How to sell your work?

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Forum topic by RBurke83 posted 12-29-2012 08:20 PM 1901 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1970 days

12-29-2012 08:20 PM

Hello, LJocks, first time poster on these forums but been lurking for a few years. Just wondering how you guys go about selling your work? Etsy seems to have changed it’s format and the highest price category is now “100.00$ and up”, which is basically everything on the site.

Thanks for reading, Ryan

22 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2282 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 08:33 PM

Welcome to LJ.
I’m making stock for a local fair in my town. I’ll see how that goes and try to get into more later. I want to stick to small venues because they cost less. I’ll be making custom clocks and wood turnings for the show.

It’s best I think to hit all the bases when trying to sell, but it is hard to price it consistently when some sites take commission. I’m concentrating on FB and the local scene, but I have listings on CustomMade too.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2186 days

#2 posted 12-29-2012 09:57 PM

i have a facebook page which i’ve sold did help me get 1 customer that orders pieces to sell to her customers.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

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Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2917 days

#3 posted 12-29-2012 09:58 PM

I sell at festivals and street fairs within an hours drive of home.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View History's profile


399 posts in 1977 days

#4 posted 12-29-2012 10:25 PM

I don’t sell my work, I got over that idea years ago after realizing that the general public isn’t going to pay much, especially nowdays with all the cheap import crap out there. It wasn’t worth my time or the headache. Now if I do something it’s either for our home or a gift to a friend or family member.

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Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3803 days

#5 posted 12-30-2012 07:28 PM

What exit?

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Whitewalls's profile


61 posts in 1969 days

#6 posted 12-30-2012 07:33 PM

I don’t make a whole lot of different items right now. The only items that I sell are cutting boards. Just in December alone I’ve sold 25 of them, and that was for gifts that people were giving to others. I haven’t done any of the craft shows/festivals yet, but i plan on doing at least one this summer to see what the outcome is. Everything I have sold has been by word of mouth. I made a cutting board for my mom, then she bought 10 of them for gifts. Then one of the recipients ordered 10 etc etc.

-- Jared, Northern IL

View History's profile


399 posts in 1977 days

#7 posted 12-30-2012 07:51 PM

Yeah Jared, what do you honestly think that your making for a wage per hour ?

View Whitewalls's profile


61 posts in 1969 days

#8 posted 12-30-2012 08:15 PM

It all depends on the size cutting board. The bar boards I make sell for 10 bucks a piece. Total time invoked in one of them is about 30 min at the very most. I haven’t exactly kept track, I do the work when I have free time.

-- Jared, Northern IL

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399 posts in 1977 days

#9 posted 12-30-2012 08:19 PM

And the cost of materials.

View Whitewalls's profile


61 posts in 1969 days

#10 posted 12-30-2012 08:38 PM

Yep and the cost of materials. The wood I’m using has paid for itself already through other projects. I don’t buy any wood through a supplier, I have bought all of it on craigslist at a fraction of the cost. So I would say with glue and oil/finishes I’m making around 12 an hour. I’m not going to get rich doing these, but it’s something I enjoy and it keeps me out of trouble. Lol

-- Jared, Northern IL

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2483 days

#11 posted 12-30-2012 09:05 PM

I try to price my stuff at a rough $35/hr. plus materials plus overhead. Sawblades, even cheap ones cost money.
Even if you consider your workspace free, . Electricity costs money, set up time costs money, materials cost money, your time to go pick up materials from CL sellers is worth at least the same as what you charge per hour for labor, as is the time you use to search out those sales. Then there is gas, insurance on the car, shop insurance, ,

Carpenters helpers make about $12/hr. When you undercut other prices, you are not only hurting others that try to make a profit by personal production, but you are hurting yourself in the long run. I am disabled and my wife is retired. We have to have “X” amount coming in every month, even with the gravy job we have here at the campground.
I won’t be able to retire for another 7 years or so. I have to keep up the income now just to pay for what little insurance we have.

Good Luck, Learn what your products are really worth, which are much more than you think because you are missing a lot of the hidden costs in your production.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View History's profile


399 posts in 1977 days

#12 posted 12-30-2012 09:28 PM

I agree with you Dallas, you could even include wear and tear on machinery or the investments in upgrading machinery to be more efficient. The problem is also that alot of prodjects are custom, and custom can take alot of time in just planning. Production work, well be ready for volume, setup to crankem out, and that may require some pretty expensive machinery, and alot of inventory. But who knows, how a group of guys can get rich makin duck calls in the show Duck Dynasty is puzzling to me. I have yet to see their shop, and how they make the duck calls.

View Whitewalls's profile


61 posts in 1969 days

#13 posted 12-30-2012 11:03 PM

Trust me Dallas, I know that I am not covering all the items that I need to. Like I also said, I haven’t sat down to really figure out how much just one cutting board that I make costs. I do this purely as a hobby, and if I make a little money at it, then all the better. The smaller cutting boards I make I make basically 10-12 at a time depending on how many have been ordered. So it is easier and faster to get more done in less time. The larger ones of course take longer, so they are costing more.

Sawsucker, I wonder the same thing about Duck Dynasty. Especially when you consider how much they film them doing nothing or breaking stuff.

-- Jared, Northern IL

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3281 days

#14 posted 12-30-2012 11:40 PM


Welcome to LJ’s.

There’s lots of different ways to sell your woodworking, but it will depend a lot on what you feel will work the best for you and the area you’re from.

1. Direct selling; that’s where you do the selling yourself. Craft shows, fairs, festivals, home shows or any place you can display your work and sell directly to the general public. Great if you have some great local events and you like selling yourself.

2. Stores, Galleries or places like consignment shops could be a good scource to sell your work and they do the actual selling for you. Either you have to sell wholesale or be willing to pay a commission for them to sell your work. Again, this can work great if you have such locations near you, or willing to travel some to supply them with your inventory. (also works if you don’t like selling yourself).

3. On-line web-sites is another avenue to sell your products. Esty, e-Bay, Custom made and numerous other sites will allow you to sell your products. Each will have a cost factor to consider for them to sell on their site. Great if you have a product that is easy to sell stictly from a picture and quick discription.

4. You can create your own on-line store, have a web-site or use the social media like face book to sell your stuff….....again, you’re selling from a picture and discription.

Any marketing on-line can reach a much larger market, but just realize why most people shop on-line. Usually their either looking for something very unique or a great price.

5. Word of mouth advertising; this is really great but takes time and a lot of work on your part.

The more ways you can find to market your woodworking the better chance you have to making sales.

Good luck and keep us posted.

-- John @

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29222 posts in 2334 days

#15 posted 12-31-2012 03:08 PM

I know I don’t make a big hourly wage. But as i get established it’s starting to climb. This isn’t a get
rich quick thing. As far as people not paying for quality, I disagree. Not overnight, but I am selling to more people than i thought I could. People are tired of cheap furniture that falls apart.

My hope is to build my business over a few years so I can quit my day job. Been at it 3 years. It’s finally starting to go in my favor.

I do some of the craft shows, but I am stepping up to bigger more regional shows. A lot harder work, but it is paying off.

Good luck, ask if you have questions.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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