I've been selling my handmade jewelry on Etsy for about 2 1/2 years now and I thought I had my customers figured out. My wire wrapped jewellery has sold much better than my enamel pieces and people have really seemed to like my Happy Hearts Earrings and wire wrapped infinity rings:
This year, the Happy Hearts are still popular, but I've only sold a few infinity rings whereas I sold dozens in 2012. In 2013, on the other hand, people have purchased more of my enamel items and more of my high-end pieces:
I'm not complaining at all -- I'm glad that people are willing to spend money on my work and that I'm not just a one-trick pony; I just like to figure out WHY certain types of pieces are more popular at different times. I feel that if I can decipher this code, then it'll help me make more sales.
So far, the only thing I can conclude is that the infinity rings became popular for a short time because of the show Revenge (the infinity symbol was a big part of the storyline). That show was red-hot during its first season and isn't quite as big a media sensation as it once was. As for my enamel pieces, I like to think that I've gotten more skilled at making them, but some of the ones purchased are from my original collection.
What I really ought to do is study up on popular jewelry and see what trends are picking up steam... but then again, I really just like to do my own thing. At craft fairs, people often tell me that they like my work BECAUSE it's different from what they usually see at stores. Plus, I like to experiment.
I'm not sure that I'll ever come up with an answer as to why people buy one type of item one year and then another kind the next. All I can do is continue to make quality pieces and hope that they appeal to at least one person out there.