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Forum topic by NY_Rocking_Chairs posted 07-29-2008 01:10 PM 1878 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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510 posts in 3591 days

07-29-2008 01:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

I noticed that the posted project for the living edge walnut bench was for sale on Ebay. I was wondering if people had any success on selling items on Ebay. I have also checked out Etsy but never posted anything on there. I set up an Ebay store for some of my turned items but after 6 months of barely selling enough to cover the costs I closed it down.

I sell and buy on Ebay all the time, but personally I use it to find the best and cheapest deal, which I think is what most people do, so putting a high end piece of furniture on there doesn’t seem like it will be too productive.

I am thinking of putting a rocking chair on Ebay and/or Etsy to see how it does, but just wondering what people have to say with selling the furniture on Ebay or Etsy.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

19 replies so far

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3826 days

#1 posted 07-29-2008 03:16 PM

Frankly, eBay doesn’t want your business anymore and is primarily interested in becoming and catering to large sellers. The small sellers are being priced out of the market with all the eBay and PayPal fees.

You’re also right about people looking for the best price on eBay. Not the best place to sell distinctive works of real value.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3738 days

#2 posted 07-29-2008 03:39 PM

Rich, you may do better with craigslist. People there are also looking for deals, but I’ve found that the problem with Ebay and Etsy is the shipping cost for larger items. At least with craigslist, you’ve got people that are close enough to you to come pick it up. If I ever get ahead some, I plan on posting a piece that is shippable by DHL, on Ebay and Etsy to see how it goes. You should be in a good place to be selling your rocking chairs at local shows and fairs. When I lived in Maine, I use to go to the shows and craft fairs throughout Maine, and I always had several customers from NY and CT. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3591 days

#3 posted 07-29-2008 04:03 PM

Yeah, the problem with the craft shows is I have not been able to build up any kind of inventory, nor do I really have a place to store them once I do.

I use craigslist a lot as well. Mostly for the big items too big or heavy to ship. All good points and ideas.


-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 07-29-2008 07:05 PM

yeah – as you mentioned , eBay, and also Craigslist are mostly populated by people that are looking to get things at a lower price than market price… so If you’re talking high-end furniture, I wouldn’t plan on those two as my showroom, if you know what I mean.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3870 days

#5 posted 07-30-2008 06:15 AM

Most of the furniture I have seen on ebay goes pretty cheap or gets no bids. Even some of the antiques get sold at alot lower price then I would think. Yes, I noticed alot were “for local pick up only” so that could be a good reason.
I subscribe to Charles Neals theory of finding a place to display one or two large pieces, that people can place orders for. And also have some smaller items that people can buy and take with them.

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 07-30-2008 11:26 AM

I like that theory Dave and it is one I am working towards. I have chairs in a few local galleries, but again that limits me to the local area. I am working on getting some smaller stuff in the galleries, some pens are there and have sold, but trying to get bigger than a pen and smaller than a chair…

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3984 days

#7 posted 07-30-2008 09:20 PM


I bet you could sell some of those boxes if the materials are cheap enough. Remember, when you have unsold time, anything above the cost of the materials is profit. When you have a waiting list, you only pick the highest profit jobs.

-- Jim

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3591 days

#8 posted 07-31-2008 11:52 AM


And when the wife gets her projects on the list, there is no profit and they take all the time :) J/K I like doing the projects for our house more than anything, it is always nice to get up and see the fruits of your labor and know it is still going to be there for your kids to inherit. I cannot even stomach looking at the “furniture” they sell in the stores these days. The last “solid oak” piece we bought means they trimmed the particle board veneered pieces in 1” pieces of oak so you get a solid edge, whoohoo.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3984 days

#9 posted 07-31-2008 06:58 PM

LOL. I’m still trying to get my wife more involved in woodworking because I really enjoy hearing her advice and encouragement. You’re a lucky man. Sometimes I search Craigslist for free furniture in case someone is getting rid of some real wood and I’ve noticed that the heavier a piece of furniture is, the more likely the person is to conclude it’s real wood. In fact unless it’s made out of some kind of exotic hard wood, the heavier it is, the more likely it’s made out of Chinese MDF. LOL.

-- Jim

View Loren's profile


10373 posts in 3642 days

#10 posted 07-31-2008 09:00 PM

I feel, from experience marketing online and offline, that selling
high end furniture online is a losing battle for the small shop.

Furniture is a tactile experience and in order to sell it you are best
off getting the customer to touch it and get hot under the caller,
desperate to possess it – with no thought of bargain shopping.

The one company that comes to mind as a successful marketer of
high-end furniture through direct mail is Thomas Moser. They
have showrooms now and have successfully established a powerful
brand – they get chosen by architects for large public projects and
also by wealthy people to do whole house-fulls of furniture.

If you have a line of smaller items like lamps, boxes, and pens you
might be well-advised to aggressively build a mailing list with emails
as well in order to market those items heavily in the gift-buying season -
a time when people are definitely ready to buy.

The more you portray yourself as an organized, but quaint workshop
with a pleasant range of products the more you’ll capture the
hearts and imagination of women – who control a great deal of money
in terms of spending on home furnishings and gifts.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3985 days

#11 posted 08-01-2008 05:46 AM

Thanks Loren…. Well said.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3591 days

#12 posted 08-01-2008 11:28 AM

Plus we all know the sort of people at craft shows, the women with the money and the men who want to be anywhere but there, but get stuck holding the bags of stuff the women bought.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3740 days

#13 posted 08-01-2008 01:09 PM

Craft shows.

Crapft shows really.

If there is a blue tarp for carpet and infield grass below or maybe even in the more “ornate” show rooms an” easy up” canopy above to keep the searing sun off your thinning pate then you my friend are in crapft show territory.

If you sell the products of your labors indoors, with permanent flooring and (gasp) overhead or at least “not completely ambient” lighting, and it’s of decent quality, you will probably do O.K.

The idea of She Who Must Be Obeyed holding all the money is, while a reality for some, pretty sexist, obsolete, and probably a “red state” thing, for the most part.

Did I step on everyones toes?

“Act like you have a pair, buy your own chair.”

End of Rant.

View Mrdude's profile


10 posts in 3620 days

#14 posted 08-04-2008 10:40 PM

If you are serious about online selling, then look into your own website with a shopping cart program of some sort. You really would serve yourself well by opening a Yahoo store. It allows you to price your item and include the shipping rates. There is a final value fee like ebay, but the nice thing about yahoo stores is that you don’t pay for items listed until you sell them. With ebay, you pay for that item to be listed either every 3 days, 7 days, or monthly. There is a yahoo store fee monthly, but there are some really inexpensive options. If you or someone you know can set you up a basic website then you can link straight to the yahoo store.
The search engines like the store links …. that’s why you see the big guys adverstising their websites so hard.

View Steve's profile


7 posts in 3646 days

#15 posted 08-25-2008 12:19 AM

I agree with PurpLev. Ebay, in my limited experience is best for selling products where the value is pretty easy to discern, like a book or an event ticket. We tried to sell some overstock hardwood flooring on Ebay at about 50 cents on the dollar of our manufactured cost and had no luck. For example, we had a lot of 1500 square feet of 3/4” x 5” Select Unfinished Solid American Cherry that garnered a bid of $200. That’s $.13/SqFt. I got the feeling that if we listed it for $0, someone would asked if we could deliver it for free, too.

MrDude probably has the right idea about getting your own site. That would allow you to showcase your own products without 3000 competing products.


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