|Forum topic by Tennessee||posted 118 days ago||1364 views||3 times favorited||15 replies|
118 days ago
For those of us past the gift stage, we always struggle on the best method of sales for our particular personal need. It really is a personal choice, since some people are much more aggressive than others, some build items that are so unique they demand a niche, some do more common items where competition is fierce, and some actually try to make a living out of woodworking.
In this economy, and with my age, I started four years ago with a website and a FB page. That was it. And at that time, guitars were my only product. But being who I am, after about three years, guitars began to bore me a little, I had all this cool wood, and I started into other things.
I will qualify all of this by adding I never have made a profit on my guitars, nor on any other product I produce. I do have a tax license, and pay all applicable state, federal and local taxes, but my yearly costs in material, tools, insurance, etc., puts me far into the hole every year. So let’s just say I like woodworking, and having people like my work, and leave that part dead…
So, my method!
Fairs and festivals. Won’t do them. Period… I’ve visited too many, and talked to too many woodworkers who find themselves pinned to a cheap tent with hundreds, if not thousands of hours of their labors showing proudly, and walk away with maybe $1000 when it’s all done and over with, or maybe just $100. Too much of a crap shoot. That is not worth three days of 12-14 hours a day to me.
Rental spaces in antique malls, and indoor markets open usually on weekends. Worse. The only people making money there is the building owner. I rented a space in an upscale antique/handmade craft mall for two months. We did sell items, but after two months, we realized we were going to come in dead even. Within $5 of what we started with, save a couple of nice items were now gone. His rent and commissions burned up all my profit, and I kept getting phone calls with people offering me less than sticker. Sheesh!
Etsy. I have no experience with this or eBay, since I got a Paypal account cleaned a few years back. It does look good for some, and may be an outlet for you, just not for me. I just won’t do Paypal, and the list seems to be slowly growing of people who get burned on Paypal as sellers.
That leaves Galleries and Museums who showcase artists. Not that easy to get into, and you have to have a fair amount of talent to enter. I got into my local museum/gallery, and to be honest, this fits me just fine.
Since my main goal is to not make money to live on woodworking, but to have people enjoy my work, this is something I can live with. And you never know when you might meet that person who changes your life…
-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com