Many buyers on our auction sites re sell the products they buy from us and have built up a sustainable gem business. Our sites have one of the highest percentage of repeat buyer’s compared to most online sites as we target repeat buyers with wholesale prices and bulk parcel deals.
Many buyers re sell our products by value adding to the opal or gemstone or making their own creative jewelry. We have hundreds of buyers with 100-200 feedbacks and many with over 1,000 feedbacks, so if these buyers can operate a business, you can also! Our products are ideal for Retail shops, Market stalls, Trade shows, Party Plan business, Direct marketing, Online marketing, Store Promotions, Local Shows or Fairs or even make your own Web site or sell on EBay.
Do your own market research and rank your expertise, marketing and creative skills and do a cash flow projection. Budget for positive cash flow in 6 months as start up time can take longer than anticipated. But if it was so easy everyone would do it. To create a business that is enjoyable and has a fun lifestyle is what many people desire. It’s not a job but a lifestyle full of anticipation of what gems will be in the next parcel. We have many buyers who started a part time gemstone business and now operate successful large scale businesses.
Having a wide range of gemstones is essential. Especially if targeting Birthstone gemstones or jewelry. If you have an artistic eye you can buy gemstone beads and make creative one off designer beads that are popular. Having a silver ring or pendant casting so that buyers can add the gemstone of their choice is also popular.
The easiest way to build confidence with your target market is to have a large selection of certified gemstones. These gemstones will be tested by a gem testing laboratory like the GIA and come with a certificate. This will help buyers to make a decision as they will build trust with you.
We have found that opal cutters start on basic opal parcels and when their cutting improves they will buy better quality rough and cut high grade opals. Many then start making their own silver jewelry and wire wrap jewelry. Boulder opal or Koroit and even Ethiopian opal rough is good to start and you can sell opal stones that you have cut or made into a jewelry piece. Variety of Opals offered for sale and opal knowledge is essential. One of our buyers does markets and dresses like an Aussie opal cutter and sells as much as many shops do. He targets what opal buyers want. A fun experience with an opal seller that knows all about opals. He displays an opal cutting machine, gives knowledge and than has a down to earth close sales technique and says you are buying from an opal miner and opal cutter and its best deal. How many opals do you want? I have seen him in action and he sells heaps of Opals.
Start as a hobby for fun and realize you will make purchase mistakes as most first time buyers do, until you find your niche in this exciting market.
For start no need to buy bulk parcel lots, try your ideas out and do market research for your area. Obtain feedback from end users but not from family or friends who most likely will give you false hopes that your products are better than what they are. Once you have a large Variety you can also do in store promotions with percentage of turn over to shop as commission.
Be enthusiastic so that buyers can see you enjoy your products and they will have confidence to buy from you.
One buyer had a friend on a cruise ship in New Zealand and she was invited on board to sell jewelry. The first stop she was cleaned out and built up strong business . Find your niche and specialize in what you enjoy doing, maybe you have a connection that can help launch your business.
Show and tell is good way to establish your business. As example sell Opals or Gemstones by displaying your cutting expertise. Have selection of different types of Opal or Gemstones and inform buyers with product knowledge. Specialize in Silver Jewelry and set opals or Gemstones in front of buyers, so no shipping! Operate Birthstone business and market stones on monthly basis.
All Our Verified Sellers had to start off their business. Here is summary of several sellers and how they started their business.
As an accountant I operate my practice and sent in many opal miners and opal business people tax returns, and therefore was introduced to the Opal business. Many years ago I purchased www.queen-of-gems.com from one of my clients and purchased all of his lifetime work of opals. Many of these were from the miner’s collections and I now list solely on Opal Auctions as Queen of Gems. My wife is a Teacher from overseas so we always have international students visiting us and they buy Australian opals to send back to their friends and family, and when their families visit Australia they buy opals and opals jewelry from us. I have a cutting shop set up in my garage and lots drums of low grade rough opal so visitors like to see the rough and watch me polish opals so I always have 20 odd opals on sticks just for final polishing. My web site has a link back to my opals on Opal Auctions.
I tried eBay but fees were too expensive to list range of opals and buyers do enjoy viewing a large selection of opals. I only work part time in my practice now and enjoy going to local gem and opals shows.
Gem Traders was started in 2005 in Queensland Australia. At this time the owners Wayne and Estela of Opalplus sold opals and opal jewelry to some 300 shops in Australia and New Zealand. Shops were always asking for more gemstones to compliment their opals. As we sold opals to Hong Kong and Thailand gemstone dealers it was easy to source gemstones so we started Gem Traders. It just shows that once your in the gemstone industry there are lots of opportunities to find new markets. Also when we were selling opals in Perth Western Australia, we sold to companies that sold pink diamonds and this lead us to a good connection for rare argyle pink diamonds.
Over the years we have sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of rare pink diamonds as sideline business that was profitable. Unfortunately it is too hard to find pink diamonds now and they are extremely expensive.
How i started gem trading. In 1989, After opal mining at the 6 mile field in Lightning Ridge for 9 months straight and loosing money i decided to quit the business and move to the coast. Earlier on i had bough a bucket of low grade rough from a fellow miner for $500. I had given this to a person who was doing the gem show circuit to sell for $700 but after 4 months he gave it back. I had access to a cutting machine so i rubbed the parcel back and it produced no good stones but abundance of picture stones and interesting patterns. As these stones were not commercial i hand polished them and glued a bail on top with a chain. My mining mates laughed at me as they were a bit rough and low grade but after visiting 6 shops i had sold out. I only got $10 each for them but i sold nearly 600 of them reaping a large profit and starting my gem trading business. I did a few other parcels but i tumbled polished them. I had spent a enormous amount of time polishing the first patch and looking back it was a good deal that I am glad I didn’t sell it for $700 ($500 parcel rough cut $6,000 and helped launch His business)
Jewellery Business Kept My Sanity To survive as a single parent with 2 children under 5 years old, I had to clearly lay plans on how to make some money. I searched around on ways to make ends meet while staying at home and look after the children. There were hours spent on going through newspapers, internet sites for business ideas. One weekend whilst visiting the Sunday market, I came across a stall that sold all types of beads,shells,silver findings and knick-knacks of all sorts. These items were affordable and inexpensive, so I came home with pieces that I thought I could start doing up. One idea came to mind. I knotted pieces of material and in between were the shells and beads. I started off making childrens headbands with beads and matched with beaded bracelets and pendants. Out of these materials I was able to produce 20 sets and showed my family and friends and by the end of the week, I had sold all the sets I made. Knowing that I can sell all the ones I had created, gave me the confidence to create, design and market them. Because I know I can sell everything I can make, I had to source out other natural materials. I began attending Gemshows and Jewellery Fairs. I came across some Boulder Opals, Koroit Opals and Black Opals. These materials incorporated with my designs are then aimed and catered for Foreign tourists. Creating and designing kept me so busy and the bonus was that I can be home and look after my 2 children and make money.
I would like to share my experience in starting up a gemstone business so it might help others. More a lesson of what not to do ! Instead of inspiring people with good positive story I would like to share my hard earned experience. I just visited the Sydney jewelry show in late august 2010. It took me several phone calls and emails to register to go to this show as I had to show invoices from my supplier that I was in the trade. Some of my invoices didn’t have address but my PO box so I had to clarify that I was in the trade and supply drivers license etc. The jewelry show was exciting with many sellers displaying a whole range of beautiful jewelry. I was interested in designer pieces that would retail in $50 to $100 price points. With the first company I spent considerable time in viewing beautiful jewelry sets in resin with natural flowers and ancient glass. But when he asked for my business card and started to write up my order he noticed that my address was web address and he firmly said that his supplier would not supply internet sellers as standard policy. I was flabbergasted at this attitude. So I approached another supplier with similar jewelry and asked if they supply internet sellers and he politely stated under no circumstances would they supply me. This was in the first hour of the show.!!!!! So I changed my story and filled in that I do local markets and party plan and bought stock, but not from the first sellers I visited. LESSON -if buying stock at show maybe best not to mention that you sell on the internet as these wholesalers are worried about internet sales. Also at this show I meet a friend who is a member of a large buying group and I told him my story and he told me shops will not buy from wholesalers who sell to internet sellers as they can sell cheaper than shops. Wow I was flabbergasted again. Shops are obviously worried that internet sellers can sell cheaper and give better service and i also think that’s true. My last comment, after telling my story to another person at the show. And she shared her story.. Only last week she has friend who wanted a C——- watch and price was $600 so she checked watch agent in S———- and price for same watch same code was only $400.00. A saving of $200 and watched arrived in 4 days after payment, and remember this was from an authorized agent also. Her comment is that the internet is making better deals for those who know how to surf the internet. I agree and many wholesalers are caught up in policies but it is obvious as to where the market is going and dealers who don’t change will be left behind.
I Lived next to large timber reserve with many species of tress and noticed so many beautiful nuts that were prevalent on these trees. So this was my start to making jewelry of natural nuts on leather necklaces. I sold thousands of these necklaces over many years. First we would pick nuts that fell on the ground so we did no damage to the eco system. My 2 boys had fun helping me collect nuts and it was a beautiful family event to share time with my young boys in the forest. These nuts had already released their seeds. Next I would tumble these nuts in a gemstone tumbler to remove dirt. Next process was to spay the nuts evenly so they were very smooth. I designed many different styles for nut necklaces and some matt and some very shiny nuts. I sold these at local markets and had sales representative selling to shops who sold most of my products. Buy after many years I was still only making good wages and income from my time so I realized people would not pay extra for my natural product. After a while I tried adding gemstones to my nut necklaces and straight away I was selling more expensive necklaces. I started adding gemstones on top or bottom of a nut in a colour that would compliment the design and shape. I was fortunate to find large supply of amethyst faceted tear drop stones with holes drilled and this was my best line. I still use lot of Amethyst gemstones in my designs. Many of the designs did not work as it was hard to make stylish necklaces with nuts and gemstones and after while I did find it hard to find gemstones of large size at reasonable size. Eventually I stopped making the nut necklaces and concentrated on gemstone necklaces, but looking back I was happy to start with the nuts as they helped me start a gemstone business which I really enjoy as I am now more creative and don’t have to work to midnight to get low profit orders out. I still do our local market which is held on first of each Sunday per month and I have my creations on consignment in few local craft shops so I am always selling my designer necklaces and make good income with no stress and it is now like my hobby to create designer necklaces for individuals instead of mass market. Thank you for reading my story and wishing everyone success with their own gemstone business.
I had always loved jewellery since I can remember as a young girl. I would walk around parks,nature walks, forests and beaches and collect, nuts, leaves, shells, washed out corals. Putting these collected items together was a challenge and a bit of an adventure for me. Strings, leather and cotton fibres were used to hold all my collected natural materials. Even sometimes stitching shells onto my clothes made it so interesting for me. For my friends, their birthday gifts would be made of handmade handbags with bits and pieces sewn into them. All my friends enjoyed getting gifts from me because they found them so unique and individual designed just for them. My friends felt special getting gifts from me. Gift items such as necklaces would be individually crafted for my friends favourite colours. As I progressed and got more confident with my special craft, I started colouring, the shells and the nuts. I also learned to twist metals to hold some precious gemstones and made them into necklaces, brooches and necklaces. I found that set jewellery are also popular so I made pendant/earrings set as well as bracelets. Selling to the public on the weekend market stalls gave me real cash flow to expand my jewellery making. What is far more satisfying about jewellery making is that it involves creativity, design and that people are prepared to pay for “one off” pieces that I create. My jewellery making adventure is ongoing and now incorporates some stones into my new hobby of painting.
In Tune with My Friends with Pearl Jewellery Designs One of my girlfriends used to work in a Shop that sells expensive gold/silver jewellery. When she retired from working, she mentioned that while she was working people were always asking for gold/silver design that are one-off creations that are affordable. Because we go to ladies lunches a lot with my friends, we decided to get together and do something different. A few of my girlfriends go overseas in Asia and every time they come back they show us some nice pieces of affordable jewellery. In Asia, pearls and corals can be inexpensive and are used extensively for jewellery making. One time, one of my friends brought back a few strands of keshi pearls. She sold it to me for good price. I always loved unusual shaped pearls. While in the meantime, I had already taken up some jewellery making courses with another friend. We teamed up and got together and created silver bangles and silver necklaces with keshi pear drops. This design was a hit with out friends. Not stopping with keshi pearls and corals we ventured into buying other gemstones which can be sourced locally, such as opals, party sapphires, agates,chrysophrase, quarts, etc. We started selling our designs by party plan. The most satisfying feeling we get are the compliments from our buyers, not only amongst friends but other people.
Was this article helpful?7 people found this article helpful