Last week Rob wondered how successful your marketing and sales efforts are for the projects you build. Several of you share your experiences. – Editor
“I sell my canoes at $10,000 each, hoping like hell I don’t get a buyer. I spent over 50 years working. I don’t want another job. Retirement is hard enough. You have to go every day, no weekends, holidays, vacations, etc. The commute is great though.” – Bill G.
“I find it is easy to market but very difficult to actually sell. On Facebook Marketplace everyone is looking for a cheap bargain. With Etsy you easily get lost amongst all of the other sellers, and most people treat it like Pinterest where they “like” or “favorite” your idea but never buy even if you run a sale for them. Craft shows can work, but it’s hard to find a good one where people are actually looking to spend more than just a $20 impulse buy. Most of the time you spend forever loading, setting up, breaking down, reloading the car and taking it all home again. It’s funny: I’m in New York and for all the money New Yorkers are supposed to have they can be pretty tight. They would rather spend $200 on dinner than $200 on a coffee table. Pinterest is where people go to ‘steal’ your ideas. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the site ‘Bring-a-trailer’ where people auction their classic cars, but I’d love to see something similar for craftspeople to auction their one-of-a-kind hand made goods. Or a Facebook Marketplace dedicated to only handmade crafts.” – Chris Ungaro
“I appreciated your column this week, but I was hoping for some practical pointers. I just took the leap to expand my hobby into a side hustle, and I am currently in the sell-to-family-and-friends segment of the marketing plan. Agreed, it’s much easier to share pieces today, but what I’m trying to figure out is how to turn likes and comments into dollars and cents.” – Kyle Durham
“I too have taken on woodworking projects for money from customers. The projects range from a true white oak front door with mortise and tenons with three glass windows to a foot stool! A while back I had a store on Etsy that did requests, which was very interesting and fun. Here’s my biggest issue: I will not do repetitive work or a project in a home that I think will not compliment the style of the home. For example, a person wanted to have me build press wood shelves on each side of his fireplace. The problem was, the house was a craftsman style home. After 40 years of woodworking, building projects for people is still lots of fun.” – Mark Erickson