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how should i sell large projects

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Forum topic by KiritoTanaka posted 08-21-2018 11:06 AM 1046 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KiritoTanaka

2 posts in 86 days


08-21-2018 11:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question help selling sell

I’m a 16 year old woodworker, I’ve been doing it for two years and been selling bowls for a little over half a year. lately, my attention has been more on furniture. I’ve done a few furniture projects and am thinking of making some to sell. but selling online is an issue, being a minor makes it hard to find a place to sell (i cant use Etsy yet) also shipping is not pleasant and I think the extra charges will make it harder to sell (selling a table for $150 and charging $150 to ship it doesn’t seem reasonable). I’m wondering if there’s a local business I can use to sell larger projects, but I can’t find anything like that. can someone help?

-- G.T


12 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1428 posts in 334 days


#1 posted 08-21-2018 12:56 PM

GT – could you post photos of your best selling items ?
what kind of woods are you using in your projects ?
where in the world are you located ?
you could approach some of your local furniture stores and show them samples of your work.
maybe they would take a chance on you by commission sales. (if you meet their caliber of craftsmanship).
CraigsList is another option – if you have good photos to really showcase your work.
I think that members here that sell merchandise via the internet will agree
that professional photos (or lack thereof) will make or break your sale.

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

165 posts in 702 days


#2 posted 08-21-2018 01:34 PM

Where you are makes a big difference in that. If you are near a historic area there may be consignment shops that work with local artists. I am in Annapolis and there is a gallery called “Local By Design” that essentially rents out shelf space for local handmade items. Items that have some connection to the area do particularly well with tourists.

Best of luck and post some of your projects for us to see.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

462 posts in 2742 days


#3 posted 08-21-2018 07:16 PM

In my area, we have a huge farmer’s market during the summer – Wednesday night and Saturday morning. Tons of vendors selling crafts & other non-food stuff. If it were me, I’d start with something like that. Minimal investment to start, no shipping hassles, and you know you’ll have a lot of traffic. Locally, I’ve seen several businesses that started that way – with a booth/tent/etc at the farmers market, and after they had success, then transitioned it to a full time business. I think that, at your age, the worst thing you could do is try to go too big too fast.

It’s not quite the same, but I would post your stuff on Craigslist – I’ve had really good luck selling there.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1239 posts in 2283 days


#4 posted 08-21-2018 07:24 PM

I work a full-time job and do some woodworking on the side to raise money for more tools. I’ve built a facebook page and an instagram feed and distributed business cards to friends, co-workers, &c. I’ve got more work than I can keep up with part-time. I have no intention of leaving my job but at 16 you are probably in school so it should be a similar situation. It doesn’t take much to take up all of your time. Good luck with your venture.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2789 posts in 2468 days


#5 posted 08-21-2018 11:27 PM

Facebook marketplace. Craigslist.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

184 posts in 351 days


#6 posted 09-08-2018 03:29 AM

Sell your furniture wholesale. You make it. they sell it. Mass production is key here. I introduced a end table and sold 100 in a couple months.

Be ready to work if your products sell. Furniture companies will order a lot of product.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3751 posts in 761 days


#7 posted 09-08-2018 04:26 AM


Sell your furniture wholesale. You make it. they sell it. Mass production is key here. I introduced a end table and sold 100 in a couple months.

Be ready to work if your products sell. Furniture companies will order a lot of product.

- CWWoodworking

That’s awesome. What are you selling?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

206 posts in 83 days


#8 posted 09-08-2018 06:24 AM

Find out where your local craft shows are (parks, churches, senior citizen centers, etc.). Most stores that will sell on consignment, will usually get 40% to 50% of the selling price. Know your costs. Check with your shop teacher at your school for advise. I’m sure he would be willing to give good info. Also check with the smaller local hardware stores in your area, some of them could give you some info. Ours has a Master Woodworker behind the service desk. Find out if there a local woodworkers club in your area.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

184 posts in 351 days


#9 posted 09-08-2018 09:22 PM


Find out where your local craft shows are (parks, churches, senior citizen centers, etc.). Most stores that will sell on consignment, will usually get 40% to 50% of the selling price. Know your costs.

- WoodenDreams

Not trying to pick on you just speaking in general terms about consignment.

That is one thing I will NEVER do. If they cant take some of the risk of being in business, they are not going to be a partner of mine.

Business is a partnership. You are taking a risk making the product in hopes that is sells a lot. They are taking the risk of having the store front. BOTH of you should get paid.

In my experience, the stores that asked me to do consignment, are not selling crap anyways. And dont have money either.

Rich, that table is a solid oak chairside end table. Margins are a little thin, but I came out decent.

View KiritoTanaka's profile

KiritoTanaka

2 posts in 86 days


#10 posted 09-09-2018 03:10 AM

cwwoodworking, that sounds awesome but like many things, I think my age would block me. how do you sell them to the company? are there certain things they look for? id love to try it when i get my own business

-- G.T

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

184 posts in 351 days


#11 posted 09-09-2018 10:14 PM

This is going to sound extremely un-original, but here it is with production furniture.

Go to potential stores and look at what they sell and copy it. I mean don’t copy the product and their business model to a T. But take their design/idea and make it your own. Offer something they can’t get from their current supply. This could be in the form of service or type of wood.

Chances are you will be more expensive than mass produced products and that’s ok. But you can’t be silly. What I mean is if their most expensive dining table is 2500$. Your not getting in there with a table they would have to sell for 5000$

The end table I was speaking about above was copied from an import company. Of course I was quit a bit more expensive. But I offer shipping on a set schedule, solid oak(Chinese don’t do oak very well at all), and customization of finish. Import end tables are all KD. Mine are all ready asssembled.

Sorry if doesn’t sound glamorous. The truth about mass produced furniture is there are a lot of people that buy run of the mill stuff than the exotic.

On the selling/business side. Be professional, polite, and persistent.

Get business cards, have brochures, catalogs, finish sample boards.

Below is an example of my finish board. Sorry for the long post.

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CWWoodworking

184 posts in 351 days


#12 posted 09-09-2018 10:16 PM

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