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Forum topic by pinkfish posted 04-22-2009 04:31 AM 1819 views 2 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pinkfish

171 posts in 3136 days


04-22-2009 04:31 AM

Morning,

So I have been thinking about selling some of my items I make, however I am not quite sure which would be the best avenue to persue. I could try and sell on etsy, but a little browsing on there seems it is overfull of things, just about everything and almost none of the shops seem to have any sales.

I was thinking about craft fairs, but I am not sure how successful they are or what sorts of things people have had success selling at them? I make all sorts of stuff from simple items like pens, to bigger pieces of furniture like a murphy bed and dressers. I think craft fairs would lend themselves more to mid range stuff, like pens and cutting boards and boxes.

Good luck!
David.


12 replies so far

View Pete Santos's profile

Pete Santos

172 posts in 3473 days


#1 posted 04-22-2009 04:45 AM

David,

I have found a niche market for my items and I have been extremely successful. I have created an online store.

www.spjcrafts.com

My items are predominantly Guamanian themed items, from the U.S. Territory of Guam, my homeland.

Maybe you can figure out what your niche would be.

I sell at large Guam cultural fairs/events here on the West Coast. I usually sell out on many of the items I bring to the events. So far the other folks that sell wood products don’t have the same capacity as I have. I have invested a lot of money into the hobby and I think the biggest investment has been time.

-- Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and love.

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3220 posts in 3061 days


#2 posted 04-22-2009 04:46 AM

I started doing craft shows. I found them to be a good starting point.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile

NY_Rocking_Chairs

507 posts in 3062 days


#3 posted 04-22-2009 11:18 AM

If you are thinking of doing craft fairs, then find some in the area and start walking through them. This will give you a better idea of what other wood-crafters are doing. There are people who are regulars at our shows who set up a 10’ x 40’ area of furniture, but have a section of smaller items as well. There are people who are specialized as well and do nothing but toys, nothing but flutes, nothing but walking sticks and canes, nothing but bowls.

I too am a person who likes to do a lot of different projects, from the bigger furniture to the smaller items like lamps, boxes and pens.

Currently I am working through some local galleries and this has served me with steady work flow. I am about to partner up with some other local woodworkers and get some more exposure to their customer base.

I also belong to a NY state guild for crafters and they share a ton of info on doing the craft shows, like the best shows, show reports, where to get the tents, etc. Right now, at least in NY, the craft shows are still generating alot of customers, but not many sales. Personal web sites are keeping most of the crafters afloat right now. One nice thing about the crafters guild is I give about 200 business cards to each of them (in the mail) and they in turn send me theirs, every order they send out they stuff all the “shared” business cards into. That has also generated some business for me since it is again sharing customer bases.

Another option is Etsy, but it is not very popular right now and not a lot of people know about it.

An option my wife and I are looking into is using Amazon, for $0.99 a sale plus a 15% commission we are probably going to see if it will work out for selling unique items. Not sure how viable their system will be since it is meant mostly for COTS stuff.

Good luck.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

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pinkfish

171 posts in 3136 days


#4 posted 04-23-2009 01:15 AM

How much stuff do you usualy take to a fair? As in how much stock do you usually have on hand? If you only sell one or two bits I guess you don’t need as much as if you sell a bunch of items.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

939 posts in 2858 days


#5 posted 04-23-2009 06:38 AM

Do you have your own web page? I think that would be a wise platform to launch your stuff, so if you participate in any fair, you can pass out flyers with your web site info.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile

NY_Rocking_Chairs

507 posts in 3062 days


#6 posted 04-23-2009 11:10 AM

Problem with most craft fairs is the cost. If you start requesting applications you will see what I mean. I attend 2 shows a year, each show costs me about $300 in application and registration fees. I take as much stuff as I have room for, you normally get a 10’x10’ space. It would take a lot of pens to make back your registration fee.

Some areas also have monthly “garage sales” where it is much cheaper, but you are not getting the craft crowd, you are getting the garage sale shopper crowd. Our county fairgrounds hosts one of these sales every month and you can get a 10’x10’ space for about $20.

Another marketing idea is vehicle signage. For about $100 I purchase magnetic vinyl posters with my business name, web site and even a 2’x2’ picture of a rocking chair and these are stuck all over my van, there are smaller business name only magnets on the car that I drive daily.

Also lots of restaurants (at least local diners) and some hardware stores, our local 84 Lumber at least, have cork boards for business cards and it never hurts to pin 10 cards up on one of these for people to see and take.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View eddy's profile

eddy

936 posts in 2829 days


#7 posted 04-23-2009 03:49 PM

look at odie’s blogs he has a great set on this subject

-- self proclaimed copycat

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 2821 days


#8 posted 04-23-2009 03:59 PM

I say we make a webstore designed for us lumberjocks…..I posted this before but really didn’t get a response.We can do something like a website that holds no inventory. Everything is dropshipped. We will have a lead time and all thats good stuff. There will be a registration and only lumber jocks are invited! what do you guys say. All you have to do is send my pics and info for pricing.

All in favor say I
And I’ll get started if there is enough interest I’ll post another vote on my blog today

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View MyOldGarage's profile

MyOldGarage

93 posts in 2892 days


#9 posted 04-23-2009 05:13 PM

Actually there could be a lot of interesting ways to do that very thing on the store stuff . . . there’s a lot of ways to do it totally free right now. For instance, you can always put your items up on google in their googlebase area.

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO - http://myoldgarage.blogspot.com

View daveintexas's profile

daveintexas

365 posts in 3341 days


#10 posted 05-16-2009 04:13 PM

Dont forget Craigslist.
I have listed some stuff there and recieved some good contacts.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#11 posted 05-16-2009 05:22 PM

I know some folks list things on etsy.com

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View cmaeda's profile

cmaeda

205 posts in 3019 days


#12 posted 05-17-2009 09:32 PM

I first have to say I don’t woodwork professionally and since my wife had a baby a year ago, I don’t really have time to take commissions. With that said, I used to sell my work on Craigslist from time to time. I used to get a lot of commissions just from word of mouth. I got started when my doctor found out I like to do woodworking. The next time I saw him, I brought pictures of my work and I invited him to come over and check it out. So he came over and saw the work I did. The next thing I know, he’s asking me to make him 12 chairs for his waiting room! I told him it would take a year but he wanted it (It actually took me almost 5 months). Then it was a dining table set, then an entertainment center. He then started refering me to his doctor friends, and I did make some waiting room tables and chairs but I had to stop by then since my wife was about to have a baby.
So I guess my point is, word of mouth works pretty well. With Craigslist, you might get 3 or 4 people saying they want to buy but only half will actually show up. I don’t know why that is…

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