Is Selling Crystals Hard Amethyst in Hands

Is Selling Crystals Hard?

So is selling crystals hard you ask?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: It depends on if you want this to be a full time living or a not.

This is going to be the post you don’t WANT to read, but the one you NEED to read, maybe the most. I am not going to sugar coat this one. It is not to turn you off from selling crystals or talk you out if it, but it is help you go into this with ease wide open and a full picture of what it really takes to make a living selling crystals, rocks and gems.

I’m not going to lie to you. Owning a crystal shop is the HARDEST job I’ve ever had in my life, and I’ve done a fair amount of physical, mental, stressful and challenging jobs. I’ve worked with professional athletes and celebrities and their egos/attitudes, I’ve worked for literal sociopaths, worked in restaurants and at large scale events slanging heaving things and in dirty places. I’ve had an odd journey to crystals haha.

Selling crystals is mental, physical, emotional, expensive, frustrating and constantly changing. Even when you are in control of your business there is so much you don’t have control of, more than a normal business.

Of course this doesn’t mean it is not worth it. Do not get me wrong I love what I do, and I love working with crystals, but it is 100% daily WORK if you want to do this for an actual living.

Is it hard to sell crystals?

I’m called to starting a crystal shop…

I cannot tell you how many times per week, if not day, I have someone tell me they want to start a crystal shop because they are ‘so called/drawn to it’. Here’s one thing I need you to really deep dive on. – People who are already drawn to crystals in general are more likely going to have that feeling of being drawn to crystals as a business as well. It is just a natural progression. It’s like people who love clothing and fashion are likely to be drawn to start a boutique or fashion website.

By starting a crystal shop, you may actually ruin that feeling of crystal love. I know a lot of people like to say if you do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life. Well that can be true to some extent, but honestly, at some point is is going to start feeling like a job no matter what you do. Especially if you are depending on this as a livelihood versus a side hobby business.

A lot of people will start a ‘de-stash’ page on Instagram which gives them a little taste of what it is like. While this IS a good way to get a tiny sense of running a crystal shop, there is definitely far more that goes into selling crystals that will be WAY different from having that page.

I’m convinced this is what people think I do…

No joke, this is what I think people think I do for a living:

Every so often I do a little shopping at a (clean) warehouse picking out pretty crystals and sparkly gems. I get them home and take a few cute pictures and videos to promote my sale, and then I post them on Instagram for a few hours a week. People send me lots of money. I put them in a box and send them to their new homes. And repeat.

What it actually looks like…

Let’s assume the same scenario and schedule to compare just a one day local shopping trip. That clean warehouse is likely an outdoor tent in a dirt lot, things are everywhere in no particular order (hell even the warehouses are a hot mess dirty express). You pass by dozens of crappy booths to find a booth you like. You pick out your pretty (but likely covered in dust and/or sticky residue) crystals and rocks. If you are lucky someone packs them up, but don’t hold your breath haha. You pay a lot of money to the seller. You’ve likely made your way a mile from your car so now you have to get those heavy rocks back (hope you have a cart haha). Repeat that process all day until you run out of time, energy, or money.

Now don’t forget with a small business you work 24/7, so you’ve likely had to answer customer messages or deal with other things while you are out and about.

So you get your goodies home and you have to unload them. This usually means digging out recycled international newspaper (sometimes you get lucky and get the really naughty pages) covered dirty crystals. Your fingers will likely be black when you are done (try to wear gloves if possible). You get them unwrapped, then you have to wash them.

Once they are all washed up you have to price them, take photos and/or videos of them and get them ready to sell. If you do a live sale you have to setup your table, if you do story or post sales on IG you have to get those posts ready, if you are posting on your website you have to take photos and get weights and measurements, and write up a listing of information.

crystal buying show
The Quartzsite Gem Show in Arizona is 95% outdoors as are many crystal events.

You have to get ready for your sales or orders to come in, so you have to re-organize things and get ready behind the scenes. This might mean moving other crystals out of the way too.

So now you have the sale finally! You start posting or videoing, and people start shopping, woohoo! But there are always a handful of people that never read the rules you painstakingly took time to write up and post. So in the middle of sales you have people asking all kinds of answers or doing all kinds of things that throw you off your game. Even more so in live sales!

The sale ends and now it is time to get your invoices out. It takes hours and hours to write up every item people ordered and get it to them either through PayPal invoice or a website checkout. This might also include sending out links or e-mails to your sale customers.

Luckily some good people pay right away. Unfortunately there are almost ALWAYS people who don’t pay on time. So now you start sending out reminders. Most people pay, but you have a few bad seeds that just keep looking at your reminders and not paying and not saying anything. So you keep trying until you finally give up and lose out on that money…. sometimes hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Now that everyone has paid (or not) it is time to pack up the orders. This will definitely take hours if not days depending on how many orders you have. You have to pack them well because you KNOW the USPS or shipping company is going to use the package as a soccer ball.

The orders are finally all out on their travels. Inevitably you get a message or two asking ‘did my order ship’ even if your system sends them an e-mail with tracking info. Or the orders arrived and oops, you are human, you forgot a little $1 tumble from their order.

Finally you can relax right? Not, haha. You just get to start all over again for next week!

Now that’s not to even mention any of the normal ‘business’ things you have to do during the weeks… quarterly taxes, paying bills, sourcing more crystals, buying supplies, customer service, website maintenance if you have, social media posts, e-mail newsletters, etc.

crystal shopping for selling crystals
Crystal & Inventory shopping is the fun part. The real work starts after!

Selling Crystals is Just PART of the Job

But here’s the thing, even if the above all sounds like no big deal, shopping for and selling the crystals is actually just portion of what your job actually is. After all you are a small business.

Here are just SOME of the jobs you will have:

  • Accounts receivable, accounting and taxes
  • The shipping department
  • The sourcing department (not only crystals but office and packing supplies)
  • The sales team
  • The customer service department
  • The tech team (and trust me, big tech does everything they can to NOT care about you)
  • The website manager
  • The office manager
  • The muscle – moving crystals around on a daily basis
  • The crystal cleaning crew
  • Social media manager and content writer
  • E-mail and communications department
  • Photographer and Videographer
  • Spam filter – when you inevitably have to start blocking dozens of ‘wholesale crystal’ accounts on social media and or in your e-mail inbox
  • Google – yes, people WILL treat you like you are Google

And of you get lucky enough to get to the point of hiring people, that brings on a whole other set of duties for YOU

It is Mentally & Emotionally Exhausting

Running any small business is both mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. You are likely working long hours, I tend to work 12-16 hours per day 7 days a week unless I have something planned. Dealing with juggling so many things, and on top of that you have to deal with suppliers, track down customers to pay for their orders, and be the customer service department. While MOST customers in this industry are AMAZING you do get some bad seeds. After all, we are living in an Amazon world and some people expect Amazon level delivery and service.

Crystals are one of a kind items which means they are ALWAYS changing, and I mean always. If you literally sell one of a kind pieces then you have to start over every sale, you can just use your stock images, and your website listing and measurements etc. It’s not a set it up once and sell for years kind of business.

Even if you do sell more of ‘in stock’ kinds of crystals, that doesn’t mean your supplier will have stock of the items. There is so much out of your control. And speaking of that, we live in a world where our shipping companies, social media, and big tech control SOOOO much of our business and yet they could not care less about us. And believe me it wears on you.

If you are en Empath, all of this might be extra difficult on you, so keep that in mind too.

is buying selling crystals hard - shipping orders

Crystals Are Physical

No matter what you do, selling crystals is going to be physically challenging. You will get heavy boxes regularly that can easily be 40lbs to lift. If you keep inventory, you are going to have to move it around regularly. Just doing sales, regardless of how you sell, you are going to have to lift tons of crystals. Believe me it adds up on your body.

When you go to gem shows, you have to do this on a mega scale. You are lifting rocks and gems, crawling under tables, and then you have to get your haul back to your car or to a shipping station. Shows are not glamorous, so you are probably outside in the sun, dirt, rain, cold, etc. You are having to go go go because you have so much to do and only so much time. So you probably only get to have a snack and bottle of water here and there. Don’t worry, I’ll give you tips on how to do shows better.

Then there is the packing of orders, you have to lift every piece again. Pack it up safely and tape up boxes or envelopes. And then you have to get all of the orders to the shipping company, or even if you have them pick it up you have to get to your door. You will love every order a couple times most likely.

things you don't know about selling crystals

Crystals are Expensive

Yes, I’m sorry but it is true! Starting a crystal business is not a cheap endeavor. So expensive that dropping $1000 in a booth is not something I even question at this point. Now that’s not to say there aren’t ways to get deals or negotiate. You will always find SOME good buys at a show or from wholesale crystal sellers, but the overall process is going to add up. There of course are ways to start smaller and scale up which we cover on this site. But in the long run it will get more expensive as you need to make more money. The good news about crystals is they aren’t a perishable, so even if you don’t sell them right away, it won’t go bad… but that is money sitting on your shelf.

You will also have to pay taxes, both for your income as well as sales/use taxes (if your state has it), plus website fees, storage fees possibly, travel expenses, wear and tear on your car (or rental fees), and tons of other little expenses you don’t even think of, but we will cover that later.

Crystals are definitely a ‘takes money to make money’ industry as you HAVE to pay to get stock. I’ll go more into pricing your crystals as well.

So is selling crystals hard?

Yeah I have to say it is, but it also has its perks. Again, I am not at all trying to talk you out of this, I just want you to have an accurate look into what a life of crystal selling looks like. It is magical and interesting, but not all rainbows and butterflies. I love working for myself and setting my schedule, but it is WORK. And remember, no one gives me paid days off, which can be mentally challenging to ‘take a break’ when you know you won’t be getting paid to do so.

You can of course decide to do all of this on a smaller scale and do it as a side hobby business where you don’t have to rely on making a living. Or start out with baby steps to just dip your toe in. Just keep in mind that ‘de-stashing’ your crystals is not REALLY going to give you full look at what it is like because many aspects will be different. But it is usually a good start.

Now if you are still ready to start selling crystals then be sure to see my next post on how to start selling crystals!