The gemstone business is an exciting one. It also has some advantages for business owners, as gemstones usually won’t depreciate in value. And while you can make decent money selling gems (and have fun doing it) there are some things to consider before getting into the business.
1. Choose Your Sources Wisely
More individual sellers between the gemstone mine and your business will drive up the price of your stones. Finding a source of decent stones that aren’t overly expensive is key to success. You might consider visiting trade shows.
Or if you’re up for travel, you can even visit the sites of the mines themselves. Many of the best sites for precious stones are in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Pawn shops and estate sales are also good places to look.
If you sell a sufficient number of gemstones, the lower cost of purchasing them from a mine may end up offsetting your travel costs. Of course, before you do this, take a look at your business’s finances and decide if this is a smart option.
When sourcing stones, it’s important to take your time. If you’re desperate to quickly find more inventory, you run the risk of overpaying for sub-par stones.
2. Make Sure You Have Quality Cutters
When it comes to selling gemstones, presentation is incredibly important. Depending on your business model and the types of stones you’re selling, you might not need a gemstone cutter. You can purchase stones pre-tumbled or tumble them yourself.
If you’re hoping to sell valuable retail gemstones, it’s often wise to sell them professionally cut. This is where enlisting the help of a professional cutter is key. With a quick online search for the keywords ?tumbled stones wholesale? you can find a professional wholesale supplier to fill this need. After all, a bad cut can greatly diminish the value of a stone. Hiring a professional cutter will be an investment. But if you sell well-cut stones, you often can make a good bit of money.
3. Consider Getting Reports Of Authenticity
Especially for more valuable gems, you might want to consult a qualified appraiser. The American Academy of Appraisers is a good place to find an appraiser, or you can opt to take your stones to the Gemological Institute of America.
You can ask your gemstone appraiser for a report of authenticity and an estimated value. Having the report will help assuage the worries of buyers afraid of getting scammed. And if you have an estimated value, you can avoid getting ripped off. Many gemstone buyers look for inexperienced sellers who don’t know the value of the stones they have.
4. Choose A Target Market
Do you want to sell gemstones to other businesses, individuals, or both? Narrowing down your target market is critical. Some businesses that sell stones prefer to sell to retail businesses because the price tag on each stone will be higher. However, for these markets, stones will need to be certified and cut, so there’s more of an investment.
Even if you do primarily sell to other businesses, selling to individuals is worth pursuing. Thanks to gemstone specialty sites and other online markets, it’s easier than ever for buyers to find the stones they want.
If you list stones online, be sure to post very high-quality photos of each stone from different angles! Do your best to mimic what a customer sees if they’re viewing a stone in your store.
5. Insure Your Shipments
This might sound like an obvious step to take. But if you’re a new retailer, it can be easy to get caught up in other aspects of selling. When you’re mailing a shipment, there’s always the unfortunate possibility of it becoming lost. And if this happens, you’ll need to refund the customer, losing both the stone and a good bit of money.
To avoid this, make sure every shipment you send is insured. It’s a little more of an investment, but if a shipment gets lost, you’ll be very, very glad you insured it!
Starting a gemstone business will involve an investment of some time and money. But if you take the time to source quality stones, present them well, and connect with your target market, you’ll be well on your way to success!