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Forum topic by danais posted 03-21-2011 05:23 PM 1220 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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danais

4 posts in 2101 days


03-21-2011 05:23 PM

I have been a “lurker” on Lumberjocks for a long time. I finally set up a username last week. I am by no means an experienced woodworker. I really enjoy making outdoor furniture. I have never sold any furniture but mostly just given Adirondack chairs and tables to my friends and family. However I am expecting my first child in August and would like to make some extra money for when he is born. I really don’t want to start a business but keep it a hobby and sell some of my chairs. I can produce 2 chairs a week with the free time I have now. There are a ton of guys who sell these chairs on CL and I can be competitive in price however what is the selling point with them? Is CL the best way to sell? I thought about partnering up with some of the local Garden Shops and Nursery’s that sell some outdoor furniture but that would require making it an actual business. Below is a couple of my chairs. Any advice and shared experiences would be great. Thanks.



7 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2529 days


#1 posted 03-21-2011 05:54 PM

CL can get you exposed to a lot of people, and some of them may be legitimate customers. Lots more, however, will be fools, flakes, or weirdoids. CL can get you some business, but keep your shields up against the oddballs. No names, locations, or phone numbers in the ad – just email responses thru CL. You can give more info after you’ve screened out the clowns.

Since some of your work is out there, let the friends/family know that you want to try to sell some. They might have friends who have expressed interest in having one. Don’t stress about putting a price on something that you gave away. I do that often. There’s a difference between friends/family and customers. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Greedo

470 posts in 2421 days


#2 posted 03-21-2011 05:58 PM

hi and welcome on LJ’s!
something that helps sales is when you can mention in your ads that you are easy to find, right next to a landmark etc…
and mostly that it fits in a car!
design your stuff so that the biggest number of people can transport it.

other than that start with a lower price than any others, take pics that put em in their best “daylight” and just make an ad and wait!

it will probably be slow the first weeks, months, use that time to poissibly find othe rthings to make, potting benches, wooden flower pots or something that i saw on tv in europe that got alot of succes were outdoor tables with an edge all round, to fill with “dirt” and plant vegetables in. sound stupid, but it sells!

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Puzzleman

411 posts in 2405 days


#3 posted 03-22-2011 12:19 AM

I agree with your thoughts about CL. If everybody is already selling there, why do want to be another tree in the forest?? Also on CL, everybody is looking for a deal on price (including myself).

Working with a Garden Shop might work but you need to be upfront of your production limits. What is your backup plan if they sell 20 of them in one week?? What are your costs at (don’t forget to pay yourself) so you can sell them at a profit?? There are many threads concerning computing your selling price to make a profit.

Your works looks very good. When you go to whoever to sell them, you will need a USP (unique selling point) that differentiates you from the competition. In my case, I have several USPs. I make my product from maple, offer free replacement letters and can do any name in any language.

I am not trying to scare you from pursuing your sales idea but am letting you know the realities of what is out there if you start selling.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3109 days


#4 posted 03-22-2011 01:18 AM

You can place your product rather informally at coffee shops
and restaurants on a consignment basis. Coffee shops especially
do this often with artwork.

An advantage of this sort of arrangement is the business end
of it is simple. A drawback is wear-and-tear on the pieces.
This may be outweighed if people get to experience hanging
out in your chairs.

You might want to diversify a bit and get a stronger pull of
desire and “gotta have it” factor working for you. Regular
Adirondack chairs are pretty common and a commodity
buyers can get elsewhere.

A lot of buyers (remember it’s pretty much women making
the decisions) actually buy household furnishing based on
colors. I’d recommend getting into working with paint to
serve that desire.

What cafe wouldn’t like a free porch swing to put out front to
lure customers on a summer evening?

Antique stores are another option. I know of one gift shop
that has Adirondack chairs out front for the men to sit in
while their spouses shop inside. I don’t recall if the chairs were
for sale or not, but many businesses will jump at an opportunity
to enhance their opportunity for easy profit at no risk. That’s
what you provide when you offer to place proven sellers on
consignment.

View danais's profile

danais

4 posts in 2101 days


#5 posted 03-22-2011 03:03 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice and quick response. As suspected I will have to have a plan to suit my own situation. Loren and Barry’s ideas are quite interesting. I live on a busy road with lots of traffic to the beach in the summer. I suspect a sign on my front yard with a couple chairs might do well. It’s a start and I really don’t have the time to build enough chairs for multiple consignment inventories.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19172 posts in 2136 days


#6 posted 03-22-2011 06:38 AM

USP: Light weight foldable portable beach chairs!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View danais's profile

danais

4 posts in 2101 days


#7 posted 03-22-2011 06:53 PM

Barry I spend an hour on his website. It looks awesome. I would love to see some of his literature.

Thanks

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