Whether you have a new business, you’re launching a new product line, or you’re figuring out if you want to turn your new jewelry hobby into a business, hosting a virtual trunk show can be an effective, low-cost way to sell your jewelry.
What is a virtual trunk show?
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Before we dive into how to do a virtual trunk show, let’s quickly go over what it is. Basically, it’s a way to sell jewelry from home, even if you don’t have online store. It’s an alternative to selling your jewelry on a platform such as Etsy or selling on your own website.
Usually there’s some sort of “live” element to it, meaning that the selling happens in real-time.
Some benefits include:
- You can do it anywhere at any time
- There’s no need to set up your home or an online shop
- If you’re new to selling your jewelry. it’s a way to get your foot in the door
- It has little to no cost (except for your time)
- It’s a way to sell off inventory that you want to move.
How to host a virtual trunk show…even if you’ve never sold online before
Please note, I have no affiliation with Facebook, nor is this post endorsed by them.
Before you host the event, here are some steps you should take to help ensure the event is a success.
Gather information about the products you’re selling
- Take photos of all of your products — While these don’t necessarily have to be the best product photos, especially if you decide to showing off the products via video during the event, I do recommend you edit your photos, either using the software that comes loaded on your phone or computer, or using an online platform such as PicMonkey.
- Write out the product descriptions — I kept the descriptions pretty simple, and included information about sizing.
- Price your products — Unless you’re selling old inventory that you’re tired of looking at, please don’t underprice your work. While the purpose of this post isn’t to dive deep into product pricing, I do want to stress the importance of not undervaluing your work.
Have a place where you collect all of the information, such as in a folder on the hard drive on your computer or phone. When I hosted virtual trunk shows, I kept it organized on Trello.
Figure out shipping
Will you do flat-rate shipping or will it be per weight? Will you ship internationally or domestically? I decided to simply things by shipping online in the U.S. where I reside and to do flat-rate shipping. (I charged $4, no mater how many pieces people purchased.)
Choose a payment processor
Customers need a way to pay you! If you have a business already set up, you should be able to create invoices in whatever platform you use to collect payments. For mine, I used PayPal. This also allowed me to easily create & print shipping labels.
Decide how the virtual trunk show will proceed & the rules
The first time I hosted my virtual trunk show was to celebrate the launch of a new jewelry line. I used the event as a way to sell off older inventory at a steeply discounted rate and to sell a very limited number of pieces from the new line at a slight discount.
On the event page, I had the “rules” listed about how the event would work, how people could claim the pieces they wanted to purchase, and how they would pay for them. It was modeled after Sarah DeAngelo’s jewelry Facebook sales. I learned about her on the Flourish & Thrive podcast. (Sidebar: this is a great resource if you have a jewelry business.)
The event proceeded as follows:
- I created the event on my Facebook page and invited friends & family to join it
- I posted an albums of the inventory on my Facebook page shortly before the event — some people messaged me about purchasing before the event, which I allowed
- During the event, which was live for a couple hours one evening, I posted each individual listing on the event page, one every few minutes or so. If people wanted to purchase it, they wrote a comment in that posting. On my Trello board, I kept track of each individual posting and who purchased it
- I had several “door” prizes sprinkled through the evening to encourage people to attend live and to interact with the event. The door prizes were a small discount that were good for the event only
- At the end of the evening, I messaged everyone who purchased with a PayPal invoice. I decided to do $4 flat rate shipping.
- People who purchased had 24 hours to pay their invoices, otherwise any piece they wanted to purchase went to the next person on the list who expressed interest.
If I were to do this again, I would also experiment with doing a live streaming video so I could model the pieces I’m selling.
Create the virtual trunk show event & share with your networks
I created a Facebook event on the Linkouture fan page. (I use Canva to create an image for the event – they have fantastic templates.) I invited friends & family to the event who I thought might be interested and encouraged them to invite people and also e-mailed my newsletter.
Leading up to the event
In the week or so leading up to the event I did the following to drum up excitement:
- Posted albums of the pieces I would be selling & emailed my newsletter about it
- Shared images periodically on my Facebook page, with a link to the Facebook event
- Posted countdown reminders on the event page itself
I didn’t do this, but if I were to do it again I would have messaged people who had RSVP’d as going, maybe, or interested an hour or so before the beginning of the event. (Make sure you choose the option to send the message to individuals and not as a group, otherwise you risk large Facebook group messages that are likely to annoy people.)
Resources for hosting an online trunk show
Hopefully you go some great virtual trunk show ideas after reading this post. Here are some resources
Purchase the Trello board for organizing your trunk show
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