June 8, 2008

Marketing Cabs ~ Answer by Robyn Hawk

I received a question I did not have any knowledge about so I referred the question over to someone who has a great deal of marketing, gem, and lapidary expertise. Robyn Hawk.
Ok, here is one for you, Cutting cabs is a hobby of mine and they are of rarer or rare material. They are from calibrated to designer. I can sell these as a finished piece but would still rather cut them and they are of the quality of the higher end cabs that others command a good price. What would be the quickest way to get them "out there" other than to offer them to a forum board. Pricing is a challenge, too. Any ideas?
Hand-cut Designer pieces in rare stones are going to be a harder (but NOT impossible sell) in today's world of imported gems. I think that there are several auction type sites available - in fact one that is geared primarily to stones is at http://www.gemrockauctions.com/ . But I really think that to sell special items you need to gear your approach to artists - they are the ones that will plan a special setting for a special stone.
I know you asked for something besides forums but that is the best place to appeal to Artisans...apart from the forums your best bet may be to try opening an Etsy shop or Ruby Lane shop they both provide a large enough space for you to give the "story" of the stone and this is what will sell these rare goodies!
Then it is about patience and marketing your site so people can find you.
Don't forget to include the lore of the stone, the metaphysical properties and the effort you take in choosing the stone...the right place in that stone and the many steps it takes to get to a finished piece.
As far as pricing goes that is a personal matter - there is NO WAY you should even try to compete with stones coming from the Orient, Africa and India!
You try doing a Google Images search to give you a starting point but that will only start you - you have to decide what your time is worth and if you have a market that can afford the final price!
BTW - you may want to check out the work of Africa John (http://www.africajohns.com/beads.htm) and see his pricing structure on handmade genstone beads.
(Szarka here ..... I agree check out John, he is a dear friend of mine and his work is amazing.)
Robyn Hawk
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