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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 10-18-2010 06:33 PM 808 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yellowtruck75

464 posts in 2527 days


10-18-2010 06:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: turning question

I would like to start by saying that I have no dreams of becoming rich by making pens on my lathe I am just looking for a way to market a few. I have checked on the usual location (ebay) and there are several nice wooden pens listed but not many bids. What have others used to sell pens online? Is there a place online or do most use word of mouth? I am mostly making them as gifts but would like to be able to self fund this part of the hobby.

Thanks
Zach


3 replies so far

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MrsN

975 posts in 2986 days


#1 posted 10-18-2010 07:05 PM

ETSY can be a good place to sell things online. I don’t really know how woodworking things sell, but it may give you an idea.

-- ----- www.KNWoodworking.com ----- --

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#2 posted 10-19-2010 12:49 AM

This will not be a direct answer to your question, but you might find this advise helpful.

My wife used to own a flower shop and I sold a lot of pens (and other turned items) at her flower shop.

It’s my observation that the pen refill that comes with the pen kits are pretty poor. I had a few too many people complain that their pen just stopped writing long before the refill should have needed to be replaced. I started buying Cross refills in bulk. It adds to the cost of the pen, but you will have more satisfied customers.

This is usually only a problem with the ballpoint designs. The roller ball designs seem to work okay and I never got into fountain pens.

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

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76winger

151 posts in 2577 days


#3 posted 10-19-2010 01:28 AM

I’m selling mostly to self-support my woodworking as a hobby, and it’s generally breaking even the past couple years. I list both on Ebay as well as Etsy, and average about 2 sales a month.

What my experience has been is that the customers on Etsy are there looking for hand-made/crafted items (that’s what the site is all about) and the site is set up for offering custom orders through their alchemy feature. I’ve had good relations with virtually every customer I’ve had on it and even some repeat business & special orders produced from the site. And through the interaction I have with those customers, I’ve garnered as much pleasure as I have profits.

On Ebay, I feel I’m getting better coverage due to their site/service being around so much longer and is widely known all over. And my sales on Ebay are about the same in numbers as what Etsy has been. The big difference with Ebay customers is that the oder is placed (I sell everything I make fixed price), I ship the product, but generally have very little communication between me and my customer. They do leave good feedback, so I at least get that back.

The challenge I have is when my item sells on one site or the other, I need to remove the listing from the other site pretty quick, so I don’t end up selling two, but only have one. In case that ever does happen, I try to keep extra kits on hand, but we all know every blank is a little differnt, so I’d have to deal with it as best I can if that ever happens. All I can do is be as prepared as possible.

To promote those shops, I also try to point to one or the other through signature lines in my emails and forum posting sigs, links on my facebook and blogs, and eve broadcast new listings out through Facebook and twitter. There’s still a lot more I could do for marketing, but it’s a start for me and a learning process.

The other thing I’ve started considering is to set up a table at a flea market or two, or craft/art show, etc. but before I branch down that path I want to have a large enough inventory to be able to show off my products and talents well. Hopefully next year on this idea…

Others will come along with additional suggestions, but that what’ve tried and experienced so far. Good luck to you!

-- Dave, See some of my creations at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/76Winger

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