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I agree with @RioVistaAndy about the 'home made' thing. I just say "I build furniture" and leave it at that. If asked what kind of furniture I build, I just say "I build Modern - Contemporary, mostly custom. I have a nice shop" and just leave it at that. That leaves the conversation in their hands. Usually they ask if I have anything I can show them and that gets the conversation away from me and my shop and now we are just talking furniture.
 

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Egg Spurt
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Just remember that you'll be competing with every overseas factory as well as every schmuck with a power saw and screwdriver..
If you want to make money at it its a good idea to keep things as simple as possible without making everything cheap. Cheap and low cost are not the same thing. I make a lot of stuff from cypress I get for dirt cheap which makes it low cost, but I don't make it cheap.. My labor is my biggest concern so maybe find a resource for dirt cheap materials and make things value added.
Avoid the term handmade and replace it with custom made or one of a kind custom made or other terminology.
As old man always told me..Don't sell the steak..Sell the sizzle..
 
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Cabinetmaker
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Hey members!

I like to make furniture as a hobby. I really get a lot of positive compliments and people tell me that I should sell it too, so I decided to do that ;) .And now I want to make some furniture and then sell it. Now I see that many people offer their self-made furniture on Marktplaces with old stuff aswell. I find this a bit weird. Why would you sell your own products that are (new) on a second-try platform? a bit unprofessional, right? I can't seem to find a good alternative at the moment in terms of a marketplace where I can put my furniture that is (new and homemade) with a bit of volume on it. And now I know a lot of people are going to say make a website yourself. But someone like me is not waiting for this, I just want to sell a piece of furniture every now and then and build a whole site then of course don't hurry for maybe a sale per month. Of course it would be nice later on, but of course I have to start somewhere. Do you also experience this problem as furniture makers? (Not a good platform where you can sell custom-made / homemade furniture?) And if you have a solution for this, I'd love to hear it!
I’ve been building wood projects since early childhood. In 1981, I finally decided to start a custom woodcraft business in my basement. My decision arose, after building several small custom wood projects for friends, relatives & neighbors. There was definitely a market (and still is today) for custom wood projects.

I did a few projects from word-of-mouth referrals and business started to pick up. With that said, the first thing I did was to check zoning regulations and then I obtained a business license through the county clerk. This was to cover for any neighbor complaints with running an unlicensed business. I didn’t have to charge sales tax (NY State) because I already paid taxes on the lumber/hardware, etc.. Also, business insurance of some type is recommended (especially in today’s litigatious society), if business starts to picks up.

Project-pricing was my biggest problem. However, I use the 1/3 method of calculation for estimates by first multiplying all total materials costs by 3. This ensures a profit for your gas and time shopping for and transporting materials. Then, I multiply a reasonable hourly labor cost for the specific project, times the estimated total labor hours. Add totals together and you’ve got your estimate. Again, this is an estimate and the total project price may differ (usually from unexpected additional labor). Always highlight “estimate” to the client.

My advertising in the 1980's was mostly word-of-mouth and referrals from previous customers. I also had good luck with placing pre-priced items in local consignment shops. The internet was not affordable to me and advertising on it was limited. Local ads were costly, and I never posted business cards publicly, just to avoid possible privacy issues. The referral and word-of-mouth technique still works well for me, in my cabinetmaking business today. It also eliminates an abundance of wasted time with answering questions, or price-dickering and discount requests. I guess it’s how big you want your business to grow. Also, the internet can be a great place for advertising, but remember to “not bite- off more than you can chew”. Woodworking should be enjoyable and relaxing, without added stress from the outside world.

I’d take things slow at first. Do a few local projects and then decide on whether or not your adventure is a hobby or a business. If things pick up, then go the full business route with your decided choices of advertising. Good luck!

-Bob
 

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@Rwhpi
Way back when, your pricing method was fairly common.
What helped me , I think, was that I was the only one that did not give estimates. I gave what I thought it should be. That was when I used to say ::you win some, you lose some. you break even on some and just hope in the long run you come out ahead."
Estimating stripping and refinishing was easier. I had a publication I bought for $15 from the company that made my strip and rinse tanks. They had hundreds and hundreds of sketches of antiques all categorized by type and 2 prices - one for strip only and one for strip and refinish. It was great. I followed it like the bible. If I had a lot of the same type items from one customer, I would cut them a little slack on say for instance stroip and refinish 8 identical chairs.
 

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I started out with renting a commercial space in a strip shopping center. In the early 1980's, the leases were on their way down in price due to the rise of shopping malls. Business was somewhat slow but survivable. It was the advertising of repair and refinishing that brought the crowds. Now, refinishing is on it's way out - simply because of a new younger market that is not interested in the 'old'. But no matter, if u want to get into the business, you have to get exposure. Either advertise or get a store front or both. Other than friends and relatives, the general public needs to know you exist. If you dont make a splash, there will be no wave.
The other alternative would be to keep doing odd stuff for friends and family and wait for it to grow. There is no magic bullet. And BTW, when you start to raise your prices, you will lose all of your old customers and pretty much start over again. To avoid this, start pricing now for what you want to get and dont plan on slowly raising your prices.
If you really want to know what you are worth, take your furniture to art or furniture galleries and pay the commission. If you cant afford the commission, then you are not ready for business. When I had my gallery, I charged 50/50. If I had a good seller, I would give them 60% and keep only 40%.
 

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Termite
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Like Frank.said you need to find a cheap.outlet. cheap overhead gets things rolling. Later if its successful you can move forward..

Are you welding the frames yourself?

Most dont have the floor space to have a lot of large products sitting around
..
 
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