Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
Gempires – The Genuine Gemstone Empire – We are a manufacturer and Exporter of Fine Quality Gemstone and Jewelry from over a decade now, Our major stream of business is with wholesale buyers around the world, We Do Customized gemstone and jewelry orders for our customers and fulfill their requirements. This year we thought of Exploring the retail front for small jewelry manufacture who wish to make their own jewelry or have small boutiques for their special clients. We thought of suppling our beautiful gemstone to them so they can create jewelry out of these. We are giving the option to place customized orders with no minimum order quantity, so this keeps them unique and different, this is our Major Motivation to work with the jewelry manufacturers and small entrepreneurs. Since we craft gemstone for them, so we in a way are crafter as well for them.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
I am aware of this platform for almost a decade, but we have never used it earlier, We started selling online because there is a huge potential in the overseas market for gemstones and handmade jewelry.
What products do you sell, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
We are selling all sorts of Loose gemstones, Raw Crystal, Gemstone Cabochon, Hand Carved Gemstone into Special Shapes, Gemstone Beads, Gemstone Nuggets, and almost everything related to Gemstones. Our Hand Carved Gemstone Products and Customization Services for Client Keep us unique and Different, Our Quality of gemstones is better than maximum sellers.
How was your experience in learning to craft, are you self-taught or did you have a mentor, how long did it take for you to be satisfied with your creations?
Its been over a decade now for us working with overseas clients, so we understand what they want, how they want, and how beautiful they want it to be. We understand every vertical of this industry, so it helps us satisfy our customers with the right product at the right price with perfect quality,
What was your original goal when you opened up an Etsy shop? What impacted your decision to start selling online? Do you consider online selling as a side-job, full-time job, or extra income to pay for your hobby?
Our goal is to reach out to the maximum number of clients initially and then maintain our client base with repeat orders. This is full-time work for us, We don’t make it a side job, we are putting our 100% in this.
Did you have any fears or reservations before opening up your Etsy shop? Were you worried about profitability or product competitiveness? What are some concerns and questions you had before you got started? How did you overcome them?
Yes, I had fears of not making the breakeven initially. but it overcomes very soon. I had concerns for Shipping Fast and Client satisfaction, but we have managed this well with our communication. We didn’t let our customers feel alone, we kept on updating them about every step from order placement till order delivery.
How long did it take for you to get your first sale? Did you ever think you would make a lot of sales in the first year? What was the goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?
It took us just 20 days to get our first sale. Our First Buyers still place orders with us. We have set targets to get a lot of orders in the first year, although because of COVID the speed got slowed up but still, we kept on improving. Currently, we are getting around 80 orders per week.
Do you have a job outside Etsy? If not, are you able to commit full-time to online selling? How does your typical day look like? How do you manage time?
Our wholesale business is going on as well. For us it is 24 hours, we try to reply to every query within 5 minutes so that we can get maximum conversion for sales. Etsy Mobile app allows us to get things done faster.
How does your manufacturing process look like for e.g. your best selling product? Do you create products ahead of the orders? Do you customize your products, if so how? What are the tools that you are using in the manufacturing process?
We source raw gemstone from around the world then we can select the best for customers. For the best selling product, the quality, price, has to be the best. We keep stock of everything we list on Etsy so that we don’t have to run after getting orders. we can fulfill faster.
We do Customization for our customers, almost over 50% of orders are with a customization request, so get it done with our artisans inhouse.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
The Marketing Cost creates an impact on profitability, it is expensive, but since there is a lot of competition on Etsy so we have to spend money on this. We keep our margins low and we try to pass on maximum benefits to our customers.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
We keep on Looking for new jewelry and gemstone ideas around the world, we work on our products on daily basis and tries the give best on Etsy.
We keep on visiting our client’s profile to know and understand what they are looking for, what are their favorites, we study this and create products around the client’s requirements.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
Yes, we ship internationally, Almost 100% of our orders are shipped internationally, Postage is very expensive, but we keep on figuring out the best for customers, it takes 14 – 20 days to deliver the item in Normal Course. We do offer express shipping, just 5 – 7 days. We are giving free shipping to US customers at an order value of 35$ only. Our orders are safely packed in Boxes with bubble sheet wrap and then an envelope over that.
Are you worried about competitors? Does it impact your business in any way? If there are a lot of similar products, how do you make your own stand out?
We are not much worried about this as in gemstone every piece is unique and we need to get it priced right first so that we don’t miss sales. Our Photography standout our gemstones, as our gemstones are the same in the photograph as it is in real, We don’t use filters, lights, etc to enhance the look of the gemstone, we keep it the way they are.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
We replace orders if our customers are not happy with the order. As said earlier communication is the Key, We are in touch with our customers at every minute they need. Quick Communication makes them feel good and satisfied.
Has selling on Etsy changed your life in any way? If so, how? Did you ever think you would get this far with your shop? Have you ever been stressed about dealing with customers and manufacturing products? How did you deal with that?
Yes, it made us busier. Sometimes we feel stressed with Customzied orders and there are many things to take care of customized orders, so it gives us stress, but we are ready to take it. Once the customer is happy with their order, all our stress goes in a second.
How important is social media for your shop? What are some common tactics you use to promote your products? Do you spend money on ads outside of Etsy? How do you generate excitement/hype around your products?
Yes, it is very important, we do get a lot of visits from our Social media pages, We do promote it socially as well and run campaigns. We are still learning in this area.
What are some things you don’t like about Etsy? If you could talk to the CEO of Etsy what recommendations would you tell him to improve sellers and customer satisfaction?
There should be a Sub Category feature on the shop, sometime we can not define products into the right category and then our buyers find it tough to get what they want. We are missing some sales because of that.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Consistency in the quality of products, Communication, Prices, Newness, and touch with buyers. We keep on the study every change on Etsy, buyer behavior, buying pattern, product selection, price pitch nad many other things.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
Stay Consistent, Nothing has been created overnight. Understand your buyers better Communicate with them regularly.