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Old 01-06-2017, 12:39 PM
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sportfish1 sportfish1 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Duluth, Mn
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Default Any woodworkers?

Just a quick question. I do a fair amount of woodworking. some furniture, shelving etc. My wife and sons along with their wives and some friends have told me I should start selling some items. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it more headache than value? If you have done successfully, what method of selling did you use? I'm going to retire in 4 1/2 years, and she already has me working again!

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Old 01-06-2017, 02:39 PM
Indiana Lou Indiana Lou is offline
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Location: Indiana, Pa, U.S.
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Sportfish1, I have a good friend that I fish with who is retired. Over the years he has made a number of pieces of furniture, cabinets, and smaller items for both friends, clients, and family members. He said friends usually expect it for nothing, clients expect it for next to nothing, and family members...... what can you say! The toughest part is coming up with a fair price that both you and the recipient can agree upon. And usually people feel they can get it cheaper at the "Big Box" stores and aren't necessarily willing to pay for something handmade with quality and tender loving care. I'd say if you are not concerned with a profit margin but wish to do it because you really enjoy it, then go for it. Lou
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:47 PM
REW REW is offline
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One good way to sell these type of items is at a consignment shop that sells "craft items."
They might charge a 20% fee or so for their efforts and overhead, but you don't have to deal with the customers.

Another way to do it is to advertise on Craigs list that you make custom items and attract customers that way. Then, the customer comes to you, they request a custom piece, agree on a price and when the item is finished, you have a guaranteed sale.

Another thing that one can do is to go to a furniture store that sells Amish furniture. See how the custom items being made compare to the items being sold at the Amish furniture store. You can also check the prices that the store is getting for the Amish items as another comparison.

Good luck
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:50 PM
3M TA3 3M TA3 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burt Lake
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You don't say whether you want to keep it fun or rely on it for income. Keep it simple and go by word of mouth. If you're good, lots of folks will let you know.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:18 PM
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That Minnesota guy That Minnesota guy is offline
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No deals
No special discounts
Only thing free is your advice.

You do it once and you are screwed forever.
Kindness is always a option.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:19 PM
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Baseline Baseline is offline
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Location: Northern, MN
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I met a woodworker at the art show in Ely, MN last year. I bought a frame for my Dad's Veterans flag. He also had some basic shelves and chests. He also made custom cabinets by the job. He told me he does woodworking part-time and did 3 to 4 art shows each year to sell some stuff and promote his business. Seems to me like a good plan for a someone who wants to sell a few pieces each year.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:30 PM
FuzzyIL FuzzyIL is offline
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REW has some good insight on options. Two more are to find other craftsmen similar to you and join forces ... have a website built to show off all products, varieties, styles customers will enjoy that. Take requests and quote etc.

Option 2 is to travel to various small town summer festivals that have vendor parks. We see these all over the Keewanauw pennisula in summer but they are everywhere. You get some light travel in and meet new people.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:42 AM
GBS GBS is offline
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Location: White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA.
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A friend has started doing wood turning in his retirement. He accumulated a huge number of bottle stoppers, bowls, and the like. He opened on online store at etsy.com to sell off his excess. You might want to investigate that as a possibility too. Of course, you'll have to price to cover their 3.5% fee, and if you do bigger things may not want the hassle of shipping.....
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:56 AM
CKM CKM is offline
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I've contemplated the same thing. But I'm afraid a fun hobby turned side business could ruin the enjoyment I get out of it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:03 PM
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Hawker Hawker is offline
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Not a marketing strategy by any means, just a few words to think on!

I used to spend hours and hours crafting and building all sorts of woodworking projects as a form of entertainment for myself in the winter months. From furniture, bread boxes, potato bins, picture frames, etc etc etc, and much like you the wife, family and friends persuaded me that I needed to make stuff to sell, get my stuff out there! I was pretty proud of most of my creations so I took their advice and started making items for sale, and sell they did to the point it was no longer fun, no longer enjoyment, no longer relaxing nor entertaining, it became WORK! For me (and we're all different I know), once the joy went out the window and I fulfilled the initial orders, I found myself dreading to even open the doors and go into the shop. That's been almost 20 years ago and to this day I've not gotten the urge to go back out and create again! Still have most all my equipment of which I only use occasionally to make repairs on something or other. My advice first off would be that if it is something you enjoy for relaxation or creating something special for someone special, keep it at that level and don't make work out of it, keep it at a level of enjoyment for yourself!
Steve "Hawker" King

In remembrance of those that gave the "Ultimate" Sacrifice!
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