Well I get back here and see this post has taken some twists and turns. I also see someone must have been on line when I made my last post and yes I reread it and thought someone will get the wrong message with the wording I used so I deleted it. I have gotten in my fair share of disputes over wording so I try to be careful.
I will make some posts here and will leave them here.
Wilwood you keep pushing the IAP site. They are not the Holly grail of the pen turning world that some may think. If you read any of the posts that you refer to you are reading what that person has done or is doing to sell their pens. You can read that on any forum about any thing. What works for one may not work for you. As the OP of this thread stated he was looking for options as to where to sell his pens and who was buying??? I think we need to try to answer his questions here and not send him to another site. This is about this site not IAP.
I will start and say I have done craft shows for over 25 years selling my scrollsaw work. I have over the past 3 years incorporated my turning which includes pens. They have not been huge sellers and the reason is the market is soft right now and also people with throw away cash like I call them do not come to craft shows. Craft shows are a dying breed. It is just not the same as it was 25 years ago. I made some good money doing shows. The internet has taken away most of this and it just is a different enviroment today. I have resided to set up a web site but I started last year with the help of someone but my Mom got hurt and with her dimentia it has been a handful so my time is limited to do anything. I will pursue the net avenue though. I will not sell pens on etsy or ebay because of the competition. I feel people undervalue their work just for the sake of selling a few pieces and it has a negative effect on all pen turners.
There are many places to try selling your pens and a few have been mentioned here already and that is jewlery stores, consignment stores, and shows both craft shows and highend artsy shows. How well you do depends on alot of factors and luck is one of them. You need to get your name out there so advertising is key. If you sell wholesale or do consignments there is different things that need to be taken into consideration but the bottom line is know the bottom line. You need an end game. You need to know who is responsible for theft, breakage, taxes, shipping and all sorts of things. You need to know the terms of the agreements and what your end responsabilities are which can be trying so you need to be able to make those commitments. I have been there and done that.
Now there is the sell to friends thing and hope word of mouth takes you places and that rarely does unless again if you are one of the lucky few. Meeting that right contact could mean profit but not everyone this will happen is my point.
Fairs and shows or farmers market will bring low end clients and if that is what you feel where you want to be then that is for you and may not be for anyone else.
Highend gallery shows maybe an answer if you sell highend quality work and let me tell you I have seen what some people call highend stuff and are proud of their pens that really need to have someone with a little more experince bring them back to earth.
Now one of the things I deleted when I made the post was the fact that so many people talk about doing this as a hobby and giving pens away. I commend you for doing this and giving pens to servicemen is great but you don't have to let the world know about it. If you want to give your pens away then do so with less fanfare but us that want to sell our pens and yes want to make a profit don't want to read about your giveaways. Heck I have given away more things that I have made than I can shake a stick at. Not only pens.
Yes this is a hobby to most and all they look to do is recoup a few bucks to keep up the hobby. But unless you are loaded with throw away cash this can be a very expensive hobby to say the least. So giving away pens is not an option for me because I do not have that throw away cash. As far as $2 pen kits I would not touch them with a ten foot pole. I have and never will make a slim line pen of any kind. Like I said if you want to take this hobby serious you want to make a name for yourself and using inferior products that plating wears off and or break within a few weeks of sales is not the way to go. Now with that said anyone who does this more power to you and go right ahead doing so. Good luck.
Figuring out how much to charge for your pens can be as simple as looking at going rates from others to some safisicated formulas. But I do know if I sell a pen my labor charge will be in it. The intangables will also be incorporated. Everyone has their method and has tweaked it over the years I am sure.
Advertising is another subject. People find doing business cards to be enough. Or just word of mouth or some go as far as pounding the pavements and knocking on doors. This all has to do with the individual and how far they want to take it or not take it. Some people are fortunate to work in an invorment where thay can make sales to fellow workers. I work construction and iI am not selling pens to construction workers.
All that can be said is everone is different and we all have different goals. Now I will get off my soapbox and I will leave this post so if you want to throw arrows I am here. But these are my thoughts.
Lets make some pens and show them here.