selling furniture over the internet

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Forum topic by pariswoodworking posted 09-03-2011 02:18 AM 2143 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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381 posts in 1907 days

09-03-2011 02:18 AM

I have been wanting to make furniture for quite a while now but due to my limited space to store finished projects, and the fact that the fine furniture market is small in my area (at least that I know of), I haven’t been able to. My question is, Is selling fine furniture over the internet a good way to go? How hard would it be to ship the furniture and would I have to make it in a way that it could be taken apart and pot back together like that cheap particle board furniture? How would be the best way to sell it? Ebay, Etsy, personal website, or some kind of furniture store that you could work out a deal with?


-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8164 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 09-03-2011 02:39 AM

Work with stores. They will beat you senseless on pricing, but at least
they can sell the product. You can get knock-down fittings to ship

There is no, I repeat, no easy way to sell handmade furniture and make
money at it. It is a hard game to play.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2076 days

#2 posted 09-03-2011 10:26 PM

I concur with Loren. Making and selling furniture is a nightmare. People want it at the Kmart/Walmart price points but they want real wood and high quality workmanship, which is an oxymoron.

I’ve approached some specialized rustic furniture stores with some carved tables and mantles I’ve done and they want me to give it to them so they can make tons of money off them. Starting point these stores will pay is 50% or less then what they think they can sell it for. $1000 piece of furniture, they will only pay you $500. They will not commit to any kind of volume to enable you to take advantage of production line operations to build the pieces and reduce the per piece price. They want it all and are willing to pay you next to nothing for it. They love the work I do, they just want it for less then what it cost me to do the work. NOPE! I do sell some small items I make (game boards, cedar signs, toys, etc.) over the internet but these are easy to ship. Furniture needs to be crated or like Loren says, constructed with RTA (ready to assemble) hardware so it can be shipped flat.

I have a small following of customers (it’s taken 4.5 years to get them) where I am located that want high quality materials and craftsmanship and are willing to pay for it. For most of these customers I started with a smaller project or some cabinetry and it has mushroomed. But it takes time and patience.

Good luck.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View pariswoodworking's profile


381 posts in 1907 days

#3 posted 09-03-2011 11:51 PM

I knew that a lot of people would rather get cheap walmart furniture than pay for something that would probable outlast them, their kids, and their grandkids if it was taken care of properly but, I didn’t know it would be that hard to sell any furniture. I’m not sure if I want to go the furniture store route now unless I can play hard ball with them and get them to pay more than just 50%. How about flea markets and shows? Can you usually sell furniture there or should I just stick with mostly making smaller objects if I want to make any money?

Thanks for the advice

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View nate22's profile


453 posts in 2297 days

#4 posted 09-06-2011 09:10 PM

pariswoodworking, I own my own business and I was in the place you are about 2 years ago. First of all do some research in your area and find out what people are buying the most. Like in my area (northern Indiana) I found out people were looking for good sturdy reliable bunk beds. So I made one and posted it on craigslist and I sold it. Since then I have been posting on craigslist in my area and I have sold a lot of bunk beds, loft beds, and other sizes of beds. I also have a store on etsy to which doesn’t do much but it gets my name out there. One thing I do also is if somebody that I have sold a bed to and they send someone my way and they buy one then I send the customer a $25 check. So word of mouth is good to. I also have my business on facebook. And you will find out people want it just as cheap as if they were going to walmart, or k mart. And if you don’t want to mess with shipping right away just advertise in your area or as far out as you would want to deliver. One thing people have told me that have there own business is tell people why your furniture is better than store bought. Hopefully some of these ideas help and good luck.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View pariswoodworking's profile


381 posts in 1907 days

#5 posted 09-06-2011 09:38 PM

Those are really good ideas. I’ll try craigslist and facebook and see how it works. How well does paying the customers for sending people your way work?

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View jonnytranscend's profile


96 posts in 1962 days

#6 posted 09-11-2011 08:38 PM

Its not a easy thing to do. But put your heart into it and work hard!

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 2969 days

#7 posted 09-11-2011 09:23 PM

Ive used CL and it alone has gotten me this far. Now and then on CL u get a real acorn that will pay out. But CL will only take us so far. I am getting heavily into my own site and seo internet marketing hoping to snag customers with deeper pockets.

-- .

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