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I'm wondering if I should just give this up

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 11-03-2013 11:46 AM 3690 views 1 time favorited 78 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


11-03-2013 11:46 AM

I’ve made four really nice tables which I’d love to sell, in fact if I dont sell them, i’m going to have to do something radical like get a job. At 55, I shudder to think what job anyone would hire me for.

To top it all off, I got involved with this organization here in town that takes area’s that has lost retail and does these little pop-up stores for local artists and craftsmen. The one I’m with has a nice store front on Main Street and a good size area for 30 of us to show off our stuff. And they put my table in the window. Prime time stuff for me right?

Well one table is in the window, but here is what they did to the other tables.

Can you tell the table is for sale or it’s just a fancy prop for other people to sell their stuff.

I’m rather pissed, and on the verge of just going down there with a truck and taking it all home.

Those big boxes were just put on top of the tables with no protection at all. They have since been removed or protected at my insistence.

My best bowls were stuffed with some tea towels so you couldn’t even see the bowl.

I think I just need to forget about this place till it’s time to spend another 70$ hauling it back.

If I don’t sell one table by 2014, I’m done.

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


78 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15420 posts in 1290 days


#1 posted 11-03-2013 12:01 PM

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View John Obelenus's profile

John Obelenus

23 posts in 924 days


#2 posted 11-03-2013 12:22 PM

In a similar boat – but I am somewhat gainfully employed and have had fair success in selling my wares through Custom Made website (www.custommade.com) – only issue there is that there is usually shipping involved (major PIA) and you have to make a lot of one-off things, which is fun, but time consuming, so it is hard to price things well because of the time involved. But this year (since Feb.) AI have made 15 jobs with an average price of over $900 – not too bad…started with small things and graduated to larger items.

I tried the craft fair thing in 2012 and spent a lot of money and time for nothing

If you want to look at my portfolio to get an idea – www.custommade.com/by/jhostudios.

Hope this helps

-- If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life... www.jhostudios.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


#3 posted 11-03-2013 12:28 PM

DonW, What do you refer to?

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

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3597 posts in 1235 days


#4 posted 11-03-2013 12:52 PM

Russell, I am curious as it wasn’t mentioned in your details, are you renting store space for your wares or are they just allowing you free space? If the latter, I’d just grab the stuff and figure out something different but if you are renting space then you have the leg, right and the say as to how your items are to be displayed.

as mentioned you might try online sales, try ETSY and post shipping as not included in the price.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


#5 posted 11-03-2013 12:56 PM

Blackie, its free sort of, I am charged 22.5% of sales. So no rent. But still, $120 bucks getting them there and back.

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

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3597 posts in 1235 days


#6 posted 11-03-2013 01:21 PM

I think communication is key too, might try asking them politely and as nicely as you can that you’d prefer nothing be on top of the tables, or maybe just a single item, something very small to highlight the usefulness and how it would look as a display table or in a sitting environment. All of your photos look as though they are using them for their permanent use as to own them, Heck might even ask if they’d be interested in buying them if that’s what they intend them for.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


#7 posted 11-03-2013 01:28 PM

Blackie, I brought some of my bowls to put on the tables, but they are elsewhere. They reserve the right to display my stuff anyway they see fit apparently. So basically I’m being used in place of display shelving.
Live and learn.
I’m marketing these myself from now on. No more retail, or galleries, or any of those art booths.

I have a professional portfolio and I can talk. So that’s the way I’ll have to do it.
Perhaps I can talk to some interior designers and see if they can keep me in mind for things like this.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15714 posts in 2941 days


#8 posted 11-03-2013 01:46 PM

I think you are right that this is a bad presentation of your tables. I wouldn’t necessarily let that completely sour me on retail and gallery situations, though.

It’s all about the setup and the surroundings. In this situation, your tables are in something like a garage-sale setting, surrounded by garage-sale items. No offense, but the setting makes them look like something somebody is trying to get rid of. Now put those same very nice tables in a gallery, with some dramatic lighting, surrounded by other artistic pieces, and they would look right at home as works of art, commanding a high price.

It’s all about getting the potential buyer to perceive your work in a certain way. That setup you’re in right now just isn’t making the right impression.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3597 posts in 1235 days


#9 posted 11-03-2013 01:48 PM

Hmm seems as though they’d be willing to work with you, if they don’t want to come to an agreement and willing to work with you then that just goes to show their character and bad business if you ask me, myself I wouldn’t want to have any thing to do with them, my stuff would be out of there so fast.

Side Note: My past experience, customers mostly when they walk into places like that are looking for small ticket items anyway, Maybe if you wanted just displaying your small items like bowls etc… only.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


#10 posted 11-03-2013 01:54 PM

CharlieM, my feelings exactly. I can still sell them from there on my own, but I’d have to pay commission. I’ll just have to see what happens.

I really have no say in what goes on there, and you’re right, they seem to cater to the small sales of tea towels and jewelry. One other guy there makes those box lights, so I plan to compare notes with him and another man there who makes metal furniture.

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

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3597 posts in 1235 days


#11 posted 11-03-2013 01:54 PM

I like what Charlie said, he’s right on track with the garage-sale atmosphere reason I mentioned people in that type of place are only looking for $10 – $20 items. I’ve already been up this road and the same thing applies to the monthly market day events, reason I won’t do them anymore.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2241 posts in 2270 days


#12 posted 11-03-2013 02:06 PM

They say if this stuff was easy to do everyone would be doing it. I think with what you are doing online would be one of your best routes. Even in our high end custom cabinetry we get a good portion of our customers from the internet.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Don W's profile

Don W

15420 posts in 1290 days


#13 posted 11-03-2013 02:12 PM

Russell, you do some nice work, but you need to get it to people willing to pay for it. Flea markets and swap meets are not it. At a minimum set your pieces apart. Put some of your stuff on your tables.

Marketing woodworking is tough. The average person just doesn’t understand the difference between your stuff and walmart’s and an expensive table isn’t going to sell with a bunch of low priced nick-knacks on it. If you can sell, you need to sell those setting up the displays that idea.

I obviously don’t have the answer. If I did, I’d be doing it.

Just out of curiosity, why is it so expensive to get the pieces to the store?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


#14 posted 11-03-2013 02:14 PM

Jerry, I’m eventually heading there with cutting boards, but not big items. I’m not opposed to a sale here or there that involves some heavy shipping, but I’m not in a position to easily transport my goods to a shipper who will box them for me.
I’m really thinking cutting boards are the thing to do, low cost, easy to handle and keep in inventory, and they sell really well.
If I push anything online it will be them.
No more bowls except as gifts.
I have 4 tables so I have enough to experiment with.
So I think a bit of tweaking and I can make out.

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

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2963 posts in 1009 days


#15 posted 11-03-2013 02:21 PM

Don, Before I got into this hobby/business I had to buy a car as part of a medicaid spend down of my folks assets so mom could get into a nursing home that was able to care for Alzheimer patients. We didn’t have a lot of time, so I got a car that would spend it all in one chunk. My priority was to get mom taken care of, I could care less what kind of car it was. Now I regret that I didn’t get a van or a pickup. So I have a very nice Nissan Maxima with leather interior and so many extras I still haven’t figured them all out. So transporting 4 tables and a chest is a rental truck for me. Usually a 70$ expenditure each time.

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

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