My son wants to make and sell items.

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Forum topic by svon89 posted 03-06-2017 04:45 PM 1772 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 617 days

03-06-2017 04:45 PM

Ok, backstory. I am a carpenter, and have been woodworking for about 20 years now. I enjoy being in a shop environment and have passed that on to my kids. I started them with the scroll saw and they love it. My son is now 13, and has started making things called fidgit spinners to sell locally. He is thinking about other items, and I have a large amount of extra wood that I have offered him for projects. I am also teaching him how to use my small cnc router to make items that grab attention.

Has anybody had experience with Etsy? He wants to reach more people with his crafts. His love is mountain biking and he wants to sell his items to help fund a new bike. Are there other online sales sites? I am trying to research a little bit so that he has a chance at this.

8 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1240 posts in 2165 days

#1 posted 03-06-2017 05:05 PM

EBay and etsy are the two big online places. He could also approach local craft shops or antique stores to see if they would sell on consignment. Local craft and vendor fairs are also an option.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View finns's profile


167 posts in 3287 days

#2 posted 03-07-2017 04:50 PM

In addition to what Brian stated, I would also suggest “Amazon Handmade.” I have some customers that are doing well with it. Fidgit spinners seem to be a popular item-why I have no clue but have seen more and more people playing with them. Best of luck to your son and congrats on getting your kids interested in WW.

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2 posts in 617 days

#3 posted 03-07-2017 08:20 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did not know about amazon handmade.

He has a plan to try making door signs with familiar sayings on them for our friends that own a farm stand. That could he another Avenue as well.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3092 days

#4 posted 03-07-2017 10:00 PM

I make and sell small items also. I am a retired sheet metal worker/foreman. I have sold very little on line but sell a lot at a local farmers market. I think folks really want to see and touch hand made items rather then decide on a purchase from a photo.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View wood2woodknot's profile


96 posts in 2144 days

#5 posted 03-08-2017 01:46 AM

Just curious. If you get involved with Amazon, Etsy, or EBay to sell your stuff, how much stock do you realistcally have to have available? I can’t imagine going into it unless I’m ready to make it a full production routine. On the other hand, with a local outlet, you could probbly get by with a lot less. So is it going to a job and a business? Or a hobby and still fun?

-- ajh

View bbasiaga's profile


1240 posts in 2165 days

#6 posted 03-08-2017 03:33 AM

Well, ebay and etsy list items one at a time. So if you don’t have anything ready to sell, you don’t list it for sale. Some sellers list items with a lead time on Etsy. Something like ‘made to order’ – so when they buy it, you make it and then ship it. It does happen, but its not super common. The average ebay seller is expecting the item to be available right away when the auction or sale closes. If you make 10 of something, you can list that 10 are available and sell only those.

I’m not sure about Amazon, i’ve never dealt with them.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View rodneywt1180b's profile


178 posts in 557 days

#7 posted 05-05-2017 09:37 PM

I sell canes on Etsy since last November. I like Etsy. The fees are reasonable. 20 cents to list an item, then about 3.5% for the sale and another 3.5% transaction fee if you use their financial services so a little over 7% total fees. You do get discounted shipping from USPS through Etsy.
I’ve only just heard of the spinners but I think they would be a good item to sell. Good tags and key words are everything on Etsy. People need to be able to find your store to buy from you.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA

View Brahmus's profile


4 posts in 532 days

#8 posted 05-30-2017 08:49 PM

A little late to this conversation (just found the site today) but I wanted to add my advice to selling on Etsy.

If your son chooses to sell on Etsy, make sure the pictures are as good as you can make them. You don’t have the benefit of a potential customer handling the item to look it over, those few photos are what their entire decision is based on. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, but you can throw together a little studio to photograph in for next to nothing. This setup will give even light over the item and make it much easier to take a good photograph.

You can google “DIY light tent” or “DIY light box” to get an idea of what I am talking about.

Basically you have a background of paper or cloth that hangs from above and behind the subject that curves (not folds) down to be what the subject is sitting on. Then you add 3 lights, one above, one to the left, and one to the right of the object to shoot. Add a piece of wax or parchment paper between each light source and the subject to diffuse the light.

This gives nice even lighting on the subject (no bright spots like what you get with a flash) and the gentle curve in the background material gives a seamless background that doesn’t distract from the item you are trying to sell.

Good luck to you and your son! He seems pretty industrious and I hope he does well with his woodworking business.

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