"It's too nice to use..." *slaps forehead*

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Forum topic by UncannyValleyWoods posted 12-10-2013 12:05 AM 3768 views 0 times favorited 48 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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542 posts in 2105 days

12-10-2013 12:05 AM

Had a very good day at my first craft fair, but one over arching theme seemed to keep me from selling a lot more product “It’s just too nice to use.” This comment particularly mentioned regarding cutting boards.

No matter how many times I told customers that my boards were meant to be used and used heavily, they just couldn’t wrap their minds around purchasing a nice object for culinary purchases.

Some other gems:

What are these things? (Didn’t think I needed a sign to let people in on the fact I was selling cutting boards)
Do I have to use it as a cutting board?
Can I cut cheese on these these?
I can by a cheaper one at Target.
Why are these stools so heavy? (Never encountered real wood before…I guess)
Why are these so expensive, I mean, it’s not like they were made in a factory, it was just made by you, right?
What kind of stain is this? (Folks had no idea there were different kinds of trees)

It’s amazing how high production furniture (saw dust furniture) has ruined people’s taste and knowledge regarding the real deal.

I know all of this is old hat to most of you, but it’s always interesting experiencing it first hand.

All in all, I can’t complain, I did better than other woodworkers at the fair and even had some older guys coming to me for advice…trying to figure out how I get the glassy finish on my cutting boards. Not too bad for the ego.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

48 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117420 posts in 3818 days

#1 posted 12-10-2013 12:15 AM

People can be crazy ,in the years I sold real estate I thought I would go by “JB” instead of using my long last name and having to spell it for every one. My first phone call after switching to “JB” the first thing the caller said was”how do you spell that”.
We live and we learn,next time you will take a sign,chances are more than 50% of the people coming by will still ask the same questions:))

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bondogaposis's profile


5155 posts in 2592 days

#2 posted 12-10-2013 12:23 AM

People just don’t understand how things are made any more. I guess it is due to the decline of manufacturing in this country, no one ever gets to see stuff being made. My fathers generation knew how to make stuff, because that’s what they did for a living. Your stories are pretty comical, especially the comment about being cheaper at Target.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2602 days

#3 posted 12-10-2013 12:27 AM

I think “It’s just too nice to use.” is just a polite excuse for not wanting one. After all, most people have no need for a cutting board to replace the $5 one that they hardly use now, with knives that won’t cut butter.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2728 days

#4 posted 12-10-2013 12:30 AM

Haven’t been to a market in a long time.
Last time I was at one I sold 41 boards.
Without the silly questions I could have probably sold all 100.
Silly questions much as your.
My favorite was What would I use a cutting board for?

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

View lightcs1776's profile


4234 posts in 1895 days

#5 posted 12-10-2013 12:33 AM

OK, I have to say, I have seen cutting boards that I would never use. I would still purchase them, but wouldn’t use them. In fact, there was someone here (can’t remember who), but he used leftover wood to make an extradinary board. At the same time, I also realie a quality cuttting board is worth much more than the Walmart special.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11167 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 12-10-2013 12:36 AM

Ignorance deserves one of two reactions. Ignore it, or teach.
I prefer to ignore it, in the main.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View AandCstyle's profile


3185 posts in 2498 days

#7 posted 12-10-2013 12:43 AM

Re the “Its just too nice to use.” comment, I tell people to use one side and keep the other side for display. Of course, that assumes that you don’t put feet on your boards. That way they get “two” boards for the price of one. :D

-- Art

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2202 days

#8 posted 12-10-2013 12:49 AM

Clint is probably right for most people, but for actual use I kind of prefer a plain simple cutting board too now that I think about it.. It wouldn’t hurt to bring along some rather plain cheaper ones and ask them if they would be more interested in those. Maybe run with the cheese thing too and market some of them as cheese platters.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1881 posts in 2210 days

#9 posted 12-10-2013 01:12 AM

Well looking at your boards uncanny, you definitely make a beautiful product. I would just say that those people weren’t the market for you (which I’m sure you know). I teach music in a high school and we were having an interesting discussion on why I play a guitar that I paid thousands for. Some of my students don’t see the difference between a 100 dollar guitar and the Thomas Fredholm master guitar I play. It’s just a refinement of style and good taste. And mine was built by one person with love, not by a factory for the bottom dollar. Or you can say as the old jewish chef I worked for in college “people have as much culture as a jar of yogurt”. You will definitely find a market for your wonderful boards. It really sounds frustrating for you. Hope you find a better place to sell them

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3346 days

#10 posted 12-10-2013 01:22 AM

I have a sign with those above mentioned words. I preface it with- “These cutting boards are intended to be used.” “Cut on one side and use the other to serve or for display.” People say ” Oh, I never thought of that.” I do have ‘plain’ Maple and Walnut boards for less money. Some people need to be told that they are buying ‘ART’ so they see a need for the ‘too nice to cut on board’. I usually tell people I could make ugly cutting boards, but I won’t. I have to keep the process interesting to me personally.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30153 posts in 2579 days

#11 posted 12-10-2013 01:49 AM

The ones that are interested in buying it, understand it. Those that don’t understand it, will probably never buy it. As far as “ignore it or teach”. I try to teach hoping that more information will convince them to buy. However, there are some questions that are simply too stupid to answer.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 1915 days

#12 posted 12-10-2013 07:02 AM

Some old standbys

” If it was just 2in wider ” : shorter, darker, taller, in oak…......

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3185 days

#13 posted 12-10-2013 06:31 PM

When I do a show, I use a lot of signage. For each product, it lists it’s name, what it is made of, a line or two of how to use it and a humorous little line concerning the use of the product. And my product line is very simple to understand. I have found that if you put a sign by it, people will pay more attention to it as they feel that if there is a sign, it must be important.

As far as all of the questions, these are the things that should be on your signs. Sometimes we have to educate our customers to what we do. I have learned that just because I understand a lot about puzzles and personalization, not everyone has the same knowledge that I do. I am constantly talking with people and explaining how my products work (even though I have signs that say the same thing).

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View Rob's profile


318 posts in 3227 days

#14 posted 12-10-2013 07:22 PM

I’ve never done a craft show but I plan to with my wife in a year or two but I have sold a couple dozen cutting boards within the last 2 months. Every single one I sold, I heard “It’s too nice to use”. My wife always tells them to use it. That’s what it’s for. I on the other hand could care less if they use it. I made it, I sold it, on to the next one. At a craft show though, I imagine it can be frustrating. I agree with the idea of signage and also teaching those that are less informed. Selling cutting boards and other things we make is no different than selling anything else. Those that are in the market will buy your product and those that aren’t, won’t. I think that sometimes people feel the need to say something when they don’t want to buy what you make so they make up excuses. Others look, touch, feel and then walk away. Don’t worry about how people react. Everyone is different. I went to a craft show locally a couple of years ago and a guy was selling glass beer mugs that he had sandblasted sports logo’s on. I made a point to tell him how nice they were and that I would be back to buy one. I’m sure he thought it was a sale he was never going to get but when I was leaving, I went to his tent and bought 3 of them. I asked him how many people say they will be back that never do come back. He said…almost all of them. I told him that I just didn’t want to lug around glassware and risk having it break. He was grateful for the sale and I enjoy my favorite beverage in those glasses quite often.

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1970 days

#15 posted 12-10-2013 07:35 PM

that’s why they have How it’s Made on Discovery for all the Idiots in our fine country, of course Im an idiot to, I watch How it was too

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

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