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Forum topic by nate22 posted 10-11-2014 06:36 PM 1149 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nate22

453 posts in 2343 days


10-11-2014 06:36 PM

I am starting to sell my signs and I was curious what the best ways was to do it. I have had one person tell me to mainly sell them online. I’ve had some people tell me shows. And I didn’t know about selling them to stores. So what have you guys tried? And what has work and hasn’t worked for you.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.


7 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2390 days


#1 posted 10-12-2014 02:51 AM

I do not make signs . I make and sell simple cedar boxes with images inlaid into the hinged lids. To sell in a store requires you to give up about 1/2 of the sale price to the store. My boxes really need to be seen and touched in person to sell well so I do not do any internet sales. I sell my products at street fairs and festivals. They sell well there. I get plenty of custom orders this way also. I sell as many as I can make in 30-40 hours a week in my shop.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

8315 posts in 3116 days


#2 posted 10-12-2014 04:46 AM

You should be subscribing to Cabinetmaker+FDM and/or
Woodshop News. Subscriptions are free if you say
you’re a pro. They are advertiser supported
industry journals that cover issues pertinent to
selling work.

View Tooch's profile

Tooch

1356 posts in 1344 days


#3 posted 10-12-2014 11:56 AM

I would say if you are going to sell signs at shows, have lots of items with general quotes on them (i.e. “home sweet Home”, Welcome to the Lake, wipe your paws, etc.) and sell those items for cheap. That way you can quickly cover the table fee and make a few bucks. the most success I’ve had at shows has been with items $30 or less.

Then, also have a couple more elaborate signs, and maybe a few extra custom signs available for people to see the craftsmanship & potential. Have an order form ready with a couple general options, (sizes, shapes, fonts,) and allow them fill it out.

The online store is a good supplement to this; for the people who maybe can’t make up their mind at a show, its good to have a bakc- up plan. they can shop around and go home to think it over, then you still have an avenue for sales.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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Blackie_

4535 posts in 1980 days


#4 posted 10-12-2014 01:03 PM

Here’s my experience when it comes to shows comparing to online sales, I did the show circuit all last year and unlike Jim it didn’t work toward my favor as Tooch mentioned people are only looking to spend flea market pricing at the typical monthly market shows so depending on your pricing will determine if you’ll be a success at these type of shows, If you want to sell at a higher level venue then you’ll pretty much be traveling long distances state to state.

Next you have to take into account of packing and unpacking, not only your signs but your display shelving and or tables, tent, etc…, booth expenses, travel expense, food expense, booth rental expense, gas expense, ware and tear on transportation, you’ll need a tax ID # which means quarterly taxes, you’ll be locked into your booth for up to at least 8 hours a day.

You’ll have to weigh whether the amount you make is worth the time and effort you put into the show, if traveling is something you like and just like getting out in the mix of people then this might work for you.

For me it wasn’t worth it, my sell prices and the items I sale are geared for the large craft art show venues which require a huge rental fee plus the state to state travel in which I’m not wanting to do so I found that selling online works best for me plus I get to spend all of that extra time in my shop and not on the road, a lot less work packaging and running to the post office then setting up a booth for an 8 hour period.

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor does shows only he does the art and craft show venues and does the traveling but he likes that travel time with his wife, might get his opinion as well.

As Jim stated any store is going to want a commission and or a percentage of the sales.

-- 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 Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

411 posts in 2412 days


#5 posted 10-14-2014 07:32 PM

There is no one best way to sell your products. I use all three ways discussed. I do the larger art & craft shows and travel out of state. Usually don’t drive more than 10 hours to get to a show. I do sell there but also hand out brochures with products, my website and phone. This drives business to my website for the people who do not buy at the show. In addition to my own website, I sell on ETSY as well. I get customers from web searches as well.

I also sell to many stores, catalogs and websites. As blackie said, it is great to just make it and ship it. With wholesale, you are giving them a discounted price from your retail. You should be selling at a retail price at the shows and internet. This allows a wholesale price for the stores. What is really nice about wholesale, is that you don’t have all of the direct customer interaction that takes up time. Interaction is with other business people who want to get to work.

My answer to you is to do all three. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Had a lousy show this past weekend due to rain everyday, but I was good as I had several orders from my website come in and many orders from retailers.

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

View darinS's profile

darinS

678 posts in 2335 days


#6 posted 10-14-2014 08:28 PM

in addition to etsy, there is also http://www.custommade.com

I have not tried either and vouch for none, just passing along a possibility.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1077 posts in 3010 days


#7 posted 10-15-2014 04:50 AM

I talked to a girl today that makes cutting boards and she told me she was selling as many boards as she could make in a week on Facebook online yard sales.

I had never heard of FB online yard sales so I did a Goggle on it in and sure enough in our area there are 3 of them.

Free advertising and the three sites in our area looked to be doing ok. I did the searches as facebook online yard sales in three large cities near us.

I also did just a free online yard sales search in our area and several of them showed up but didn’t seem as busy as the FB ones.

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org

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