensive having a professional site but I managed to get a grant for half the cost, so it wasn't too bad. I also do loads of craft fairs where I hand out cards which brings a lot of traffic to my site.

By far the majority of my sales come from www.notonthehighstreet.com though. This year so far my sales are up by about 400%! I know it doesn't work for everyone though. Again, the reason why my sales are so high is because of professional photography. I can't emphasise enough how important that is.

chillibun
30-03-2009, 10:30 PM
I built my site without any previous experience with mrsite. (http://www.mrsite.com) It only costs £35 for the year for the basic site. This includes a shopping cart. There's quite a few on here that use it.

carla jennings jewellery (http://www.carlajenningsjewellery.co.uk)

hgmjewels
20-04-2009, 06:52 AM
i know this post is old but just wanted to say im sure my husband could help anybody who was looking for a graphic designer to do their website. he did mine for me

loula_
21-04-2009, 03:50 PM
Hi there, i know what you mean, getting your website designed professionally is really expensive... but it probably is worth it!
I've just designed my own, it's nothing much yet... but i designed it on weebly.com
I paid a little amount to get rid of the weebly footer, and get more features, and i think it's worth it!
Theres also loads more free website design sites out there, just search on google!

Tattyslittlegems
21-04-2009, 08:45 PM
I have designed my website myself but I am also a web and graphic designer so I guess I have cheated a little but this is the first shop that I have created so its a bit rough round the edges.

tattyslittlegems .co .uk

If anyone wants any help please let me know.

I can also register and hosts website for anyone for a small fee if anyone is interested.

My question is if anyone has had any success from thier online shop and how have they done it?

I have sold 1 item so far but I dont have much on thier at the moment as I have only just started making jewellery.

Tatty

craftybeader
01-08-2009, 09:52 AM
Hi
I have just built my first website with Do your own site You can purchase your domain from them and they do a really reasonable hosting package. I have been really pleased with it. I have no experience in building websites either :pc:
I am getting a lot of traffic but only one sale at the mo

ejralph
01-08-2009, 02:45 PM
Well my website is pretty basic - cobbled together a few years ago from Frontpage - and the online shopping site is Zen cart based (although heavily modified)

In an ideal world I would give them both a facelift, but I am too busy with other stuff, which probably answers the question about if online sites can work!

I think the bottom line with any site though is promotion. It doesn't matter how beautiful your work is, or your site - if no-one knows it is there, you won't sell a thing.

Likewise I know of plenty of bead and jewellery makers out there doing a roaring trade with very basic websites, because their work is lovely and they know how to get that message out there and bring people in to their site to see the work.

Makedoandmend
01-08-2009, 02:58 PM
Hi,

I found that quite a few people I knew were making craft products but either didnt have the knowledge or money to sell online so I set up a website called Make Do and Mend Online where people pay to have a page on the site and we promote and advertise the site as a whole. As a lot have people have said even if you get a site set up it's difficult for people to find it.

This was you just send me a few pictures of your work and some information regarding the range you offer and prices and we create the page for you and sort out the advertising. It is £25 for 3 months - no tie-in so a good way to test it out.

if you are interested please google Make Do and Mend Online and you will find it. I can't put links on here yet but its just the site name followed by co.uk. We have only been online for 10 days and have had over 400 visitors and are coming up on the top few listings on the search engines.

craftybeader
01-08-2009, 04:03 PM
That seems a great idea Make do and Mend :-) Its worth giving it a try for a little while I guess, rather than going straight into making your own website.

Jan Miller
03-08-2009, 10:14 AM
Hi, I designed and up loaded my own website, it was time consuming but cost nothing other than the web host fees. look at my website, can't give you the url yet, am a newbie, but it's all the w's, janmillerdesign then usual uk ending!! I have my domain name and website hosted by Namesco...really good people, brilliant user friendly manual, on line hlep, and sooo easy.almost a matter of cut and paste....typing in the edit mode then you 'view my website' tomake sure all your .inks work etc....excellent. then you have the task of optimising it all with metatags and this i am doing now....if you have any problems go on my website look, see for yourself and get my num,ber on the contact us page.....call me for info. hope this helps!
Good luck!
Jan Miller

Jan Miller
03-08-2009, 10:16 AM
Sorry about the earlier typos. need caffeine!!
Jan Miller

myJewellery
06-10-2009, 06:53 PM
Hey,
First website I made myself and it was a pain in the backside!
The second website, I downloaded an e-commerce template with a cms ready to go. Then I changed the images to suit the style i was going for. The whole thing took about 3 weeks, and thats only because I have a full time job as well.

Its the best thing I ever did, its been 8 months up and running now and we rank well and get a few sales a week.

My advice to anyone who really wants to sell online -like next week - go to monster templates and download an e-commerce website and upload that template on a hosting company - if you are not sure, ask them, thats what they are there for. I had trouble with mine so he moved my site to a server that already had that software installed. Easy! And I tell you one thing, there is nothing like looking at your website online!! Its the best feeling in the world (for me anyway :) ).

Anyway good luck to all :)
Elaine

Carl Martin
06-10-2009, 09:52 PM
I find this very very interesting with some very good points.

I've done it a bit different.... I'm a full time "smith" producing hallmarked silver and gold jewellery...also do precious metal art. Anyhow. I absolutely refused to pay for someone to build me a site..... this idea of mine has been milling around in my head for the past 6 months so I've done quite a bit of business research. If you haven't had a look at my site please do as I would really appreciate your feedback. This cost me £10.99 for 2 years thats it..... now what I have done, the only thing I paid for, is use a very good business listing company called scoot... www.scoot.co.uk (http://www.scoot.co.uk) now I have paid for a national banner for the whole of the uk.... click on my banner and it takes you straight to my website.......if you go to scoot and in the name field type "wedding rings" I'm no1 with the banner going right across the top.... always wanted my name in lights..... if you type in "jeweller hampshire" ..I'm no1.... I am no1 for 10 counties in the UK for 15 of my own keywords...if my business direction changes I can edit it from my pc. With my website live for a week i'm now getting 40 hits per day... infact my courses that I run are now getting pretty full. If you google carl martin jewellery i'm also as of today no1 and no 2..so I must have got something right.
Selling onine has given me some severe sleepless nights because I'd like to sell online in some respects but in my opinion it must be a full time job in itself if you are selling in the quantities that make for a good living ? to just keep up with the online shop.
I've designed my site as a purely inormation portal at the moment because I don't have time what with teaching the courses that I run and designing and making the pieces. I'm afterall a jeweller not a conveyor belt...thats how I look at it anyway.
Now I might be barking up the wrong tree and how i've done it is wrong...no idea but I'm sure having fun trying.

dom300186
13-10-2009, 03:52 PM
try Vista print they have website templates that you can buy? we are going to be using them.

Anna Brookman
14-10-2009, 04:44 PM
I dont know if any of you have come across Mr Site?? Google it because it wont let me type the address, but it is basically mrsite followed by .co.uk.
It's AMAZING!!!!
My site is with them and its brilliant, easy to use and straight forward with a range of different templates to choose from - plus there is 9 - 5 online help - but the best bit is definitely the price - i cant quite believe it still!!