Displaying jewelry at flea markets requires two things---ingenuity and awareness. The ingenuity is needed because the booth owner is working within a temporary space, which means economy and ease is necessary to set up and take down a display quickly. Awareness is needed to keep track of where the merchandise is and to identify the best ways to create barriers but allow full view of the jewelry. Flea market booths don't offer much security and items can disappear easily if jewelry is openly displayed.
Align several tables across the front of the booth and place table-top display cases across the tops of the tables. Table-top cases with glass lids allow for the ability to control who handles items at any given time. They give the potential buyer a clear view of the jewelry while keeping the owner in control of the merchandise. Boost low inventory by adding a mirror along the inside, back wall and sides of the cases to make it appear as if there is more jewelry available.
Purchase or make display pedestals and use them to display jewelry combinations. Crates can be used as inexpensive pedestals. Use one on a table top or stack them at the end of a table for an eye-level display. Use items like mannequin heads, necklace stands or easels designed specifically for jewelry and show buyers the different ways the jewelry can be worn. Display jewelry combinations like matching earrings and necklace sets. Show buyers how to wear mismatched combinations or how to combine the jewelry with scarves or hats.
Wear the jewelry. This gives the seller an opportunity to explain and demonstrate the jewelry when the customer takes notice of what they have on. This display idea works well to pull customers into the booth because the jewelry can be seen from across an aisle or when passing by. Make everyone working in the booth wear the jewelry.
Purchase shadowbox frames and fill them with jewelry. Shadowbox frames are like picture frames but designed to display collections of items. The depth of this type of frame is several inches, which makes the frames ideal to showcase a special piece of jewelry or a jewelry collection if a multi-well shadow box is used. Pin the jewelry to the inside back of the frame, close up the frame and set the frame into an acrylic or other type of display easel. Lift the lid on the glass display case and prop it open, then place a few small shadowboxes into the display cases angled toward the customer.
Toss the jewelry in a jumble across a table or series of trays. This works only if the price point of the jewelry is small and the owner doesn't mind a few missing pieces at the end of the day. Use this idea for a "2 pieces for $5" table or a similar pricing strategy. Tray sizes can vary. Prop the trays or boxes from the back so they tilt slightly toward the customer.
- "How to Start a Home-Based Jewelry Making Business"; Maire Loughran; 2009
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