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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Often the reason people sell new homemade goods in the same spot as other people sell used items is because it is free and they don't want to make a website. It sounds like you don't want to make a website either, so a marketplace like that is just about perfect for you I would guess.

If you are pretty opposed to those marketplaces, you might try selling at a craft fair or festival. But I believe those places usually charge a fee to rent a booth, so you lose profit that way. So back to the idea that a marketplace might be a good place to start...
How much furniture have you sold so far?
12 i think so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Maybe you ought to rent a shop space and have a gallery up front. That is more or less how I started.

Other alternatives would be to build the furniture and check out local art galleries and see if they will take some of it in on consignment. Typical consignment fees are 40% to 50% commission. That is one way to find out if there is a market for your stuff. In addition to furniture, you can make mirror frames (Including the mirrors) and put that in with your furniture on consignment. Mirror frames are fast, inexpensive to build including the price of the mirror.
Had the same thought and there is no easy answer.

First off, lets say you did do a web site, then people have to find it. There are millions of web sites and being found is not easy. I went through this starting my business and it takes a lot of time to get found. So that is not a good idea. Especially if you just have say a piece a month or something like that.

For an occasional piece of furniture nothing is going to beat places like FB Market place. There are LOTS of people on there looking. Probably not many looking for higher end furniture, most are looking for a bargains. But by sheer volume you probably do better there than anywhere else and it is FREE!

I have not looked into it but Etsy might be a place to consider. I have been lead there a couple of times looking for something. Never checked in on what it takes to sell on there.

Ebay is another possibility. You can set a price and not run it as an auction. Have to take into consideration the fees of course.

Those of the first places that have come to my mind. There are probably places that you offer to sell for you (for a fee). But I have not done any real research since I have way to much to do at this point.

Oh, one thing I did think about was trying to get in contact with Interior Designers. Not sure how you do that but I figure they are good people to be in touch with if they like you work. They probably tend to deal with clients with money, not looking for Ikea grade furniture.
Do you think we need a new markplace for only new and handmade high end furniture? Do you think that something like that could help solving my problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Yordano - Lots of good advice and things to consider in this discussion thread. Do you have Etsy in your country or something similar?
Yes i do. but i dont think etsy is a good place to sell. I need to pay high % and lots of low price competition on there.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Yes i do. but i dont think etsy is a good place to sell. I need to pay high % and lots of low price competition on there.
I have found Etsy to be very affordable and a great place to sell items once you find your niche. I've been on for about four years and have over 450 sales. Many of the items I've made have been 2-3 to the same customer in their transactions so items like the Longworth chucks I make are over 500 in quantity. Etsy been profitable and very easy to use for me. I would never have gotten the kind of exposure Etsy provides and it would've cost a lot more to spend weekends at local shows renting a booth, not to mention the time just standing around letting people gawk and not buy anything. My pricing is what my pricing is; if you want it then buy it but if you don't then don't buy it. I'll stick with Etsy.
 

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Not necessarily. There is always a market for new stuff. I just dont think because it is hand made it is more attractive to buyers. Todays younger is mainly interested in less expensive stuff and replace with new inexpensive stuff in 4 years or so. There is always a market for 'killer' stuff. If you have some killer designs, people will buy without hesitation.
If you want a woodworking career. you cant just jerk around. You have to jump in, both feet and full commitment. If you work at home it is a disadvantage. Not saying you, but most people working at home are not 100% committed. There is also the fact that most serious buyers wont go to anyone that works at home unless they were referred to them by someone they trust. Working out of you home shop is not the same commitment as renting a commercial building/property. At least not in a serious buyers market.
Now getting back to killer designs - most of the above statements I made will not apply.
 

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REFINISHING

In all of my previous woodshops, Refinish and Restoration was probably 85 - 90% of my income. I made good money doing it but I preferred building furniture over repair and refinishing. There just wasn't enough demand for new furniture, maybe because my designs were not "killer".
 

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......................My pricing is what my pricing is; if you want it then buy it but if you don't then don't buy it.............
YES! I agree totally. It is what it is.

I am retired and doing mostly furniture and some turnings for myself and my family. I have taken on a few 'outside' jobs. And just because I am retired, I dont charge less than I used to. I try to average $60 - $70/ hour. Anything less and I would be affecting the income of other woodworking businesses where some are struggling.
Like David @difalkner said ".. if you want it then buy it but if you don't then don't buy it".
 

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I don't really understand anyone complaining about Etsy or Ebay fees, when I had my boutique we worked on a 50% mark up, meaning if the item cost 50 cents it sold for $1.00. That 50% mark up paid for store rent, staff, licence fees, utilities, advertising and insurance. Add in a percentage for breakage and shoplifting, all things you don't have working from home and selling online. In addition you can in all probability claim a percentage of your home expenses if you are working from your home. The exposure you get from Etsy or Ebay is much greater that what you get renting a shop down the road from your home.
Forget about a website for exposure, the only real use for a web presence is to direct a customer you have found to the items you have for sale.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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The exposure you get from Etsy or Ebay is much greater that what you get renting a shop down the road from your home.
Forget about a website for exposure, the only real use for a web presence is to direct a customer you have found to the items you have for sale.
Seems like the total Etsy charge, including their fees for taking every credit card known to man (about 0.5%), amount to around 16% to 18% leaving the rest for me. Their listings cost 0.20$ per item per month plus whatever their cost is now for a piece of the action. Whatever that is it's quite reasonable to me and they now take it out of what you've got coming to you (which is my preference). When I started they sent you the entire amount your buyer paid plus shipping and then billed you monthly for the amount you owed Etsy. And I sell in all 50 states plus 10 foreign countries. I would have never gotten that exposure from just selling locally or on my own website.
 

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Yordano, can you show us some photos of what you have made in the past ??
and - what projects you have in the works now that you want to sell ?
photos, drawings and sketches will help us to better help you. (as well as tell us what "size" your projects are).
and again, welcome to the forum !!
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Yordano, can you show us some photos of what you have made in the past ??
and - what projects you have in the works now that you want to sell ?
photos, drawings and sketches will help us to better help you. (as well as tell us what "size" your projects are).
and again, welcome to the forum !!
Yes! I make tables like this. Wood and metals.
Table Furniture Tableware Wood Outdoor table


And cooking eilands like this.
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Table


Its really big and i welt it. So i cant just pack it and sent it. And the problem with marktplaces is that they dont let me show my adress also so no one can look me up and drive by just to check what i have in my showroom and feel my products. I have been thinking asswell to build a marktplace where people can sell handcrafted furniture only. Like Esty but than only with high end furniture thats handcrafted and no other stuff just furniture. The platform wont be taking a really high% eache sell and it will allow sellers to post there adress for a live visit. I would have many more ideas for it but most of them would be hard to build but this is what i would start wilt. It would solve a few problems like getting a fair price for your furniture (Cause there is no old stuff on it what people can compare your furniture with just only high end handcrafted furniture). No marketing cost for the seller. And maby more good paying traffic. Any way its just an idee i would love to help a lot of people with solving there problems. Why would i only help myself if i could help many more people with an idee, Right? Any way its just a random idee. If anybody would like my idee i would love to hear it ;) But back to my furniture. I make stuff with wood and metal like old industrial look.

And also thank you for all the replies everybody Ands thanks for the advice!
 

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since it is only a Random Idea for now, I would check into "how" you are going to crate it (a cardboard box won't work) and the shipping of how to get it to the port of embarkation (leave your country) onto a ship, that will take it to other parts of the world, port of debarkation (arrive in another country), then, travel through Customs of that country, and then onto a truck to the customer. All in one piece without damage. (either through accidents in shipping or Customs Agents tearing it apart looking for contraband).
This could be quite a feat from the Netherlands to the USA or Canada. Maybe a little less if you confine your business to the UK and surrounding countries.
To me, finding an online "selling platform" for your items is not the issue; it is after the sale: The packing, crating and shipping that I see to be your biggest hurdles.
 

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@John Smith_inFL Yeah, I wonder the same thing. Sometimes I look at hand made furniture on Etsy with a low price including shipping and wonder how they do it. The fact that they do, means it's possible.
@Yordano1 When you solve the shipping crisis, please let us know how you did it.

When I shipped my old van to St. Thomas, USVI in 2000 with all of my belongings I would need there, I cant remember the price, but it was way way reasonable. Surprised me a lot.
 

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If I were to go into business again, I would market my furniture emphasising the design. (like in photos) and very little emphasis on hand crafted. If they don't like what they see, they are not going to buy it because it is hand crafted. People have been stung by "handcrafted" and a little leery. The sale will be made based on it's look. When someone is looking at your piece, then you can walk over and talk about how it was built.
The bottom line is that you will really need a showroom to get recognized or get on Etsy. Either way, you will have to invest in yourself.
You will also have to find a way to make your product slightly disassembled. It will cost a significant amount shipping those large pieces.
 

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I agree with @FrankC above.
You can close off the shop in the rear and make the front a gallery/studio/showroom..

There is no getting around it. You have to invest money and time to make a go of anything.
There are no simple answers.
BTW, owning your own business does not mean 'work when you want', it means 'work all you want'. It's your business, no one can stop from working 18 hours a day if you want to. That's probably about average for most people starting their own business.
 

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It is not all glory running your own business:

Employment Standards determined a small woodworking shop owner was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to interview him.

"I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them," demanded the agent.

"Well, there's Jake my finisher who's been with me for 3 years, I pay him $900 a week.

The apprentice Tom has been here for 6 months, and I pay him $500 a week.

Then there's the half-wit that works here about 18 hours a day. He makes $10 a week and I buy him a case of beer every Friday," replied the owner.

"That's the guy I want to talk to; the half-wit," says the agent."

The owner says, "That would be me."
 

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a local furniture store buys and sells our furniture. if you have a quality product at a fair price, they will be interested. it started out with coat trees, because he couldn't find a quality one anywhere for a decent price, and went on from there.

call and ask for a visit, and load a few items up and go see them... they know furniture - so don't try to blow smoke at them. be open to what they might want you to build for them.
 

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a local furniture store buys and sells our furniture. if you have a quality product at a fair price, they will be interested. it started out with coat trees, because he couldn't find a quality one anywhere for a decent price, and went on from there.

call and ask for a visit, and load a few items up and go see them... they know furniture - so don't try to blow smoke at them. be open to what they might want you to build for them.
Good advice, even if the items you show them don't fit their style if they see quality they may ask if you can make something they are looking for.
 

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You have to start somewhere? You've already started... the making of furniture.

Does the positive comments come with purchases from those folks, also?

If I were to make furniture to sell, I would test the market, first, by asking an established outlet if they would take furniture on consignment. Not all places even consider consignment pieces, but you have to shop around and ask. Furniture store folks will better know if your product has potential for sales.

Essentially a business (your business) needs to be proficient in 3 categories: Manufacture, sales and paperwork. It's hard for one person to do all 3 successfully. If your products are that good, try consigning your pieces, first. It is highly recommended to NOT advertise a piece on Marketplace, Craigslist or the like, for selling it yourself, if the piece is in the show room of a consignee. It may be okay if you post an ad, that the piece is available at the consignee's establishment. Ask the consignee, first, about posting ads, that way. The consignee may elect to post any ads. * Consignment contracts vary.... part of learning the selling business and such (re: the 3 categories mentioned above).

You better have a good product. What's your opinion of your work and products?

Sonny
And number one, never call it Home Made. This telegraphs Low Quality. Call it something like craftsman built. But never Home Built or Home Made.
 
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