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The lunatic Mazes on kickstarter

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Forum topic by mja979 posted 425 days ago 935 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


425 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: maze puzzle labyrinth lunatic

So I make and sell my mazes and have put my new idea on kickstarter. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-lunatic-revealed-the-not-so-hidden-labyrinth

Have only just started using etsy to sell my last versionshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLunaticProject?ref=si_shop

What other ways can I get healthy exposure?
LJ has been great for support and encouragement!

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles


15 replies so far

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scrollsaw

13026 posts in 2488 days


#1 posted 424 days ago

Project looks good.

-- Todd

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#2 posted 424 days ago

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knotscott

5429 posts in 2010 days


#3 posted 424 days ago

Ebay?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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camps764

791 posts in 994 days


#4 posted 424 days ago

depending on how fast you can crank these out you probably have a great market in the boutique toy market. Having a toddler right now, I know first hand that the current parenting trend is to get wooden toys/old school toys.

Look into stores like Fat Brain Toys, etc. and see what it takes to get them to distribute/sell them. Approach independent stores and showcase what you have and price point, etc.

If you know someone who sells at crafts shows currently you might be able to get them to carry them for you for a small fee.

Donate a few to local schools/churches to raffle off with a business card in the box. Once a parent sees these things they will probably want one.

I could see wanting to have one of these in my office at work. You might be able to approach a few local business executives and offer to get one in their hands – anyone who enters their office might see it and want to order one for themselves.

Could showcase them in some local coffee shops.

just a few ideas off the top of my head.

There is also a dude on here that makes kid’s puzzles/stools, he seems to have been very successful, he might be able to add some insight as well.

-- Steve. Visit my website http://www.campbellwoodworking.com

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#5 posted 424 days ago

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Puzzleman

330 posts in 1578 days


#6 posted 424 days ago

Hello mja979. Do you want to wholesale or retail? Which direction you choose will choose the methods of marketing.

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

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#7 posted 424 days ago

I am interested in both. Perhaps the more exotic as retail.

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#8 posted 423 days ago

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Puzzleman

330 posts in 1578 days


#9 posted 423 days ago

This is going to get wordy.

For the retail side, you use ETSY. Do you promote on Etsy? If you don’t, spend the money to get yourself listed in the top. Have you tried using Google keywords? What about advertising with Google? Again there is a cost but the benefits should outweigh the costs. Do you do any art shows in AZ? This is a great way of getting direct feedback from customers, not to mention making money as well. There are some highly regarded wine shows in AZ during the spring, such as the one in Carefree. These would be a good place to start. You would be accessing a fairly affluent crowd without traveling too far. If these prove successful, you might want to venture a little farther out. There is a good sized art show in Vegas during the fall. Do you have your own website? If so, I don’t see it promoted in your signature here at LJ. If you don’t, get one now. This is needed for not only Google ads but also for customers you meet to order from and / or research you.

On the wholesale side. What direction in wholesale do you wish to go? Art galleries or gift / toy stores? Or both? Art Galleries are looking for high end items as they get paid by percentage and they would like a bigger number. This is where some people might be concerned with the type of wood. Galleries also work on commission, so you don’t get paid till if and when it sells. I have known of people that have product sit for up to a year and then the product gets returned at your cost for shipping.
At the gift / toy store level, they are more looking at pricing and production capability. They want to know your wholesale price, what is the minimum amount they can order, what is your starting order, do you provide display materials, how is it packaged, what is your turnaround, do you have terms, do you have pictures for their websites, what is your return policy, how is your product packaged, do you have videos for the websites and can you produce at a level if they sell hundreds or thousands. Another thing you need to think about is what makes your product unique to their customer? What do you do that can’t be duplicated by someone else (Chinese) cheaper? In this side of the business, there won’t be as much interest in the type of wood. I know that this sounds like a lot but this is the business side. They want to make sales and profits and turn products. The best trade shows that I have found are Toy Fair in NYC and the ABC show in Vegas for the toy side. (Toy Fair is much better than ABC, for me.) For the Gift side, I do well at Atlanta, though I have heard that the Dallas show is starting to get a little better. The AMD gift show in Vegas has started to get a little notice lately. Seems they have been growing lately, so that might be a good one for you as it is close. There are many gift shows out there. Each one is different in their customer base. Unfortunately, the best way to find out if one is good for you is to do the show.

I know that this is long winded but making the products is the easiest part of the job. Marketing and selling them is much more involved. Look at all of the books about marketing versus books about woodworking. Marketing has it’s own section at the bookstore and woodworking is just a spot. So much has been and will be written about marketing.

Check out Huff’s new blog series on marketing. This will help give you insight.
Also check out Huff’s series on cost and pricing analysis. This is a good series and very helpful in making sure that you make a profit. Link: http://lumberjocks.com/huff/blog

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

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#10 posted 423 days ago

Thank you for the very useful information. I do promote, but I am unfamiliar with Google advertising. Besides Etsy I do not yet have a website. I am looking into it. I have made contact with a toy store and I am considering initially selling my Basswood version with them. I will take a look at the craft fair options around town after I build up a bit of inventory I should be ready for them. I have seen the pricing blog and found it quite helpful and comforting to see I wasn’t far off. I will look at the marketing.

Again thank you very much for the help.
I believe my mazes are market worthy, cost reasonable, and attractive. I also know it matters what the prospective buyer thinks most of all.

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#11 posted 404 days ago

Thank you for all your help! My project is successfully funded with a couple days to go. I look forward to the completion of my next designs!

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#12 posted 404 days ago

I just noticed I missed the most challenging addition to this thread. here it is in Amboyna Burl.

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#13 posted 403 days ago

http://youtu.be/U7HPFhny8-4

here is a 5 minute video of me solving one of my Revealed Puzzles. It may be a bit unpolished.

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles

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huff

2804 posts in 1919 days


#14 posted 403 days ago

Marcus,

You have a great looking product and your write-up and presentation on kickstarter was very professional.

Jim (Puzzleman) really gave you some great information. His information was very targeted and dead on for your type product and woodworking.

Your true cost of manufacturing will be critical to your pricing and who you will need to market to. Don’t overlook the cost of marketing when figuring your true cost of manufacturing and selling your product.

Cost of building and maintaining a web-site, cost of marketing on line, cost of doing shows and time spent talking to wholesale accounts, etc. Business cards, brochures, signs, etc. all have to be taken into consideration when figuring your true cost to manufacture and sell your product.

These expenses are all considered adminstrative expenses and a lot of times overlooked by a business and not included with fixed overhead.

Your adminstrative expenses can more than eat up any profit when selling your work if you haven’t figured them in (especially if you are selling wholesale with a very low profit margin).

If you are making “0” profit; it really won’t matter if you are selling one item or one hundred items.

Good luck,
I think you have a very interesting product.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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mja979

255 posts in 668 days


#15 posted 403 days ago

Thank you. I feel like much progress is being made and the proper circles are being made and established. Ideas are flowing and efficiency is improving. :)

-- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787761497/the-hybrid-3d-lunatic-and-other-maze-puzzles

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