Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Custom Jewelry Orders

I enjoy doing custom jewelry orders. When my internet and face to face sales are low, many times a custom order comes my way. I'm very fortunate to say that all of my custom work has be a positive experience for me and my buyers.

Here are some tips to prevent misunderstanding between the artist and the customer.

Beginning the Custom Order

When someone requests a piece have as much conversation as posible regarding what they expect. Don't be afraid to make suggestions as improvements to their idea.

Once the design has been decided, don't give a price quote immediately. Take time to research the materials cost and availibility. Figure approximately how much time you spend making the piece. Final prices higher than orignal quotes do not make happy customers. Wait, research and get back to them.

Be sure to include price of shipping any supplies to you that you don't already have on hand.

Rush jobs cost more. Make sure you relay any additonal costs to the buyer.

Once the price is developed get back quickly to the customer.

Write a Work Agreement

This can come in the form of an email or a single written plan. Do one and prevent problems and headaches later!

The agreement should include:

The date.

Your name and contact info.

The customers name and contact info.

A description of the work the customer expects. A sketch of the finished piece may be included.

Your price quote.

The date you expect to deliver the finished piece.

Your terms. As a protection for yourself, your terms should state that a non-refundable 50% of the total payment must be received before any supplies are ordered and any work begins and the balance is due when the piece is finished-at the time you deliver.

Your guarante policy

Deliver the Custom Jewerly

When the piece is complete contact the customer and arrange to delivery. Be sure to remind them the final payment is due upon delivery. Mail a photo of the finished piece to online shoppers.For online orders, have the customer pay in full before shipping. I can't stress this enough. I've seen many online sellers complain about sending an order before final payment and not receiving it. Email the customer once the piece has shipped and the expected arrival date if possible. A handwritten thank you note with the package is always appreciated. Finally take photos of the piece to show other potential customers what you can do!

Ok, back to me. I'm currently doing a custom order of two rings for an artist friend who is mainly a beader. Two large rings with vintage glass cabochons. Here are pics of the rings in progress.

After I complete them this weekend I will post pics of the completed rings.

Don't forget, I have a 30% off sale on most items in my Etsy shop. Check them out at

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