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

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by UncannyValleyWoods posted 255 days ago 2177 views 0 times favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


335 posts in 490 days

255 days ago

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.


46 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


112010 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 255 days ago

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:))

-- Custom furniture

View bondogaposis's profile


2480 posts in 977 days

#2 posted 255 days ago

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

1420 posts in 987 days

#3 posted 255 days ago

I think β€œIt’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.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Dallas's profile


2866 posts in 1113 days

#4 posted 255 days ago

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 (online now)


3520 posts in 280 days

#5 posted 255 days ago

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. β€” Tom Paine **

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5515 posts in 2055 days

#6 posted 255 days ago

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


1286 posts in 883 days

#7 posted 255 days ago

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


1241 posts in 588 days

#8 posted 255 days ago

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

1105 posts in 595 days

#9 posted 255 days ago

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

1481 posts in 1731 days

#10 posted 255 days ago

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 so little time!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13738 posts in 964 days

#11 posted 255 days ago

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.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Texcaster's profile


651 posts in 300 days

#12 posted 255 days ago

Some old standbys

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

-- Bill....... I listen very closely to the timber and then impose my will.

View Puzzleman's profile


328 posts in 1570 days

#13 posted 255 days ago

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


122 posts in 1613 days

#14 posted 254 days ago

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


479 posts in 355 days

#15 posted 254 days ago

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

showing 1 through 15 of 46 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase