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What is the best way to Sell my Custom Built Furniture?

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Forum topic by Gluniewski posted 05-22-2010 10:02 PM 7777 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gluniewski

20 posts in 1584 days


05-22-2010 10:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cherry maple pine birch desk armoir lamp mirror chair adirondock coffee table dresser bar entertainment center nightstand modern arts and crafts

Hey everyone, I just graduated from Buffalo State College with a Furniture Design Degree and i have won numerous awards through the schools and local galleries…. I have been building furniture for 8 years now and have many great pieces.
I have been trying to sell a few of my pieces (mainly my office corner desk, and a bar) If anyone has any ideas for me that would be a great help. I have many photos of everyting ive built if anyone wants to see them. Some pieces may interest you and if so give an offer for the piece!!! Thank you, i hope someone can direct me in the right way.

The pieces ive built consist of:

Office Corner Desk
A dresser with an attached clothes rack for the days outfit
Coffee Table
2 person love seat (adirondock style)
wall mounted mirror
a nyc skyline lamp
Wall mounted wine rack
Entertainment center
Armoir
Night stand
A Bar

-- Gary, New York


14 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1733 days


#1 posted 05-22-2010 10:12 PM

If I were starting a business today I would focus on marketing via the internet and I would not do it with some poorly done, amateurish website. I would hire a professional website designer and internet marketing specialist. I would not be cheap. I would pay the dollars necessary to have a website and marketing program that set me apart from the competition.

Then I would worry about how I can produce enough product to handle the demand.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5373 posts in 2243 days


#2 posted 05-22-2010 10:16 PM

Why not show us these pieces so we can better advise you? Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Gluniewski's profile

Gluniewski

20 posts in 1584 days


#3 posted 05-22-2010 10:17 PM

im in the process of uploading all the photos to my page right now. i have 2 on there now if you wanna take a look

-- Gary, New York

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112104 posts in 2235 days


#4 posted 05-23-2010 04:21 AM

Gary that is the question many would like the answer to.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View huff's profile

huff

2804 posts in 1943 days


#5 posted 05-23-2010 02:48 PM

Gary, I went to your project page and you have some really nice pieces. Are there any Home Shows in your area? Usually these are sponsored by the local Home Builders Association or Home Remodelers. They may have one in the spring and another in the fall, but check out your area. These shows are usually 3 to 4 days and a booth is not real cheap, but if it’s a decent show, you will get a ton of exposure. I found in our area at that time (Raleigh/Durham, NC), we would have 20 – 30 thousand people come through in a 4 day show. There would be a lot of manufactureres, big Companies and of course a lot of contractors that would display, but very few (if any) Custom Woodworkers there…..That was great for me! Don’t take anything that looks like Kitchen Cabinets, but unique pieces that the average homeowner doesn’t find in a big Box Store or Cabinet shop. A lot of people get to see your work and get to meet you….......and that’s important! I did Home Shows for 18 years and that was my only marketing other then word of mouth. If you have any questions or would like some ideas about a show, just drop me a line. I agree with Rich, if you are going to work the internet, have it done professionally. Everyone, including your pizza delivery boy can build a web-site, but the WWWC now has it that if you are not a credited Web Designer and that seal is not on your web-site, about the only good your site will be is for you. Good luck!

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View Timberwerks's profile

Timberwerks

304 posts in 1819 days


#6 posted 05-23-2010 04:39 PM

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1598 days


#7 posted 05-23-2010 06:28 PM

Fully agree with a1jim, so I am keeping a keen eye on this topic!!!!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View TheWoodsmith's profile

TheWoodsmith

108 posts in 1578 days


#8 posted 05-31-2010 03:19 PM

Etsy.com and Rocklercustommade.com/ok

-- I know its around here somewhere...

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile

NewPickeringWdWrkr

338 posts in 1671 days


#9 posted 05-31-2010 05:28 PM

Here’s a great resource for online marketing. Very insightful!

http://workbenchmarketing.com/blog/

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs http://anterosurbanwooddesigns.com

View jimswoodshop's profile

jimswoodshop

19 posts in 1574 days


#10 posted 06-02-2010 06:52 PM

I think were all standing by for the answers on this one. Keep talking guys were listening and taking notes.

-- Will work for Wood

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2129 days


#11 posted 06-02-2010 07:12 PM

Go back to school and get a degree in “networking” because ultimately WHO you know is at least as important as WHAT you know. Then stop hanging out with people that MAKE furniture and find some that BUY furniture.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2552 days


#12 posted 06-02-2010 07:42 PM

Good luck. I looked at your project page and really liked the coffee table and my guess is, that almost any high end studio/gallery furniture store would take that on consignment and I mean no offence but the rest of the projects, albeit nicelydone, strike me as “average”.

It is most difficult to sell quality made furniture in the Wal-Mart world to which we live. It takes decades to get a “name” and only seconds to loose the “name”.

You might try getting copies made of the pictures of your work and then mail a package out to designers in your area, good builders. decorators with a short letter, pics…...............and 2 weeks later follow up with a phone call to each of those you mailed. Squeeky gears get greased and nothing shows a prospective buyer/customer that you are interested in “selling” more then badgering the living hell out of them. I have been bugging a contractor for over a year now about doing work for him, send him e-mailed photos, mail him pictures, references ofother clients and contractors….............every week I send him a reminder that I am still here hoping to poke my foot through the door and today…......he is going to let me bid on a project.

Good Luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2325 days


#13 posted 06-02-2010 09:49 PM

There are thousand of people who can do what we do, some better some worse. The highest skilled craftsmen are often the first to go out of business. Skill is not the determining factor in deciding your success as a woodworker. I know more hacks than craftsmen who stay busy. Gain business skill and have a plan B.

As far as an internet sales plan, good luck with that. Furniture is something that needs to be seen, touched and experienced. I feel that a woodworker need little more than an online portfolio. Most internet shoppers do so because they are price conscious and are looking for a deal.

-- It's only wood.

View Andy Needles's profile

Andy Needles

106 posts in 2188 days


#14 posted 06-04-2010 06:38 AM

I totally agree rhett,

An internet site just lends an aire of legimacy to your business. I never get cold calls/ emails from the internet, except for scam/spam. Instead, I get several custom orders a year from stuff parked in the galleries. Excpet for smalll stuff i($300 or less) t rarely sells, but it brings in sales.

-- rustic andy

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