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Shipping Prices

I’ve been having to think quite a bit about how to handle and price my shipping prices. Having weighed a number of my jewellery items (including packaging) and looked at Royal Mail’s shipping fees, it looks like I can limit it to two different prices, one for shipping in the UK and one for everywhere else in the world. Items sent within the UK will be classified as a large letter, and everywhere else as a small packet.

The weight of my items doesn’t appear to be an issue, however the value that I’m intending to sell them for is. Royal Mail have a limit of £46 that items can be sent by 1st Class within the UK or by Airmail elsewhere. Given the fact that my items are made out of sterling silver and quite a few from semi-precious stones as well, some individual items will be more than £46, or some items brought combined will be more than that. Unfortunately, the cost of Next Day Delivery within the UK or by Airsure Small Packets for elsewhere in the world, bumps up the postage costs considerably. To send a small packet by Airsure it would cost just under £10, so if someone is just buying a £10 pair of earrings, that type of shipping effectively doubles the price a customer needs to pay. As the majority of the people who use Etsy are US based, I really need to keep shipping costs down in order to be able to compete with US sellers on Etsy, if someone from the US comes across my shop and likes my items. I really don’t want to put anyone off from purchasing, by having my shipping prices too high.

After much thought and consideration I’ve decided to post using 1st Class and Airmail, and split up packages of multiple items that are greater than £46. (Even with the additional packaging costs it still works out far cheaper than paying for the higher postage costs of just one package.) For individual items that are greater than £46, I will use the higher postage fees. As otherwise if a package gets lost, I will be unable to claim for the full amount, and will lose out financially when refunding a customer for a lost order.

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Picture Time

I’ve now managed to fully finish 34 items, which isn’t anywhere near my 100 item target. However, I really need to be able to start selling some items as I’m running low on certain sterling silver parts.

So it’s now time for me to take photographs of my items. I’ve been doing some reading up on how to use my camera properly, rather than simply pointing and clicking like I’m used to doing. Plus I’ve been reading about how to edit the photos composition wise as well. I’ve been playing around with background colours and props to create a visually enticing product photograph. I’ve now got a good idea as to how to place/position my products and what props to use. Now comes the time consuming part of taking lots of photographs in order to obtain 5 decent pictures for each jewellery item, as Etsy allows up to five photographs to visually show off an item.

I’ve added some test shot pictures that I created. There are the before (unedited) shots which are on the left, and after editing shots which are on the right. The only adjustments I’ve done with regards editing the photographs is to crop and adjust the light levels.

Snowflake Obsidian Sterling Silver Earrings Snowflake Obsidian Sterling Silver Earrings

Mauve & Rose Quartz Pendant Sterling Silver Necklace Mauve & Rose Quartz Pendant Sterling Silver Necklace

Clear Glass & Siam Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Necklace Clear Glass & Siam Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Necklace

Violet & Clear Pendant Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Necklace Violet & Clear Pendant Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Necklace

Violet & Clear Pendant Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Necklace Violet & Clear Pendant Swarovski Crystal Sterling Silver Necklace

This last set just has two much of a blue tone to it. I’m not quite sure why. My photograph taking still obviously needs a fair bit of work.

Busily Creating

I’ve been busy creating jewellery items to build up a stock for my shop. From what I’ve read on the Etsy Forums it’s a good idea to try to aim to have around 100 items in a shop as this will give a potential buyer several pages of items that they can look through. That if you’re lucky might result in a potential buyer finding something they like and wish to buy. The hardest part from everything I’ve read is actually getting people to view your shop in the first place. So if there are only a few items in a shop it’s somewhat of a wasted effort, particularly if you’ve been working hard at promoting your shop. I’ve currently created around about a quarter of my items target, and probably won’t meet that target when I’m ready to open my shop. However, it’s something that I will certainly try to aim to get to, and to maintain at that sort of level, as the more items I have the more likely that I can get a sale.

Wubbers Looping Pliers

I treated myself to a pair of Wubbers Looping Pliers. I absolutely love them! I’ve been having a slight problem to get consistently nicely rounded loops of the same size when I’ve been doing wirework. I’ve ended up having to redo some of my wire loops as they aren’t as good as I would like. Obviously, with more practice I would be able to up my consistency and redo less loops. However, with my wanting to create jewellery items to sell using sterling silver, getting plenty of consistency with limited wastage of wire is very useful. This pair of pliers can give me the consistency that I want.

For a visual demonstration of the Wubbers Looping Pliers, check out this YouTube video.

For the record, I’m not in any way affiliated with Wubbers or anyone who sells their products. My comments are purely based as a user of their product.

Snowflake Obsidian Wired Pendant Necklace

Snowflake Obsidian Wired Pendant Necklace

The pendant in this necklace is created using Snowflake Obsidian (8mm, 6mm & 4mm round gems) placed in descending size, that is edged by silver-plated wire (0.6mm thickness), with the beads attached by thinner sections of silver-plated wire (0.4mm thickness). It’s then been placed on a silver-plated chain finished with a lobster clasp. The overall length of the necklace is 18″ with a pendant length of 1.5″.

I initially tried using 0.8mm thickness wire to edge the beads with, however I found that this size wire was too large and difficult to bend around the 4mm obsidian gem. Therefore, I went with using 0.6mm wire for the edging effect. It also took me several attempts to figure out how to start and finish the wire edging, in order to give a neat finish.

This was a gift I made for a family member.

Snowflake Obsidian Wired Pendant Necklace Snowflake Obsidian Wired Pendant Necklace

Black Agate Sparkle Pendant Necklace

Black Agate Sparkle Pendant Necklace

The pendant in this necklace is made from Agate (4 x 10mm tubes) and a Swarovski Clear Crystal (6mm Xilion Bicone), that are wired together using silver-plated wire (0.6mm thickness).

The pendant is made by firstly creating the trefoil shape and then adding the beads on, before creating a closed loop at the top of the pendant. It’s then placed on a fine cable silver-plated chain and finished off with a silver-plated lobster clasp and a teardrop extender chain. The pendant measures 1.5″ and the overall length of the necklace is 18″ (not including the 2″ extender chain).

This was a gift I made for a family member.

Black Agate Sparkle Pendant Black Agate Sparkle Pendant

Snowflake Obsidian Midnight Sparkle Necklace

Snowflake Obsidian Midnight Sparkle Necklace

This necklace is created using Snowflake Obsidian (6mm & 4mm round gems), Swarovski Clear Crystals (4mm Xilion Bicones) and silver-plated metal round beads (3mm), that are positioned in a symmetrical pattern making a beaded section of 7″ that is attached to a fine cable silver-plated chain. It is finished off with a silver-plated lobster clasp and a teardrop chain extender to allow for adjusting the length, and measures an overall length of 18.5″ (not including the 2″ extender chain).

This was a gift I made for a family member.

Snowflake Obsidian Midnight Sparkle Necklace Snowflake Obsidian Midnight Sparkle Necklace

Snowflake Obsidian & Crystal ‘Y’ Necklace

Snowflake Obsidian & Crystal 'Y' Necklace

This necklace is created in exactly the same was as the Amazonite Rose Quartz ‘Y’ necklace. The only difference being that the beads used are Snowflake Obsidian (8mm round gems) and Swarovski Clear Crystals (4mm & 6mm Xilion Bicones). The necklace measures an overall length of 18” (not including the 2″ extender chain) with the bottom of the Y shape being 1″ in length.

This was a gift I made for a family member.

Snowflake Obsidian & Crystal 'Y' Necklace Snowflake Obsidian & Crystal 'Y' Necklace

Rose Quartz Sparkle Necklace

Rose Quartz Sparkle Necklace

This necklace is created using Rose Quartz (3 x 6mm), pink faceted crystals (4mm) and silver-plated metal round beads (3mm), that are positioned in a symmetrical pattern making a beaded section of 7″ that is attached to a fine cable silver-plated chain. It is finished off with a silver-plated lobster clasp and a teardrop chain extension to allow for adjusting the length, and measures an overall length of 18.5” (not including the 2″ extender chain).

This was a gift I made for a family member.

Rose Quartz Sparkle Necklace
Rose Quartz Sparkle Necklace

Happy Christmas

I just wanted to wish the readers of my blog a Happy Christmas, and hope you are having a wonderful Christmas time.

Over the next few days I will be posting about the jewellery I made as gifts for family (as alluded to in my post – That Time Of Year).