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Selling Adirondacks

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Forum topic by wmixon posted 06-23-2014 03:17 AM 1142 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wmixon

20 posts in 931 days


06-23-2014 03:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: selling chairs flea markets adirondacks

Hello!

I have recently began producing some nice Cedar Adirondack chairs. I have both a full size and a 3/4 size (child) version. I have made some for friends and family and they seem to be well reviewed.

It would be great to be able to turn the chairs into some extra spending cash as some point. There is a large indoor flea market that hosts a free yard sale on the 1st and 3rd saturdays of every month.

My thought was to make up a few sets and take them to the sale and see how things go. If they sale, I make up some more for the next time.

I have NEVER sold anything I have made before and I’m wondering if I’m forgetting anything.

I know there are a lot of you who are veteran sellers of items. Any tips of the trade for a new guy?

Thanks guys!

William

-- Measure twice, cut once...Throw board away, go back to Home Depot...Measure three times, cut once...Pray.


6 replies so far

View huff's profile

huff

2828 posts in 2752 days


#1 posted 06-23-2014 12:08 PM

William,

Just a couple things you may want to keep in the back of your mind if you decide to sell at the flea market:

1. Just remember, 99% of the shoppers at a typical flea market are looking to pay 10 cents on the dollar for anything they buy. (so don’t be suprised if you get a lot of people trying to get you to lower your price even more or they will flat out tell you; “You’re expensive and your price is too high). For an inexperienced seller, this can give you a real complex that you “must be overpriced”...........when you’re not.

2. Since this is the first time you are selling items you made, just remember to take everything anybody says with a grain of salt. Some will give you compliments and others will be down right insulting. You have to be able to roll with the punches.

3. Selling can be fun, but it will have a lot to do with your attitude and your ability to converse with people.

4. Selling can be fun, but it will also have a lot to do with your convidence in yourself, your product and your pricing.

5. Don’t give your work away. If you don’t have any luck at the flea market, than you may need to look at other ways to sell your chairs.

6. Friends, neighbors and relatives are great moral supporters, but just keep in mind the price tag is not getting in their way for compliments. If you have sold to friends and relatives, I would venture to guess you sold things for a little over cost of materials or maybe even less. I say that, because that’s the problem almost every woodworker faces when building for friends and relatives. LOL

7. The best advice would be to go and have fun. Don’t worry about the sales as much as the learning experience of dealing with the general public. Listen to what everyone has to say, digest it and learn from it.

8. Most of us were not born “super salesman”, the same as most of us were not born “super craftsman”, so just enjoy the journey of both.

Good luck.

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

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

411 posts in 2411 days


#2 posted 06-23-2014 12:57 PM

Huff’s comments are right on. I do not sell any of my products at flea markets as they can’t afford anything that I make.

The things that I would add are:
1. Take plenty of cash for making change.
2. Get the Square app or app similar for taking charge cards through your phone.
3. I don’t take any checks. Have burned too many times. Cash or CC only.
4. Check out what others items people are selling and their pricing. This will let you know if you are in the right market for your items.
5. Don’t be afraid of pricing your products at a fair price to YOU for all of your labor. If you start selling at a low price, raising pricing later is very difficult.
6. Most importantly, Have fun. If you don’t make any sales, you will have learned some valuable lessons. No matter how bad a show was, I always learned something new at the show that improved me later.
7. Check out Huff’s blog series on pricing. It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t that bad. Better to spend time now to learn if you are making a profit rather than at the end of the year when you find out you lost money.
8. Stick to your guns on pricing. Don’t let anyone try to talk you down on price. Your time and labor is valuable. Why do you want to take a pay cut?
9. Solicit feedback from any customer that stops by. You will gain insights into their thinking process and might give you some new ideas or potential leads for sales.

Jim

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#3 posted 06-23-2014 01:01 PM

It is very important to talk to the shoppers. A simple “hello” or “good morning will do wonders toward making a sale. Good luck…..

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View InstantSiv's profile

InstantSiv

259 posts in 1062 days


#4 posted 06-23-2014 04:19 PM

Hi William,

The thing to keep in mind is that the most important thing to take away from your first time selling to the public like in a flee market is the experience and lessons you learn. Don’t worry about making money/profit the first couple of times you go out. Who knows if you’ll sell a lot or a little… If you sell a lot, Great! Build some more and do it again. If you don’t sell a lot assess the results and make adjustments. There’s a lot of people who have been successful selling Adirondack chairs so it’s doable, you just have to figure out the best ways to be successful at it.

View wmixon's profile

wmixon

20 posts in 931 days


#5 posted 06-23-2014 04:30 PM

Wow guys!

Thank you for your comments! I really like this particular flea market because, while they have the good-op 10 cents on the dollar booths, they also have a quite large area that is upscale furniture. That’s why I thought it would be a good place to try.

Getting the square app for credit cards is also a great idea. Anyone know how much that costs—I think there is a per transaction fee.

Like several of you have said, this is more about a fun experience for me right now than it is about $$$. Although, you never know, that could change :)

When I get done typing this, I’m going to check out Huff’s blog on pricing.

Thank you all! I’ll let you know how it goes!

William

-- Measure twice, cut once...Throw board away, go back to Home Depot...Measure three times, cut once...Pray.

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

47 posts in 1169 days


#6 posted 06-23-2014 09:38 PM

Huff hit it bang on.

Jim Finn said it all.

“Sales” is just a conversation – this is what I got – what do you need to accomplish – does this interest you. If you’re curious about what people think/want/need/muse about, you’ll be fine.

You might be ok and visitors may “get” what you do and you may not – Huff said not to take it personally/seriously. Wiser words never said before this.

Go in with a sense of fun and ask LOTS of questions aimed at what would they actually buy and at what prices.

As far as Adirondack chairs, this might be Pagan to suggest it but I’d think it’d be best to stand out – wide ones, taller seat ones, ones in the shape of fish, in the shape of easy US states, Greene & Greene.

This may sound hokey. But it’s not my intention. If all you’re selling is selling better craftsmanship, my impulse is to think flea market visitors aren’t oriented that way. Some of my case studies have pointed this same sentiment out.

I’d love to be wrong. So keep us posted.

Howard

H

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