Selling your work on ebay - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Selling your work on ebay

I'm graduating HS in the coming June and I'm actually seriously considering a career in carpenting. The thing is that I'm a Computer Science student majoring in Animation and I've never really done any real wood work except for the last few days now.

What's gotten me interested is that I'm very good with modeling and model building, and have built stuff before from clay. So I tried wood and loved how usable the actual form was and physically secure.

Like I said I'm very competent in cgi modeling so I can build a computer 3d model with details all the way to the face. Physical modeling justcomes very naturally to me as a result.

The thing is I really want to get into this a little more and have already started buliding a few projects with the tools I have. I'd like to find out if I can turn this into a buisiness eventually down the road? Is it possible to sell stuff on ebay or etsy and actually make money from your work? Has anyone done it? Or does the cost the of the material and the amount of work you have to put in just outweighs it?

It's great to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions.
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 08:51 PM
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I have come to despise ebay. Fees eat up your profit quick.

Then I sold a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 lens to a lady in California ($900) and they withheld her Paypal payment for 21 days. That's it for me. They can kiss myazz!
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 09:20 PM
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What about selling on Etsy.com?
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 09:22 PM
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My experience is that few people want to invest in quality handmade items, (or even know the difference); they would rather hit the stores such as Pier One, or even Walmart. They go for the particle board/cardboard stuff because it's cheap. They don't have a clue as to the hours and hours spent making one of a kind items, let alone the cost of materials such as quality hardwoods.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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I have come to despise ebay. Fees eat up your profit quick.

Then I sold a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 lens to a lady in California ($900) and they withheld her Paypal payment for 21 days. That's it for me. They can kiss myazz!
Hey just for your info when they withhold the funds for 3 weeks that most likely means the buyer is scamming you. I recently had a guy do that to me with Nike shoes. Most of them think you'll send it out as soon as you see that dollar sign that payment was made that you'll ship it right away. They just use a stolen account making Paypal go though loop holes to verify the payment, hence the wait and it comes back declined at the end, you'd be surprised how many people they get with that.
@Alchymist
Yea that's what my concern is, has anyone ever made an established business out of it?

Last edited by VanillSnake21; 11-03-2015 at 09:51 PM. Reason: ps
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TrevortdogR View Post
What about selling on Etsy.com?
And etsy also, yes. But it seems like less legit ebay, I don't think it's a big market. Is it possible to do it with _any_ market at all?
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 10:05 PM
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My advice would be to try out a couple craft shows. With Christmas around the corner, folks are on the hunt. Keep in mind EVERYBODY THINKS THEY'RE AN EXPERT when it comes to looking at your work. So think outside the box. What fascinates ya? What's your favorite wood to work with? Look through your Ma's kitchen. What can you create for her that she can use daily, & you can market? Trivets? Napkin holder? It may sound like a simple suggestion, but, start within your capabilities, & work out from there. Toy boxes, cedar chests, trinket boxes, things like that are something to consider. Light furniture repair? Don't be afraid to try something new. That's how you learn. You ain't able to compete with Walmart, or any of them other jokers, but you can create your own design, & build on it. It can work, but not over night. I'm a scroll sawyer by fascination, with 15 years of practice. I'm learning the lathe, & trying to incorporate it with my scroll work. We sell ALOT of our scroll work right off the saw. Some custom orders, word of mouth, & we have made flyers for some advertising. Its taken some time, but little by little, we are making headway. Keep focused, & set a goal. Go for it! Enjoy your venture!

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post #8 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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My advice would be to try out a couple craft shows. With Christmas around the corner, folks are on the hunt. Keep in mind EVERYBODY THINKS THEY'RE AN EXPERT when it comes to looking at your work. So think outside the box. What fascinates ya? What's your favorite wood to work with? Look through your Ma's kitchen. What can you create for her that she can use daily, & you can market? Trivets? Napkin holder? It may sound like a simple suggestion, but, start within your capabilities, & work out from there. Toy boxes, cedar chests, trinket boxes, things like that are something to consider. Light furniture repair? Don't be afraid to try something new. That's how you learn. You ain't able to compete with Walmart, or any of them other jokers, but you can create your own design, & build on it. It can work, but not over night. I'm a scroll sawyer by fascination, with 15 years of practice. I'm learning the lathe, & trying to incorporate it with my scroll work. We sell ALOT of our scroll work right off the saw. Some custom orders, word of mouth, & we have made flyers for some advertising. Its taken some time, but little by little, we are making headway. Keep focused, & set a goal. Go for it! Enjoy your venture!
Damn, that's some of the most encouraging advice I got so far. All my friends are being haters, literally everyone thinks this won't work for one reason or another. But honestly that advice was 10x more encouraging then what my father told me which was to "stop slacking with nonsense and get a real job".
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-03-2015, 11:04 PM
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"stop slacking with nonsense and get a real job".
+1 What dad said.

Sooner or later, you will find this to be true. Not being a hater. Been there done that.

There is an old saying - "Don't give up your day job." This applies to a lot of things people want to do...like wedding photography for example.

Good luck. I hope everything works out for you.
Mike
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-04-2015, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillSnake21 View Post
I'm graduating HS in the coming June and I'm actually seriously considering a career in carpenting. The thing is that I'm a Computer Science student majoring in Animation and I've never really done any real wood work except for the last few days now.

What's gotten me interested is that I'm very good with modeling and model building, and have built stuff before from clay. So I tried wood and loved how usable the actual form was and physically secure.

Like I said I'm very competent in cgi modeling so I can build a computer 3d model with details all the way to the face. Physical modeling justcomes very naturally to me as a result.

The thing is I really want to get into this a little more and have already started buliding a few projects with the tools I have. I'd like to find out if I can turn this into a buisiness eventually down the road? Is it possible to sell stuff on ebay or etsy and actually make money from your work? Has anyone done it? Or does the cost the of the material and the amount of work you have to put in just outweighs it?

It's great to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions.
the cost of shipping will stop many wood type items from selling , been their done that , crafts shows i do them all the time , sell lot's of items their for yrs now , i don't do ebay or etsy save your money and do crafts shows
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-04-2015, 09:24 AM
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From someone in IT

Coming from someone in IT that loves wood working, I would look at combining your talents. It sounds like you have a good talent in IT and 3d modeling. Why not continue to pursue that as a first career. Continue to create and excel at woodworking and try building enough items to go to local craft shows / fairs. See how your items sell and the amount of interest that is created. If everything sells and you have orders for 600 more items, then it sounds like you have a solid business. If you only sell 2 pieces and only a few people are interested, then it sounds like it could be a good hobby. Nothing wrong with following your dreams, and you can still have your dreams come true. Just make sure you setup yourself so you can pay your bills and chase your dreams.
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-04-2015, 09:23 PM
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If you're willing to pursue your ideas with the enthusiasm you are expressing in your posts, my friend, you'll be unstoppable! I promise ya! Negativity is going to be on every corner, from every source. If you've got a passion for woodworking, & the desire to improve every single project & skill you try, you can make it work! Remember, you were given two feet, two eyes, two ears, two hands, one mouth & a brain for a reason. One step at a time, to see & hear all you can, to learn everything you can to your availability, to put your knowledge to use for your best interest, & ask questions & communicate about your abilities. With that said, in the mean time, you'll still have to have income to support your addiction & habits until you get business built up enough to look after yourself. You'll do fine, My friend. One day at a time. Let the other junk roll off your back, & stay focused! Enjoy the evening!

Sawdust 703
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-04-2015, 09:41 PM
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It will cost you 14% to sell on eBay. Ebay charges 10% and PayPal charges 4%.
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post #14 of 18 Old 11-04-2015, 10:34 PM
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I would forget online selling aside from Craigslist. CL is completely free and only requires the time to type up an ad. And you can keep to local deals, which will weed out a lot of crap that goes along with selling online.

I was just at the local 'Craftsman Christmas Classic' (craft show) this past weekend. A good amount of WW booths were there; everything from slap together bird houses for $20-30 to handcrafted inlaid tables and mirrors, which approached $3k. I spoke to one older couple who made figurines from a clay/resin mixture. They said they spend 8mths out of the year building and the other 4mths on the road traveling from state to state on the east coast. They claimed it's worked for them the last 20yrs.


IMHO it's much easier to work for someone else, yet still possible to make a good wage. Your post sounds more like a career choice than a business decision. If you want to jump into a business right out of HS than go for it, just realize there is more to running a business than creating and taking money for the product. If you really want to get into carpentry/WW then personally I would advise you to get a job in the aforementioned and build your skills.


GL!

Last edited by Chamfer; 11-04-2015 at 10:40 PM.
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-05-2015, 07:19 AM
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Since you are likely living at home, start by asking your parents to help you write down the costs of living, a household budget, so to speak. Car payment, food, phone, apartment, insurance, taxes, utilities, etc. This will allow you to estimate how much you will need to make to survive on your own. You can then determine how many widgets you have to design, make, market and sell to meet those costs. Nobody teaches you this in school and it can be a rude awakening. Dreaming about what you think you like and want to try will take on a different perspective, the reality perspective. Costs vary across the country but if you only make $12/hr. you are probably at the poverty level, that's if you get 40 hrs./week. It will be even more difficult as the years pass and you start your own family.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-18-2016, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillSnake21 View Post
I'm graduating HS in the coming June and I'm actually seriously considering a career in carpenting. The thing is that I'm a Computer Science student majoring in Animation and I've never really done any real wood work except for the last few days now.

What's gotten me interested is that I'm very good with modeling and model building, and have built stuff before from clay. So I tried wood and loved how usable the actual form was and physically secure.

Like I said I'm very competent in cgi modeling so I can build a computer 3d model with details all the way to the face. Physical modeling justcomes very naturally to me as a result.

The thing is I really want to get into this a little more and have already started buliding a few projects with the tools I have. I'd like to find out if I can turn this into a buisiness eventually down the road? Is it possible to sell stuff on ebay or etsy and actually make money from your work? Has anyone done it? Or does the cost the of the material and the amount of work you have to put in just outweighs it?

It's great to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions.
I sell on Etsy. I started making tables on the side in feb of 2012 and in May of 2013 I quit my day job. I could have and should have quit my day job in Jan of 2013. Now I have 3 employees and we do it full time. Yes it is profitable.

"wood does not do well outside.....well....except for trees"
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-18-2016, 09:39 AM
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What about selling on Etsy.com?
Many sellers on there doing it full time.

"wood does not do well outside.....well....except for trees"
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-18-2016, 09:43 AM
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Sorry for the delay on this. I missed this post back when it was new. I sell on Etsy and do very well. There are at least 2000 woodworking shops on Etsy as there are that many on the forums. Etsy is a much better place for selling hand made wood items. I do it full time and work 7 days a week to stay caught up. Still behind from Christmas though this year. Sales from 2015 were more than 120K more than 2014. That should tell you it works.

It does start slow and you have to build up. The more people like or favorite your shop and/or items the more looks you get the more sales.

"wood does not do well outside.....well....except for trees"
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